Addis Ababa: Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed issued a decisive warning that the rebels in Tigray should choose the path of peace and surrender in the next 72 hours. Ahmed warned that the rebels are not left with any option other than to surrender. Before the warning issued by the Prime Minister, even the Ethiopian military appealed to the civilians in Mekelle, the capital Tigray, to move to safer places. The United Nations expressed regret over the appeal made by the Ethiopian military and has pointed out that the safety of the citizens is the responsibility of the government and the army.
Ethiopia, a leading African economy, has been facing ethnic conflict since the last few years. Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed, who took over the reins of the country in 2018, had promised to take steps to end this conflict. Hope had been expressed that Ahmed, who worked out a truce in the neighbouring country Eritrea, will find a solution to end the conflict even in Ethiopia. But in reality, Prime Minister Ahmed has sparked a new long-term battle with the aggressive military campaign launched in Tigray.
The rebels from the Tigray province had played an important role in overthrowing the communist regime in Ethiopia in the 1970-80 decades. Thereafter, from 1991 to 2018, the Tigray province had a major influence on the Ethiopian government and military. But in 2018, the groups from the Tigray province refused to join the government led by Abiy Ahmed. There is a constant conflict between the government and the Tigray province ever since. At the beginning of this month, Prime Minister Ahmed had assured to end the war with a comprehensive campaign.
Hundreds have been killed, and more than 30,000 citizens have been displaced in the conflict between the government and the rebels over the last three weeks. Despite the government capturing many of the cities in the Tigray province, it has not secured a decisive success. Although the military is claiming victory, the rebels are giving no proposals for withdrawal.
The statements of Prime Minister indicate that therefore, the Prime Minister has issued the warning of a decisive war. But taking into account the battle experience of the Tigray rebels and the support they are receiving from Sudan, analysts claim that the chances of success for the government are significantly less. The analysts have also pointed out that the Tigray rebels are also carrying out attacks in other provinces.