After two weeks of roving battlefronts in the west, east and centre of the conflict zone, Ethiopian PM Mister Abiy Ahmed says he has completed the first chapter of the campaign
Ethiopian PM Abiy Ahmed on Wednesday returned to office from the battle front in northern Ethiopia. He announced his return himself in a statement he released on his social media page.
“While heralding that sacrifice being paid in the battlefront will restore Ethiopia’s prestige of winning, I would like to thank in the name of Ethiopia all of you who have responded to the call [the call he made as he was ready to march to the battle front] and gave your life, your energy, your resource, you knowledge and your time,” he said in his message.
Abiy also explained why he cut his battlefront stay short and returned to office. “… I have completed the first chapter [ of the military campaign] and returned to office. Unless our enemies lose their energy, abandon hate and aggression and resort to the path to peace and love, our struggle will continue.”
His last video message from the battlefront was released on Monday via state and state affiliated media outlets in the country. He spoke about victories over Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) forces in the battles stretching from Kemissie to Dessie. Kemissie, Kombolcha and Dessie cities were cleared from the terrorist groups.
Before the Wollo front, he released video messages from the Kasagita battle front in the Afar region in the eastern front and then from the Gashena front in the western front. The invading TPLF forces had fortified stronghold trenches in both fronts but the Ethiopian Defence Force with the support of Afar and Amhara special forces, Fano and militia were able to rout them out.
According to a narrative from the government, the remaining TPLF forces are in disarray and looking for a way to escape from the encirclement of Ethiopian Forces. Earlier in the week, Abiy Ahmed claimed that the TPLF is not in a position to resist offensive campaigns of Ethiopian forces.
The Prime Minister did not specify as to when he is returning to the battle front or as to when the second phase of the campaign is launching.
On Wednesday, the Ethiopian government disclosed that government forces advanced further from Dessie, which is about 400 kilometres North East of Addis Ababa, and took control of Haik Basomile and the historic Wuchale towns.
The TPLF forces are claiming that they did not lose the battle but retreated for “strategic reasons.” Mainstream media in the west, including CNN, were producing news claiming that the TPLF forces were in the outskirts of Addis Ababa.
The U.S. government has been repeatedly issuing “safety messages” to its citizens in Ethiopia advising them to evacuate the country using commercial options.
What is evidently clear is that the TPLF forces lost several battles and consequently control of the towns and cities which they controlled since early November. They still have a presence in a significant portion of North Wollo.
First day back to office
Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed was holding a telephone discussion with leaders from the neighbouring countries. He said strengthening relations with neighbouring countries is a priority for Ethiopia.
Furthermore, he disclosed that he held an in-depth telephone conversation with the leaders of Djibouti, Kenya, Uganda, Somalia, Eritrea and South Sudan. Bilateral and regional issues were discussed.
Abiy Ahmed also spoke out regarding the importance of making changes to the UN security council in a way to ensure that Africa with more than 1.4 billion people has a decision making role in the security council and a permanent membership.
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