TPLF filing swords for the fourth round war
By Haile-Gebriel Endashaw
ADDIS ABABA – In the wake of the official visit of the US Secretary of State, and the appointment of Getachew Reda as president of the Interim Government of Tigray Regional State, the withdrawal of the Federal Defense Force from north Ethiopia has been intensified, sources said.
The withdrawal, started weeks back from Shire, Welkait and the environs, continued extensively. Information obtained from various news sources indicates that tension has been rife in Amhara-Tigray border as the Federal Military Force is pulling out. Sources say trucks numbering up to 200 have been escorted into Raya and Wag Fronts to pluck out the military force deployed there.
The contingents of the Defense Force, which have been deployed in Endabaguna, Adida’aro, Selehlaha, Bizet, Enticho and other parts of Tigray Region are pulling out, abandoning their command sites for TPLF forces. Sources say that the Defense Force is leaving behind mechanized weapons, which were said outdated. The TPLF force is reportedly arming itself using the littered weapons. TPLF has reportedly been engaged in recruiting new young entries and building up presence in military camps abandoned by the Defense Force.
Amhara and Tigray Regional States are at loggerheads regarding Raya and Welkait localities, which had been under the domain of Amhara but was taken by force by TPLF following the dethrone of the previous Derg Regime. Amhara Regional State says the two localities are the “red lines” where no one is allowed to cross over while Tigray regional state is threatening to repossess them.
Meanwhile people of Raya, Kobo and Alamata localities, which were heavily pounded by the TPLF force during the bloody civil war, are denouncing the withdrawal of the Federal Defense Force from their areas. In such a situation where TPLF has not been disarmed, how the defense force is made to move out of the areas, people are asking.
Pulling out the Defense Force from the disputed areas has thus sparked questions from various corners. The Federal Government, which failed to monitor and enforce the execution of the Pretoria agreement, seems to be negligent and go against the principles.
The agreement signed between the Federal Government and TPLF indicates that the latter should be disarmed and demobilized. This means the disarmament and demobilization of the TPLF force are the major elements of the Pretoria agreement. The two parties agreed that Ethiopia “has only one defense force and the Tigray rebel forces should demobilize and reintegrate, and that TPLF must completely disarm within 30 days of signing”. However, starting from the day of signing of the agreement, 2 November 2022, there was no serious desire of implementation of the principles of the agreement from both sides. TPLF has not been disarmed and also failed to send its fighters to rehabilitation centers.
Sources say that the Federal Government should be held accountable for all these. It has not strictly monitored the implementation of “permanently silencing the guns and ending the two years conflict”. Chief Ethiopian Negotiator, Redwan Hussien said after signing the agreement that, “[i]t is now up to all of us to respect this agreement”. The question many people are asking now is whether these people should be held accountable for their actions.
Now things have taken a new look in that part of the country. TPLF, which agreed to abide by the agreement, is now filing its swords for the fourth round war. The Federal Defense Force seems to clear and level the battleground.
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