The Ethiopian Government Communication Service (GCS) announced that the Ethiopian Government takes defensive measures to safeguard the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ethiopia in a statement it released today in relation to the crisis in the northern part of the country.
The statement underscored the that fact the current round of conflict in northern Ethiopia is triggered by the full-fledged attack the TPLF [Tigray People Liberation Front] launched on August 24, 2022, breaking the humanitarian truce that the Government of Ethiopia declared in March 2022.
It is also noted that this is the third time that the TPLF dragged the country into conflict in a span of two years.
“The TPLF launched this third round of attack soon after the Federal Government announced its readiness for African Union-led peace talks without preconditions to be convened anytime and anywhere,” reads the statement.
“Furthermore, the TPLF announced to the group of special envoys and Addis Ababa based diplomats its intentions to launch an offensive. In a letter addressed to several international personalities, the TPLF also reiterated this intention. The TPLF is thus solely responsible for the current situation,” adds the statement.
If given the time and space, it [TPLF] will do this again as exhibited in its latest communication, argued the GCS.
According to GCS, the TPLF’s massive attack was preceded by repeated and grave violations of Ethiopia’s airspace by hostile foreign actors supporting the TPLF.
“The Government of Ethiopia is thus forced to take defensive measures to safeguard the sovereignty and territorial integrity of the country,” said the GCS.
“These measures are necessitated not only by the repeated attacks of the TPLF but also by its active collusion with these hostile foreign powers. It is thus imperative that the Government of Ethiopia assumes immediate control of all airports, other federal facilities, and installations in the region.
This is necessary to protect Ethiopia’s sovereignty and territorial integrity, in particular as it relates to its airspace,” added the statement.
This will enable the Government to expedite humanitarian aid to people in need, the GCS stated.
“While pursuing these objectives, the Government of Ethiopia is committed to the peaceful resolution of the conflict through the AU-led peace talks. We believe that there is a need for a comprehensive and negotiated settlement that would bring about durable peace,” said the GCS.
According to GCS, while taking defensive measure the Ethiopian National Defense Force (ENDF) strictly abides by all pertinent norms and principles of international humanitarian law.
“The ENDF endeavors to avoid combat operations within urban areas to prevent civilian causalities,” it said.
“Strict instructions have been given to all combat units to reinforce this commitment. Furthermore, the Government of Ethiopia shall work closely with humanitarian operators to ensure humanitarian access in areas under its control and to ensure the safety of humanitarian workers,” added the statement.
The government has called up civilians to stay away from TPLF military assets.
“Given the TPLF’s established practice of using civilians as a human shield and civilian facilities for military purposes, the Government of Ethiopia reiterates its call for civilians and humanitarian operators to distance themselves from TPLF’s military assets,”
It also expressed its regrets for the loss of civilians “The Government of Ethiopia deeply regrets any harm that might have been inflicted upon civilians, including humanitarian personnel, and will investigate such incidents to establish facts and provide redress when and if such unintended harm occurs.”
The Government of Ethiopia finally reiterated its inherent constitutional duty and commitment to protect its citizens in Tigray.