Nov 22, 2020(Nyamilepedia) — The Ethiopian Prime minister Abiy Ahmed Ali has given the Tigrayan regional forces, also known as the Tigray People Liberation Front, less than 72 hours to surrender before the Ethiopian military begins an offensive on the regional capital of Mekelle.
“We urge you to surrender peacefully within 72 hours, recognizing that you are at the point of no return,” Abiy said in a Twitter statement on Sunday evening.
In his official statement, the Prime Minister warns the TPLF that this is their last opportunity to surrender peacefully as their journey is coming to an end.
The statement also called on the people of Mekelle to help the defense force to bring the treasonous group to justice.
“We call upon the people of Mekelle to play a key role in bringing the treasonous group to justice by standing in solidarity with the National Defense force in this law enforcement action,” the statement read.
According to Prime Minister Abiy, no lives should be lost and no properties should be destroyed for the sake of a few greedy individuals that are seeking impunity using their own people as human shields.
He said the “cooperation of Mekelle people will play an important role and minimize the damage.”
The Prime Minister also gives the Tigray Special Forces and allied militias a final chance to also surrender peacefully.
“The members of Tigray special forces and militia who are carrying out the mission of the destruction clique are also called upon to surrender peacefully,” Prime minister Abiy said.
He asked the special forces and militias to take advantage of the 72 hours as the Ethiopian army are in their final stages of what he refers as the law enforcement action.
Abiy said that the federal government is prepared to proceed to the third phase of law enforcement in order to bring the people of Ethiopia, who have fled their homes, back home.
“What we would like the entire Ethiopian people to understand is that the federal government is prepared in all aspects to proceed to the third phase of law enforcement action, along with the task of returning those who have fled their homes, to rehabilitate the displaced, to repair the damaged infrastructure and help citizens in the liberated areas return to their normal lives,” Abiy said.
Earlier on Sunday, Ethiopia’s army said it plans to surround the rebel-held capital of Tigray region with tanks and may use artillery on the city to try to end a nearly three-week war, urging civilians to save themselves.
The Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF), which is refusing to surrender its rule of the northern region, said its forces were digging trenches and standing firm.
“The next phases are the decisive part of the operation, which is to encircle Mekelle using tanks,” military spokesman Colonel Dejene Tsegaye told the national broadcaster.
The Ethiopian military spokesman called on citizens to be prepared on how to protect themselves from any eventuality should the military proceed with their artillery attacks on the capital city, Mekelle.
“We want to send a message to the public in Mekelle to save yourselves from any artillery attacks and free yourselves from the junta … After that, there will be no mercy.”
The military said it has captured the town of Igada Hamus, some 97 kilometres from Tigray region’s capital Mekelle.