NAIROBI, Kenya – A contingent of Djiboutian troops would have moved towards the common border with Ethiopia in the north, Axadle has learned, in an attempt to thwart a possible threat from the Tigray Defense Forces. [TDF], which is embroiled in a conflict with the authorities in Addis Ababa.
TDF fight with Ethiopian National Defense Forces [ENDF] following the latter’s operations in the Tigray region, which left thousands dead and millions displaced. ENDF has been temporarily withdrawn from Tigray but TDF accuses them of blocking the supply routes to Tigray.
According to sources, Djiboutian troops accompanied by armored vehicles have been seen heading towards the common border with Ethiopia, which could aggravate the conflict in the Horn of Africa.
In recent weeks TDF, an Ethiopian separatist group pushing for the secession of Tigray, has accused Ethiopia of using foreign military, especially from Eritrea and local Amhara regional forces to rampage on innocent Tigrayans. . The TDF withdrew from the Ethiopian government after Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed took over.
Djiboutian troops, the reports say, are eager to strengthen the defense of major road and rail links with Ethiopia. At least 95 percent of Ethiopia’s freight passes through this corridor from the port of Djibouti, which has served Addis Ababa for decades now.
Tigrayan forces are now in Afar state and could potentially cut off the transport corridor, sources say. The TDF did not respect the ceasefire declared by Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed, arguing that the national army had lost the battle in the Tigray region.
Axadleestablished that TDF devised a new strategy to cripple the Ethiopian administration, just a week after Addis Ababa apparently abandoned the ceasefire it declared, fueling tensions in Ethiopia in the last development.
In a speech last week, Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed accused the TPLF, also known as the Tigray Defense Forces. [TDF] not to adhere to the principles of the unilateral ceasefire, adding that “we will now protect our people against terrorists”.
But the inflexible TDF had initially set a multitude of conditions for a ceasefire, calling for the unconditional withdrawal of Eritrean troops and regional forces from Amhara, whom it accuses of having “committed genocide” in Tigray. The TDF had captured Mekelle, the regional administrative capital of Tigray.
Throughout this period, TDF announced victory over Ethiopian troops but Addis Ababa maintained that the army had withdrawn to allow “humanitarian teams to access Tigray without difficulty”. The war between the separatists TDF and ENDF has left thousands dead and millions displaced in Tigray.
However, to further restrict the national army, TDF has reportedly developed a new strategy, which will act in retaliation for Ethiopia’s alleged intimidation of humanitarian aid teams moving from south to Tigray. The ENDF is accused of erecting barriers thus making it difficult for humanitarian teams to access Tigray.
In the new strategy, confirmed several sources, TDF will now take control of the road and a rail link to Djibouti, thus cutting off the supply of goods to Addis Ababa. Ethiopia, being landlocked, depends entirely on the port of Djibouti for imports and exports.
TDF insists “If Ethiopia wants to suffocate us, we are suffocating Ethiopia”. Tigray fighters, who accuse Abiy Ahmed of reclusionism, are also determined to rally rebels in the Afar region to strengthen his force now considered “strong and dangerous”.
If TDF’s plan is successful, Ethiopia could now run out of fuel as the port of Djibouti will be blocked to the north by Tigray forces. Ethiopia has yet to start using the port of Berbera in Somaliland, which would have been an option.
Rashid Abdi, security analyst on Horn of Africa issues, believes TDF was the main force of the Ethiopian National Defense Forces [ENDF] before he parted. The ENDF, he argues, is considerably weakened.
“There is no longer an ENDF capable of fighting. The Ethiopian army has collapsed, it will take 10 years to rehabilitate it,” he said. “[This] explains why Abiy had to tinker with the army of wretches drawn from ethnic states to fight in Tigray. What a depressing situation. ”
Already, the TDF in Ethiopia’s war-stricken Tigray have carried out operations against pro-government troops in the neighboring Afar region, a spokesperson said on Sunday, opening a new front in the ongoing conflict. ‘extends for eight months.
The “very limited action” targeted special forces and militiamen in the Oromia region, the largest in Ethiopia, who were massing along the Tigray-Afar border, the spokesman told AFP. rebels, Getachew Reda.
“We have taken these steps to ensure that these forces are returned to Oromia, and we have succeeded in doing so,” Getachew said, adding that there had been a few casualties but he could not provide figures. Penetration into Afar seems to be one of the strategies to achieve the eventual takeover of the railroad and the road.
There are also reports that TDF intercepted a convoy full of Oromia militias in Afar. There was hardly a fight. Hundreds of Oromo fighters simply surrendered. “The ethnic militias are not fools. They have no interest in waging war on Tigray. It is not their fight,” adds Rashid Abdi.