Ethiopia’s federal army is mobilising troops from across the country as it continues its offensive in the northern Tigray region.
The army’s deputy chief of staff Gen Berhanu Jula has accused regional troops loyal to the Tigrayan People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) of treason.
The troops heading to Tigray are to provide support for the Northern Command.
This is coming after Debretsion Gebremicheal, head of the Tigrayan state revealed that troops loyal to him has seized “almost all” of the weaponry at the Command.
Reporting on the magnitude of clashes and death toll has been very difficult for Vantage News partly because the internet and phone lines had been cut off in Tigray.
Relations between the TPLF and the central government took a significant turn for the worse after Tigrayan authorities held a regional election in September in defiance of a nationwide postponement that was put in place due to the outbreak of the novel coronavirus disease.
The federal government had described the election for the Tigray parliament as “illegal”.
At the Federal government, suspicion had grown that TPLF was planning to create a breakaway state, with a parliament and government taking office without its endorsement.
However TPLF rebuffed the notion, stressing they are still very committed to keeping the region within Ethiopia.
TPLF also stressed it would defend “self-rule” and oppose what it called Ethiopian leader, Abiy Ahmed Ali’s attempt at building a strong “unitary” state.
The federal government has also imposed a six-month state of emergency in the state of Tigray and had airspace in the region shut.