After nearly two months of silence, the former president of the Tigray People’s Liberation Front, Debretsion Gebremichael, spoke in a recorded broadcast on Saturday on a Facebook page of Dimitsi Weyane.
In a recorded message on the Facebook page of a media outlet affiliated with TPLF, which was disrupted following the military clashes, Debretsion talked about alleged destructions of the region, urged people of Tigray to contribute time and money to support the fighters to continue resistance and foreign nations to condemn the federal government.
He said, “this was a war waged on the people of Tigray for simply showing their firm resolve to ensure their right of self-determination”, adding that four countries and special forces of regions had taken part in it. Though he stopped short of specifying who the countries were, he said “this caused a power imbalance”.
According to various reports, troops from neighboring Eritrea have been involved in the conflict in the Tigray region, and the US State Department has recently called for their immediate withdrawal.
The whereabouts of Debretsion, for whom an arrest warrant had been issued, and other members of the party’s central committee remains unknown but the country’s defense commanders have been saying they have been hiding in the mountains of Tigray since they lost Tigray’s capital on Nov. 28.
In the audio, Debretsion said that “the war had done much damage and veteran fighters of the TPLF, who for the last 45 years proved steadfast in their leadership and upholding the party line and the popular causes, thereby achieving much, had suffered and died at the hands of the adversary. They have paid dearly and they still are. The sacrifice of these heroes would make us firmly resolve in our determination to fight, never cause us to deviate from our course.”
Debretsion Gebremichael has accused the federal government of committing atrocities in the region and committing various human rights abuses.
“Women in Tigray are being battered, raped individually or collectively. The villages and religious institutions of Tigray are being bombed, without making any attempts to verify the presence of the Tigrayan army. Precious and irreplaceable artifacts are being destroyed and looted. Millions of people are being displaced and are being forced to live in misery,” he said.