Ethiopia: Civilian-like insurgents massacred several federal troops in Tigray-Official

Ethiopia's Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed disclosed that many insurgents who looked like civilians with Kalashnikovs and Machetes have massacred several…

Ethiopia’s Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed disclosed that many insurgents who looked like civilians with Kalashnikovs and Machetes have massacred several federal troops in embattled Tigray region.The army was fighting with a uniformed and a more coordinated force during the law enforcement period. But after the operation was concluded, things changed and the military faced with protracted insurgencies led by pro- TPLF elements from the community of the region, Abiy said on Wednesday in a briefing to journalists as to why the government declared a ceasefire.

“The army had been stabbed in the back by many insurgents who looked like civilians with Kalashnikovs and Machetes. The pro-TPLF insurgents opened fire accidentally after they asked for help in guise of helpless civilians. Many soldiers had been massacred by armed civilians of Tigray region,” he said.

According to the premier A group of national army soldiers had been encircled by many insurgents drawn from the people in the region. Some committed suicide after fighting against many with limited bullets and logistics. And some committed suicide without firing any bullet for the sake of civilians.

“There were four divisions in Mekelle. They were capable of protecting themselves and the area at large. But, due to previous treasons committed by armed civilians, the army conceived feeling of reprisal. The withdrawal of the army and the unitary ceasefire has become important to avoid threat of retaliation,” he said.

 “Withdrawal of the army and the decision to the unitary ceasefire also gives an opportunity to the community to identify differences between the national army and the Juna and thereby decide what to do next” the Prime Minister said.

The national army took the blame of the TPLF Junta instead of being appreciated for what it has done to protect the community, premier underlined, Abiy said.

The federal government which has invested money, time, labor and lives of the troops to spare the people in the region has not got anything in reward and the people of Ethiopia are not now facing any threat from that region like the previous years.

“We have other businesses at hand to give priority in other parts of the country. Therefore, we have to save our money, workforce and arms for this purpose” he said.

The TPLF Junta force was not in Mekelle when the national army started withdrawing from the city. It was those who were hiding in the city were shouting and dancing as if they declared victory against the national army. The same is true in the case of Adigrat and other towns in the region.

When we started withdrawing from Mekelle, many people raised concerns. But the government did it because Mekelle is no more a center of gravity. It is now like any place in the country. Mekelle has nothing special that makes it unique from any other places of the country, he stated.

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