By Staff Reporter
November 28, 2020 (Ezega.com) -- The Ethiopian army has captured Mekele City, the last stronghold of the Tigray People Liberation Front (TPLF) force marking the end of the 25-day fighting, the country’s army chief has said.
Chief of Staff of the Ethiopian Defence Force Berhanu Jula Saturday in a briefing declared the end of the fighting between federal and TPLF forces. “The march toward controlling the Mekele, capital of Tigray, was so smooth,” he said.
The chief of the Army congratulated all Ethiopians over the victory and the People of Tigray in particular for being liberated from the oppression of the “TPLF Junta”.
What Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed called a law enforcement operation was started on November 4, 2020, and ended on Saturday, November 28, 2020, after a full-fledged war against TPLF leadership, a political force that ruled Ethiopia with an iron fist for nearly three decades.
General Birhanu said the national army has taken full control of all towns and Mekele city as per a military plan made during the previous days without causing collateral damage to the people in the city.
According to the Chief of Staff of the Army, the TPLF Junta will be brought to justice within a short period of time as part of the final law enforcement operation.
“We faced no resistance from the residents of Mekele and no person fired a single bullet at any member of the Ethiopian defense force even though TPLF had distributed firearms to every household to attack federal troops from the back,” he said.
“The residents of Mekelle city warmly welcomed the Ethiopian defense force as people living in other parts of Tigray did,” Berhanu said.
According to several media reports, Mekelle city was largely deserted in the last few days of fighting as residents fled to nearby towns and villages. The TPLF leadership released a statement two days ago saying that they were transitioning to a 'qualitatively different' struggle. To close observers, the statement signaled the TPLF leadership and their close supporters were leaving Mekelle city.
Earlier today, Dr. Debretsion Gebremichael, the TPLF leader, reportedly sent a text message to foreign media accusing Eritrea of invading his state. The TPLF had long asserted that it was fighting not only the Ethiopian defense forces and militia forces who came from all over Ethiopia but also the Eritrean defense forces as well as drone attacks from the United Arab Emirates (UAE) based in the port city of Assab, Eritrea. The UAE had denied the accusation.
According to the Defense Chief of Staff, 7000 members of Ethiopian Defense Forces from the northern command who were detained in the Tigray region following the “pre-emptive attack” on November 4 are rescued after TPLF lost control of Mekelle. The Northern command is now under the control of the Ethiopian Defense Forces and several heavy weaponry are reportedly recovered.
Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed has issued a congratulatory message on the completion of law enforcement operations in Tigray.
The premier expressed gratitude to the people of the Region of Tigray for their cooperation with the National Defence Forces during the law enforcement measures in all places across the region.
“I am pleased to share that we have completed and ceased the military operations in the Tigray region. “
The government’s focus now will be on rebuilding the Tigray region and providing humanitarian assistance while Federal Police apprehend the TPLF clique, the premier stressed.
The Prime Minister stated that the Federal government is now fully in control of the city of Mekelle, adding “With full command of the regional capital, this marks the completion of the Ethiopian National Defence Force’s last phase.”
Federal police will now continue their task of apprehending TPLF criminals and bringing them to justice, Abiy added.
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