Commander-in-chief of the Tigray rebel forces says 65 percent of his forces "disengaged", a key provision of a ceasefire agreement signed early last month to end the two-year conflict.

He did not specify the battlelines he was talking about or how far fighters had been withdrawn.
He did not specify the battlelines he was talking about or how far fighters had been withdrawn. (Reuters Archive)

More than half of Tigrayan rebel forces have withdrawn from the frontlines, the forces' top commander said, a month after a ceasefire agreement aimed at ending the two-year conflict in Ethiopia's northern Tigray region.

"We have accomplished 65 percent disengagement of our army," Tadesse Wereda, commander-in-chief of the Tigray People's Liberation Front (TPLF) said in a video posted on the forces' Facebook page late on Saturday.

"Our army left the front lines and moved to the place prepared for them to camp. Our forces withdrew on vehicles and on foot."

Ethiopian government spokesman Legesse Tulu did not respond to requests for comment.

READ MORE: First ICRC aid convoy arrives in Ethiopia's Tigray after peace deal

Diplomatic breakthrough

In a surprise diplomatic breakthrough, the Ethiopian government and the Tigray rebels signed a permanent cessation of hostilities in an African Union (AU)-mediated peace deal on November 2 in South Africa.

A follow-up agreement on disarmament of TPLF rebel fighters, humanitarian access guarantees and entry of the Ethiopian military into the Tigrayan capital of Mekele was subsequently signed on November 12 in Kenya.

On Thursday the federal government said a joint committee mandated to draw a detailed plan for disarmament of the TPLF had begun its work and would finalise the plan in a few days.

READ MORE: 'Excellent news': World hails Ethiopia's truce deal with Tigray rebels

Source: Reuters