Ethiopia: how the Tigray rebel forces organize resistance

English translation of a broadcast article on Radio France International (includes some short interviews, French – Tigrinya – English): https://amp.rfi.fr/fr/afrique/20210523-éthiopie-comment-les-forces-rebelles-du-tigré-organisent-la-résistance


Published: 05/23/2021 – 22:55

Un tank brûlé dans la région du Tigré, en Éthiopie, le 18 mars 2021. (Image d'illustration)
A tank burned in Ethiopia’s Tigray region on March 18, 2021. (Illustrative image) REUTERS – BAZ RATNER

The conflict in the north of the country has been going on since November. After three weeks, the federal government shouted victory, but the fighting continues. Leaders of the former TPLF power are still at large and its armed arm, the TDF (Tigray Defence Forces), continues to confront Ethiopian and Eritrean federal forces deployed in Tigray. We meet a TDF cell.

From our special envoy to Ethiopia, Sébastien Németh

These fighters live among the inhabitants of a remote area in the centre of Tigray. Equipped with AK-47 assault rifles, the rebels wage an asymmetrical war. The head of this cell, Colonel Mabrahtu, a professional soldier, is convinced that he will win: “Even if they have tanks, we are ready to fight with our bare hands, because we are fighting for our freedom. We’re launching attacks at night. We kill soldiers, steal their equipment and reuse it against them. To communicate, we pass through the people, because this war is also theirs”.

 “Rather than staying at home and being slaughtered, we have to fight” 

The rebels unload food and clothing donated by the community. According to experts, the seriousness of the crimes reinforced the sense of injustice of the Tigrayans and led to recruitment among civilians. Halami was never a soldier. “My father was diabetic,”  he says. Hospitals were destroyed, there were drug shortages, and he died. All this is planned to kill the Tigrayans. So many join the fight, also to stay alive. And life here is hard. For example, I’ve been wearing the same underwear for five months. »

The TDF claims that resistance is getting better and better organised and even getting stronger. Biniam, a 37-year-old former civil servant, has just joined the rebels in the mountains: “Federal soldiers have arrived. They killed children, elders, mothers. They gathered residents in houses and set it on fire. We have no choice. Rather than staying at home and being slaughtered, you have to fight.  »

According to several experts, the war could last for months or even years and only a dialogue could end the conflict.


One thought on “Ethiopia: how the Tigray rebel forces organize resistance

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  1. if i were there i would join them too – we lost seven (7) members of our family, all innocent unarmed civilians, the youngest was 16 and the oldest was 52 – they weren’t he only ones to’ve been killed, many more were slaughtered on that day – therefore, why wouldn’t Tigreans join the Tigray Defense Forces to fight the armies of dictators Abiy Ahmed and Isaias Afeworki?…many claim TPLF did Ethiopia wrong in the last 28-30 years and yet, it’s the only time we’ve known: Peace, Prosperity, Freedom – as we wait for a chance to go back and see our loved ones as well as our Tigray in general, we hope and pray that the International Criminal Courts will bring these two madmen to World Criminal Court and make them pay for their crimes along with all those who callously accepted to follow their orders and thus massacred endless youth and adults throughout Tigray – lately they’ve went as far as using chemical weapons to destroy the little farming left available to the already hungry peasants – surely the world can see that these two murderers can’t possibly fall lower than this – please continue to bring forth the horrors purported in Tigray by the Ethio-Eritrean forces of Abiy Ahmed and Isaias Afeworki – be the voice of the voiceless victims of these two madmen – and we thank you greatly for your articles – GOD bless

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