Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed vowed on Sunday to wipe out the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF), a group that was once the country’s ruling party but which Addis Ababa is now a terrorist movement considered.
With alarming words such as “weeds”, “cancer” and “disease”, the Ethiopian leader seemed to confirm the final collapse of the unilateral ceasefire he had declared two weeks ago which was intended to facilitate humanitarian access in the region now controlled by militants allied with the TPLF.
“The enemy we face is Ethiopia’s Cancer, “Abiy said in a tweet referring to TPLF, led by Debretsion Gebremichael, which Addis Ababa along with other senior Tigrayan leaders has banned the only group in Ethiopia’s history trying to disintegrate Ethiopia en.
Uprooting the junta
“But the junta will certainly be uprooted in such a way that it will not grow back again. .. This will happen if we all stand up to remove the emboch, “he added.
The Nobel Peace Prize winner was referring to a water hyacinth known locally as an emboch which invaded Lake Tana and which Ethiopia has not yet got rid of despite its more than 10 years of struggle.
But given the context of the war against the TPLF he may have been referring to destroying the rebel group once and for all.
“Abiy says joint Ethiopian forces will launch a major offensive against TPLF,” said Solomon Ketema , a political analyst told Nation.africa on Sunday.
“A major offensive means that the conflict won’t fail be more limited to the region. The intended move is so very dangerous and could probably be the start of the journey towards the country’s disintegration, “he added.
After the collapse of the ceasefire, Addis accused Ababa TPLF of using child soldiers, which the group denied in a long statement on Sunday morning, but now Addis Ababa is assembling support militias from regions across the country to join the Amhara fighters who have long been on the side of the Ethiopian National Defense Forces Oromia, the Somali region and the Southern Nations, Nationalities and People (SNNP) region were all sent to Tigray to fight the TPLF and its allied militias.
Earlier, some analysts had warned that Ethiopia could be the next Yugoslavia, referring to the disintegration of what was once European country whose former republics have been divided into independent states.
Sunday’s statement, t he runner-up in a week, is the prime minister’s strongest since the retaking of Tigrays Capital Mekelle from the Ethiopian army on June 28th.
The statement of the Ethiopian leader could clearly be seen as an open declaration of war against the TPLF.
He said the Ethiopian National Defense Forces (ENDF) and regional armed forces would be on the front lines.
“We have precise plans what, why, how, where and when to do and enemies and friends will see the results very soon. “
After the TPLF the big cities in the south and west had recaptured from Tigray, Abiy swore last Wednesday to fend off these new offensives.
“The government will do everything possible to defend these attacks are carried out by our enemies both inside and outside,” he said then.
However, it is not clear what external enemies he was referring to, although Egypt and Sudan are viewed as a potential security threat because of the controversial dam in Ethiopia.
Second War phase
Regional states also send troops to the Amhara region to fight against TPLF in the declared second phase of the war against Tigray.
The regions of Sidama, Oromia, SNNP and Afar have their troops in those at the front.
Other regions like Somali and Gambela have also announced their regional Deploy troops.
Metta-Alem Sinishaw, a political analyst for Ethiopia and East Africa, says the resumption of the Conflict marks the nationalization and internalization of the Ethiopian elite conflict.
“The conflict is no longer TPLF vs Abiy or TPLF vs Amhara region. The active participation of several regional forces unexpectedly turned the conflict into at least one national front against the TPLF. This will have serious political ramifications well beyond the military campaign. “
When Ethiopia sent regional troops to the war front, TPLF troops launched nationwide attacks to repel incoming troops.
TPLF rebels have carried out operations against pro-government troops in the neighboring Afar region, a spokesman said on Sunday, opening a new front in the widening eight-month conflict.
The “very limited action” was aimed at special forces and militias from the Oromia region, the largest in Ethiopia, who gathered along the border between Tigray and Afar, the rebel spokesman said Getachew told AFP .
“We took these steps to ensure that these troops were sent back to Oromia and we succeeded” , Getachew said, adding there ss there were some victims, but he could not give any numbers.
“Our action was limited to the dispersal of the peasant militia from Oromia, among others, who were mainly forced to to wage the useless war. “