State media reported on Wednesday that Ethiopia has arrested 17 military officers on charges of treason, accusing them of colluding with officials in the northern region of Tigray. Prime Minister Abi Ahmed sent troops and air force jets to the federal state of the military last week after a month-long feud with his ruling party, accusing him of seeking to destabilize the country.
Abi, last year’s Nobel Peace Prize winner, said the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) had crossed a “red line” and attacked two federal military bases, which the party denies. The state-affiliated Fana Broadcasting Corporate (FBC) reported that 17 military officers have been arrested “for creating fertile ground” for the TPLF to attack the national army. The officers are charged with cutting off the communication systems between the military’s northern and central command, an act described as “treason”.
According to the FBC, one of the suspects was the head of the Army’s communications department, who was caught in the act of sending 11 boxes “packed with explosives and missile components” to the TPLF.
Meanwhile on Twitter, the head of Ethiopia’s Human Rights Commission, Daniel Bekele, expressed concern over the arrest of the six journalists, without giving details of when they were detained, and what the charge is.He is an editor in the independent Addis Manak, Medihane Ekubamichae, and Bekalu Alamuwe of YouTube news channel Awlo Media.On the arrest of Bekalu, Reporter of Journalists (CPJ) Muthoki Mumo said, “This trend is a dangerous reversal of the initial steps taken by Prime Minister Abia Ahmed’s government to improve press freedom.”The Tigray have been under a communications blackout since the military campaign began last Wednesday, making it difficult to verify the situation on the ground as both sides make claims about casualties and advances.
The head of the northern division of Ethiopia’s army, Major General Belay Seyoum, told national media on Tuesday evening that 550 enemy combatants had been killed and 29 were caught so far.Alsir Khaled, head of Sudan’s refugee agency in eastern border town Kassala said thousands of civilians and some soldiers had already fled the battle and crossed the west into Sudan. “Nearly 3,000 refugees cross,” he said on Tuesday, adding that about 30 Ethiopian soldiers who fled had handed themselves over to the Sudanese authorities.
The international community has expressed concern about the possibility of a drawn-out conflict in Africa’s second most populous country.Abi – who has repeatedly sought to justify rescue and military operations – said it would end on Tuesday “as soon as the criminal junta is revoked, lawful administration in the area is restored, and the fugitive is captured” Goes and is brought.
TPLF dominated politics in Ethiopia for nearly three decades before Abi came to power in 2018, but has complained of being sidelined under his rule and tensions have increased in recent months as they intensify his rule Have become weaker than.