Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed has announced the commencement of the final phase of the rule of law operations in Tigray regional state.
His announcement came following the end of the 72-hour deadline granted to the criminal TPLF clique to surrender peacefully to the National Defence Forces.
Taking advantage of the 72-hour deadline, thousands of Tigray Special Forces and militia members have surrendered to the National Defence Force, said the Prime Minister in a statement this morning.
Many young people in Tigray, realizing the TPLF’s evil intentions, have also refrained from engaging in TPLF’s destructive ambitions, he indicated.
“Although this may have been a decision taken in the last hours, it is nevertheless a responsible decision that is expected of citizens,” the Prime Minister stated.
He said the 72-hours deadline was issued by the federal government to demonstrate that the intention of the operations is to enforce the rule of law per the laws of the land.
“If the criminal TPLF clique chose to peacefully surrender, the campaign would have been finalized with the least amount of damage. To this end, we have provided the opportunity for peaceful surrender on numerous occasions in the past weeks,” he said.
Moreover, the objective of the deadline was to provide protection for those that finally understand the criminality of the TPLF clique and distance themselves for the group, the Prime Minister stated.
He said the last peaceful gate which had remained open for the TPLF clique to walk through have now been firmly closed as a result of TPLF’s contempt for the people of Ethiopia.
However, he said “thousands of members of the Tigray militia and Special Forces that have come to realize the destructive nature of TPLF have utilized the gates of peace and surrendered peacefully.”
“The Ethiopian National Defence Forces have now been directed to conclude the third and final phase of our rule of law operations,” PM Abiy said.
According to the Prime Minister, great care will be given to protect innocent civilians from harm during the final phase of law enforcement operation.
He said “all efforts will be made to ensure that the city of Mekelle, which was built through the hard work of our people, will not be severely damaged.”
“All precautions will be taken to ensure that heritage sites, places of worship, public facilities, development institutions and residential areas will not be targets.
The Prime Minister also called on the people of Mekelle and its environs to disarm, stay at home and stay away from military targets, and take all necessary precautions.
He also urged them to do their part in reducing damages to be sustained because of a handful of criminal TPLF elements, by exposing and handing over the criminal clique over to law enforcement agents.
The Prime Minister assured the people that the National Defence Forces have carefully devised a strategy to bring the TPLF criminal clique to justice, without harming innocent civilians, heritage sites, places of worship, development institutions and property.