Tadesse Worede, whom Tigray TV described as Commander of Tigray Forces, in fact, he was also represented in the Nairobi peace agreement in the same capacity, had a press conference on the implementation agreement.
He has raised a number of issues about the importance of the peace agreement and possible challenges to it.
Some of the issues he stated could be controversial. For example, he said that they were forced to enter into the war in pursuit of answer to political demands. There have been back-and-forth mediation efforts, including by elders and religious groups in the country, with the aim of averting possible war.
It failed. It failed because the TPLF leaders thought they could impose their will on Ethiopia through brute force. It is also important to note that the war started when the TPLF forces attacked unsuspecting Ethiopian Defense Force Northern Command posts (in November 2020) when they were not in a position to defend themselves. The thousands of Defense Force members were sleeping ( and of course unarmed) when the TPLF forces launched the attacks.
However, Tadesse Worede, based on his latest statement, sounded as if he and his colleagues have genuine interest in implementing the peace agreement. Part of the agreement was to disarm his combatants and he said that his troops are already given orientation about it and are in the process of being gathered in a designated area. Mr. Tadesse sounded as if it could have been done in one string had there not been a logistical problem.
Regarding challenges to the peace talk within his own organizations, he said there are forces that are not content with the peace agreement. His interpretation of their views sounds like these forces have personal problems and have concerns that something could happen to them if peace prevails. He did not name names but he was apparent from his speech that the faction has a significant capacity to derail the peace agreement.
He did not overlook them either. He sounded that they could be problems and that they are both within the army and in the political leadership.
The Ethiopian government has not yet given any detailed information regarding the implementation of the peace talk, and where it is right now. What is known at this point, and based on confirmation from aid agencies, is that aid has started to flow to the Tigray region through the Afar region of Ethiopia.
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If there are individuals in the TPLF who have a different take on the peace agreement that should not come as a surprise. All these ‘liberation’ fronts present and past are/were not parties but a gathering of individuals with different ideas but united under one objective. That objective is always narrowly aimed at struggling for a sliver of a territory. There have been clashes and purges in all of these ‘liberation’ fronts. EPLF out of ELF, OLA-Shane from OLF and other splinter groups from Afar and Somali movements are part of the history of the former and present day Ethiopia. They were not pleasant where some of them being terrifyingly bloody. I hope our upright brothers and sisters in Tigray don’t have to go through the bloody phase of a shake up. There could be some for whom war is not finished in them or with them yet and they can be very destructive to the point of suicidal. Let’s hope and pray that will not be the case within the TPLF. Insha’Allah!!!