The Prime of Ethiopia, Dr Abiy Ahmed Ali, says only peace will help the country to achieve its vision and interests.

He made the remarks on Saturday while on a visit to East Shewa Zone’s Dugda and Bora woredas where eight thousand farmers have successfully grown wheat through cluster farming on 31,000 hectares of land.

“We will attain our food security goals, overcome hurdles, and see our country thrive as we work together. This is a foundation for prosperity, a foundation for a country which is aspiring to produce enough food, to secure food security in the country,” Dr Abiy Ahmed said.

“Without peace, there is no way we can realize our vision. We are working towards peace, we are trying to convince TPLF to respect the law of the land – to respect the constitution and to act as one state in Ethiopia if they could understand our interests, if they could believe their own constitution and work accordingly, I think peace will be achieved,” he added.

He however noted that if there is foreign interference in efforts of attaining peace, little progress will be made, thus asking the people of Ethiopia to appreciate the country’s laws and seek solutions to their problems from within.

“Ethiopians should understand that we can solve our issues by ourselves instead of listening from far, it is better to respect own laws and culture. If we could do that, peace is achievable and I hope we shall achieve that,” Dr Abiy said.

His remarks came just days into African Union (AU) led peace talks between the Government of the Federal Government of Ethiopia and the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) in South Africa with an aim of ending the conflict in the Tigray Region of Ethiopia that has lasted more than two years.

The talks followed renewed fighting in northern Ethiopia, and reports that Ethiopian defense forces are steadily eroding TPLF’s fighting capabilities, liberating strategic locations, and closing in on its command centers.

Dr Abiy says government is currently extending humanitarian support to people in places the national army has liberated in Tigray.

“Currently, in Cities we have liberated and now controlling in Tigray like Shire, Axum and Adwa, we are providing humanitarian aid and we will continue to provide them with the necessary services in our capacity,” the Prime Minister explained.

He said the federal government has a responsibility to provide services all the country’s citizens including those in Tigray, saying he is optimistic that that will be achieved.

The genesis of the war stems from the time TPLF’s nearly three-decade absolute dominance over the Ethiopian State ended at the start of a dramatic political opening in 2018. Shortly after, hundreds of resentful veterans regrouped in Tigray, from where they carried out meticulously planned pre-emptive strikes on the national army on the 4th of November 2020.

Without peace, there is no way we can realize our vision. We are working towards peace, we are trying to convince TPLF to respect the law of the land – to respect the constitution.

Dr Abiy Ahmed Ali

TPLF’s objective was defeating the army and marching back to the capital to resecure unfettered privileges. If things did not go to plan, they publicly vowed to destroy the nation they once ruled and build a new one to their taste.

The November 2020 episode was neither isolated nor spontaneous. The incident was inspired by TPLF’s long-pursued strategy of using violence as a viable and primary means for achieving political objectives.

Attesting to this reality, TPLF commanders’ ambush of thousands of soldiers on the consequential night happened after they rejected more than ten dialogue initiatives from state and civil society actors. It did not stop there. They resumed hostilities in June 2021 and August 2022, interrupting relative periods of calm after dismissing the federal government’s declaration of a ceasefire as “a sick joke.”

They also escalated the violence by invading and destroying several towns and villages in the Afar and Amhara regions and provoking Eritrea by threatening annihilation and firing rocket missiles into its residential areas.

The group, which was designated by the Parliament as a terrorist organization, in August this year resumed fighting in Tigray undermining calls and efforts aimed at peaceful resolution of the conflict in Tigray.

In March this year, the Federal Government of Ethiopia led by Prime Minister, Dr Abiy Ahmed, declared an indefinite humanitarian truce to facilitate the free flow of humanitarian aid into Tigray region as well as giving an opportunity to peaceful negotiations.

While announcing the humanitarian truce, government said thousands of people from Tigray were trekking into neighboring regions in search for assistance.

Considering this fact, government said, the situation warranted urgent measures to assist the locals, thus committing to exert maximum effort to facilitate the free flow of the needed aid.

This happened at the backdrop of the fact that TPLF uses starvation through interrupting the flow of humanitarian support into the Northern region, stealing the ready to harvest food and consuming the stockpiled one.

Much as government asked TPLF to desist from acts of aggression and withdraw from areas they occupied in neighboring regions, no signs of such were seen. TPLF still occupied some areas in Afar and Amhara regions and as well continued with provocations.

They on several occasions, commandeered humanitarian vehicles that entered Mekelle. It is worth noting that the group also rejected to observe the government declared Unilateral Ceasefire in June 2021.

TPLF’s belief that continued fighting in Tigray and neighbouring regions would pressure Addis Ababa to succumb and give-in to the North. It is unlikely that they concurred with a contrary decision in the South Africa talks.

Kungu Al-Mahadi Adam is an experienced Ugandan multimedia Journalist with a background of fact checking and thorough research. He is very passionate about current African affairs particularly Horn of Africa. He... More by Kungu Al-Mahadi Adam

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