After the numerous victories of the federal army, which brought back the TPLF to act within the borders of Tigray, it seems that the Ethiopian authorities are using the strategy of the carrot and the stick at the same time. In fact, on the one hand Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed has decided to release several political prisoners, while on the other hand airstrikes continue on Tigray in an indiscriminate way, this time the victims are 56 displaced civilians. Moreover, according to TPLF statements, it seems that Eritrean forces have also restarted offensives in Tigray.
On Friday, January 7, Abiy Ahmed declared that, with the aim of promoting national reconciliation and unity in the country, he will release several political prisoners, including TPLF members in an amnesty. The government statement on the matter is “the key to lasting unity is dialogue. Ethiopia will make every possible sacrifice for this goal”.
In spite of these statements there is still no news of a renewed dialogue between FDRE and TPLF, while TPLF spokesman Getachew Reda says that Abiy’s actions are criminal because while announcing the amnesty and referring to values of unity and peace “he denies medical assistance to children in need and sends drones to attack civilians”.
This brings us to the other news, which clashes considerably with the previous one: in the north-west of Ethiopia an airstrike hit a school in Dedebit, causing 56 deaths and an unknown number of wounded. In fact, despite the hostilities on the field have stopped, air attacks have not stopped reaping victims.
At the same time, on Sunday January 9, FDRE military forces engaged in an air force demonstration on national TV and announced that they had destroyed two factories belonging to the EFFORT conglomerate, the Tigrinya endowment fund responsible for most of the economic activity in the region.
In addition, according to TPLF, Eritrean forces also on Sunday launched an attack on Sigem Kofolo and Afi Tsetser, in northwestern Tigray and near the town of Sheraro. There is no confirmation or other information on the matter.
The situation in Ethiopia therefore seems to remain in a stalemate, and indeed perhaps there are more reports that tend towards a rekindling of hostilities rather than towards their relaxation.