The speech doubled down on comments made by the Nobel Peace Prize laureate in an earlier Facebook post, urging supporters to “march with any weapons and resources … to defend, expel and bury the terrorist TPLF”. it was done. The Tigre People’s Liberation Front (TPLF), which ruled the country for more than three decades before Abiy came to power in 2018, has been designated a terrorist group by the current government.
“The prime minister calls on Ethiopians to defend their city, protect their communities, defend their country” is part of the government’s constitutional responsibility to prevent any attacks, Bilen said in an interview on Tuesday. “The prime minister is asking people not to attack their counterparts and their brothers and sisters,” she told CNN’s Becky Anderson.
Bilen also said that the Ethiopian government opposed Facebook’s removal of Abiy’s post, adding that it was “not necessarily” a call “to divide everyone and descend into civil chaos, but.. . about being vigilant in our communities.”
more than a year after the war
The TPLF has been battling Ethiopia’s military since the prime minister accused the group of attacking a federal military base and ordered an offensive in Tigre last November. The war has killed thousands, displaced more than two million and fueled famine.
Throughout the interview, Bilin repeatedly accused CNN and other Western media outlets of misrepresenting the conflict in Ethiopia and of contributing to the “hysteria” that Addis Ababa was under siege.
For the TPLF’s part, spokesman Getachev Reda told Anderson on Tuesday that the group is “not interested in power, we are not interested in the region.”
“Abi’s attackers are killing our children day after day for God’s sake, and we have to make sure those ‘dogs of war’ are stopped and we continue to take measures,” Getachev said, referring to the ongoing conflict. Said happened. Tigre.
Getachev said that fighters allied with the TPLF would continue fighting until there was “preparation on the part of Abiy’s government” to negotiate a ceasefire, and that the TPLF would be “even more than happy to expand the olive branch.” “
UN human rights chief Michelle Bachelet said the investigation had uncovered violations involving Ethiopia’s military and allied forces, but had also seen “heavy allegations of abuse by Tigrayan forces” since Ethiopia declared a ceasefire in June.
Getachev told CNN he “categorically rejected” the joint report because of the EHRC’s involvement, and called for an independent investigation. Tigris, human rights groups and other observers have also expressed concerns about the independence of the investigation from government influence, although the United Nations has reaffirmed its impartiality.
allegations of racial targeting
About the arrest Getachev said, “We know for a fact that Abi is trying to intensify violence not only against Tigreyan but also against others who are unwilling to fight his desperate cause.”
Billin told CNN on Tuesday that he would need to find out more about reports of alleged arbitrary detainees in the capital, but that the state of emergency was not intended to “target any particular individual based on the identity from which they are aligned.” are doing. “
Instead, the policy is designed to “protect the Ethiopians” and “protect the residents of Addis Ababa” who have been told they are going to come under siege, she said.
UN spokesman Stephane Dujarric said on Wednesday that Ethiopian authorities have detained at least nine UN staff members at police stations in Addis Ababa, following the announcement of the detention of 16 UN staff members and their dependents. a day later.
“We are trying to get clarity, we are trying to get people out, and we are trying to get accurate numbers in a place where communication is often challenging within the country,” he said, No official explanation was given. given by the Ethiopian government as to why they were being held.
Dujarric said dozens of drivers hired by the United Nations and an aid organization to provide much-needed humanitarian aid to Tigre were also detained. “A sad part of this is that the trucks are full. The trucks need to go to Tigre.”
State Department spokesman Ned Price said Tuesday that the US understood from reports that those arrested were Tigrayan, and if confirmed, the US would condemn them. “Detention on the basis of ethnicity is completely unacceptable,” he said.
CNN’s Richard Roth and Jennifer Hansler contributed to this report.