The Federal government of Ethiopia ended a unilateral ceasefire after the Tigray rebels exploited it to take the war to the neighboring Afar and Amhara regions of Ethiopia
The Ethiopian government has been under immense pressure from the public as the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPF) massacred hundreds of civilians, including children and women, in the Afar and Amhara regions of Ethiopia.
It was criticized for not ending what it called a “unilateral humanitarian ceasefire” as the Tigray rebels intensified war in the Amhara and Afar regions of Ethiopia.
In what seems to be a response to the public, Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed’s government on Tuesday announced that the ceasefire has ended. The army is ordered to launch a counter offensive against the TPLF in Amhara and Afar regions of Ethiopia.
“TPFL leaders have stated that their objective is to dismember Ethiopia. The Ethiopian Defense Force, regional special forces and militia are given orders to foil the plot and flex its strong arm to annihilate the betraying force and their foreign backers, ” said the statement from the office of the Prime Minister.
Last week, Tigray rebels entered Lalibela – a UNESCO heritage site that hosts millions of religious pilgrims every year. For the past few days, the rebels have been trying to control Woldia city, but their efforts were frustrated to the point that they shelled the city with artillery targeting civilians.
Hundreds of thousands of Ethiopians have been displaced from Afar and Amhara regions of Ethiopia after the TPLF took the war to these regions with the aim of controlling routes to Djibouti and Sudan. The TPLF has also controlled areas in North Wollo.
In addition to announcing the end of unilateral ceasefire, the office of the Prime Minister disclosed that TPLF is sending infiltrators to different parts of Ethiopia as civilians, and called on Ethiopians to be alert and work with security forces.
The Ethiopian government has also called on Ethiopians to join that army, special forces and militia to stand in guard of defending Ethiopia.
On Sunday, a massive rally was organized in the capital Addis Ababa to denounce the TPLF and express support to the Ethiopian Defense Force.
Hundreds of thousands of new recruits have joined the Defense Force recently in response to mobilization effort by the government.