The Ethiopian government said its military operations in the northern Tigray regional state are now in its “final and crucial phase,” as the Ethiopian army announced the capture of strategic cities from Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) fighters in different directions across the restive regional.
The statement was made by the Ethiopian Prime Minister, Abiy Ahmed, as he emphasized that “the second phase of the law enforcement actions we began in the Tigray region has been completed.
We are now in the final and third phases.” “The law enforcement operation has now reached the third and crucial phase. This third phase is the final step in bringing the treasonous TPLF clique to justice.
Clearly, it requires a great deal of wisdom, caution, and patience,” the Ethiopian PM said in a statement issued late Sunday.
According to Ahmed, in prior weeks, the Ethiopian government had been undertaking the first two phases, in which the first phase was said to be remobilizing and strengthening the defense forces that were attacked “by their own people and restore the broken chain of command to enable them to carry out their mandate effectively.”
“As a result, the defense forces quickly recovered, with great perseverance, passion and courage, from the tragic attacks they encountered. Carrying the full support of the Ethiopian people at heart, the National Defense Forces are moving forward in different directions, with great haste and speed, to bring the treasonous TPLF clique to justice,” he added.
Since the early hours of Nov. 4, the Ethiopian government has been undertaking military operations against the TPLF, which rules over Ethiopia’s northernmost Tigray regional state.
The federal government’s operation followed the TPLF’s attack on the Northern command base of the Ethiopian Defense Force, a division stationed in the region for over two decades and based in Mekelle city, capital of Tigray region.
Ahmed also emphasized that the main objective of the second phase of the operation was “to remove the TPLF militia from various areas, decrease its destructive capabilities, liberate the people of Tigray from the grips of the treasonous clique and encircle the city of Mekelle, where the TPLF clique is in hiding.”
According to Ahmed, the second phase of the military operation also include “liberating the areas outside Mekelle city which were under the TPLF treasonous clique, recovering looted weapons and camp sites, seizing strategic weaponry that the TPLF militia looted before they are able to use them for destructive purposes, rescuing members of the national defense force who were held captive, burying our deceased national heroes and protecting from harm our endangered and vulnerable citizens in the region.
As part of the military operations, the Ethiopian National Defense Force (ENDF) has marched forward “liberating our citizens victoriously” in Dansha, Humera, Shire, Shiraro, Axum, Adwa, Adigrat, Alamata, Chercher, Mehoni, Korem and other places, it was noted. “In our law enforcement operations, all the necessary precautionary measures have been taken to ensure that civilians are not harmed.
Great care has been taken to protect historical monuments, places of worship, public facilities, infrastructure, natural resources, and the like,” Ahmed said.
Ahmed also stressed that “although the TPLF clique wants severe damage to occur, our military planes have been very careful not to harm civilians, to the extent where missions have been aborted on identifying civilians around target areas.”
“The military has demonstrated its ability to carry out its mission wisely,” Ahmed said. According to Ahmed, amid the ongoing fighting between the Ethiopian government forces and TPLF fighters, the TPLF militia “fled away destroying many infrastructures, schools and health facilities, roads and bridges which were assets for the country.
The destruction of the historic Axum airport by the extremists has left a lasting scar on our tourism industry, which will take years to recover.”
“As the people of Mekelle who are now confronted with the prospect of destruction are our citizens and as the responsibility to rebuild the city rests on our shoulders, we believe greatly that our law enforcement action in Mekelle should be done in a way that results in minimal damage and casualties,” he added.
“I would like to express to all that we will take ultimate care and all precautionary measures to protect the people and city of Mekelle in successfully carrying out our rule of law mission to its conclusion,” he added.