ADDIS ABABA, Nov. 11 (Xinhua) — The Ethiopian government has warned against a large scale misinformation campaign by the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) as the TPLF loses major battle grounds in the ongoing war with the Ethiopian Defence Force.
Since the early hours of Nov. 4, the Ethiopian government had been undertaking military operations against the TPLF, the ruling party in Ethiopia’s northernmost Tigray region and now in an official war against the federal government that followed TPLF’s reported attack against the Northern command of the Ethiopian Defense Force, a division that has been stationed in the region for over two decades.
On late Tuesday, state-affiliated Fana Broadcasting Corporate (FBC) quoted senior Ethiopian army officials that about 550 members of the extremist militant group have been killed so far in the western part of Tigray as part of the Ethiopian Defense Force’s law enforcement operation.
Noting that the some 29 TPLF fighters have been arrested on Tuesday alone, it also reported that the group is said to be suffering heavy loss of military artilleries.
Meanwhile, Ethiopia’s Minister of Defense, Kenea Yadeta, told reporters that TPLF is undertaking a widespread misinformation campaign as the Ethiopian Defence Force advances across major strategic towns and places in various battle grounds in the region.
According to the minister, the group is in particular disseminating false information wrongly accusing the Ethiopian army of targeting the Tigray people as well as infrastructure facilities in the region, which is in contrary to the fact that the TPLF clique and its fighters are the army’s only target.
The Ethiopian government has been blaming the TPLF, which was one of the four coalition fronts of Ethiopia’s former ruling party the Ethiopian People’s Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF), for masterminding various treasonous acts across different parts of the country with an overarching goal of destabilizing the East African country.
Three of the former four EPRDF coalition members had last year joined other regional parties in establishing the Prosperity Party, as the TPLF refused to join.
The mounting differences between the federal government and TPLF exacerbated in September this year, when the Tigray regional government decided to go with its planned regional elections, which the Ethiopian parliament had previously postponed due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
On Tuesday, the Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed had emphasized that the ongoing military operations in the country’s Northernmost Tigray region are “proceeding as planned.”
“Our law enforcement operations in Tigray are proceeding as planned,” the Ethiopian PM said, as he emphasized that the ongoing military operations “will cease as soon as the criminal junta is disarmed, legitimate administration in the region restored, and fugitives apprehended and brought to justice – all of them rapidly coming within reach.”
Ahmed’s remarks came as the Ethiopian army on Sunday and Monday announced major achievements against the TPLF fighters across various towns and areas in the Tigray regional state.
The Ethiopian PM’s comments also came amid the Chairperson of the African Union (AU) Commission Moussa Faki Mahamat’s call on Tuesday, as he urged the warring parties in Ethiopia to respect human rights and ensure the protection of civilians.
“The Chairperson reaffirms the AU’s firm attachment to the constitutional order, territorial integrity, unity and national sovereignty of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia to ensure stability in the country and in the region,” the chairperson of the pan African bloc said, as he emphasized that the AU is following “with concern the escalation of military confrontation in Ethiopia.”
Mahamat also appealed for the “immediate cessation of hostilities and calls on parties to respect human rights and ensure the protection of civilians.”
He further urged the parties to engage in dialogue to seek a peaceful solution in the interests of the country.
The Chairperson also reiterated the continued readiness of the AU to support an inter-Ethiopian effort in the pursuit of peace and stability.