Ethiopian army official discloses plan to ‘eliminate’ errant Tigrayan forces

ADDIS ABABA - Ethiopia’s military is planning to enter the Tigray regional capital of Mekelle and “eliminate” rebellious forces, a top military official said late on Friday amid diplomatic efforts to end conflict in the country’s north.

ADDIS ABABA — Ethiopia’s military plans to invade Tigray’s regional capital, Mekelle, and “wipe out” rebel forces, a senior military official said on Friday as part of diplomatic efforts to end the conflict in the north of the country.

War has been raging in the Horn of Africa for more than a year, and the federal army and its allies are battling troops loyal to the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF), the political party that controls Tigray.

This week, two senior US diplomats traveled to Addis Ababa to call for a ceasefire and tried to capitalize on early signs of a thaw in relations between the warring factions, including the release of political prisoners.

In an interview with state-affiliated media outlet Fana, which aired on Friday evening, Ethiopian Defense Forces (EDF) deputy army general-in-chief Abebaw Tadesse said the country would not find peace until the TPLF would not be eliminated.

“Tigray is part of Ethiopia and no force will stop us from invading there. We will enter and eliminate the enemy. There should be no confusion about this,” he said.

“The Ethiopian people should not think it’s over, it’s not over. The main thing is that we have stopped here because we have to prepare. This enemy is still there and must be eliminated at all costs. We will not negotiate with them.

TPLF spokesman Getachew Reda could not be reached for comment on the military official’s comments.

Ethiopian government spokeswoman Legesse Tulu and Prime Minister’s spokeswoman Abiy Ahmed Billene Seyoum did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

The TPLF says Abiy wants to end the country’s ethnic federal system of government, while Abiy says the TPLF is hungry to grab the national power it once held.

For months, the two sides have been in an uncomfortable stalemate, punctuated by sporadic fighting.

Ethiopian army General Abebaw Tadesse said the country would not be at peace until the TPLF was eliminated.
General Abebaw Tadesse said the country would not be at peace until the TPLF was eliminated.

TPLF forces control most of Tigray but are surrounded by enemy forces from neighboring Afar and Amhara regions, allied with the federal army.

The conflict that erupted in November 2020 displaced millions of people and triggered widespread famine.

There have been several diplomatic and political efforts to end it in recent months, including pressure from the United States.

Sudan’s second most powerful leader, General Mohamed Hamdan Dagalo, arrived in the Ethiopian capital on Saturday, Abiy said in a tweet, but the purpose of his visit was not disclosed.

His visit comes amid tensions along the Sudan-Ethiopia border, which have escalated since the outbreak of the conflict that has sent tens of thousands of refugees into eastern Sudan.

RosGwen24 News
RosGwen24 News
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