November 3 marks one year since the conflict in North Ethiopia started after the TPLF attacked the Ethiopian Defense Force
Exactly one year ago, the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) forces unleashed attack on several bases on the Northern Command of the Ethiopian Defense Force.
It happened in unsuspecting circumstances. Many divisions of the Ethiopian Defense Force spend November 3,2020 in community engagement programs supporting farming communities in the Tigray region with harvesting crops.
In other bases TPLF plotted a set up to ensnare the army. A social function was organized. The divisions of the army in the region had no clue that TPLF meant to disarm and captivate a huge division of the northern command.
The rest of the divisions were going to sleep around 11:00 p.m local time. That is when the TPLF launched the attack – It was meant to be, as one of the TPLF top officials, Seko Ture, unveiled the plan on a live TV show, a momentary and intensive attack. The purpose, as Eritrean and Ethiopian sources reported later, to use a large part of the Defense Force, and March to Asmara and Addis Ababa.
Thousands of Ethiopian Defense Force members were massacred in unsuspecting circumstances. Thousands of others, including senior military commanders, were detained (they were later released after a military operation by the Ethiopian force.)
The bodies of thousands of Ethiopian soldiers killed by TPLF on November 3 were not even given a decent burial.
Today, Ethiopia commemorated those who paid the ultimate sacrifice. In a ceremony organized by the Ethiopian Federal government at the Friendship Park in the capital Addis Ababa, senior government officials including PM Abiy Ahmed and Defense Chief of Staff, General Berhanu Jula, attended the ceremony.
A moment of silence was observed in a candle light ceremony.
The Northern Command Post that was attacked by the TPLF was the largest Command constituting over 60 percent of the Ethiopian Defense Force. It has been deployed in the region since the Ethio-Eritrean war. Many members of the Defense Force stayed in the region for more than 20 years and are intermarried with people in the region.
The commemoration of the Ethiopian Defense Force martyrs came a day after the Ethiopian government declared a state of emergency across the country following the capture of two important cities, Dessie and Kombolcha by the TPLF forces.
In both cities, TPLF have reportedly massacred over 200 civilians. The Federal government, Afar and Amhara regional states have declared mobilization to reverse the TPLF advance.
On the other hand, TPLF forces claim that the war is completed. However, there is no confirmation if the TPLF forces have controlled, as they have been vying for, strategic routes to Djibouti.
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