If the UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres is reading letter from the rebel leader Debretsion and responding to it, it is an intervention in the affair of a country says Ethiopian Defence Chief of Staff
Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) leader, Debretsion Gebremichal, this week wrote “an open letter” to the United Nations Secretary-General, António Guterres, threatening to “resort to other means” if the peace option is working.
Ethiopian Defense Chief of Staff, Field Marshal Berhanu Jula, seems to see the point that a rebel leader is writing to the UN Secretary-General as something outlandish.
In a phone interview with Ethiopian Media Service, during the Ethiopian Good Friday, the Defense Chief tended to place the blame on the UN Secretary-General if he read Debretsion’s letter and responded to it.
For General Berhanu Jula, if that happened it is something tantamount to interfering in the internal affairs of a country and the government will have to respond to that.
Last year, there were reports from Ethiopian publishers that the UN was allegedly involved in facilitating tacit support to the TPLF forces after rebel captives were caught with nutritious aid food that was meant to be delivered to people in Tigray. The UN agency was also allegedly involved in facilitating support to TPLF forces in Sudan by way of providing “asylum seeker” documentation. Furthermore, hundreds of UN trucks that were supposed to be used for humanitarian activity were diverted for combat activities – something the United Nations Agency in Ethiopia admitted.
In what seems to be renewed infowar machination, the TPLF leaders this week made claims about US-brokered negotiation with the Ethiopian government regarding the withdrawal of Eritrean and Amhara forces from what they call the West Tigray and Tigray region.
Tsadkan Gebretensae, one of the TPLF leaders who was once Chief of the Ethiopian Defence Force when the TPLF was dominant in the central government, made claims that Field Marshal Berhanu Jula was involved in the latest negotiation and that the latter also said, during the negotiation, “Amhara and Eritrean forces are weak, and could easily be made to withdraw from the Tigray region.”
Asked if he said so, the Ethiopian Defence Chief said that he does not know anything about what Tsadkan is talking about. “I did not meet with Tsadkan, and where can we meet?. I do not understand why he said so,” Field Marshal Berhanu said during the interview with the Ethiopian Media Service.
However, he made inferences as to the motives of the claim. One possible reason is, for him, that there is a serious crisis in the Tigray region (and he claimed to have information about it), and the morale of their forces is low. And the new propaganda is meant to boost the morale of their forces. The second reason, he said, could be a possible attempt to create a spirit of mistrust and suspicion between Ethiopia and Eritrea.
(The interview is between the 44th minute and the 60th minutes)
In connection with negotiation for a ceasefire, he added that the Ethiopian government already announced a unilateral truce with the aim to facilitate the delivery of aid to the Tigray.
In an open letter to the UN Chief, Debretsion made remarks about the overall situation in Ethiopia. He said that the status quo in Ethiopia is unsustainable and could lead to state collapse and the disintegration of Ethiopia if what he described as “interlocking socioeconomic, political, and security” problems are not addressed urgently.
Debretsion also described the situation in Tigray as “Hell” and the TPLF will be forced to pursue military options if the peaceful option is not working.
He said : “it should be clear that our preference is to bring this tragic conflict to an end through peaceful means. There has been enough death and destruction. However, absent a credible process to bring about peace, we cannot continue to watch our citizens perish from hunger and easily preventable diseases. Accordingly, if peaceful options are no longer viable, we will be forced to resort to other means to break the devastating blockade that has made Tigray hell on earth. ”
At least 57 convoys of aid had been delivered after the Ethiopian government announced humanitarian truth last month via the Afar region of Ethiopia. On the other hand, the TPLF was reportedly obstructing the delivery. The US government last week urged the TPLF to further withdraw from the Afar region of Ethiopia.
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