Tigray Media House (TMH) journalist Stalin Gebresilasie interviewed the spokes person of Tigray government Mr. Getachew K. Reda on Feb 06 2021. We have summarized the interview by taking the main points as follow:
Mr. Getachew began his interview by stating the war is far from complete, not a single day have passed without a fighting taking place somewhere in Tigray since the war broke out on Nov 04, 2020. Abiyi‘s biggest weapon, is the total communication blockade in Tigray, which helped him to disseminate false narrative about the war being over, while the fact on the ground is to the contrary.
This war is an existential threat to the people of Tigray, therefore the people of Tigray are joining the movement to stand and defend their dignity, democratic and human rights. Thousands of youth are joining the armed struggle from all parts of Tigray.
In this war we are dealing with ENDF, Amhara expansionists and the mercenary Eritrean army which is shamefully looting every property of Tigrians including stoves and dirty kerchief.
Our struggle is not just about liberating the land which is currently occupied by the invaders, since this war is a threat to our existence, we are aiming and preparing for much broader movement to tackle the dangerous threat.
CHIEF OF STAFF
The war in Tigray is mainly spearheaded by Eritrean army generals. Ethiopian chief of general staff, General Birhanu Jula as well as Norther commander General Belay Seyoum are now practically the army spokes person of Eritrean army. Notable, Eritrean Generals such as Sumon Equbu (nickname Riesi Mirak) and Hadush Efreim are leading the war and they are usually heard (via intercepted military radio communications) undermining the orders of the Ethiopian army commanders.
FUTURE OF TIGRAY
Mr. Getachew said, he believe to himself that he is one of the TPLF leaders who firmly believe in the continuity and unity of Ethiopia as a nation. But things have changed after this war, Ethiopian government, along side the Amhara expansionists and the sworn enemy Eritrean government have collaborated to subjugate and annihilate Tigray for ones and for all. They are deliberately leveraging inhumane war tactics, such as mass starvation, complete and indiscriminate destruction of public as well as private properties, high to low level looting, raping, and merciless killings of civilians all over Tigray. Because of this betrayal and the magnificent pain unfolding in the people of Tigray, he and majority of Tigrians will now have hard time to regard Ethiopia as their own nation (country).
It’s only the people of Tigray who have the right to decide whether to continue with Ethiopia or not. For now, the focus of the resistance is to remove the invaders and bring the region into normalcy, once the that is achieved, the people of Tigray will be given the chance to deiced their future.
We are not communicating with our foreign friends and supporters adequately, it’s very hard to communicate while every possible communication mechanism is blocked. But we understand we have supporters all over the world (people, governments and other institutions), because the war crimes being committed on the people of Tigray are evidently clear. Anyone with a conscious mind should condemn this dangerous crimes.
Regardless, we are trying our best to strengthen diplomatic relationships with foreign powers. We are also attempting to reach to the international community. We have observed the international community have a better picture of the ongoing war compared to the rest of Ethiopian people, who are effectively misinformed by Abiyi‘s main media stream.
We understand the destiny of our people doesn’t mainly hung on the position foreign powers take. We are paying tremendous scarifies to defend our dignity, our democratic and human rights, for this purpose thousands of Tigrian youth are joining the armed struggle.
PRISONERS OF WAR
Mr. Getachew said, he recently learned that Abiyi‘s government is referring to them as Junta. We learned from the prisoners of war, that they were send to capture the weak fugitives of Junta (new nickname the govt is using to refer to TPLF leaders). The soldiers are not properly oriented that they are engaging with a well armed opposing forces. We don’t have anything negative against this soldiers, as they are deceived to take part in this war. We see them dying in thousands in every fighting, we pity that. When they are captured we don’t have the moral courage to do any harm on them, since most of them are mislead and deceived, they had no clue what they were getting into.
We have captured soldiers, who only took six days of training. Several soldiers were captured without even shooting a single bullet, their gun was still fully loaded after a fighting that continued for days. One of funniest incidents is, a young women (18 years old) was captured and she immediately started searching for her lost phone and money and even asked the TDF army men to help find her lost items, clearly she has no clue what it really meant to be captured in a battle, very sad.
TDF CURRENT STATUS
We hold continuous meetings to assess our status, the leadership is still intact and no changes have been made, we don’t think change is necessary at this point. As usual we sill follow collective leadership.
Every military measures we take are done after seriously assessing our status and enemies status and stand. For now, we are not under the urgency to liberate major cities, our cities are here to stay, we strategically retreated from our cities to protect them from the indiscriminate bombardment by the enemies. Our army is in strong shape, we continuously evaluate our weakness and work on it. We are also continuously training new soldiers. The goal is not just to liberate our lands, rather to eliminate the main architects of this senseless war. In a very short time, we will liberate Tigray and move forward to deiced the political and social economic destiny of Tigray.
Disclaimer: What is written on this article is not necessarily Getachew’s exact words, rather we have extracted the main points and wrote the article based on that.