The Prime Minister of Ethiopia, Abiy Ahmed, has accused on Wednesday the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) of carrying out attacks against “humanitarian corridors” in the country and of recruiting child soldiers to participate in the fighting in the region of Tigray (north).
Abiy again defended his decision to decree a unilateral cease-fire in the region, rejected by the TPLF, and stressed that the government “has made sacrifices” with this decision, aimed at “giving peace a chance”, according to a communiqué published by his office.
Thus, he criticized that “attached to its way of being, the TPLF has chosen violence to peace” and “has shown that it cannot survive without being in a conflict”. “It has continued to use child soldiers whom it drugs. The army is obliged to protect these children,” he argued.
The prime minister said that the ceasefire “will not bear the expected fruits because of people who do not appreciate the sacrifices of the government for the benefit of the people of Tigray” and added that the authorities “will facilitate humanitarian work” in the face of “attacks from internal and external enemies”.
“The TPLF board regretted that the Ethiopian government was using hunger as a weapon. However, when the humanitarian ceasefire was declared, it quickly forgot about these accusations and intensified its military activities,” he said, while maintaining that “the international community has soon forgotten its pronouncements about a coming famine in Tigray.”
In this regard, he stressed that the international community “says nothing when the junta (TPLF) recruits child soldiers and even tries to accuse Ethiopia when the junta turns humanitarian corridors into the center of a military conflict”.
He has therefore called on the people to “guard against the influence of unfounded information and the junta’s propaganda machine, whose power is founded on false information,” before reiterating that “internal and external enemies are working in unison to sow discord.”
“The government calls on the people of Ethiopia to unite and continue to support the army in every possible way to defend the country’s sovereignty and reverse the threat posed by the country’s internal and external enemies,” Abiy concluded, as reported by Ethiopian television channel Fana.
The Ethiopian government announced a unilateral ceasefire in late June. But the group rejected the announcement, which it called a “joke” and assured that it would continue its advances, even threatening to break into Eritrea.
The offensive against the TPLF was launched on November 4 by order of the Prime Minister in response to an attack by the TPLF – then ruling Tigray – on an army base in Mekelle, which resulted in the death of a large number of Ethiopian military personnel.