Addis Ababa – The Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) is threatening to launch assaults on Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa and the capital of neighboring Eritrea, Asmara, if such actions are to secure the Tigrayan region after regaining control Mekelle.
The rebel forces were ousted by Ethiopian federal forces in November from Mekelle, the capital of the Tigray region, but regained control of the town and large parts of its surrounding following retreat by federal forces on Monday.
In a statement following the capture of the town, the prewar government of Tigray said it “calls upon our people and army of Tigray to intensify their struggle until our enemies completely leave Tigray.
On Tuesday, the spokesman of Tigrayan forces, Getachew Reda, told the AFP that the insurgent group is working hard to secure the region and will do whatever it takes to achieve that cause including taking control of Addis Ababa and Asmara.
“We’ll do whatever it takes to secure Tigray. If marching to Asmara is what it takes to secure Tigray, we will do it. If marching to Addis is what it takes to secure Tigray, we will do it,” Getachew said. “Nothing is off the table,” he added, dismissing the ceasefire declaration as “a joke”.
In a United Nations security assessment document seen by Sudans Post, “The population has taken to the streets in droves. Huge crowds line the main routes and movement is somewhat difficult.”
The International Crisis Group, a conflict watchdog organisation, said on Tuesday the Tigrayan fighters were “now in control of most of the region, including major towns,” according to the AFP.
They achieved these gains “mainly through mass popular support and capturing arms and supplies from adversaries,” said senior analyst William Davison.