The TPLF assures that it will continue its advance towards Addis Ababa unless the Prime Minister “accepts his terms”

The Popular Front for the Liberation of Tigray (TPLF) gave assurances this Tuesday that it will continue its advance towards the Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa unless Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed “accepts his terms” to end the conflict that led to this African country shaken for more than a year.

“The only obstacle to a peaceful resolution of the conflict is Abiy’s obsession with a military solution to an essentially political problem,” TPLF spokesman Getachew Reda said in an interview with the BBC.

The TPLF assures that it will continue its advance towards Addis Ababa unless the Prime Minister “accepts his terms”
The TPLF assures that it will continue its advance towards Addis Ababa unless the Prime Minister “accepts his terms”

“It is up to Abiy to say ‘yes’ to our demands. It was Abiy who started the war and it is up to him to accept our terms and end the conflict,” he said, highlighting the advance in the direction of Addis Ababa “is not so much for the capital as for the intention to bend Abiy’s arm to end the blockade” against Tigray “.

He declared that the TPLF wanted to “reduce the fears of the population in the capital” and stressed that the group “did not try to terrorize them”. Getachew has also denounced “genocide” against the people of Tigray, pointing out that the TPLF “is fighting because Abiy troops have not withdrawn from most of Tigray” after the prime minister announced a ceasefire in June. .

The TPLF has made territorial progress in the Amhara (North) region in the last few days in the face of an expansion of the conflict and following its alliance with the rebel group Oromia Liberation Army (OLA), which has split from the Oromo Liberation Front (OLF) 2018.

In light of this situation, the Ethiopian parliament last week approved the government-imposed state of emergency. The Addis Ababa authorities, for their part, urged citizens to arm themselves and protect the neighborhoods from the advance of the rebels.

The UN Under-Secretary-General for Political Affairs and Peacebuilding, Rosemary DiCarlo, warned on Monday that the conflict in Tigray “has reached devastating proportions” and stated that “the fighting is the future of the country and its people and the stability of the Horn of the region Africa.”

“In a country of more than 100 million people, more than 90 ethnic groups, and 80 languages, no one can predict what the ongoing fighting and uncertainty will cause, but let that be clear. What is certain is that there is a risk that Ethiopia will join in “a growing civil war is very real,” he warned.

In this regard, he stressed that “it would cause a humanitarian catastrophe and consume the future of an important country”, adding that “the political impact of the increased violence in the region and the many crises affecting the Horn of Africa would be immense.” . “

DiCarlo recalled that more than seven million people in northern Ethiopia are in need of humanitarian aid, with 400,000 in starvation-like situations facing the difficulties of the international community in providing aid in the area due to the fighting.

Because of this, he called for an “immediate end to hostilities”, arguing that the June elections in the country “demonstrated the people’s commitment to the democratic process,” while stressing the “urgent” need for a dialogue that resolved the conflict.

For her part, Alice Wairimu Nderitu, Special Adviser to the UN Secretariat-General on Genocide, expressed “serious concerns” about “the deterioration in the violence situation” in Ethiopia, including an increase in violence, “an increase in ethnic and religious hate speech”, population displacement and the destruction of property.

Nderitu argued that these events “constitute serious indications of the danger of atrocities” and called for dialogue. “It is important that all parties take serious and urgent steps to alleviate the situation and take active measures to reduce the risk of systematic and widespread violence, including along ethnic lines.”

With this in mind, he stated that “any further deterioration could have very serious consequences, not only for the future of the country but for the region in general, including cross-border conflicts”, for which he called on regional actors to “take advantage of everything” . possible initiative to strengthen dialogue and end the armed conflict.

“Unfortunately, the dynamic leading to legitimizing violence for political and ethno-nationalist ends precedes the conflict that could exacerbate this negative legacy. This cycle must be broken for sustainable peace to emerge,” he argued.

“Through dialogue, Ethiopians can find common solutions and interests, and through constant exchange and shared experiences they can build up a common sense of belonging,” said Nderitu, who insisted on “seeing again that there are more similarities than differences”.

For his part, United Nations Emergency Relief Coordinator Martin Griffiths concluded a four-day visit to Ethiopia on Monday, during which he had “constructive” discussions with Abiy and other senior Ethiopian officials about the humanitarian situation in the country.

Griffiths also paid a visit to Tigray’s capital, Mekelle, where he met with humanitarian actors and TPLF authorities in the area, according to a statement released by his office.

During his visit, Griffiths stressed that “the United Nations, along with its humanitarian partners, will continue to work with the government of Ethiopia and with local and international partners to support the millions of people in desperate need of aid in the country.”

“All parties must allow unrestricted mobility of humanitarian supplies and workers so that all people in need can get the help they urgently need,” he said.

However, he stressed that “the only way to stop the humanitarian situation from deteriorating further is through peace” and stressed that “the conflict in northern Ethiopia has already caused enormous suffering to millions of innocent civilians”. “I implore all parties to listen to the call from the Secretary-General (United Nations, António Guterres) to end hostilities immediately and without prior conditions,” he added.

A joint investigation by the United Nations and the Ethiopian Commission on Human Rights (EHRC) was published on November 3 and found “reasonable grounds” to believe that all parties to the conflict in Tigray had committed human rights abuses and of the refugee law, some of them it could be war crimes and crimes against humanity.

The conflict began on November 4, 2020 when Abiy ordered a military offensive in retaliation for the attack on the Mekelle army base after months of tension between the TPLF and the central government over the parliamentary postponement that finally took place in June, which Abiy ordered in the face of calls for boycotts and the lack of voting in several areas – including Tigray – won a landslide due to uncertainty.

However, the TPLF made important advances in June that enabled it to retake Mekelle, prompting Abiy, citing humanitarian grounds, to announce a unilateral ceasefire that was rejected by the group, which extended its offensive to the adjoining Amhara and Afar regions, which one The war spread to the rest of the country.

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