ADDIS ABABA – The Ethiopian government said Monday that it has continued to advance against the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) and that it is planning to set up administrations in areas it captured from the rebel group in consultation with local populations.
In a statement, the Government Communication Service (GCS) said despite the advance, it is working with humanitarian agencies and has also avoided combat in areas with civilian populations and it is expediting efforts to restore basic services in those areas.
“The ENDF has continued taking control of major urban centers in the past few days. The ENDF has succeeded in avoiding combat in urban areas while debilitating the military capabilities of the TPLF,” the GCS statement seen by Sudans Post reads in part.
“The Government of Ethiopia is working in coordination with humanitarian agencies to continue providing humanitarian aid in these areas. It has also requested operators of essential services to expedite their preparation to resume services in these areas,” it continued.
“The Government is also exploring ways in which public administration and social services in these areas could begin in consultation with the local population,” the statement further added.
AU PEACE TALKS
The announcement from the government on the alleged advance against the Tigray rebels comes as AU-led peace talks begins in South Africa where the two conflicting parties will likely try to come into a ceasefire agreement.
The government statement said Addis Ababa is committed to peaceful end to the deadly conflict which has killed and displaced millions of its citizens mostly in the Tigray region.
“Meanwhile, the Government of Ethiopia will be participating in the AU convened peace talks to be held in South Africa,” the statement said.
“The Government of Ethiopia views the talks as an opportunity to peacefully resolve the conflict and consolidate the improvement of the situation on the ground brought about through the sacrifices of the ENDF,” it added.
It further said that a “delegation of Ethiopian Government has left for South Africa this morning.”
FEARS OF FRESH ATROCITIES
The Amnesty International has expressed fears of new atrocities in areas of combat in the Tigray region, with Muleya Mwananyanda, Amnesty’s Director for East and Southern Africa, highlight how Tigrayan civilians expressed fears of fresh crimes by the federal forces.
“Tigrayan civilians are afraid that the widespread abuses, such as unlawful killings, sexual violence and systematic attacks, that were rampant when the Ethiopian National Defense Forces and its allied forces were in control of these areas from November 2020 to June 2021, might happen again,” Mwananyanda said.
“We have already seen in this conflict that impunity for previous atrocities will only embolden security forces to commit more heinous crimes. The war crimes and crimes against humanity Amnesty has documented should never be allowed to happen again,” Mwananyanda added.
The rights advocacy official further said that “Military and civilian officials must recognise their duty to prevent and prosecute war crimes committed by their forces. Failure to do so implicates them in these crimes.”
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