Federal Forces are Closing in on TPLF Leaders, Army Colonel says

ADDIS ABEBA – Government troops are within days of capturing the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) leaders, said army Colonel, as the fight in northern Ethiopia appears to come to an end.

The Ethiopian National Defence Force completed the law enforcement operation last week after capturing the regional capital Mekelle – which has been a stronghold for TPLF leadership for weeks, according to the government.

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Top officials of TPLF – which dominated politics for nearly three decades – have fled to surrounding mountains where they plan to launch a guerrilla-style resistance.

Army Colonel Shambel Beyene told EBC that the fighting could end within days, confirming that that federal forces are 10 km away from a town where Debretsion Gebremichael, Getachew Reda, Aboi Tsehaye, Aboi Sibhat and other TPLF leaders are hiding.

“We are 10km away from where they are hiding… in Worq Ambah town,” Colonel Shambel said. “We believe we will get them within days.”

Relief agencies are saying they are on standby to take humanitarian aid into the region, where many people are in need of food, fuel and medicines. Residents in the central town of Shire told to the new provisional administration that the cost of groceries was sky-rocketing and fuel shortages were grounding ambulances used to take patients to hospitals.

“Residents are still staying away from their homes. Women are hiding in caves with their children,” one man said at a meeting aired on EBC late on Friday.

Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed said the government will protect civilians in the northern region and ensure their needs are met.

“Work to rebuild Tigray has commenced with teams … undertaking repair work (and) restoring services,” said the prime Minister who paid a visit to members of National Defense Forces, who sustained injury during the fight, on Sunday Morning.

By Our Staff Writer, agencies

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Featured Image: PM Abiy has paid a visit with the “hospitalized female and male heroes of the National Defense Forces who put Ethiopia above self”. [Photo PMoE]

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