The government of Tigray, afferent to the TPLF, through its spokesman Getachew Reda has declared, this morning October 11, 2021, that the long-awaited offensive by the FDRE has begun. Already last week, shortly after the ceremony of appointment of Abyi Ahmed as Prime Minister, the AFP news agency had received information from “humanitarian sources” that in some areas of the Amhara region the army was moving and that an offensive was expected soon. No confirmation came from the Amhara regional government nor from the federal government, who declined to comment on the news.
Through his twitter account Getachew Reda released an official statement from the government of Tigray and the TPLF in which, however, it is inferred that the governmental offensive is in full deployment: confirmation from the federal and Amhara forces is therefore awaited. In the statement released on Twitter Reda says that “the Ethiopian army together with the Amhara forces have launched a coordinated offensive on all fronts”, this involves “in addition to hundreds of thousands of regular and irregular fighters […] also heavy artillery, tanks, missiles, drones and fighter planes”. Reda also states that the offensive is underway in the areas of Wegeltena, Geregera, Wurgessa and Haro.
The tactic used by the federal army, according to Reda, would be that of “human waves in the manner of the WWI. He goes on to say that the government’s offensive has a genocidal intent and that the truce declared by the federal forces was imposed by the victory of the Tigrinya forces and by the need to reorganize the army: which, so far, has been responsible for mobilizing its entire force and finding many modern weapons, as well as the strategic and tactical preparation of the offensive.
Basically, therefore, the governmental offensive, which still needs to be confirmed by independent sources, is aimed at driving out the TPLF forces from the northern parts of Amhara, North Gondar and North Wollo, but also to cut the road to the TPLF forces by conquering the road connecting Amhara to Afar. However, as of now, there is no certain news about this and in the coming hours and days the situation should become clearer. Nevertheless, a “diplomatic source” told the Reuters news agency that air raids have been carried out in the area near Wurgessa: thus increasing the news about the actual existence of the strategy outlined so far by the federal forces.
Meanwhile, Getachew Reda affirms that “we are sure that we will counter the offensive in all fronts and not only” and that “we will resist until the siege is lifted”. The only governmental statement released so far is from the spokesman of the Amhara regional government, Gizachew Muluneh, who last Thursday stated that “in order to free our people who are suffering because of the terrorist TPLF, there could be irreversible operations on all fronts at any time or hour.”
So, it seems that after months of stalemate and skirmishes on various fronts, almost a year after the start of hostilities, the conflict is rekindling and is indeed at another turning point. This battle could be decisive for both contenders, however it will certainly be dramatic for the people of northern Ethiopia.