Military Parades About COVID-19, Not a Show of Strength: TPLF Official

By Staff Reporter

Tigray-military-paradeAugust 3, 2020 ( -- The Tigray region has dismissed allegations that Sunday’s military parades in Mekele city and other towns of the region had to do with showing military strength.

Tigray Region Communications Bureau Head Lia Kassa said the parades were meant to enhance awareness of the public on the coronavirus pandemic.

The region’s special force and militiamen last Sunday marched through streets of Mekele city and other towns carrying light and heavy weapons.

Peace and Security Bureau of the region on a Facebook page said “We are ready to sacrifice everything for sake of peace” as the parades were taking place in Mekele city and other four towns in the region.

“The parades were aimed at nothing but to stimulate the public to prevent COVID-19 and coordinate the youth, traffic police, and militiamen in light of fighting the pandemic and promoting humanitarian activities,” she said

Tensions over the planned regional elections in Tigray are stretched to the limit, with the Ethiopian House of Federation warning for legal actions if the region under the leadership of Tigray People Liberation Front (TPLF) conducts separate elections.

Reports indicated that the House of Federation (HoF) could suspend the federal budget of Tigray if its governing party TPLF rejects its resolutions of extending elections.

According to Lia, the federal government cannot suspend the annual budget of the Tigray region. “It is constitutionally liable to disburse the country’s resources fairly among the people of regions including Tigray,” she added.

Opposition political parties in the Tigray region accused TPLF of provoking war and engaging in the forced recruitment of soldiers to fight the federal government.

“The people in the Tigray region have been subjected to various pressures after a unitary and dictator faction took control of power in Addis Ababa two years ago. The people of Tigray prefer patience for the sake of peace,” Lia said.

Lia blamed the federal government for being behind the economic sabotages against the region and blemishing Tigrayan identity by producing various documentary programs.

Yemane Nigus, coordinator of Fenqil, an opposition group in Tigray region said the parades took place amid an ongoing rise in the number of new COVID-19 cases in Ethiopia. "The parades demonstrated the TPLF does not care for the health and well-being of the Tigrayan people," he claimed.

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