Debretsion Gebremichael: Until Abiy Ahmed is defeated, heavy fighting will continue
ADDIS ABABA - The ongoing hostilities between the Tigray Defense Forces [TDF] and Ethiopia National Defense Forces [ENDF] will likely continue for a little while, despite calls from the international community for both parties to embrace a ceasefire.
Debretsion Gebremichael, the president of the defunct Tigray People's Liberation Front [TPLF], said the TDF does not have a plan to negotiate with Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed, who has also stood ground and vowed to push the Tigray rebels further.
In his rare speech recorded and sent by pro-TDF activists, the embattled president of the Tigray region maintained that Addis Ababa is determined to fight, adding that TDF will not have any option but to fight back for the sake of her people.
Debretsion Gebremichael alleged that Addis Ababa has mobilized resources to exterminate Tigray people, adding that there were possibilities of Addis Ababa using external assistance, including but not limited to sophisticated weapons.
"Near its demise, the enemy is doing everything not to be buried. This is what we are seeing now," he said. "The enemy is using not only what is in its hand but also weapons from outside to attack us."
"The war is of heavy fighting in nature. We have never underestimated this. We must understand that the enemy is trying its best not to die. The enemy is mobilizing massive resources including external assistance but this will never change the outcome," he added.
There have been claims that Turkey, the United Arab Emirates [UAE], and China have been assisting the Ethiopian government with weapons of mass destruction. However, the three countries have distanced themselves from the claims.
Early this year, it was established that Eritrea was assisting Ethiopia in Tigray, leading to mass murders. The United States and the UN threatened to slap Eritrea with a series of embargos, leading to the exit of the Eritrea army from Tigray.
But the Tigray leader now says his team will continue fighting until the government of Abiy Ahmed is completely defeated. His sentiments come amid an ongoing offensive being geared towards Tigray, with Abiy Ahmed being on the ground doing supervision.
"Their plan is to exterminate the people of Tigray and its leaders. They have shown their hatred, they leave nothing for tomorrow. We are fighting the enemy with vigor. Until the enemy is completely buried, heavy fighting will continue. We will finish what we started," he said.
Fighting between the two parties started in November 2020 when the Tigray rebels attacked the Northern Command triggering a response from the Ethiopian National Defense Forces. The army has, however, lost ground in most areas to TDF.