by Abiy Ahmed Alì

Dear fellow  Ethiopians,

The second phase of the  law enforcement   actions we began in  the  Tigray  Region   has  been completed.   We are now in  the final and third phases.

In prior weeks,  we had already stated that the law enforcement  action we are taking  has three phases.  The first was to remobilize   and strengthen  our defence forces who were attacked  by their own people and restore the broken chain  of command to enable them to carry out their mandate   effectively.    As  a  result,    the   defence    forces   quickly    recovered,    with   great perseverance,    passion and courage, from  the tragic  attacks  they  encountered.   Carrying  the full support of the Ethiopian   people at heart,  the National  Defence Forces  are moving forward in different   directions,  with  great  haste and speed, to bring the  treasonous  TPLF  clique   to justice.

The main objective  of the second phase of the operation  was to remove the  TPLF militia  from various areas; decrease  its destructive  capabilities;  liberate the people  ofTigray  from the grips of the treasonous   clique and encircle the city of Mekelle,  where  the  TPLF  clique   is  in  hiding. In  addition,   the  second phase also  included  the  following   objectives:   liberating   the areas outside    Mekelle   city  which  were   under  the  TPLF   treasonous   clique;  recovering    looted weapons and camp sites; seizing strategic  weaponry  that  the TPLF  militia   looted  before they are  able   to  use them  for  destructive   purposes;   rescuing  members  of the  national  defence force who were held captive; burying  our deceased national   heroes  and protecting   from harm our endangered  and vulnerable    citizens  in the region.

Accordingly,    the   national   defence   force   has  marched   forward    liberating    our  citizens victoriously    in  Dansha,  Humera,  Shire,   Shiraro,   Axum,   Adwa,  Adigrat,   Alamata,    Chercher, Mehoni,   Korem   and  other  places.    In  our  law  enforcement   operations,    all  the  necessary precautionary  measures have been taken to  ensure that  civilians are not harmed.   Great  care has  been  taken   to  protect   historical    monuments,     places  of  worship,     public   facilities, infrastructure,    natural    resources,  and  the  likes.   Although    the   TPLF   clique    want   severe damages    to occur,  our military   planes have been very careful  not to  harm  civilians,   to the extent  where missions have been aborted  on identifying   civilians around target  areas.

This way,  the  irresponsible   TPLF  clique  have  not  managed  to  satisfy  their  desire  for  the national   defence force to  attack religious   institutions  and heritage sites, which they are using as cover. The military  has demonstrated   its ability   to carry out its mission   wisely.  In  liberated areas, elders  have begun to reorganize the people;  our defence force have started to provide support  to victims  and to  assist   the  people  understand  the situation   and  make themselves part of the process. People  in liberated  areas have resumed their  activities with  the protection of Federal forces.

The second phase of the  operation   has now  limited    and concentrated    TPLF’s  capacity  to Mekelle. All that  the clique is left with  is the  fort that  they have set up in Mekelle  and   empty pride.  The people have clearly demonstrated    their  allegiance   with our defence forces in their mission to  ensure   the  rule  of law.  The people of Tigray have seen for  themselves  that  the TPLF’s propaganda about the army is wrong.

The people  of Tigray are  witnessing  the  kindness and sacrifices   of the  army.  In  every area, communities   are  breaking  bread  with  the  defence  force;   pointing    out  the  paths  of  the treasonous   militia,   and exposing   hidden weapons  and equipment.   In this  manner, the people of Tigray have already   shown that they have had enough of the violence   perpetrated   against them by the  TPLF.

When the army  entered  Shire,  the  people erupted  in joy, and handed  over more  than  200 weapons  to our  troops  which  they were  given  by the  militia   to attack  the army.   Similarly, when our forces arrived  in Axum, the  people  themselves   liberated  the members  of the army that  were  held by the  TPLF, treated  the  wounded,   and connected  them  with  our  national troops.  The people  of Axum requested  the  defence  force to remain   with them, and expressed their  commitment   to  support  in the  law enforcement   operations.   When  our army entered the town  of Adigrat.  the people  themselves   captured  the TPLF  special forces and militia  in hiding   and also  handed  them over to our defence  force.

The TPLF   clique’s  militia  fled  away  destroying   many  infrastructures,    schools    and  health facilities,  roads and bridges which were assets for the country.  The destruction  of the historic Axum airport   by the  extremists  has  left a lasting scar on our tourism  industry which  will take years to recover.  Not only  have these destructive  forces demolished   roads that the people of Tigray use for their  day to day activities,   they have also shown their  disregard   for the people of Mekelle  and the city itself  by threatening   to turn  Mekelle  into  a war zone.

Dear Ethiopians,

The law enforcement  operation  has now reached the third  and crucial   phase.  This  third  phase is  the  final  step  in bringing  the treasonous  TPLF  clique  to justice.   Clearly,  it requires  a great deal  of wisdom,  caution, and patience.

The  clique has made it clear that  it  has  no compassion   for its people,  its history,  its culture, its heritage  and its beliefs.  That is why it would  be satisfied  if everything  disappeared   and the clique alone  survived   to escape the  law.  With this disregard   for the people of Tigray  and other Ethiopians,  they  are  using  religious  sites,  hotels,  government   institutions,   residential   areas, schools,  monuments, and even cemeteries  as hideouts  in Mekelle. It is apparent that the TPLF clique in its demise, seems committed   to take with  it many innocent  victims of its hateful  and divisive  propaganda.   like terrorist  groups we have seen in some countries  that  do not care about the people or the country,  they have taken Mekelle  city hostage and are treating  it  as a war zone  rather than  the  home that  it  is for many innocent  Ethiopians.

As the people of Mekelle  who  are  now  confronted  with  the  prospect  of destruction are our citizens and as the responsibility  to rebuild   the city rests on our shoulders,   we believe greatly that  our law enforcement  action   in Mekelle  should be done in  a way that  results  in minimal damage and causalities.    Therefore,  I   would  like  to express to all that  we will  take  ultimate care and all precautionary  measures to protect  the people and city of Mekelle  in successfully carrying  out our rule of law mission to its  conclusion.

(Associated Medias) – All rights are reserved