The African Union has urged the Ethiopian government on Tuesday to slowly bomb the tigray region, even though Addis Ababa has insisted the situation is an internal matter.
On the same day, Ethiopia said it had seized a local airport in Tigray, Moussa Faki Mahamat, president of the African Union, said the government of Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed should launch a military operation against the Tigray People’s Liberation Front sail to protect civilians.
Mr. Faki said the continental body was “concerned” about the increase in tensions between the Ethiopian government and the local government in Tigray, currently under the TPLF.
“The President calls for the immediate cessation of hostilities and calls on parties to respect human rights and ensure the protection of civilians,” his office said on Tuesday.
“He calls on the parties to enter into dialogue to seek a peaceful solution in the interests of the country.”
In a measured statement, however, the AU reaffirmed a “firm commitment to the constitutional order, territorial integrity, unity and national sovereignty of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia to ensure stability in the country and in the region”.
The AU, headquartered in Addis Ababa, has offered to support an inter-Ethiopian effort to pursue peace and stability.
But it seems that dr. Abiy declines the offer. In a statement on his Twitter page, he said that the repression of stray TPLF members would continue according to schedule.
“Our law enforcement operations in Tigray are proceeding as planned: the operations will cease as soon as the criminal junta is disarmed, the legal administration in the region is restored and refugees are arrested and brought to justice – all come within reach quickly,” he said. said.
Diplomats have increased pressure on Ethiopia, one of the most stable countries in a turbulent Horn of Africa environment, to lay down its arms and choose a dialogue. The Intergovernmental Authority for Development (IGAD) also weighed in with a call for dialogue.
But dr. Abiy said his government was running out of patience after the TPLF continually violated local laws.
Last week, Abiy said the TPLF had attacked a military camp run by the Ethiopian National Army and was “trying to rob” artillery.
TPLF denied the charge, but Addis Ababa went on to declare a state of emergency, following a military bombing in the northern federal region.
In a statement posted on their Facebook page, the TPLF accuses Addis Ababa of ‘ethnic cleansing on the residents of Tigray’.
“We will soon remove the fascist Abiy regime once and for all,” TPLF said.
Following Ethiopia’s airstrikes on the TPLF’s military installations, the group claims that all ten of them have so far ‘missed targets’.
Addis Ababa has since restricted public transport and internet service to the region.
Abiy said on Monday that the international community should not exaggerate the fear of potential chaos from the action.
“Concerns that Ethiopia will fall into chaos are unfounded and the result is that we do not understand our context deeply,” he said on Monday.
“Our rule of law, as a sovereign state with the ability to manage its own internal affairs, will soon end by ending the current impunity.”
However, some experts have warned that the conflict could have potential in neighboring regions of Ethiopia and even Eritrea, which have ethnic similarities with Ethiopia.
The TPLF, founded by former Prime Minister Meles Zenawi, ruled Ethiopia for more than two decades and was part of a coalition known as the Ethiopian People’s Revolutionary Democratic Front.
Last December, TPLF refused to dissolve and join the new Welfare Party (PP) founded by Abiy for a centralized policy of the ruling government.
The group also continued to hold local elections when the whole country postponed the exercise due to the Covid pandemic. TPLF won all the seats at the regional assembly. Addis Ababa refused to recognize the administration.
Abiy also accuses the group of operating impunity, stealing public funds during his rule, committing atrocities, issuing court orders issued by the federal judiciary, appointing child soldiers and frustrating the activities of the Ethiopian National Army.
Deprose Muchena, director of Amnesty International for the East and Southern Africa region, wrote in East Africa last week that Ethiopia would remain vulnerable to violence unless it addressed the injustices of the past, including those committing TPLF. while in power.
“Until Ethiopia has dealt with atrocities and grievances in the past – through justice for every era and every region – the country will remain vulnerable to incidents that cause far greater violence,” he argued.
‘Together with the reform of the security sector, justice cultivates respect for the rule of law, it builds national trust and exploits the country’s potential for inclusive and equitable development, at a time when the African continent needs examples and inspiration look.