Debretsion Gebremichael, Chairman of Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF), requested the UN Security Council (UNSC) to intervene in the resumed conflict towards a peaceful end.
In an open letter addressed to the heads of UNSC and UN, Debretsion said a coordinated attack is opened on Tigray by the Ethiopian National Defense Forces (ENDF) and Eritrean forces.
“Both the Ethiopian National Defense Forces (ENDF) and the Eritrean Defense Forces (EDF) have unleashed a full-scale and highly coordinated offensive on Tigray…The Federal Government also mobilized its largest-ever army to the borders of Tigray,” he said.
Underscoring his forces’ commitment to peace as a matter of survival, he indicated conditions will be worse unless the council forcefully enforce a secession of hostilities, resume humanitarian and basic services and launch a peace talk process.
“The people of Tigray are about to perish,” he pathetically noted.
Since the war in Tigray broke out in November 2020, the secession of hostilities entered into by both parties on March 2021 lasted five months marking a relative period of relief and flow of humanitarian aid. And efforts of peace talks were underway during the time.
The receded conflict erupted again on Aug 24 as fresh engagement is reported on the borders of Tigray. Both the government and TPLF blamed each other for provoking the conflict.
The Ethiopian government announced on Aug 28 that its forces left Kobo town following forceful aggression of Tigrayan forces to avoid grave bloodshed of the people. TPLF also confirmed that it controlled the town.
The government claimed to shoot down a plane that it alleged was transporting weapons to the rebels trespassing the country’s airspace. TPLF accused the government to conduct an air strike targeting civilians in Mekele on Aug 31 which the government dismissed as staged.
As the resumed conflict developed further there were recent allegations from the Tigrayan forces that a reinforced assault has been opened on Tigray on various fronts by allied Ethiopian and Eritrean forces.
In the letter Debretsion sent to the UNSC he affirmed the commitment of the Tigrayan forces to the cession of hostilities they proposed and war is never their choice.
“During the cessation of hostilities, which by its nature shall be a short period of time, we expect to put in place a firm ground and conducive environment for the peace process,” he said.
He also urged the council to expedite the peace process they proposed and condemn the Ethiopian and Eritrean governments.
“This fighting must end with a decisive and irreversible victory for peace and human rights. Unless we achieve that, the fundamental rights of the Tigrian people can never be assured and the Ethiopian state will continue in its death spiral.”
Despite claims by pro-Tigrayan advocates and social media activists of unusual aggressive advances and intensified military deployment of Ethiopian and Eritrean forces in Tigray, The Ethiopian government didn’t issue any recent official statement regarding the development of the resumed conflict.
International Commission of Human Rights Experts on Ethiopia expressed its concern on Sept 7 over the renewed hostilities in Ethiopia and called on the warring parties to cease hostilities and come to a dialogue.
In a statement the commission issued, it praised the UN Security Council’s decision to discuss the situation in Ethiopia and called the Council to take action to ensure the protection of civilians and prevent escalation that could further destabilize the region.
The Ethiopian Ministry of Foreign Affairs censured the Commission’s statement saying that “the Commission has no competence or proper appreciation of the conflict triggered by the TPLF in violation of the humanitarian truce”.
“The Commission’s ultra vires and blatant call for action against Ethiopia by the Security Council only show the reckless behavior of the Commission and vindicates the Government’s assertion that the resolution establishing the Commission, and the works of the Commission are politically motivated,” reads the Ministry’s statement.