Thousands of residents of Ethiopia’s capital hailing from the northern Tigray region on Sunday denounced the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) group in a pro-government rally held in the capital.
The rally in Addis Ababa came amid Ethiopia’s major pushback on TPLF advances and decisive battleground victories announced by the government over the past two weeks after Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed personally went to the front to lead the army.
The demonstrators, according to local broadcaster FANA, voiced support for the government – which has officially designated the TPLF a terrorist group – and condemned what they described as atrocities being committed by the TPLF and its allies. They further called on the government to liberate the peoples of Tigray from the TPLF.
They also carried signs and shouted slogans denouncing Western “meddling” in Ethiopia’s internal affairs. “Tigrayans and the TPLF are not the same” and “No compromise on Ethiopia’s unity and sovereignty” are two of the slogans heard.
This was the first major demonstration staged by Tigrayans against the TPLF, a party that ruled Ethiopia for 27 years until it was ousted in 2018.
On Saturday, local media outlets showed what appeared to be thousands of TPLF fighters surrendering to Ethiopian forces.
Now in its 13th month, the war in the northern part of Ethiopia has forced nearly 3 million people from their homes and left nearly 10 million people dependent on emergency assistance in the regional states of Tigray, Amhara, and Afar.