ADDIS ABABA – Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni is reportedly not happy after he was told that Ethiopia’s Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) was retreating, two months after advancing on the Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa which sparked concerns among the international community.
Speaking to Sudans Post this morning, a TPLF diplomat in Nebraska, United States said Museveni has told Debretsion Gebremichael that he has a ‘strong disapproval’ of the decision by TPLF forces to retreat after making gains against Ethiopian federal forces.
“What happened in Afar and Amhara regions was not only a defeat for the TPLF and its allies, but it is also a disappointment for the President of Uganda Yoweri Museveni who is not happy at all after all the gains and advances that we have made against the dictatorial regime of Abiy Ahmed,” the official told Sudans Post on condition of anonymity.
“When he was told that the forces are retreating back towards Tigray, Museveni said in his own words, that ‘I am not happy and I have a strong disapproval for what your troops have done to please those forces’ and this is what he said, but it was something that was outside of our power,” the official added.
Museveni and his son are believed to be pro-Tigrayans in the ongoing Ethiopian conflict.
In November his son Gen. Muhoozi Kainerugaba who is also a senior army commander sent shivers down the spines of some people for openly backing the Tigrayan rebel forces currently fighting the elected government of PM Abiy Ahmed.
Gen. Muhoozi posted on his verified Twitter account saying: “Our great Tigrayan brothers and sisters cannot be defeated. They have an unconquerable spirit!”
Two days earlier, Gen. Muhoozi had openly stated that he supports the cause of the Tigrayan forces who are currently fighting the government of President Abiy Ahmed.
“I urge my great and brave brothers in the Tigrayan Defence Forces to listen to the words of General Yoweri Museveni! I am as angry as you and I support your cause. Those who raped our Tigrayan sisters and killed our brothers must be punished!”
‘We have to turn back’
In a statement, TPLF leader Debretsion said the decision by his leadership to retreat was necessary due to unforeseen circumstances has Ethiopian federal forces have deployed heavily along the areas recently occupied by the Tigray People’s Liberation Front.
“We evaluated the overall situation, both ours as well as that of the enemy, and arrived at the decision on our own. We have to turn back; we shouldn’t continue in the present [course]; we have to carry out additional tasks, additional adjustments’ – it was after we identified this that we arrived at the decision,” he said in the statement seen by Sudans Post.
“It was a tough decision but one which had to be made. We have to understand that it was a correct decision. [The decision] wasn’t made because of diplomatic pressure or through discussions,” he added.
The rebel leader further pointed out that “We don’t make discussions which the people of Tigray are not aware of or diplomatic activities which the people of Tigray have not accepted… This is a time of fierce struggle.”