ADDIS ABEBA – Government troops are within days of capturing the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) leaders, said army Colonel, as the fight in northern Ethiopia appears to come to an end.
The Ethiopian National Defence Force completed the law enforcement operation last week after capturing the regional capital Mekelle – which has been a stronghold for TPLF leadership for weeks, according to the government.
Officials are saying they are now focusing on apprehending top officials of TPLF, who have fled to the mountainous area of the region.
Army Colonel Shambel Beyene told EBC that the fighting could end within days, confirming that federal forces are 10 km away from an area where Debretsion Gebremichael, Getachew Reda, Abay Tsehaye, Sibhat Nega and other TPLF leaders are hiding.
“We are 10km away from where they are hiding… around Worq Ambah town,” Colonel Shambel said. “We believe we will get them within days.”
Relief agencies are saying they are on standby to take humanitarian aid into the region, where many people are in need of food, fuel and medicines. Residents in the central town of Shire told the new provisional administration that the cost of groceries was sky-rocketing and fuel shortages were grounding ambulances used to take patients to hospitals.
“Residents are still staying away from their homes. Women are hiding in caves with their children,” one man said at a meeting aired on EBC late on Friday.
Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed said the government will protect civilians in the northern region and ensure their needs are met.
“Work to rebuild Tigray has commenced with teams … undertaking repair work (and) restoring services,” said the Prime Minister who paid a visit to members of National Defense Forces, who sustained injury during the fight, on Sunday Morning.
By Our Staff Writer, agencies
Featured Image: PM Abiy has paid a visit with the “hospitalized female and male heroes of the National Defense Forces who put Ethiopia above self”. [Photo PMoE]