Ethiopia: Mekelle has fallen, but is Abiy prepared for another phase?

Today Prime Minister Ahmed Ali Abiy proclaimed victory and “mission accomplished”. As the “Law Enforcement Operation” ceased as the Ethiopian National Defence Force (ENDF) took over the capital of the Tigray Region. This was not done alone, as the National Army did have other allies doing this. That being a Amhara militia or a para-military group participating. The Eritrean Army also took part in this. The United Arab Emirates also supported it with drones. Therefore, the PM celebrating this joint effort against one enemy.

So, the “mission accomplished” moment got destroyed hours later, as the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) was able to send more missiles to bomb the outskirts Asmara, Eritrea. That is happening as they are participating and trying to conquer former enemies. The Eritrean army is already reported to take Eritrean refugees, arresting them and taking them home. The Ethiopian army has been reported on the other hand that they blocked the borders for Tigrayan refugees passing into Sudan. Therefore, the humanitarian crisis could look much worse, if it wasn’t for these actions. As well, as blocking the humanitarian organizations to access the region and help the ones in need.

The Federal Government have already stopped the telephone-lines, the internet, electricity and frozen all Tigray based bank-accounts. The government have also blocked the roads into the region and stopped all goods from entering. Only the military effort have gotten a pass. That’s why the region has lost a month in heavy battles since the 3rd November. We have no idea about what extent or what sort of play went down. The same government blocking international media and revoking reports from reporting too. Therefore, there is little to none, except the message the state has accepted. This is why we will only know what happen when investigations and possibly external inquiries looks into it. As the Prime Minister and his government wants to look like saints no matter what they do.

Now that this Third Phase and the supposed “conventional” war is over. Even as the reports today that the government is shelling a Ayder referral hospital in Mekelle, which counters the total control of the city. That the state proclaimed yesterday. Seems like the state wasn’t all honest and made early judgement. Just like with the missiles hitting Asmara hours later.

The Abiy government seems that it needs to be prepared for another type of warfare. There has already been reports that the TPLF and their Special Forces have used churches to hide weapons and ammunitions in the region. So, it seems like they are prepared for guerrilla warfare in the region. This means that the tanks, air-strikes and other tactics will be forfeited as it will not work.

While the TPLF have said they would retaliate to other cities across the Republic. This going from Bahir Dar, Gondar, Dessie and Addis Ababa. Another proof that the supposed victory was called a bit early.

I don’t know how this will play out. Certainly, not as easily as the state wants the world to perceive it. Secondly, it is much more deadly and possible bloodshed than anyone wants to state. Because, we don’t know the full extent of losses of the Federal Army, Amhara Militia or the losses of the Eritrean Forces. Yet, alone the losses of the TPLF. This is why the war this month is made with little to no knowledge. Only the “propaganda” of each party. Except for the words of witnesses in Sudan. These are just tear-drops of pain of the possible suffering that has been unleashed on the region this November.

The Abiy government got a lot of work ahead. They have done the “easy” part. However, now they have to work with region and its people. Also, ensure they are capable to fight the guerrilla warfare. Which will last as long as the TPLF have soldiers and armed personnel.

I wonder, if his “no mercy” only will harden the hearts of his enemies. The TPLF might strike even more ruthless and strike in fashions, which will hurt the base of Abiy directly. That is what these sort of men does. Now, that the Prime Minister have opened up this Pandora’s box. Don’t expect it to be easy and expect it to haunt him. His the one in-charge and the man of the army. His the man who launched this “Operation Law Enforcement” aka War. Therefore, the man needs to be held accountable for his actions and orders. The deaths of civilians and the ones hurt in the shelling of his armies. The state are supposed to shield them and keep them safe. Not starve them or kill them. That is what happens in a war, but still he wants to act like it didn’t happen.

The TPLF have to stand account for their actions too. It goes both ways. However, it is a vast difference being the “legitimate” government versus the ones deemed “terrorists” and “outlaws” by the Federal Government. The TPLF in that way has nothing to loose. Even if they have lost everything with the actions made by the PM. As he has conquered their region and their home. Still, the TPLF can still find refuge and hide. In manners, which the state is seemingly not ready for.

Because, I doubt a government with this much hubris. The way it targets all its dissidents, charges and arrests all voices who dares to question the Emperor. That this one is prepared for another phase. The PM is to arrogant and high-powered to be prepared for what is coming. He unleashed a what seemed like a winning strategy. However, he was never prepared or have the capabilities to ambushed every step of his way.

The man will live with paranoia. As he has arrested all the Oromo Opposition, journalists who reports unfavourable and any other activists who dares to speak. He also kills Oromo’s on the daily, which has done since 2018. So, it’s not like this man doesn’t thrive in blood. The only difference in Tigray. Is that the TPLF have more of machinery and knows what they meeting. This is why it’s happening like this. The ones losing these war-games. Isn’t the big-men, but the innocent civilians caught in the cross-fire. Peace.

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