Tigray, other groups form an alliance against Ethiopian leader
According to organizers, Ethiopia’s Tigray troops are joining hands with other armed and opposition organizations to form an alliance against Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed in order to achieve a political transition after a year of catastrophic conflict.
The Tigray forces, who have been battling Ethiopian and allied troops, as well as the Oromo Liberation Army, which is currently fighting with the Tigray forces and seven other organizations from around the nation, signed the agreement in Washington on Friday.
The coalition is taking shape as US special envoy Jeffrey Feltman meets with top government officials in Ethiopia’s capital, amid demands for a rapid cease-fire and negotiations to end the conflict that has killed thousands of people since November 2020. On Thursday, he met with the deputy prime minister, as well as the military and finance ministries, according to the US.
According to organizer Yohanees Abraha of the Tigray group, the new United Front of Ethiopian Federalist Forces wants to “create a transitional structure in Ethiopia” so the prime minister may leave as soon as feasible. “Of course, the next step will be to meet and communicate with governments, ambassadors, and international players in Ethiopia and elsewhere.”
According to him, the new partnership is both political and military in nature. He went on to say that it has had no contact with Ethiopia’s administration.
Odaa Tarbii, a spokeswoman for the Oromo Liberation Army, acknowledged the new partnership. When asked whether he intended for Abiy to be forced out, he said it would depend on Ethiopia’s government and developments in the next weeks. “Of course, we prefer if Abiy is gone in a calm and orderly transition,” he added.
“We want to be as inclusive as we can.” We recognize that this change will need the participation of all stakeholders,” he continued. Members of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Prosperity Party, on the other hand, “would have to go through a procedure.” Many members would be subjected to investigations and maybe prosecution” for war crimes.
Billene Seyoum, the prime minister’s spokesman, tweeted Thursday evening that “any outliers that rejected the democratic procedures Ethiopia embarked on cannot be for democracy,” referring to Abiy’s opening up of political space after entering office in 2018. Some opposition parties were welcomed back from exile as part of his reforms.
The spokesperson said she didn’t have any further information on Friday, including whether or not the prime minister will meet with the US special envoy.
In response to her post, an OLA spokeswoman said that some of those who returned to Ethiopia were subsequently imprisoned or placed under house arrest. “Over the previous three years, a lot of goodwill has been lost,” he remarked.
The Afar Revolutionary Democratic Unity Front, Agaw Democratic Movement, Benishangul People’s Liberation Movement, Gambella People’s Liberation Army, Global Kimant People Right and Justice Movement/ Kimant Democratic Party, Sidama National Liberation Front, and Somali State Resistance are among the other groups that signed on Friday, according to organizers.