Ethiopia: House Designates TPLF, Shene As Terrorist Groups

ADDIS ABABA - The House of Peoples' Representatives yesterday approved a resolution of the Council of Ministers submitted proposing Tigray People's Liberation Front (TPLF) and "Shene" to be designated as terrorist groups.

Presenting the resolution to the House, Government Whip Amb. Mesfin Cherinet, said that the activities carried out by these entities have so far fully met the definition of terrorist crimes stipulated under Article 3 of the Prevention and Suppression of Terrorism Crimes Proclamation No. 1176/2020. As to him, labeling these organizations as terrorist groups, instead of accusing their members and supporters individually for terrorism, can help prevent and suppress terrorist crimes. According to the aforementioned proclamation, these organizations fulfilled all requirements to be classified as terrorists, he also noted.

The TPLF had been involving in a number of illegal activities since its ouster from power by public protest, he said, adding that it had been working hard to overthrow the federal government by force. "Party's barbaric action against members of the Northern Command of Ethiopian National Defense Force on November 04, 2020 is a vivid case in point in this regard," he indicated.

According to him, the party had been training and supporting various anti-peace groups in different parts of the country to endanger the ongoing national reform. It was also misinforming the people and urging them to turn against the government. He also stated that the party's top leaders are the main coordinators of the aforesaid terrorist activities.

The resolution indicated that senior leaders of the TPLF whose illegal benefits would be harmed as a result of the national reform agenda had resorted to standing against the reform in a bid to defend their wicked interests. But, having understood that the reform process could not fall back easily, they planned to overthrow the reformist government through the use of force. Convinced that the reformist government should be dismantled with force, the group established what it called Tigray Central Army Command and the Executive Committee decided to illegally arm the force.

With a view to facilitating conditions for organizing the command, a new structure had been put in place which was called Force Deployment Division under the Region's Security Bureau whose leadership was taken by generals and colonels who retired from the Ethiopian National Defense Forces. The army officers then presented a proposal of an army doctrine to the Executive Committee that enabled to establish "Tigray Defense Force".

The Force Deployment Division engaged in a rigorous military drilling bringing together the Tigray Special Force and members of VIP Security force. It had also trained militiamen and recalled former members of ENDF and Federal Police force who took leave of the forces for various reasons. The proposal also mentioned the TPLF's wide engagement to prepare the people for war with its motto of raising mass awareness, organizing and deploying the people. The groups also conducted illegal election with ill intentions of labeling the federal government as illegal and create havoc at national level.

According to the resolution, the group armed, financed and trained various groups from various regions including Amhara, Oromia, Afar, Gambella, Benishangul Gumuz with intensions to plant mayhem throughout the country and reclaim federal power illegally and contrary to the wishes of the people.

Similarly, "Shene" also resorted to destruction and armed means despite repeated call and efforts to make it turn its head to peaceful struggle. Hence, the resolution implicated the group that only in 2021 463 people lives were risked. Also, it claimed the lives of 112 members of police force, 57 militiamen, 18 people who were in various leadership positions. In addition, the group is responsible to bodily injuries of 76 members of the police force, 36 militiamen, and two people who were in leadership position.

Earlier in November this year, the group killed 36 innocent civilians in West Wellega, Guliso Werda, Gawwa Qanqa Kebele of Oromia Regional State while setting fire on a number of residences displacing a number of people, it adds. Deputy attorney General of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia Fikadu Tsega told the Ethiopian Press Agency (EPA) that a series of trainings and capacity building activities will be provided to the executive and professionals to prevent harm to innocent citizens during the implementation process.

BY ABDUREZAK MOHAMMED

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