Forces from Ethiopia’s Tigray region say Eritrean troops are part of the conflict..

Forces from Ethiopia’s Tigray region say Eritrean troops are part of the conflict and the war is far from over.

(CNN)An official from the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) has told CNN the war in Ethiopia is far from over and that Eritrean troops are part of the conflict.

Speaking exclusively to CNN for the first time since the fall of Mekelle, the capital of the northern Tigray region, Getachew Reda said the bulk of the region still remains in the hands of the TPLF.
“We withdrew from Mekelle because we did not want to give them the pretext to bombard the city back to the stone age, to indiscriminately bombard and destroy the town,” Reda, Ethiopia’s former Communications Minister and a member of the TPLF executive council, told CNN by phone from inside the Tigray region.
Ethiopian National Defense Forces (ENDF) took control of the city on Saturday, according to a tweet from Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed. It was under fierce bombardment earlier on Saturday, a humanitarian source on the ground and eyewitnesses who have fled Mekelle, told CNN.
“Abiy’s forces focused on capturing the towns but the bulk of the people are in the rural areas — the largest parts of the region — and that is where we are,” said Reda. “As we speak there are military engagements in the larger part of the region; we are defending our positions, there have been a series of offensives and we are taking defensive positions, it won’t be long before we reverse and launch a counter offensive.”
Reda told CNN he feared that the conflict was descending into ethnic cleansing, warning that Abiy is “pitting Amhara against Tigray.”

In a file photo from June 2016, Getachew Reda, Ethiopia's former communications minister and a member of the TPLF executive council, speaks during a press conference in Addis Ababa.

In response to the TPLF’s claims of ethnic killings and Eritrean military involvement, a spokeswoman for the federal government’s state of emergency task force said it was a “continued attempt” by the TPLF to “internationalize the situation and gain international support for impunity.”
“The rule of law operation militarily has ceased. There will no doubt be sporadic and dwindling attempts by the group on the run and those that have not been disarmed yet,” she added.
CNN tried unsuccessfully to reach the Eritrean government for comment.
Abiy recently told Ethiopia’s parliament that not a single civilian had been lost in the war in Tigray. He said the war was over and it was time to rebuild the region.
Rights groups say hundreds have died, but CNN cannot independently verify those numbers because of a communications blackout in the region. Internet, mobile phones and landlines are down.
Reda contradicted Abiy’s assertion that the war was over and said the TPLF have launched multiple strikes against neighboring Eritrea because he claimed “90% of the forces operating in Tigray are from Eritrea.”
He called on the international community to intervene in the Ethiopia conflict.
US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said he spoke with Abiy on Monday, reiterating the need for de-escalation.
The conflict, which began in early November, threatens to undo years of progress in Africa’s second most populous country and the restive Horn of Africa region. More than 47,000 Ethiopian refugees have now crossed into Sudan, said Babar Baloch, the global spokesman for UNHCR, the UN’s refugee agency.
Some of these refugees described to CNN being beaten and tortured by Eritrean soldiers.
The UN’s humanitarian coordination office said on Friday it was doing its utmost to secure aid access to Ethiopia’s Tigray region, after a deal was struck to reach displaced civilians.
“There are still operational issues of a logistical nature, some of them are of a security nature, that are being worked out, so that we can proceed with the missions,” said Jens Laerke, the spokesman for the UN’s Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), adding that “everyone, of course, (is) working full speed to make that happen.”

Tigray refugees who fled the conflict in northern Ethiopia ride a bus to a temporary shelter near the Sudan-Ethiopia border on Tuesday, December 1.

Humanitarian organizations are struggling to provide services amid the tsunami of refugees.
“We are underfunded, conditions are bad,” the Secretary General of the Norwegian Refugee Council, Jan Egeland, told CNN’s Becky Anderson on Friday. “It’s much worse inside Tigray, where we haven’t had access in a month.”
He said witness testimony did not match Abiy’s claims that civilians have not been harmed. Refugees have also told CNN of incidences of harrowing violence connected to the conflict.

1 Comment

  1. TPLF is the main maker and shaker of Ethiopia’s astonishing growth and transformation we had been seeing for the past thirty years.
    The late PM Meles Zenawi’s vision is what brought the launching of all the magnificent developmental projects including GERD we see now.All Abiy and Hailemariam came up with are train projects , tree planting projects and recreational park projects. Besides those they were concentrating on public properties destruction , killing , robbing banks , siding with Ethiopia’s number one enemies Shabiya, U.A.E. and alike, while failing to effectively take a stand on GERD’s negotiation by agreeing to Egypt’s demands signing away agreements to benefit Egypt and hurt Ethiopia, the agreements Hailemariam and Abiy signed were GERD agreements which the late PM Meles Zenawi refused to sign during his lifetime.

    Contrary to the above article the fact is in the year 1991 TPLF defeated Derg’s big military and brought a relative peace to Ethiopia after fighting a civil war against Derg for over a decade.
    TPLF always had stood for peace unless it is forced to retaliate. When TPLF retaliates it always defeats it’s enemies.

    TPLF and it’s allies defeated derg , defeated Shabiya and are now defeating Prosperity Party in war. TPLF is now once again saving all Ethiopians from oppression. Currently very few others are fighting Prosperity Party, currently only TPLF is making heavy assaults against Prosperity Party. TPLF is ready to take it’s time exhausting the Prosperity Party’s military to win surely.
    TPLF is ready to hold peace talks but sadly the Abiy Ahmed’s Prosperity Party refuses to hold peace talks so TPLF is being dragged in this war unwillingly.
    The only reason TPLF was so far lenient on Prosperity Party was by hoping that the Abiy Ahmed’s government will come to their senses and start respecting the Constitution but overtime not only they disrespected the Ethiopian constitution but in addition they went on to disrespect international laws. That is why it should be known Abiy Ahmed is a terrorist and those that are sticking in his side are going to be charged as terrorists as well. Prosperity Party is shamelessly destroying the horn of Africa and the whole world knows it.

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