Panafrican News Agency

UPDATE 1: Ethiopian crisis: Govt accuses TPLF of expanding war to border areas with Sudan

Addis Ababa, Ethiopia (PANA) - The Government of Ethiopia on Wednesday accused the Tigray People's Liberation Front (TPLF) regional force of expanding its "belligerence" to other areas in the renewed war between the two sides.

A statement by the Government Communications Service quoted by the state-owned Ethiopian News Agency (ENA) said the TPLF had "launched an invasion in the direction of Wag, Wolqait and border areas with Sudan, in the Amhara Region".

It said this was after the TPLF's "invasion" of Kobo and the surrounding areas on the eastern side of the Amhara Region did not go as it planned, "due to the concerted response effort of our heroic defence forces and the local communities". 

"The heroic national defence forces are defending this invasion with full preparedness and resolve," the statement said.

The Ethiopian government said while "responding steadfastly" to attacks launched by TPLF in various directions, it has still not closed the options for peace.

The statement also accused the TPLF of continuing to use its "worn-out human wave strategy", that places children, youth and the elderly people of Tigray as "sacrificial lambs".

“We continue to urge the international community to do what it can to pressure the belligerent group (TPLF) for a peaceful resolution of the conflict."

The Ethiopian government also called on the people of Tigray, "who are our people, to free themselves from the suffering caused by the tyranny of TPLF and condemn the belligerence".

The Ethiopian Human Rights Commission (EHRC) is the latest group to express worry about the renewal of the war and joined calls for a cessation of hostilities and resumption of dialogue.

It said in a statement quoted by Ethiopian news outlet, Addis Standard, that the civilian populations in the regions of Amhara, Tigray, and Afar have suffered significantly as a result of the intermittent war.

“EHRC calls on all parties to the conflict to cease hostilities and resume dialogue for a peaceful resolution of the conflict and reiterates its call for all parties to the conflict to uphold their obligations to preserve the lives, security, physical and moral integrity, and dignity of all civilians affected by armed conflict,” the statement said.

The commission also called on the parties to the conflict "to protect and respect the right to life, security, and dignity, as well as the physicality and morality of every civilian in the conflict-affected areas".

This is the latest round of conflict between both sides since the initial start of the war in November 2020.

Meanwhile, Sudan's Foreign Ministry has =summoned the Ambassador of Ethiopia, Yeptal Amiru, over his statement that a plane allegedly loaded with weapons that was shot down by the Ethiopian Air Force entered the country from Sudan.

The state-owned Sudan News Agency (SUNA) reported on Tuesday that the Director-General of African Affairs, Ambassador Fadl Abdullah Fadl, conveyed to the Ethiopian ambassador the ministry’s denunciation of the statement he made to the media.

The Ministry said the Ethiopian Ambassador indicated that the alleged plane with the weapons meant for the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) "violated the Ethiopian airspace through Sudan".

"Ambassador Fadl Abdullah Fadl explained to the Ethiopian diplomat that making these unfounded allegations is contrary to the usual diplomatic traditions in communicating with the official authorities in the country of representation, especially since the leadership in the two countries seeks to strengthen relations between them," SUNA quoted the Foregn Ministry as saying.

-0- PANA MA 31Aug2022