The Prime Minister Office of Ethiopia issued the following statement today on the current phase of rule of law operations in Tigray region in the northern part of the country.
“After the capture of Mekelle—the regional capital of Tigray- without civilian causalities and destruction of property that the criminal clique warned and so many in the media echoed, the active phase of the military operations has come to an end. The current task of the Federal Government mainly includes bringing fugitives to justice, restoring law and order, guaranteeing our citizens in the affected areas have unfettered access to humanitarian assistance, resettling and rehabilitating those who have been forced to cross borders and restoring transport and communications services that have been destroyed and disrupted by the criminal clique.
The criminal clique pushed a patently false narrative that its fighters and supporters are battle hardened and well-armed, posing the risk of protracted insurgency in the rugged mountains of Tigray. It also claimed that it has managed to undertake strategic retreat with all its capability and regional government apparatus intact. The reality is the criminal clique is thoroughly defeated and in disarray, with insignificant capability to mount a protracted insurgency. Using lies and anarchy as a political weapon may have worked during the clique’s days of guerrilla warfare. But it is a lesson the hardliners within the criminal clique have failed to unlearn.
The clique cannot be a reliable partner to the worthy cause of creating a more just and equitable Ethiopia if they themselves are fiercely resistant to accommodate any change. More than anything else, ordinary Tigrayans seek for inclusive and equitable growth, peace, freedom, and security.
In the absence of a legitimate and just cause, sustaining a protracted insurgency is near impossible particularly by a disgruntled and reactionary clique that has few allies inside and outside.
The criminal clique also wanted to internationalize the conflict by spouting endless false accusations as a last-ditch attempt to force international mediation as a way out of accountability and justice.
The notion that the criminal group cares about the wellbeing of civilians is anomalous to its inherent being.
A group that began its campaign of destruction with treasonous murder of members of the National Defence Force, then proceeded with the purging of civilians in Maikadra, while at the same time launched indiscriminate weapons of destruction to densely populated cities in Bahir Dar and Gondar, used civilians and kidnapped members of the military as human shields, can claim no moral authority to express concern for the wellbeing of civilians. And its three-decades old history in power is replete with civilians suffering and mass atrocities.
The protection and security of all our citizens remains an essential priority for the Federal Government. Working closely with relevant humanitarian agencies and UN partners, the government is actively working to extend protection and humanitarian assistance to those who are impacted by the current law enforcement operations including to non-Ethiopians who are hosted in refugee camps and host communities in Tigray.
The government will return, resettle, and rehabilitate Ethiopian refuges in a short period of time. It is to be recalled that the government signed an agreement with the UN for an enhanced coordination mechanism for humanitarian access that will enable partners to assist affected population effectively and impartially with a well-coordinated framework led by the Federal Government.
The Federal Government wishes to underline that the safety and wellbeing of our citizens remains our utmost priority,” the statement concluded.