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ETH | Aug 11, 2021

Abiy Ahmed | Where Ethiopia is today and hopes for a better tomorrow

/ Our Today

Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed attends his last campaign event ahead of Ethiopia’s June 21 parliamentary and regional elections in Jimma, Ethiopia, June 16, 2021. (File Photo: REUTERS/Tiksa Negeri)

Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed Ali yesterday gave a comprehensive appraisal from Addis Ababa of the state of the country, the situation in Tigray, and the direction he would like to take Ethiopia. The following is his address.

 Our country Ethiopia has maintained its independence and sovereignty by overcoming the challenge of the past and all the forces of evil that have engaged us.

Our heroic mothers and fathers, have brought both foreign invaders and treasonous locals to their knees and left us today’s Ethiopia by gambling away their lives. In a coincidence of history, even today, traitors that bit the hand that fed them and turned their backs on the Ethiopia that breastfed them, are conspiring with those near and far to weaken and dismantle the country.

At this crucial period in time when our country has embarked on discarding the tattered shawls of poverty and instead is heading towards our inevitable path of prosperity, our historical enemies are feverishly organising to deter us from our path. The TPLF terrorist enterprise that has been piping a tune of “if I don’t rule Ethiopia, then let it be destroyed” has become a willing accomplice for our enemies and drumming destruction and instability.

(File Photo: REUTERS/Tiksa Negeri)

It is well known that the Ethiopian people, well aware of the problems within the TPLF terrorist group, have given it many opportunities and 27 years of self-reform. However, the terrorist group, that was conceived in conspiracy and nurtured in destruction, became ever more damaging rather that prone to self-correct.

Even after the widespread anger of the Ethiopian people overthrew this force from power, it refused to take advantage of the repeated opportunities for correction. Rather, it chose to take refuge in Mekelle, spending time colluding with external and internal enemies of the State and wasting the money it looted from national coffers.

As a result, conflict, displacements and horrific killings throughout our country have become the daily deeds of this force. The Government made all efforts humanly possible to ensure that the people of Tigray are not put to harm as a result of the vicious nature of this group.

Undaunted by insults and mockery, the Government has until the last minute implemented all means of peace and reconciliation. On the contrary, the atrocities committed by this destructive force did not end there. The November 3, 2020, unprecedented attack of the Northern Command of the National Defence Forces pushed everything out of control.

Our heroic defence forces, along with the Amhara and Afar militia and special forces, defeated the TPLF and broke its back, forcing the members of the group to hide in the trenches of Tembien. Many of its leaders were killed; some were captured; and some of them hid in caves and among the peaceful people of Tigray. Along with enforcing the rule of law, the government has worked hard over the past eight months to liberate the Tigray region from the scourge of the TPLF, rebuild the infrastructure these forces demolished, enable the people to govern themselves, provide humanitarian assistance, rectify mistakes committed in the process, and launch health and educational services.

Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed and his wife Zinash Tayachew, attend his last campaign event ahead of Ethiopia’s parliamentary and regional elections. (File Photo: REUTERS/Tiksa Negeri)

In this process, the people of Tigray have not been able to live a stable life due to the crisis caused by remnants of the TPLF embedded within the communities and actively organising easy recruits.

They have made it their full-time job to sabotage rebuilding efforts by disrupting the distribution of humanitarian assistance and the resumption of infrastructure repairs, destroying health and education facilities, brutally killing members of the interim administration, and disrupting agricultural activities. The international community, which have been silent on the group’s brutal history of human rights abuses and destruction of the lives of millions while it was in power, have chosen to ignore the Government’s positive efforts, rather seeking to resuscitate and use the terrorist group for their own agenda.

It is well known that even in time of peace, one-third of the population in the Tigray region is supported by a safety net programme. During the last harvest season, desert locusts and COVID-19 were known to cause severe economic damage to the people’s livelihoods. Meanwhile, another rainy season came after the rule of law campaign was launched in Tigray. With the conviction that continuing the campaign unabated for two rainy seasons would create an insurmountable crisis for the people of Tigray, the Government decided to call a unilateral ceasefire and withdraw its troops. The Government enacted the unilateral ceasefire mainly for the sake of civilians and farmers.

Nevertheless, it has become apparent that Tigrayan farmers will not be able to farm safely unless the people of Tigray are forever separated from the terrorist group. Let alone the Tigray farmers returning to farming activities, the terrorist TPLF has also started harassing communities in neighbouring regions so they would not resume farming activities. It is to be recalled that the international community had been continuously accusing the Ethiopian National Defence Force of sabotaging of humanitarian aid and of human rights violation.

But now that our defence forces have moved out in observation of the unilateral ceasefire, all who desire to learn the truth as well as international organisations, have observed that children are serving as soldiers, relief is used as a weapon of war, mothers and young women are raped, religious institutions are used for military exercises and weapons storage, and aid trucks are prevented from entering the Tigray region by the terrorist group. In Afar, the TPLF have killed more than 200 people sheltered in a health institution, while displacing more than 300,000 people in both Afar and Amhara regions. Those who want to emphasise falsehoods rather than the truth have continued on their regular path. In addition to denying Government’s efforts, some have been caught red-handed supporting the terrorist group under the disguise of humanitarian aid.

Supporters of Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed attend his last campaign event ahead of Ethiopia’s parliamentary and regional elections in Jimma, Ethiopia. (File Photo: REUTERS/Tiksa Negeri)

Prior to enactment of the unilateral humanitarian ceasefire, the Government purchased and stocked 400,000 quintals of wheat, 2.5 million litres of edible oil, 14 million litres of fuel, 536,979 quintals of fertiliser and 37,599 quintals of improved seeds in Mekelle warehouses. About 70 per cent of the arable land has been cultivated. In addition, 1,079 metric tons of food, 664 tons of non-food essentials and 47,740 litres of fuel were supplied to Mekelle through partners. Even after that, roads have been paved to provide relief. Humanitarian flight permits have been granted. All this is done so that our people in the Tigray region will not suffer because of the terrorist TPLF. However, the treasonous TPLF could not extricate itself from its terrorist behaviour and goal of disintegrating Ethiopia. The killings and looting of communities in neighbouring Amhara and Afar region continues. They have prevented farmers from cultivating their lands. They even robbed monasteries. They barred aid trucks from entering Tigray.

The terrorist group has banned the distribution of foods in Mekelle to those who would not join their fight. Although our National Defence Forces and Regional Special Forces have complied with the Government’s decision of a unilateral humanitarian ceasefire, the terrorist group boldly continued to commit crimes.

Its leaders have arrogantly declared that the TPLF’s goal and purpose is to disintegrate Ethiopia. With the help of foreign support, they have chosen to pull the trigger for further destruction.

Tricking the youth with false propaganda, they are mobilising recruits for war, sending underage children induced with illegal substances and forcing the elderly to the frontlines. We have repeatedly informed and warned the international community and the people of Tigray that the terrorist’s approach is a vicious act of banditry. The TPLF terrorist group have launched an attack that appears to target the public, and therefore should be defended in such a manner. All our people need to give it an irreversible response.

In the past, our people have shown their determination in all four directions to remove the atrocities of the terrorist TPLF group from the chapters of our history. There is no doubt that our people will continue to push on.

Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed.

Our Defence Forces, Regional Special Forces and Militia are directed to halt the destruction of the treasonous and terrorist TPLF organization and the machinations of foreign hands once and for all. Now is the right time for all capable Ethiopians who are of age to join the Defence Forces, Special Forces and militias and show your patriotism.

Part of the society that is not able to directly join the security forces must strengthen its involvement in development activities more than ever before. Let the civil servants do their job in all capacity and without the hurdles of bureaucracy. All citizens should be vigilant and protect their neighbourhood. Our people should watch closely to ensure that messengers of the terrorist group do not carry out their destructive mission. Be pillars by providing supplies and moral support for the army. The media, artists and social activists are expected to contribute towards strengthening the people’s support for the country. Every Ethiopian must work closely with the security forces n being the eyes and ears of the country in order to track down and expose spies and agents of the terrorist TPLF. Let religious leaders stand in prayer, elders apply counsel and all Ethiopians be diligent in their full capacity for Ethiopia.

When our ancestors faced such enemies, they marched in unison. Women and men, young and old, were united as one. They made sacrifices to save their country. Today, that historic responsibility falls on our shoulders. Ethiopians at home and abroad, your motherland calls upon you. History has shown that there is no force that can stand in our way when we say no more.

The battle is not with Tigray, but with the terrorist forces that have found hiding in Tigray. Hence, we are battling to liberate the people of Tigray, that are being used as an instrument by TPLF, and the whole of Ethiopia from the terrorist group; to maintain the peace and unity of our country.

Our struggle is against the forces near and far, which are behind the terrorist TPLF to dismantle our country and destroy Ethiopia’s existence. Therefore, all patriots should stand with all their hearts to protect their sovereignty today, as in the past, with determination to defend the dignity and glory of their country.

Indeed, Ethiopia will forever stand honoured through the efforts of her children, while our names will remain written as heroes in the records of history.

God bless Ethiopia and its people!


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