News Analysis: Amid reports of southern Tigray recapture by Tigrayan forces, tensions rise; Amhara state officials issue calls mobilizing public

Amhara Special Forces Photo: North Gondar Communication Bureau

By Getahun Tsegaye @GetahunTsegay12

Addis Ababa, July 13/ 2021 – Following reports of the recapture of towns Southern Tigray by Tigrayan forces, the North Gondar Zone Administration of the Amhara regional state issued a call to arms on its official Facebook page. The zonal administration called on the residents of the zone who possess either government or private firearms to arrive at Maytebri (Embamidri) by July 13, 2021. “We’re calling on all people to contribute in labor, money, food and transport to support the fighters.”

Tensions have been mounting since the president of Amhara regional state, Agegnehu Teshager warned that that Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) was preparing to commit terrorism and vowed to avert any threat posed on the Amhara people.

Meanwhile, the TPLF set conditions to accept the unilateral ceasefire by the federal government told Reuters that Tigray forces controlled Korem, a town 170 kilometres (105 miles) south of Mekelle on Monday and were pushing to seize control of the major town of Alamata, 20 kilometers further south.

Last week, speaking on the 4th session of the House of People’s Representatives (HoPR) special meeting, Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed noted that the decision of withdrawing the military from Tigray was prearranged for the sake of focusing on Ethiopia’s grand priorities while reducing further bankruptcy.

North Gondar Communication Bureau Social Media Expert, who asked to remain anonymous, told Addis Standard, “The courses seemed to have shifted. We’re at war against TPLF in different battlefields, including Raya and Telemit. Since we are investigating the situation, I refrain from disclosing further information on this matter.”

Answering for Addis Standard regarding why the administration called to arms, Fikadu Zegeye, North Gondar Communication Bureau Head, expressed the existence of threat in the zone. He said  “Amhara Special Forces, together with the militia, are at war against TPLF at Embamidri near Tekeze Bridge, located in Maytebri West Telemit Woreda.”

He went on to argue that it was the TPLF that started the war. He added, “They crossed our area and opened fire on the Amhara Special Force which was under task of transporting food.” He added that the national defense forces did not take part in this war.

Addis Standard reached out to Amhara Region’s Peace and Security Bureau to obtain comments about the statement by North Gondar zonal administration who responded by saying that the bureau is not aware of the call to arms. AS

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