Getachew Reda, the seasoned Ethiopian politician and former government spokesperson, has recently risen to power as the new leader of the Tigray region. He faces the daunting task of leading the area out of its current crisis.
On Thursday, Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed announced the appointment of Reda at a time when a peace deal signed between the state and Tigray People's Liberation Front (TPLF) continues to gain traction.
The appointment also comes a day after parliament removed the group from the list of terrorist organisations.
Allegations of war crimes and human rights abuses by all sides involved, including the Ethiopian government and TPLF, have marred the conflict in Ethiopia's Tigray region.
As a result, there have been calls for international investigations into these allegations, including from Western countries.
On Monday, the United States accused all parties involved in the conflict in Tigray of committing war crimes, but specifically identified Ethiopian, Eritrean, and Amhara forces for their actions of crimes against humanity.
However, the Tigrayan rebels were not mentioned in the statement. The United Nations has also been calling for an independent investigation into the conflict, including allegations of war crimes and crimes against humanity.
However, Ethiopia has resisted external interference in the conflict and has instead insisted on conducting its investigations.
‘Rise and deploy’
Getachew Reda, who graduated with a law degree from Addis Ababa University, completed his master's in law at the University of Alabama in the United States between 2001 and 2003.
He then returned to Ethiopia and joined the government in 2009. When the Tigray War broke out in November 2020, Getachew quickly emerged as the face of resistance to the national government by urging Tigrinya youth to 'Rise and deploy to battle in tens of thousands" against Ethiopian and Eritrean forces.
He also declared the gains made by TPLF as the war took a toll on the region's civilian populations.
Between 385,000 and 600,000 people have died in the conflict so far. Most of them died of starvation after the state cut off humanitarian aid.
During the signing of the peace treaty between the warring factions on the second of November 2022, Getachew represented TPLF.
Africa Union brokered the deal, United Nations and the regional body Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD).
The Ethiopian government has since allowed aid to reach affected communities and promised to rebuild the region's battered infrastructure.
Reda’s leadership has been a source of hope for many in the region, and his efforts to bring peace and stability to the area will be closely watched in the months and years to come.