After weeks of a ceasefire decision in the troubled Tigray region, the Ethiopian government has reversed that decision and ordered troops back to the war front.
Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed, weeks ago, had ordered Ethiopian forces to leave the region in a decision dubbed a “joke” by the Tigrayan People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) forces.
The decision came after many failed international mediation on the issue and tonnes of criticisms. Abiy Ahmed said at the time that priorities had changed and the soldiers were needed elsewhere.
On Wednesday, the Ethiopian government made a U-turn that looked likely to threaten the peace enjoyed in the region in the last few days.
“The ceasefire could not bear the desired fruits,” Abiy said. “The TPLF…poses a great danger to the sovereignty of the country. The federal government, through mobilising the people of Ethiopia, is determined to curb this threat.”
Forces in Amhara are also planning to go head to head with the TPLF over differences, with both Tigrayans and Amharans known to naturally coexist in Western Tigray before now. The Amharan forces say they’ve always been on the defensive but can’t stand the Tigrayan forces anymore and are going on the offensive.
“The regional government has now transitioned from defensive to offensive,” spokesperson Gizachew Muluneh was quoted as saying by the region’s state-run Amhara Media Corporation.
“Amhara militia and special forces have been systematically trying to defend but now our patience has run out and as of today we have opened an offensive attack, ” he said.
Refugees in Tigray are also living in danger as some Tigrayan militia are attacking and stealing from them.