Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed on Monday said that members of the Ethiopian National Defense Forces (ENDF) have done “remarkable deeds” in their duty to preserve the constitutional and territorial integrity of Ethiopia.
Ahmed made the remarks while briefing the Ethiopian House of People’s Representatives (HoPR), the lower house of the Ethiopian parliament.
He emphasized that the ultimate goal of the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF)’s assault on the Ethiopian National Defense Forces early this month was to overthrow the current government and destabilize the East African country.
Since the early hours of November 4, the Ethiopian government has been undertaking military operations against the TPLF, following the latter’s attack on the Northern Command base of the Ethiopian Defense Force, a division based in Mekelle city, capital of Tigray region. The division has been stationed in the region for over two decades.
On Saturday, Ahmed announced the “full command” of the Tigray regional state capital, Mekelle, which marked the completion of the military operations.
“With full command of the regional capital, this marks the completion of the ENDF’s last phase. Federal police will now continue with their task of apprehending TPLF criminals and bring them to court,” Ahmed said in a statement issued on Saturday.
According to Ahmed, the ENDF has thus far managed to secure the release of thousands of Northern Command officers held hostage by the TPLF, secure the Northern Command camp, and take control of the airport, public institutions, the regional administration office, and other critical facilities.
He also hailed the Ethiopian army for having undertaken the operation “with precision and due care for citizens ensuring civilians are not targeted.”
According to Ahmed, the people of the Tigray region “have provided utmost support and cooperation to the Ethiopian National Defense Force in all corners.”
The prime minister also stressed that “we now have ahead of us the critical task of rebuilding what has been destroyed, repairing what is damaged, returning those who have fled, with an utmost priority of returning normalcy to the people of the Tigray region.”
“The federal government appreciates the concern shown by the international community,” Ahmed said, as he called upon “friends of Ethiopia to join hands in rebuilding the Tigray region and giving its people the respite, humanitarian assistance and security they deserve.”
Prior to the fighting, the Ethiopian government has been blaming the TPLF, which was one of the four coalition fronts of Ethiopia’s former ruling party, the Ethiopian People’s Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF), for masterminding various treasonous acts across different parts of the country with an overarching goal of destabilizing the country.