Tigrayan fears Ethiopia peace only 'temporary'

STORY: Andom Gebreyesus managed to escape war in Ethiopia's northern Tigray region - fleeing to Kenya with his children.

But, like many, he has not heard from the rest of his family in more than a year.

"They live around the border with Eritrea and it’s the most, the most unreachable place. No communications, no power, no banking system. I don’t even know if they are alive. I don’t know."

A ceasefire deal this week has raised cautious hopes for millions impacted by a conflict that has killed thousands, displaced millions and left hundreds of thousands facing famine.

But Andom is skeptical.

"I feel it may give them a temporary relief which is good, but I believe it doesn’t bring lasting peace."

Tigrayan regional forces and the federal government said on Wednesday (November 2) that they had agreed to a "permanent cessation of hostilities" and to "coordinated disarmament".

On Thursday (November 3) Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed said an "undeserved price" had been paid for the war, including blood spilt and property destroyed.

Speaking to crowds just outside Addis Ababa, Abiy urged, quote, "our Tigrayan brothers and sisters" to stick to the peace agreement and avoid what he described as the "trickery and mischievous activities of a very few".

Last month federal forces made significant battlefield gains.

Several large towns in Tigray were captured before the two sides sat down face to face in South Africa's capital Pretoria.

A joint investigation by the United Nations and Ethiopia's state-appointed human rights commission has concluded that all sides in the conflict have committed violations that may amount to war crimes.

Even if peace is lasting, the scars of war are fresh, and run deep.