According to Demitu Hambisa Bonsa, “the main cause of the conflict” is that the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (Tplf) wants to return to power
“It is the TPLF that does not want a peaceful solution“Interviewed by Adnkronos, the Ethiopian ambassador to Rome Demitu Hambisa Bonsa, stresses that the conflict in Tigray began on November 4, 2020 with the attack by the forces of the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPFL) on a base of the Ethiopian army. “The main cause of the conflict, “he says, is that the TPFL wanted to return to the power from which it was ousted with the mass protests of 2018.
“For this – he declares – the TPLF has begun to behave like a state within the state”, including the refusal to obey “the order of the federal courts to arrest some senior officials suspected of violating human rights” during their government.
“The TPFL – continues the ambassador – has always worked to discredit the reforms of Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed, continuing to conspire”. “The terrorist group of the TPFL has pursued various tactics to return to power and maintain its hegemony in the political and socio-economic activities of Ethiopia”, including the “establishment of irregular forces”. “The attack on the northern command of the Ethiopian National Defense Forces – he remarks – was a crime of high treason that no sovereign state could tolerate”, “for this reason the federal government had to launch the current operations to enforce the law and protect the constitutional order “. And it is the same members of the Tplf who admit that they started the conflict with their attack.
“The Ethiopian government was very tolerant of the TPLF’s provocations in the beginning, believing that force cannot be a solution in the contemporary world. The government has tried every peaceful means to stop the destabilization and work together for the betterment of the country. However, it is the TPFL that does not want a peaceful solution, “says the ambassador. After “the unilateral humanitarian truce” proclaimed in June by the government to allow agricultural activities, with the withdrawal of troops from Tigray, “the terrorist forces of the TPLF invaded the neighboring regions of Amhara and Afar and extended their occupation”.
When asked what the international community can do to help peace, the ambassador replies: “There are good friends of Ethiopia in the international community who support the country in its development, peace and security. No other country could tolerate a similar attack on its own military and so Ethiopia is doing against terrorist groups that have attacked its defense forces. Some friends of Ethiopia are expressing support for the government’s actions. “
“Ethiopia – he stresses – appreciates the countries that condemn the attack by the TPLF against the Ethiopian military and civilians in Amhara and Afar. In this critical moment, the international community can help Ethiopia by supporting its humanitarian activities and efforts to reconstruction with respect for the sovereignty and territorial integrity of the country “.
As for the allegations of human rights violations, the embassy points out that the federal government withdrew its troops from Tigray on June 28 and therefore at the moment “there is no war in Tigray”. “Now all the slaughter and suffering is for the people in Afar and Amhara, but for some reason the West doesn’t care, talking a lot about Tigray.”
Regarding the previous period “the government made its own investigations and took corrective measures including the detention of security forces suspected of human rights violations. The ambassador also recalls the investigations of the Ethiopian Human Right Commission (Ehrc),” accredited with A-level status from the Global Alliance of National Human Rights Institutions (Ganhri) “, and the report of November 3, 2021c of the Joint Un Human Rights office – Ethiopian Human Rights commission accusing the Tplf of serious violations and massacres in various locations in Amhara and Afar.
The country is safe and Addis Ababa is even more secure “, says the ambassador, disputing the decision of various countries to urge their citizens present in the African country to return home for security reasons.
“Some countries did it in good faith,” but others “did it intentionally in support of the propaganda of the TPLF. There are diplomats who work day and night to create an unstable and divided Ethiopia. There are diplomats who support the advance. of the Tplf to Addis Ababa, and their media do the same “, says the ambassador. In a recent interview, he adds, Tplf spokesman Getachw Reda said that “the United States and other Western countries want the TPLF to enter Addis Ababa. So it’s clear that someone wants a change of government in Ethiopia.”
Many localities, including Dessié, Lalibela and Kombolcha were liberated by Ethiopian forces led by Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed, he points out. “The victory is proceeding rapidly. There is no war around Addis Ababa. Even in the regions of Amhara and Afar, the advance of the TPLF has been reversed. The real situation in Ethiopia is very different from what the Western media reports. Addis Abeba is besieged only in the news of some newspapers. There is no danger that the war will reach Addis Ababa “, says the ambassador.