The Ethiopian government made claims that it shot down a place that entered Ethiopian airspace from Sudan. TPLF says no plane was shot down
The Ethiopian government on Wednesday confirmed that the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) opened the war in the areas that the Ethiopian government calls Eastern Front.
The Government communications affairs ministry said TPLF launched the war at 5 a.m. in Bisober, Zobel and Tekulesh fronts in the Raya area – areas that the TPLF calls “Southern Tigray.”
That brought the humanitarian ceasefire, which was declared in March of this year, to an end.
It is to be recalled that the TPLF declared a humanitarian ceasefire just a day after the Ethiopian government did so.
Since then there have been African Union-led efforts to broker peace to end the conflict.
Former Nigerian president, Olusegun Obasanjo, the AU special envoy to the Horn of Africa has been shuttling between Mekelle and Addis Ababa facilitating talks.
A peace talk was planned to take place in Kenya. The TPLF demanded a precondition for the talks -specifically what it calls the return of “Western Tigray” [ Wolkait] to Tigray.
The Ethiopian government, on the other hand, rejected any preconditions for the talk.
A little over a week ago there was a report that TPLF leaders and designated Ethiopian government negotiators ( it is headed by deputy prime minister Demeke Mekonnen ) had direct talks – something that the peace and security council of the African Union confirmed.
However, there has been an active mobilization for war on the part of the TPLF. Last week, the organization, through its chairman Debretsion Gebremichael, announced that it has prepared regulations to deny equal rights to those Tigreans who are not willing to join the fight [against Ethiopia].
On Monday this week, the TPLF chairman Debretsion published an article on “The African Report” saying that the AU led negotiation will not succeed. On Tuesday, the publisher changed the name of the writer to Getachew Reda, TPLF spokesperson.
Resumption of the war in the Raya front came less than 48 hours after the TPLF published an article entitled “Ethiopia: The African Union cannot deliver peace to Tigray.” It appears that the purpose of the article was to herald the inevitability of war.
The organization made claims that the African Union is close to Ethiopian authorities and can not be a neutral actor. TPLF goes to the extent of saying that the African Union has supported the “Tigray Genocide.”
The Ethiopian government, through the statement from government communications affairs, has made claims that the Defense Force and regional security apparatus are responding to the TPLF military campaign.
Some observers say the TPLF’s military focus is on “Western Tigray” and the attacks in the areas south of Tigray are meant to deflect attention.
The Ethiopian Defense Force also made claims that it had shot down a plane that violated Ethiopia’s airspace. According to the Ethiopian government, the plane was on a mission to deliver weapons to the TPLF.
TPLF called the government’s claim a “blatant lie” and an effort to “internationalize the war” and to prepare for an “airstrike” in the Tigray region.
In December last year, the TPLF forces were dislodged from much of the areas the controlled in the Afar and Amhara regions. Facing set back ,due to severe losses, to control the capital Addis Ababa, they had to retreat to Tigray. But the Ethiopian government opted not to pursue them to the Tigray region. They had enjoyed almost a year now to reorganize themselves.
About three weeks ago, Al-Shabab penetrated into Ethiopia with the aim to coordinate with the radical ethnic Oromo nationalist militant group to deepen attacks against Ethiopia. Al-Shabab lost 800 of its fighters, according to the Ethiopian government.
With regard to the latest TPLF attack, the Ethiopian government tends to believe Ethiopia’s historical enemies, unnamed, supporting the TPLF.
It called on the international community to exert strong pressure on TPLF to stop beating war drums. It also called on Ethiopians to stand together to foil what it calls TPLF attempt to trigger the disintegration of Ethiopia.
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