The number of people displaced by TPLF, the latest military campaign in the Afar region, is over 300,000. People’s livelihood in affected parts of the region are devastated
Ethnic Afar activists, some of them were opposition party leaders, on Saturday organised an online discussion on the situation in the Afar region, Ethiopia.
It was on Twitter Spaces platform. The event that lasted well over three hours attracted hundreds of politicised Ethiopians in the country and abroad, including prominent activists like Obang Metho.
The image that emerges out of it is a grim one. The TPLF has escalated, according to witnesses from the region, military attacks against innocent civilians in the parts of the region adjacent to the Tigray region like Berhalle and Konnaba.
The number of people displaced due to the military attack is now well over 300,000 as indicated in the discussion.
TPLF military leaders are intimidating residents in the affected area that they “will either cooperate with the TPLF or they will be decimated.”
The designated terrorist group has been accusing of Afar people of blocking aid to the Tigray region, which does not seem to be the case based on information from the regional government authorities.
Some activists pointed out that the latest escalation did not happen abruptly. TPLF has been preparing for it for a long time, to the point that it is impossible for Federal government authorities not to notice it.
The sentiment among Ethiopians who participated in the event is that Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed’s government has deliberately ignored the plights of Afar people in the areas mentioned above.
While acknowledging humanitarian support, which is not adequate, to the region by Ethiopians and government bodies, activists say no Federal military support was despatched to support special forces and militia from the region who had to battle TPLF forces that are rather heavily armed with long range artillery.
Some participants who are from the Afar region of Ethiopia even used the term “betrayal” to describe government inaction to reverse the TPLF attack.
The National Security Council, whose chairman is the Prime Minister himself, had a meeting some time last week. It called the TPLF intensive military activity in the Afar region as “provocation.”
It was also said that direction was given to the Ethiopian Defence Force (the Chief of Staff and Deputy Chief of Staff were part of the meeting) to take action against TPLF.
However, there does not seem to be a military response to the TPLF in the Afar region at this writing.
Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed’s government hesitancy in terms of taking decisive action against TPLF is triggering skepticism whether there is real interest on the part of the government to deal with the security problem that the designated terrorist group is posing to the country, particularly in the Afar and Amhara regions of Ethiopia.
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