Ethiopian official: Military operation intended to ‘salvage nation’

An Ethiopian official has said that the ongoing military operation in the northern part of the country is an attempt to “salvage the nation”.

Speaking to journalists, Redwan Hussein, Spokesman of a newly-established State of Emergency Task Force for the Tigray conflict, on Tuesday said the objective of a military operation launched in the northern part of the country last week was to rescue the country, Xinhua news agency reported.

“The objectives are very clear and very limited, it’s salvaging the nation, salvaging the sovereignty of the country, and making sure the country holds together and then we will sit and talk with whoever has discord with the government,” said Hussein.

Hussein said the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) has looted heavy weaponry from the army, with the government aiming to make sure the weapons are not used on fellow Ethiopians and beyond.

“The government of Ethiopia declared the seizure of rockets and missiles which could go up to 300 kilometers. TPLF went out and said we’re not only capable of striking targets 300 kilometers away, but also are capable of striking Ethiopia’s capital Addis Ababa which is some 700 kms away,” he said.

However, Hussein said so far Ethiopian jets are flying without problem and hitting selected targets in the Tigray region.

The Spokesman of a newly-established State of Emergency Task Force for the Tigray conflict, dismissed concerns the Tigray conflict could spread to neighbouring countries.

Since early Wednesday, the Ethiopian government had been undertaking military operations against the TPLF, the ruling party in Ethiopia’s northernmost Tigray region and now in an official war against the federal government that followed TPLF’s reported attack against the Northern command of the Ethiopian Defense Force, a division that has been stationed in the region for over two decades.

The Ethiopian government has been blaming the TPLF, which was one of the four coalition fronts of Ethiopia’s former ruling party the Ethiopian People’s Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF), for masterminding various treasonous acts across different parts of the country with an overarching goal of destabilizing the East African country.

Three of the former four EPRDF coalition members had last year joined other regional parties in establishing the Prosperity Party, as the TPLF refused to join.

The mounting differences between the federal government and TPLF exacerbated in September this year, when the Tigray regional government decided to go with its planned regional elections, which the Ethiopian parliament had previously postponed due to the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic.

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