Four fugitive leaders of the defiant Tigray People Liberation Front (TPLF) including the former chief of Ethiopia’s Tigray region Debretsion Geberemichael are hidden in Werkamba town, 60 Km North West of the regional capital, Mekelle, a military officer has said on SaturdayColonel Shamble Beyene who leads a regiment, in charge of chasing the retreating leaders of TPLF said founding members of TPLF including Aboy Sebhat, Abay Tsehaye and advisor to the president, Getachew Reda were identified while running in the town after heavy shelling.
Last Monday, Deberetsion called on Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed to “stop the madness” and withdraw troops from the region as he asserted that fighting continues “on every front” two days after Abiy declared victory.
“At least six vehicles of the retreating force were burned down after a targeted attack on Saturday. The TPLF leaders were guarded by six tanks” Shamble told local media.
The fighting between the rebellious TPLF and the Ethiopian army has continued though Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed declared victory after his army controlled Mekele last Saturday.
Ethiopia said it had captured or killed most commanders of a rebellious northern force, while Tigray’s fugitive local leader countered on Friday that civilians were protesting against looting by occupying soldiers.
TPLF leaders, who enjoy strong popular support in Tigray, appear to have fled to surrounding mountains and say they have begun a guerrilla-style resistance.
“Eritrean soldiers are everywhere,” he said, repeating an accusation that President Isaias Afwerki has sent soldiers over the border to back Abiy against their mutual foe
A senior European official chided the Ethiopian government over an agreement to allow access for humanitarian aid to Tigray, saying it only covered federal-controlled areas and had onerous bureaucratic requirements.
“There may be malnourished children on the other side also,” EU crisis commissioner Janez Lenarcic told reporters in Ethiopia. The government did not immediately respond to his comments.
Fighting between Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed’s federal army and forces loyal to the region’s former ruling party, the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF), erupted on Nov. 4,2020.
Thousands of people are believed to have died while more than 46,000 refugees have crossed to neighbouring Sudan.
Colonel Shamble vowed to apprehend the leaders in the following few days and that will mark the end of the government’s law enforcement operation in the Tigray region.