TPLF claims military advances in Afar and Amhara regions of Ethiopia, but says it is ready for peace, and wants state and non-state actors to push Prime Minister Abiy’s Administration to accept negotiation to resolve the problem.
When the Ethiopian government declared a unilateral humanitarian ceasefire at the end of June 2021 with the objective to let farmer take advantage of planting season and facilitate unfettered access for the delivery of humanitarian assistance in the Tigray region, Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) leaders called the ceasefire” a joke.”
In the ensuing weeks, the terrorist organization resorted to military adventure in the Afar and Amhara regions of Ethiopia, where it massacred thousands of civilians, including children and women. Over five hundred thousand people were displaced from both regions.
Destruction of public and private properties in the areas that came under TPLF is said to be unprecedented in the history of Ethiopia. The Ethiopian government has not yet disclosed an official estimate of the level of destruction. Activists who have been following the development closely seem to believe that property damage in many towns and cities in the Afar and Amhara region is worth several hundreds of millions of dollars, if not billions.
When Meaza Giday, an ardent TPLF supporter and activist, appeared on AlJazeera, one of the questions she asked was as to why the TPLF is in the Afar and Amhara regions of Ethiopia. Her answer turned out to be a laughing matter for millions of Ethiopia. Thousands have ridiculed her for it. She said, “The TPLF forces are in the Afar and Amhara regions to find a political solution to the conflict.” Aljazeera Stream host’s, Femi Oke, reaction was “that does not make sense!”
The TPLF on Saturday sent a letter to 52 states and international organizations accusing Eritrean and Ethiopian government forces as well as special forces from Amhara region of Ethiopia of “unprecedented war crimes and inhuman atrocities.” It further accused them of committing all kinds of crimes against the people of Tigray.
In the statement, as disclosed by Tigray Television, the TPLF made claims that it is making military advances in the Afar and Amhara regions, but it believes, TPLF claims, in a peaceful resolution to the problem. It called upon the countries and international organizations, for whom the letter is written, to pressure Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed’s government to accept the peaceful negotiation.
The TPLF appeal for peace came at a time when the Ethiopian government announced major battle victories in multiple fronts in the Gondar and Wollo fronts. From the presentation by General Bacha Debelle, who on Saturday had a press conference in the capital Addis Ababa, the victories were achieved by the Ethiopian forces (including militia and Amhara region special forces).
The battle that TPLF fought in Gondar was intended to take control of Humera which would have enabled it to open a corridor with Sudan for logistical and arms supply to continue the war. General Bacha Debelle said on Saturday that the TPLF plan to open the corridor has failed. Over 10,000 TPLF forces are said to have been killed in the Gondar and Wollo battle fronts.
Ethiopian activists and opposition party politicians who are also active on social media do not seem to support negotiation with the TPLF – which may mean that Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed’s government could find it risky to entertain the negotiation idea. Rather, there have been Twitter campaigns with hashtags like #NoNegotiationWithTPLF and #DisarmTPLF, among others.
At this writing, the Ethiopian government has not reacted to TPLF’s call for peace. There were unconfirmed reports that the government of South Sudan seeks to mediate Ethiopian government and TPLF, which the Ethiopian parliament declared as a terrorist organization.
Before the TPLF started the war when it attacked several bases of the Northern Command of the Ethiopian Defense Force in November 2020, there have been initiatives by religious leaders and elders to convince the TPLF leadership not to resort to convince to resort to negotiation with the Federal government rather than confrontation. If failed because TPLF bluffed it. After it caused multiples of massacres and claiming the lives of hundreds of thousands of people ( it is not formally disclosed by the government yet), TPLF sees advantage in negotiation as it starts to see no hope of winning the war even with the support of external actors that are hostile to Ethiopia.
Video : embedded from Tigray Television
Cover photo : screenshot from the video
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