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The AU has doled out medals to more than 20 African military and civilian experts for their work in implementing the terms of the Pretoria Agreement in Tigray, in appreciation of “the great services [they] have rendered and will continue to render to our beloved Africa.”

The experts were honored for their work in disarmament, IDP rehabilitation, and role in the resumption of economic and social services.

The awards come amid the First Strategic Reflection on the Implementation of the Cessation of Hostilities Agreement, which kicked off in Addis Ababa yesterday.

The AU-led meeting sees federal officials and representatives of the Tigray Interim Administration (TIA) and TPLF sit down to assess the progress of the peace deal, which has been a source of tension of late as questions about the return of territories to Tigray and the  disarmament process continue to dog the peace process.

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Still, AU officials hope to see the issues resolved through negotiations and with support from partners. These include the African Development Bank (AfDB), the UK, Germany, Ireland, Denmark, and Norway, according to an AU statement released today.

Ethiopia is the first country to benefit from the AU Peace Fund, receiving USD 1 million to support disarmament and rehabilitation, according to the statement. The Fund was set up more than 30 years ago as a security finance tool for the AU, but has only recently been operationalized.

The 21 military and civilians awarded the AU service medal today, have been serving under the AU Monitoring, Verification and Compliance Mission (MVCM) stationed in the Tigray region of Ethiopia since December 2022, following the signing of the Pretoria Agreement. They are comprised of Ethiopia, Kenya, Nigeria, and South Africa.

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