Deputy chief of Staff General Berhanu Jula says the war will end in Tigray
November 5, 2020
What is said to be an unanticipated attack on the Northern command of the Ethiopian Defense Force, a division that has been stationed in the region for over twenty years due to the conflict with Eritrea, on Tuesday this week dragged the Ethiopian government into a military clash with Tigray People’s Liberation Front(TPLF).
The latter governs the Tigray region of Ethiopia and used the region’s special force (it is believed to be well over 10,000 according to some commentators)to unleash a deadly attack on the Ethiopian Defense Force.
When Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed disclosed the new development on Tuesday in his social media page, he pointed out TPLF “attempted to loot” the military bases in the region.
The Defense Force was ordered to respond to the attack on the same day. Initially, it seems like it was a military operation. A day after the attack, Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed made a televised appearance claiming that the defense force successfully reversed the attack. And called the development in the region “war.”
On Thursday, Deputy Chief of Staff of the Defense Force and head of the operation, General Berhanu Jula told journalists in the capital Addis Ababa during a press conference, “our country is in an unexpected and unnecessary war.”
There was no anticipation of war on the night of Tuesday until TPLF special forces attacked multiples of military bases in the region with the aim to loot heavy weaponry, he told journalists.
Furthermore, he said, “the Defense Force fought heroically to break from the siege and is now in anti-attack engagement.” In his eyes, TPLF could not take the war out of Tigray and it will end in Tigray.
Dansha, one of the places where TPLF forces opened the offensive, is lost to special forces from the Amhara region and the defense force, according to statements from government authorities.
President of Amhara region Temesgen Tiruneh claimed on Thursday that the Defense Force and Amhara region special forces, which is said to have been compelled to join the war following TPLF encroachment to the region, have occupied key places like Tegede and Soroka in the areas adjacent to what is now called western Tigray. Wolkait, a region that TPLF annexed following the victory over Colonel Mengistu’s government in 1991, is still under the TPLF control.
TPLF chairman and president of Tigray region Debretsion Gebremichal confirmed that fighting is going on in western Tigray and that he is getting important wins. He also said that the Northern Command has resolved to work with TPLF against what he calls “unitary” forces.
The Deputy Chief of staff of the Defense Force has disclosed that the reinforcement force is marching to northern Ethiopia from different directions to rescue the northern command.
Four demobilized military generals are returning to service with the invitation of the prime minister to serve in the war which seems to indicate that there is a possibility for the war to be longer than it is expected
Meanwhile, there were reports of an airstrike by the Ethiopian air force in the outskirts of Mekelle. They are said to be targeted against military facilities.
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