Some banks re-open in parts of Ethiopia's war-torn Tigray

NAIROBI (Reuters) - Several banks said they had resumed services in government-controlled areas of Ethiopia's northern Tigray region for the first time in over a year, following a November truce in a bloody two-year conflict.

Banks have been closed across Tigray since the Ethiopian national army was driven out of the region in June 2021 by forces led by the dominant Tigrayan political party, the Tigray People's Liberation Front (TPLF).

The war, rooted in grievances between political elites and regional rivalries, killed thousands, displaced millions and left half of Tigray's 5.5 million people in desperate need of food.

The state-run Commercial Bank of Ethiopia said on Twitter late on Monday that it had re-opened branches in the city of Shire and the towns of Alamata and Korum.

Lion International Bank and Wegagen Bank have also resumed services in parts of Tigray, the banks said on Tuesday. None of the banks said they had re-opened in areas still controlled by the TPLF, which says it is withdrawing its troops from the frontlines in accordance with the truce.

The deal stipulated the full restoration of basic services to Tigray, and power services were restored in the regional capital Mekelle earlier this month for the first time in over a year.

However, TPLF leader Debretsion Gebremichael said at the weekend that humanitarian aid had "not yet been delivered in the amount and quality that is necessary".

Spokespersons for the Ethiopian government and prime minister did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

(Reporting by Nairobi Newsroom)