Fighters belonging to the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) are surrendering to the Ethiopian federal army and its regional allies, two weeks after Prime Minister Dr. Abiy Ahmed announced that he was going to the front lines to command troops following a two-month TPLF advance on Addis Ababa.
While TPLF appeared to concede defeats in several war fronts in northern Ethiopia by saying it was making tactical territorial adjustments, the government forces have announced victories in several towns bordering the northern Tigray region with high-ranking TPLF commanders being killed in action, according to government figures.
Speaking to journalists in Addis Ababa yesterday, just a day before Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed could announce his return to office after two-week combat against rebel forces, the Prime Minister’s Spokeswoman Billene Seyoum Woldeyes said the federal army’s northern command has continued to apprehend TPLF fights in great numbers as many are heading to call for surrender.
“The northern command continue to apprehend TPLF fighters in great numbers with many also heeding to the call that has been extended earlier this week to surrender and therefore heeding to the call and surrendering to the defense forces,” she told journalist in the press briefing.
“Evidence” of human rights abuses
The prime minister’s spokesperson went on to highlight atrocities allegedly committed by the TPLF as they abandon towns following advance by government forces.
“With a lot of these towns coming under the national defense forces, it is inevitable that there would be a lot of destruction and the TPLF occupation of many towns in the Amhara and the Afar regions has left behind and overwhelming destruction to public and private property as well as many lives,” she said.
“There is evidence emerging across many towns of grave atrocities and human rights abuses being inflicted by the TPLF upon the innocent civilians in those towns. In Gashena and Gashena & the N. Shoa town of Antsokia, we have reports of mass killings that have been undertaken by the TPLF on innocent civilians. Similarly there are also vast reports of rape that are emerging across these towns also occupied by the TPLF,” she added.
She further said that “Further investigations are needed to expose the grave human rights violations committed by TPLF.”