Soon after the Tigray People’s Liberation Front marched Ethiopian federal prisoners of war on the streets of Mekle this weekend, it asked all troops sympathetic to Prime Minister Abi Ahmed to withdraw from the province before agreeing to a ceasefire.
This is just the most recent indication that Abi’s unilateral ceasefire (called a “joke” by TPLF) may not be effective in stopping the fighting that has caused thousands of deaths, displaced 1.7 million and more than 400,000 people in trouble. Famine-like To adapt.
The Ethiopian government has urged the Tigray rebels to join the June 28 ceasefire, claiming that it will help aid agencies provide relief supplies to hundreds of thousands of people.Call for a ceasefire because TPLF retakes MerkelThe regional capital, a week ago.
TPLF requires Addis Ababa to first withdraw all its troops and allies from the northern region. It also called for an independent investigation into the atrocities committed by the Ethiopian and Eritrean troops and for the restoration of the TPLF government in Tigray.
Abi, who won the Nobel Peace Prize in 2019, was accused of pursuing conflict Have Rape, Slaughter and Suspected of ethnic cleansing, And led Washington to impose sanctions on a series of Ethiopian officials.
“We found ourselves determined and had to shed blood to ensure our survival as human beings,” TPLF said, adding, “Abi Ahmed’s fascist group is real, trying to fool the international community into thinking it is peaceful. agent”.
Addis Ababa has repeatedly declared victory in a war. Abiy once claimed that the war only takes a few weeks, but it has lasted for eight months and was drawn in neighboring Eritrea. TPLF lasted 10 days Regain control of Mekelle From the Ethiopian army, they captured it in November last year.
Since then, many people have questioned the ceasefire as a strategy for Abiy to regroup and rearm his troops. “This federal government’s’humanitarian’ ceasefire does not look sincere,” said William Davidson, a senior analyst at the crisis group Ethiopia.
“Not only will there be international pressure… increase because the federal government blatantly obstructs humanitarian operations… the rising TDF will not passively allow the federal government to try to restrict the area again.”
Addis Ababa has actually blocked the area. According to the United NationsTigray is now suffering from telecommunications and power outages, as well as cash and fuel shortages, which “will only exacerbate the already severe humanitarian situation.”
Meckler’s retake by the TPLF and Addis Ababa’s position are also contrary to what the U.S. State Department and the European Union have called the necessary conditions for an effective ceasefire.
This we It has been stated that the ceasefire “may be a positive step if it can lead to changes on the ground to end the conflict, stop the atrocities and allow humanitarian aid to go unhindered.”EU has Emphasize “To be credible, it should quickly become a reality and be accompanied by additional efforts by all parties to end the conflict.”
But on Wednesday, Ethiopia’s Lieutenant General Bacha De Belle warned: “If they [the rebels] Enraged us, we can go back to Meckler today. One sign that the fighting is still going on is that since the ceasefire, two bridges have been blown up, further hindering aid work. Both sides accuse each other of responsibility.
TPLF vowed to remove all Ethiopian Union soldiers and Allied soldiers from Tigray from Amhara and Eritrea, and march into the Eritrean capital Asmara if necessary. Before agreeing to a ceasefire, TPLF also hopes that Abiy and Eritrean strongman leader Isaias Afwerki will be held accountable for the crimes allegedly committed against Tigrayans.
TPLF officials claimed to have more than 9,000 Ethiopian prisoners of war and stated that their priority now is to drive all opposition forces out of western Tigray so that they can establish a supply corridor with neighboring Sudan. They claimed that as many as 30,000 soldiers were there waiting to join the battle.
“Military, there is no problem in taking over Sitigre,” a TPLF official told the Financial Times. “The goal now is to try to open the corridor with Sudan.”
Sudanese officials stated that their country had no intention of getting involved in the Ethiopian war. Nevertheless, since the end of last year, there has been a skirmish between the Sudanese and Ethiopian troops over border farmland.
The relationship between Khartoum and Addis Ababa is also due to Giant dam built on the Nile in EthiopiaSudan fears that this will allow Ethiopia to control the river’s important water supply.
The Tigray people have a long history of fighting: first the rebellion against Emperor Haile Selassie in the 1940s, and then the guerrilla warfare against the Dege regime, which led to the Tigray people’s rule after they marched on Addis Ababa in 1991 Ethiopia.
Today, some TPLF members stated that the conflict that began in November last year after Abi sent troops to respond to an alleged attack on federal forces is turning into a struggle for Tigray’s independence from Ethiopia.
“The war hasn’t stopped,” one person said. “Maybe the barrel has stopped–now, in certain areas.”