Attorney General Office Gives Updates on Probe into TPLF Officials

ADDIS ABABA – The federal attorney general office has given updates on the ongoing investigation into attack against the Northern Command of the Ethiopian National Defense Force (Endf) and other alleged criminal offences carried out by TPLF forces.

Apart from TPLF officials, former national defense and police force members loyal to the TPLF are the subject of the ongoing investigation.

The criminal investigation is being carried out by a team composed of the Ethiopian National Defense Force, the Office of the Federal Attorney General, the Federal Police and other relevant security institutions.

The federal attorney general office said investigation has so far established the commission of three major crimes: High Treason, Crimes against the Constitutional Order, and Terrorism.

Arrests made

Up to 349 suspects have been identified and a court order for their detention has been issued in accordance with the laws of the nation, according to the Attorney General office’s statement.

From these suspects, 253 are retired and active members of the Ethiopian National Defense Force and Federal Police and 96 are key members and top leadership of the TPLF.

The AG office said 680 documentary evidences and testimonies of witnesses have so far been collected while 124 suspects have been detained as per the courts’ order.

The investigation further uncovered that the November 3rd “treasonous act committed by the rogue members of the Endf against the Northern Command by the order of the TPLF leadership, was not an isolated and spontaneous attack.

The attack prompted the federal government to carry out the law enforcement operation against TPLF.

TPLF’s Military Structure

The AG office said, as per the evidences collected by the investigation team, TPLF had prepared a detailed plan to stage an armed insurrection, as a continuation and finale of the violence it has been financing and orchestrating to derail the reforms for the last three years.

“In order to achieve its goal, the TPLF leadership and its accomplices had first established an Operation Division composed of the Tigray Regional State Militia under the leadership of General Haile Selassie Girmay,” the office said.

“It then changed its structure to Central Command of Tigray and made Lieutenant General Taddesse Werede its commander through an official letter issued by Debretsion G/Michael,” the then Vice President of the Tigray Regional State.

According to the statement, the entire structure of the Central Command of Tigray was organized in such a manner that it mimics the exact structure of the Ethiopian National Defense force.

The investigations also reveal that prior to the change of administration at the federal level in 2018, the Tigray Regional State had recruited close to 5000 militia members per annum, according to the statement. The state also recruited 47,173 and 37,373 militia members respectively per annum in the year of 2018 and 2019 alone, it says.

“These massive recruitments resulted in a situation where the TPLF was able to command an irregular militia force with more than 170,000 members,” the statement reads.

Similarly, before 2018, the regional state engaged in recruitment of about 450 Special Force members per annum.

After the change in administration that occurred in 2018, the TPLF dramatically scaled up its recruitment to 5000 per annum – organizing them in 8 Divisions and 23 Regiments.

“These strategies and pre-meditated plans and actions clearly show that TPLF undertook a massive preparation to wage war against the Federal Government and other regional administrations with a view to regain its dominant position at the center which it had lost due to peaceful popular demands and reform initiatives,” the AG office said.

‘Inciting Communal conflict’

AG officials said they have also found out that TPLF “was the mastermind for the communal conflicts and atrocities committed” in various parts of the nation.

TPLF had sponsored different communal conflicts and backed armed rebel groups to inflict atrocious attacks against innocent civilians, the AG office said.

Several actors implicated in these communal conflicts and armed attacks had received training and financial backing from the TPLF, according to the office.

“The TPLF leadership endorsed and provided tangible support to those orchestrating violent conflict in various parts of the country,” the statement said.