TPLF leaders for whom a court arrest warrant is issued do still have a chance to surrender, their forces can just lay arms and resort to peaceful life, says Ethiopian government
The Ethiopian government on Friday made a last call, ultimatum, for those Ethiopians who are fighting alongside Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) to lay arms and return to peaceful life.
The call is extended to those members of TPLF force who did not have a criminal role in connection with the attack on the Northern Command of the Ethiopian Defense Forces on November 4. Government saw the attack as a serious violation of the constitution and a treasonous act. It linked it to what it called TPLF Junta – a group within the organization that has a monopoly of political power.
A statement from the Office of the Prime Minister gave assurance to all those forces who fought alongside TPLF saying they will not face any legal consequence for their armed activity since November 4 as long as they resorted to peaceful life.
There have been reports of a massacre and ethnic cleansing including in Maikadra, near Humera which used to be within Gonder province before TPLF took power in 1991, by TPLF forces.
The last call to surrender is also extended to fugitive TPLF leaders, but they will face legal consequences.
Apart from the attack on the Ethiopian Defense Forces, the government accuses TPLF of illegal activities that endangered the unity of people in the country. This, according to the statement from the Prime Minister’s office, happened before the group embarked on a war on November 4, 2020. As such TPLF is linked to displacement of people in different parts of the country including in Benishangul Gumuz, assassinations and insecurities.
The government said that the response to the attack on the Ethiopian Defense force was a matter of moral and legal obligations. In consequence, the illegal TPLF group that used to be a threat to the country and the region is now vanquished. The military capacity it was preparing for three years is destroyed, the statement added. So far, about 21 senior TPLF officials are captured and have appeared in court. At least six other top TPLF leaders were killed in battle including the longtime Foreign Affairs Minister, Seyoum Mesfin.
However, the TPLF is still attempting military actions in the region and there have been reports of security problems in the region. Contingents of TPLF forces, believed to be guarding fugitive TPLF leaders, were reportedly under siege this week in the Maychew area of the region. Senior level military officers who deserted the national army to serve in the TPLF forces are reportedly annihilated, according to a report by ESAT, which cited Defense Ministry sources. Getachew Assefa, former Director of Ethiopian Intelligence, is reported dead too but due to heart conditions – a news yet to be verified from other sources.
On Thursday this week, the US State Department announced $52 million in humanitarian assistance to address the situation in the Northern part of the country. It claimed that the crisis in the region could get worse unless a “political solution” is pursued.
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