Ethiopia takes Tigray's TPLF party off terrorism list

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ADDIS ABABA (Reuters) -Ethiopia's parliament on Wednesday removed the Tigray region's main political movement from a list of terrorist organizations, a major step towards establishing an interim local government after a two-year civil war.

The Tigray People's Liberation Front (TPLF), which led the northern region into war with the federal government in late 2020, was designated a terrorist group in May 2021.

The conflict ended with a truce signed in Pretoria last November after tens of thousands of people were killed and millions forced from their homes.

Ethiopia's parliament said in a statement that a majority of lawmakers had approved the delisting.

The delisting is a prerequisite to the TPLF's participation in an interim government, which the party nominated its spokesman, Getachew Reda, last week to lead.

Getachew did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Wednesday.

Dessalegn Chanie, a lawmaker from the opposition National Movement of Amhara (NAMA), voted against delisting, accusing the TPLF of not fulfilling its commitments in the peace deal.

"When it comes to disarmament, demobilization and reintegration, none of them are fulfilled," he told Reuters.

"The federal government should guarantee to the public that TPLF won't wage another round of war.

Ashebir Woldegiorgis, a lawmaker from Ethiopia's ruling party, said he backed the motion in the best interests of the country.

"Despite all that happened, as a political institution we need to make a ruling and move forward," he said.

"Today when we voted yes we never forgot our heroes and never betrayed them, we rather laid a foundation to keep their legacy alive."

(Reporting by Dawit Endeshaw; Writing by Bhargav Acharya; Editing by Hereward Holland and Andrew Cawthorne)