BY SHILOMO MOLLA
As the issue is very close to my heart, I am following the situational in Ethiopia. I understand that the Ethiopian government is fully aware of the dangers posed on Ethiopia as a nation, and the threat to the horn of Africa as a region by the defunct tribal based political unit calling itself “Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF).” In this context, members of the global community need to recognize the threats that countries in the horn of Africa are facing, especially the dangers posed by domestic rebel forces and their foreign terrorist partners.
All international actors engaged in the Ethiopian peace process fully acknowledge that the TPLF reignited the conflict on 24 August, 2022. Yet they remain silent when the TPLF continues to deceive the international community by using such messages as a means to buy some time to prepare for another offensive. It has been in the public domain that the TPLF recruited thousands of youth in Tigray region. A few days ago, TPLF representatives acknowledged this publicly claiming that they used the truce to reorganize their forces for the new offensive. The leaders of the rebel group stated that the main method of pursuing their political objectives would be to launch all round aggression. They were firing long range artillery and deploying fighters to advance to Amhara and Afar regions. Then they started sending civilians as displaced people seeking humanitarian assistance when in fact they were using them as human waves and shields.
The statement by the TPLF on September 11, 2022 is definitely untruthful and misleading. TPLF is a master of deception; the group has been disseminating insincere statements in its history to mislead the global community. The TPLF recently announced disingenuously that it will accept the AU led peace process, while it started the third round offensive. Some of the global powers welcomed the statement without questioning the validity of the TPLF’s declaration, which in actuality was an insincere call. Some opted to wittingly accept deception.
The TPLF has time and again categorically rejected the African Union-led peace efforts. The recent statement comprises preconditions on its acceptance of the African Union framework; but it was issued for propaganda purposes. TPLF should make it clear that it would unconditionally surrender to peace proposals by the federal government, which includes disarming and demobilizing its forces. The TPLF attempts to give the impression that they are relaying a positive message, while putting forth many conditions. The statement is also misleading signifying requirements about mediation and guarantee.
Last year, when the Federal Government declared unilateral ceasefire, TPLF forces escalated the conflict into the Amhara and Afar regions. They marched deeply over 400 kilometers into the Amhara region. The Ethiopian National Defense Forces (ENDF), after chasing the TPLF away from the Afar and Amhara regions, had taken several confidence-building measures such as ending the state of emergency, not returning to the Tigray, releasing prisoners, declaring a humanitarian truce announcing a unilateral ceasefire, expediting humanitarian aid, establishing a Peace Committee, publicly announcing the members, and the Committee declaring that it has prepared a peace proposal.
For terrorist groups, deception and propaganda play a predominant role in their agitation process. The TPLF rejected and ridiculed all efforts made by the African Union to bring about peace. It blatantly violated the humanitarian truce. There is nothing sincere about its statement. It is now using its army of propagandists to claim that the region is under blockade, the region has no basic services. They depict an image that the TPLF was forced to break the siege and that humanitarian aid could not go through, and so forth. The fact is the TPLF blatantly violated the indefinite humanitarian truce. The letter that was sent to the UN is consistent with the strongly held TPLF position of rejecting a peaceful resolution to the conflict.
There are a series of reports which revealed that the TPLF uses the deception method cunningly. TPLF has continued its attack on different fronts and committed significant harm to the adjacent regions. Thousands of civilians have been victims of extra-judicial killing by TPLF forces, many civilians were inflicted with bodily harm, and many civilians were treated inhumanely. Many were exposed to various forms of sexual violence. The scale of the property damages, destruction, and looting inflicted by TPLF forces is beyond measure. Many people are still displaced from their homes.
TPLF has posed a danger to the country by conspiring with foreign actors. It has put the entire nation in danger. The Government must discharge its legitimate duty to defend the sovereignty and territorial integrity of the country, and the safety and livelihoods of its people. The Government remains in a defensive position. Terrorist groups are adamant to accept peace, TPLF can’t be an exception. We don’t take the call for peace at face value, TPLF, as a terrorist unit, would not be willing to see a stable and unified Ethiopia.
Editor’s Note: The views entertained in this article do not necessarily reflect the stance of The Ethiopian Herald
The Ethiopian Herald 24 September 2022