TPLF discusses government claims
Chinese Foreign Minister Visits Addis Ababa
Araweelo News Network
Addis Ababa(ANN) The Federal Government of Ethiopia says its forces have recaptured the historic town of Lalibela from the Tigray rebels today.
He was speaking on Wednesday about the ongoing unresolved conflict in Ethiopia between government forces and the TPLF, although the other OLA rebels later joined the fight against the government.
The capture of Lalibela has been the biggest victory claimed by the government since Prime Minister Abi Ahmed went to the front lines last week to lead the fighting as he approached the capital Addis Ababa.
Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) says it has withdrawn from Lalibela and other areas due to strategic reasons.
Lalibela, famous for its stone churches and an ancient city, was captured by the TDF in August 2021.
The city, a UNESCO World Heritage Site in the Amhara region of Ethiopia, Lalibela, was also a tourist destination before the country’s civil war in November 2020.
The TPLF captured the city in early August, and Lalibela, a mountainous town in the northern Amhara region of Ethiopia, is considered a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Lalibela is home to 11 monarchical churches carved in stone in the 12th century. Churches are a sacred place, and the Ethiopian Orthodox Church in Ethiopia considers the new sanctuary, the capture of the city of Lalibala, it seemed to have led to a military victory for the TPLF, which resulted in the capture of the strategic cities of Dessie and Kombolch.
Lalibela, however, voluntarily withdrew from the TPLF on Wednesday morning, believed to be in a tactical move, and was later captured by government forces.
The government’s success, meanwhile, coincided with Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi’s visit to Ethiopia on Wednesday. China is one of the countries that have provided military support to Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed.
He is expected to meet with Deputy Prime Minister Demeke Mekonnen, who has taken over the day-to-day running of the government while Abiy is on the battlefield.
It is noteworthy that China opposed foreign “intervention” in Ethiopia as the Abiy Ahmed government came under pressure from the United States and some European countries for reports of human rights abuses during the civil war.
Reports also say that Ethiopia has received Chinese drones, as well as weapons from Iran, Turkey and the United Arab Emirates (UAE), according to Mr Debretsion.
Fears that the rebels are approaching the capital Addis Ababa have led to several countries, including the United States and the United Kingdom, urging their citizens to leave Ethiopia last month.
Government spokesman Legesse Tulu said on Wednesday that the military was also confident of recapturing the strategic town of Dessie “in a short time”, although no details were available.
The TPLF captured the town of Dessie last month, which was seen as a major threat to the government as the city approached Addis Ababa and the Djibouti border, and then moved to Afar, where they warmed up in the capital Addis Ababa.
But fierce fighting in Tigray over the use of drones has been interpreted as a retreat, and other towns captured by the rebels include Shewa Robit, about 220km (135 miles) from Addis Ababa, the government said.
Last week, TPLF leader Debretsion Gebremichael, wrote a letter to the United Nations expressing concern over the use of drones.
Ethiopia has received Chinese drones, as well as weapons from Iran, Turkey and the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Mr Debretsion said.
Some pro-government media outlets released footage of Mr Abiy on Tuesday in the jungle of the military junta, but no independent media outlet could confirm the footage and the exact location of the battle, as the Abiy government has banned head-to-head media Free to report on the Ethiopian war.
The conflict began in the northern Tigray region in November 2020, after government forces backed by Eritrean and Amhara militias invaded the Tigray regional capital of Mekelle, where massacres, looting and other inhumane acts took place.
But the conflict later spread to other parts of Ethiopia, with the TPLF invading the outskirts of Addis Ababa south and the eastern border of Djibouti, crucial to Ethiopia’s landlocked, but successful supply at the moment, the government does not rule out the possibility of further fighting and will not change the fact that foreigners are fleeing the Ethiopian capital.
Published by Araweelo News Network.
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By Arraale M Jama Freelance Journalist and Human Rights activist.