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Lalibela : UNESCO heritage site freed from TPLF terrorists in North Ethiopia

The victory in Gashena is said to have eased the march to Lalibela whose capture by the terrorist forces back in August this year caused a “concern” to UNESCO officials. 

Lalibela _ Gahsena
Ethiopian troops marching triumphantly after the victory in Gashena (Photo : Social Media)

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Ethiopian government communication affair Ministry on Wednesday disclosed that the historic and holy city of Lalibela is freed from Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) forces. 

The terrorist forces took control of the city sometime in August 2021. 

News about Ethiopian forces’ triumphant entry to the city came in less than a day after the TPLF forces were routed from a fortified position in Gashena – a strategic location in the north where the TPLF deployed huge forces apart from building trenches. 

Appearing on state media, Demile Molla, military analyst and Defense College graduate study head, described the victory at Gashena as one that will lead to the collapse of TPLF forces and ease the march to Lalibela and Woldia. 

There is more into the strategic significance of Gashena. Mr. Molla said TPLF’s “ultimate” plan in Gashena was to break through Gondar and facilitate the entry of TPLF forces trained in Sudan and establish a corridor line with Sudan. 

Indeed, the victory in Gashena played an important role in the victory in Lalibela. “Ethiopian Defense Forces, Amhara special forces, militia and Fano entered Lalibela after breaking the spine of the terrorist group,” said the brief update from Government Communication Affairs Ministry. 

From Lalibela, Ethiopian Forces are marching to Sekota, the seat of Waghumra administration in the Amhara region of Ethiopia. If Sekota falls, it is predictable that the next step is a march to the Tigray region of Ethiopia. What Ethiopian military analysts emphasize is that the Ethiopian forces should capitalize on the momentum of  the decisive victories achieved in the Afar and Amhara region.  

Lalibela _ Gashena _ Ethiopia
Bete Ghiorgis, Lalibela

On Tuesday, Ethiopian Broadcasting Corporation, state media, aired a video of Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed in which he called for the TPLF forces to surrender as the TPLF is defeated. He also spoke with confidence that Ethiopian forces would take back Gashena and the plan for it was finalized. 

The fact that the TPLF forces were unable to maintain a hold on a fortified military position in Chifra and Gashena, for which they paid heavy price, is a clear indication that TPLF is indeed losing ground. It is unable to return to Tigray too as it was fighting the war in the parts of Ethiopia outside of the Tigray region. 

Unofficial sources seem to suggest that even Woldia, an important city located along Addis Ababa – Mekelle Road and one the road to Debre Tabor too – is under Ethiopian forces. However, the Ethiopian government has not confirmed it yet. 

The TPLF is also losing ground in Shoa and West Wollo. In Shoa, it has lost battles in Mezezo, Molale and Shewarobit. In Wollo, it is cleared from Woreilu (where they massacred innocent civilians), Jama, Delogo, Finchoftu, Genete and Akesta. The Ethiopian government has confirmed them to be true. 

The TPLF has not yet released a statement regarding the battle losses. On Monday, the spokesperson, Getachew Reda, shared on his facebook page that “the CentCom of the Government of Tigray has made a sober assessment of the situation on the ground & made decisions regarding the next phase of our strategic offensive.”  Some interpreted his disclosure as a confirmation that TPLF is in a difficult position so much so that a reassessment of their military plan is needed.
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