Tigray People Liberation Front (TPLF) accused the federal government of provoking a military conflict at the Dedebit front and technically breaching the humanitarian truce.
In a statement issued yesterday TPLF alleged that federal defense forces opened an organized attack and bombardment that lasted for about an hour at Dedebit front, Western Tigray, on August 15 with heavy artilleries, and tanks, to which it claimed their forces didn’t respond.
The front also ascertained that the attack was a deliberate act authorized at the highest level.
This is a significant attack reported to take place on either side of the warring parties, except for casual skirmishes since the Ethiopian government declared a humanitarian truce on March 24 which the TPLF also endorsed.
The Ethiopian government denied the allegation saying that the accusation is an intent of shunning the peace negotiation from TPLF’s side.
“The humanitarian truce is still respected,” said Bilene Seyoum, Press Secretary of the Office of the Prime Minister.
Getachew Reda, Advisor to the President of Tigray on his part said the humanitarian truce cease-fire is technically breached.
“The regime has made it abundantly clear that it has no appetite for peaceful negotiations except as delaying tactics before it can unleash yet another round of genocidal campaign against the people of Tigray.”
Following the humanitarian truce, initiatives of negotiations have been underway and both sides announced to set up a committee for the peace talks.
Disparities on preconditions for negotiations from both sides however are observed to dim the hopes of peace arrangements. Among these differences stand out the issue of restoring basic services in Tigray which had been terminated since the war broke out in November 2020.
The Ethiopian Ministry of Foreign Affairs last week stated that the government doesn’t take the resumption of basic services in Tigray as a precondition for negotiation. The TPLF critically rejected any further peace talk moves without the restoration of the services.
Despite the fact that there is a supposition of an underlaid ceasefire between the belligerents after the humanitarian truce, a statement from the Ethiopian government’s Main Peace Committee, tasked to facilitate the negotiation, demanded to conclude a ceasefire agreement immediately. This was followed by TPLF’s report of the government’s military provocation.
The Tigrayan forces revoked the government’s position affirming their standpoint that resuming basic services is not negotiable.
“The peace committee’s idea of requiring us to sit down for talks so as to facilitate the restoration of services is an action that reverses things back. We can’t accept that. We can never meet first. It's a joke to speak of talks as the Tigray people are shackled, strangled, blindfolded, and in misery,” said Getachew Reda.
It’s also claimed in the statement of the Tigrayan forces that since the humanitarian truce is agreed upon the Ethiopian government has been conspiring to “deprive Tigray of Western Tigray with coordinated military and political scheme” which they say are “making force the only viable route for the Government of Tigray to liberate Western Tigray as well as repatriate our displaced people to their homes”.
Amid the discordance over a number of issues and blame throwing both the Ethiopian government and TPLF vow their commitment to resorting to the peace talks for the time being.