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Ethiopian Airlines resumes flights to war-hit Tigray

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Ethiopian Airlines has resumed commercial flights to the capital of the war-hit Tigray region for the first time in nearly 18 months.

Its chief executive Mesfin Tasew said the flights to Mekelle would bring families back together, and help restore business ties.

Banking and telecommunications services have already resumed in some areas.

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The region was largely cut off from the rest of the world during a two-year war between the government and Tigrayan forces.

An Ethiopian government delegation visited Mekelle on Monday to discuss a peace deal signed last month.

Tigrayan leader Debretsion Gebremichae said that full peace would not return until Eritrean troops and ethnic Amhara militias leave the region.

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He said it was unacceptable for half of Tigray to be peaceful while killings were continuing elsewhere.

Eritrea entered the war on the side of the Ethiopian government but was not part of the peace deal brokered by the African Union.

A Belgian-led academic team says that famine, a lack of health care and fighting is estimated to have caused the deaths of between 385,000 and 600,000 civilians since the war started in November 2020.—BBC

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