Nov 04, 2020(Nyamilepedia) — Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed said Wednesday he had ordered a military response to an “attack” by the ruling party of the restive Tigray region on a camp housing federal troops.
“The Ethiopian National Defense Forces, under the direction of a command post, have been ordered to carry out their mission to save the country. The final point of the red line has been crossed. Force is being used as the last measure to save the people and the country,” he said in a statement.
The Prime minister accused the region’s ruling party, the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF), of launching the attack and trying to loot their equipment in the early hours of Wednesday morning.
Mr. Abiy has declared a state of emergency in the region for six months.
“This situation has reached a level where it cannot be prevented and controlled through the regular law enforcement mechanisms,” a statement from the prime minister’s office said.
“The final point of the red line has been crossed. Force is being used as the last measure to save the people and the country,” he added.
The authorities have been accused of having shut down telephone and Internet services in Tigray as Internet monitoring group Netblocks reported that the area Internet appeared to have been cut as of 1am local time (2200 GMT).
It was also not immediately clear what form the federal military response might take, though analysts and diplomats have been warning for weeks that the standoff between the federal government and the TPLF could spill over into violence.
The TPLF dominated politics in Africa’s second most populous country for nearly three decades before Abiy came to power in 2018 on the strength of anti-government protests
Tigrayan leaders rejected this and went ahead with regional elections in September that Abiy’s government deemed illegal.
The government described the vote as “illegal” and the national electoral board has since said the general election will take place in May or June of next year.