Ethiopia downplays importance of TPLF and OLF military alliance
The Ethiopian government on Thursday downplayed the importance of a new military alliance announced by the country’s two main rebel groups.
The Popular Front for the Liberation of Tigray (TPLF) and the Oromo Liberation Army (OLA) on Wednesday announced the signing of a military alliance to overthrow the government of Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed in Addis Ababa.
However, in a press conference Thursday afternoon, the Prime Minister’s press secretary Billene Seyoum told reporters that the alliance between the two rebel groups came as no surprise to the Ethiopian government.
She said the government is not surprised by the “unusual marriage” of the two insurgent groups who were designated as terrorist entities in early May.
Billene said the public statement of the TPLF and OLF alliance signifies that they recognize working together for new destructive activities and indicates that “terrorism is a general feature of both. [groups]. “
The spokesman said the current military alliance is a testament to the groups’ efforts to destabilize the country.
The Ethiopian government on Tuesday officially called on all capable citizens to join the armed forces in destroying the TPLF “once and for all”.
When asked if national appeals mean the country’s national army is facing a challenge in both numbers and numbers, Billene said “the national appeal has nothing to do with capacity or the effectiveness of the army “.
She said the appeal was to protect the country’s sovereignty and the well-being of its citizens.
“The TPLF uses a number of civilians for war. These civilians loot, destroy property and rape women in the Amhara region. Therefore, it requires the concerted efforts of all citizens to prevent this, ”she said.
Official national appeal for civilians to join army seen as indication Ethiopia lifted unilateral ceasefire it declared in late June
In this regard, the press secretary said that “the national appeal means that the government and people of Ethiopia will use all means necessary to prevent the terror of the TPLF from plunging the country into further instability”.
She added that a counterinsurgency is underway to counter threats posed by Oromo rebels in Oromia and in the areas bordering the Amhara region.
Over the past two weeks, the OLA, also known by the government as OLF-Shene, has scored some important military victories as it apparently headed for the capital Addis Ababa.
After the OLF entered into a military alliance with the TPLF, Oromo rebel leader Kumsa Diriba said “regime change” by military means is the only solution to resolve conflicts in this more country. of 110 million inhabitants.
The rebel leader, also known as Jal Maru, said the coalition was “initiated by the TPLF” a few weeks ago.
He noted that the coalition had reached an agreement on the principle of the fight against “the common enemy”, in particular through military cooperation.
The two sides have started to exchange military information in accordance with the military agreement, but the leader of the Oromo militant group said they would not be fighting side by side just yet and that “maybe the time will come when two will “.