The U.S Secretary of State, Anthony Blinken has reaffirmed a revelation by the government of Ethiopia that fighters of terrorist designated group, TPLF still occupy some areas in Afar and Amhara regions.
On Tuesday, the rebels based in the Northern part of the country announced that they had withdrawn from Afar in respect of the indefinite humanitarian truce announced by government last month to facilitate the free flow of humanitarian aid into Tigray region.
However, in his weekly press briefing on Friday, Foreign Affairs Spokesperson, Dina Mufti, dismissed claims that TPLF had entirely withdrawn from Afar and Amhara, saying the terrorist group is still in control of various areas in the two regions they invaded a couple of months back.
“Even if the TPLF announced withdrawal of its forces from the Amhara and Afar regions and the international media echoed these, they are all lies amplified without cross-checking the facts,” he revealed.
“The truth is that the TPLF forces have only withdrawn from a few areas of Eribti, Berehale, and Abala town; while maintaining control of the surrounding areas of Abala that affect the aid corridor”
“Contrary to the allegations of the TPLF and its sympathizers, the amount of aid supplied to the Tigray region has never been limited by the Ethiopian government,” he added.
Now in a statement by Blinken, the U.S says they are “encouraged that Tigrayan forces have withdrawn most of their forces from Afar” – an explicit affirmation that they are privy to the fact that the rebels remain in control of some areas in Afar and Amhara.
But, as expected, the spokesperson of the belligerent group, Getachew Reda, has responded by insisting that the invading fighters were fully withdrawn.
““We are similarly encouraged that Tigrayan forces have withdrawn MOST of THEIR FORCES from Afar and have reiterated their commitment to a peaceful resolution of the conflict”-The truth is, Mr Secretary, we have withdrawn all our forces from Afar!” Getachew wrote on Twitter.
Such was highly expected given the nature of operation of the TPLF and what they want to achieve. The group wants nothing but to, at whatever cost, return to power which they miserably lost after 27 years.
A continued war, starvation of the people of Tigray and their suffering works for TPLF since they are convinced that it will attract sympathy from the international community and perhaps would force a negotiated power sharing with the democratically elected Ethiopian government.
They continue to rape women and girls, vandalize education institutions, health facilities and burn down of places of worship, kill civilians and other forms of devastating atrocities.
Surprisingly TPLF and its allies in the international media continue to act victim to crimes they themselves committed or aided to commit on the innocent people of Ethiopia.
The declared humanitarian truce is one of the many measures the Ethiopian government has taken and exposed TPLF and its international allies who propagate a narrative that “Ethiopia government is starving its own people” as liars who habour nothing good for Ethiopia.
Meanwhile, the American government through Secretary of state Blinken, has heaped praise on the country’s Prime Minister, Dr Abiy Ahmed for what he called taking a series of encouraging actions that have laid the groundwork for an end to conflict, including lifting the state of emergency, releasing some political prisoners and detainees, and, in parallel with Tigrayan authorities and declaring an effective cessation of hostilities.