ADDIS ABABA, (The Southern African Times) – The Ethiopian government on Friday evening warned that the expansion of conflict to parts of the country by rebel forces is pushing it to change its defensive stance if humanitarian overtures for peaceful resolution are unreciprocated.
The Ethiopian government in late June announced a unilateral ceasefire in the country’s conflict-affected northernmost Tigray regional state.
The government said the move followed a request by the Tigray regional state interim administration that was assigned by the federal government after the ouster of the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF), which used to rule the region.
However, the Ethiopian government on late Friday said the situation in Tigray and the unilateral humanitarian ceasefire declared by the government, including the need to enhance all-inclusive national dialogue, have been the major preoccupying issues of late.
“Regrettably, the TPLF has failed to reciprocate,” the Ethiopian Ministry of Foreign Affairs said in a statement, adding that the group “chose to launch new attacks in neighboring regions of Afar and Amhara, which left more than 300,000 people displaced and thousands dead.”
“Cognizant of its moral, legal, and political obligation to defend the territorial integrity and sovereignty of the state, the federal government is being pushed to mobilize and deploy the entire defensive capability of the state if its humanitarian overtures for a peaceful resolution of the conflict remain unreciprocated,” it said.
The Ethiopian House of People’s Representatives, the lower house of the Ethiopian parliament, had previously designated the TPLF as a terrorist organization.
Since the early hours of Nov. 4, the Ethiopian government has been undertaking military operations against the TPLF.