Ethiopian Prime Minister, Abiy Ahmed has promised that civilians, worship centres and heritage sites will not be harmed, when the country launches its offensive against Tigrayan forces.
Mister Ahmed, in tweets on Thursday, said that the window given to the TPLF forces to stand back has elapsed.
On Monday, he had given the TPLF a 72-hour ultimatum to surrender or risk being hit.
The Prime Minister, who won the 2018 Nobel Peace Prize, said the failure of the rebellious TPLF forces to surrender will see Ethiopian forces going ahead with the final phase of their offensive.
The United Nations has warned Ahmed against harming civilians in the conflict.
“The 72-hour period granted to the criminal TPLF clique to surrender peacefully is now over and our law enforcement campaign has reached its final stage,” he tweeted. He also said thousands of TPLF fighters have surrendered, a claim the group denied.
“The last peaceful gate which remained open for the TPLF clique to walkthrough has now been firmly closed,” Abiy said.
“Our National Defence Forces have carefully devised a strategy to bring the TPLF criminal clique to justice without harming innocent civilians, heritage sites, places of worship, development institutions and property,” he added.
African envoys were in Ethiopia on Wednesday to sue for peace between the warring parties.
Ethiopia, Africa’s second most populous country and a key economy in the Horn of Africa has been facing conflicts between the country and the TPLF forces.
The Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) is the group comprising of those in Tigray, a region in northern Ethiopia with about 5million people.
TPLF ruled Ethiopia for 27 years before Ahmed came into power. The current Prime Minister has been accused of ethnic bias in his leadership.
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