MOSCOW (UrduPoint News / Sputnik – September 04, 2022) The international community must convince the rebels of the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) to accept the terms of the peace treaty agreed with the Ethiopian government and must condemn the recruitment of civilians , including children, by the TPLF, Ethiopian Ambassador to Moscow Alemayehu Tegenu told Sputnik on Sunday.
Last month, the TPLF, a paramilitary group designated as a terrorist organization by the Ethiopian government, accused Addis Ababa of attacking its positions in the Amhara region. Ethiopian authorities have denied the charges, accusing TPFL forces of having resumed fighting and attacking first.
“The international community must recognize on a large scale the seriousness of the invasion of the Amhara and Afar regions by the TPLF and act without delay. The international community must not embolden the TPLF with soft positions and with an equivocal course. The international community must recognize the government’s commitment to peace and support its repeated calls for the TPLF to cease hostilities. The international community must pressure the TPLF to accept the peace declared by the Ethiopian government,” said the ambassador.
The diplomat also said that the further escalation of the conflict between the government and the rebels is likely to continue, but the Ethiopian government is determined to continue peace negotiations.
“This crisis is not for a day, they (the TPLF) are trying to spread the conflict to the neighboring regions of Amhara and Afar. The government is committed to protecting civilians,” added the ambassador .
Tegenu also urged the rebels to return to respecting the peace treaty previously signed with the Ethiopian government.
“It is only possible to solve this problem through peace talks. We know how damaging war is. The best thing that benefits the region is peace talks,” the diplomat stressed.
The Ethiopian ambassador also called on the international community, especially UNICEF, to condemn the involvement of children in the hostilities.
“They are mobilizing the whole community, among whom there are many children under 15. This mobilization is not acceptable. The international community, in particular UNICEF, must condemn these actions, but have not still not done,” the ambassador added. .
Ethiopia has been experiencing a violent internal conflict since November 2020, when the central government accused the TPLF of attacking a military base and then launched a counter-terrorism operation in the region.
In June 2021, TPLF rebels seized the city of Mekelle, the administrative regional capital of Tigray, and the government declared an unconditional ceasefire. However, the rebels launched a new offensive soon after and took control of the southern part of Tigray and the neighboring region of Amhara.
The ongoing conflict has claimed tens of thousands of lives, displaced millions and caused a serious humanitarian crisis in the country. The humanitarian situation has been aggravated by recent drought conditions in the region.