Ethiopian government has been under pressure from Western powers on grounds of alleged human rights abuse in the Tigray region of Ethiopia. After withdrawing troops from the region, the government says it will not be responsible for anything in the region.
It has been two days since Ethiopia declared a unilateral ceasefire in the Tigray region of Ethiopia. Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF), which is now calling itself as Tigray Defense Force,rejected it saying that it is a “joke.”
On Tuesday, Let. General Bacha Debelle, head of army mobilization work coordinator in the army, and Redwan Hussien, state minister in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ethiopia, had a presser with local journalists regarding the decision of Ethiopian government to withdraw forces from the Tigray region.
“Ethiopia has to prepare for an external threat and the unilateral ceasefire decision is made on that basis,” said Let. General Bacha Debelle.
Recalling that TPLF was able to fight conventional war against the Ethiopian Defense Force only for three weeks, General Bacha added that the Junta, as he called it, is no longer in a position that it will pose a threat to Ethiopia except that it will make the people vulnerable to war.
Missiles and other heavy weaponry are relocated from the Tigray region of Ethiopia, something which was not possible about a year or so ago due to obstruction from TPLF. That is one of the reasons why Ethiopian authorities, including Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed, say TPLF is no longer a threat.
However, he said that the group has been instigating Ethiopians in the Tigray region along ethnic lines to bring it in a collision course with the Ethiopian Defense Force.
Furthermore, General Bacha said if TPLF attempts military moves to Humera and Raya, areas where residents have been subjected to imposed identity, as they describe it, for the past three decades, the response will be a severe one. ፡
Redwan Hussien, on his part, said that the unilateral ceasefire is a political decision informed by humanity. Farmers in the Tigray region could catch up with the sowing season in a conflict free environment. Mr. Redwan also said that the Eritrean forces have withdrawn from the region.
He also talked about the diplomatic pressure on Ethiopia in connection with the second filling of the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) and joint military drills. “They are unpredictable, and the situation is compelling that Ethiopia needs to foster national capacity as part of the preparation,” he said.
During a press conference with local journalists on Tuesday, Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed disclosed that his government spent over 100 billion Ethiopian birr in humanitarian assistance in the region after the outbreak of the war in November 2020. That is said to be 13 times higher than the region’s budget from the Federal government.
TPLF leaders vow to take the war to Amhara region of Ethiopia and to Eritrea, although many observers tend to think that the organization does not have that kind of capability.