TPLF armed forces to leave other regions of Ethiopia
Sawako Utsumi and Sawako Uchida
Modern Tokyo Times
The conflict in Ethiopia pitting the central government against the Tigrayan People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) – and involving others on both sides – seems set to be turning again. For several weeks ago, the TPLF and the Oromo Liberation Army (OLA) commented that they were set on taking the capital Addis Adaba.
However, since Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed went to the frontline, he galvanized the Ethiopian armed forces and others loyal to the central government. Equally important, new military procurements, noting the weaknesses within the TPLF and OLA who overstretched themselves, and other factors are turning the tide of war once more.
Voice of America reports, “The TPLF forces entered the neighboring Amhara and Afar regions after the Ethiopian government announced a unilateral ceasefire in June.”
However, like countless armies throughout history, civilian massacres against the Afar and Amhara by the TPLF began to happen. Of course, in all wars, no side is immune from massacres. Yet, for central forces – and other ethnic groups in Ethiopia – it is a warning of what might happen in other parts of the country.
Reuters reports, “The 13-month-old war in Africa’s second-most-populous nation has destabilized an already fragile region, sent 60,000 refugees into Sudan, pulled Ethiopian soldiers away from war-ravaged Somalia and drawn in armed forces from neighbouring Eritrea.”
The leader of Ethiopia said about opposition forces that “They are set to destroy a country – not to build it.”
Abiy is also utilizing Ethiopian nationalism and the need to preserve the unitary state. Modern Tokyo Times reported last month, “Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed is hinting that outside forces are assisting the TPLF and other anti-Ethiopian government forces. He also implies that the TPLF, OLA, and other anti-Ethiopian government forces seek a failed state – similar to what happened in Libya and Syria.”
According to the United Nations (UN), over nine million people are now dependent on international economic aid. Tragically, the UN also says that approximately 400,000 people face famine in Tigray.
The Jamestown Foundation (Michael Horton) reported, “The war comes at a time when Ethiopia faces multiple crises that threaten to upend the many gains the country has made over the last two decades. Besides Tigray, Ethiopia is also grappling with an entrenched insurgency in the regional state of Oromia, an economic crisis, rising commodity prices, and tensions with Egypt and Sudan over the filling of the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD).”
Lee Jay Walker says, “The conflict ebbs and flows in one direction. Hence, while both sides are far apart, a solution is needed to guarantee the integrity of Ethiopia – while providing greater autonomy within the structures of Ethiopia in Tigray and other areas of concern.”
Until recently, the nation of Ethiopia was progressing economically. Therefore, it is hoped that internal compromises – and international honest brokers – can solve the crisis based on dialogue.
After all, Africa doesn’t need another nation to be blighted by war.
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