The government claims armed forces linked to the region’s ruling party, the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF), attacked a government army base located in the region.
The Tigray leadership says it does not recognize the leadership of Abiy Ahmed. The TPLF used to be part of Ethiopia’s governing coalition before a rift emerged with the Prime Minister.
The attack on the national barracks was announced by Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed. He says the political leadership of the Tigray region, the TPLF has “crossed the line “and says the only solution is military action against their armed forces.
An emergency committee has been formed by the Prime Minister to oversee the military operation.
“The nature of the conflict is not between Tigray versus the rest of Ethiopians. This conflict is not between the Tigray region versus the Federal government. This conflict is between a very small group with a very narrow vested interest group – whose mission is to destabilize the national order and to attain and regain its control over the Ethiopians political order. So, the federal government has to do everything possible to maintain order and uphold the constitution, ” State Minister for Foreign Affairs Redwan Hussein said.
The government is yet to outline the rules of the 6-month state of emergency it has declared in the region.
But phone lines and the internet have been shut down already and airspace has been closed.
“This conflict could have been avoided by all means and it was possible. The federal government has tried its level best to have shuttle diplomacy and order and several individuals have tried with failed attempts to encourage this group to come on board and engage in civil discourse but all attempts were rebuffed and it couldn’t bear any fruit. So now that attempts have been thwarted by yesterday’s unprovoked attack on the federal defense forces. We will fight to make sure it could be controlled very soon,” says Hussein.
On 3 November the TPLF declared that it was ready for war. It claims that after August, when national polls were meant to be held, Prime Minister Abiy ceased to be a legitimate leader.
He postponed the national polls to later in 2021, citing the COVID-19 pandemic. But the Tigray region went ahead with its own regional elections.
“Due respect and care will be taken to also engage the Tigray People to liberate themselves. And not to be victims and serve as a shield for the small corrupted gang of TPLF. This gang doesn’t represent the entire group of the former TPLF and this gang doesn’t represent the communities and it doesn’t represent the entire Tigrayan People,” says Hussein.
The Prime Minister says today’s initial military operation has resulted in many “Martyrs”, injuries and property damage “