ADDIS ABEBA – TPLF leaders are using the ongoing conflict to seek international sympathy and to get pardons for their past crimes, former prime minister, Hailemariam Desalegn, has said in an article in the Foreign Policy Magazine.
“The key problem in the international community’s approach to Ethiopia is the assumption of moral equivalence, which leads foreign governments to adopt an attitude of false balance and bothsidesism,” said Hailemariam, who led the country from 2012 to 2018.
The African Union and a growing list of countries around the world have called on the government to hold talks with Tigray leaders to end the conflict which has entered its third week.
Hailemariam backed his successor Abiy Ahmed who has snubbed calls for dialogue and referred to the military offensive as a necessary “security operation”.
In his article, Hailemariam called his former TPLF colleagues “criminals”.
“The TPLF leadership, as it stands, is nothing more than a criminal enterprise that should not be included in any dialogue meant to chart the future of Ethiopia,” he said.
Prime Minister Abiy has said the operation was going well and the army was preparing for a final advance to the Tigray capital Mekelle, which is under TPLF control.