ADDIS ABABA – The Government of Ethiopia blamed the international community for remaining silent while the TPLF, a group designated as a terrorist entity by the parliament, advances its provocative attacks on the neighboring regional states.
Speaking to reporters on Wednesday, Press Secretary for the Office of the Prime Minister, Billene Seyoum, said even if the government declared unilateral ceasefire in Tigray for humanitarian reasons, TPLF has continued with its belligerent and fatalistic approach of encroachment into other regions.
“It is not something contained within the Tigray region. This encroachment has gone further into the Amahara and Afar regions. So, instead of taking the ceasefire as an opportunity to support the farmers of Tigray and those humanitarian needy people in the region, TPLF has resorted to mobilizing civilians as human shield,” she noted.
According to the press secretary, the group is violently harassing communities in the Amhara and Afar regions as well as within the Tigray region.
“Particularly, the lives of farmers in the Amhara region and pastoralists in Afar region are being destabilized by the TPLF terrorist enterprise that has resorted to further escalating the situation rather than de-escalating it,” she said.
Billene blamed the international community and media that have shamefully failed to realize the glaring facts, atrocities and reinforced provoking acts perpetrated by the TPLF criminal enterprise in Ethiopia.
“As you may have noted, the international community and particularly, the international media, have been shockingly mute with regard to this,” she said.
Moreover, the TPLF has continued recruiting and deploying child soldiers feeding them illegal substances.
“In this regard, the federal government wants to assert to the very international community on this particular matter,” she said, “that children are not soldiers and civilians should not be utilized as human shields for TPLF’s destructive exploit”.
The press secretary said close to 400,000 quintals of food and nutritious food stockpiled and 2.5 million litters of edible oil by the government in the region’s Central Warehouse before the national defense force exit from Mekelle.
“Reports indicate that the food assistance left in storage for the needy in the region is being exploited by the TPLF for recruitment,” Billene said, adding humanitarian convoys in transit to the region has also been blocked from reaching the people.
Asked about whether the government has lifted the unilateral ceasefire, the press secretary responded that the government stands by the ceasefire and it is not engaged any offense.