Government announced that it will demand the extradition of wanted individuals in connection with the ongoing law enforcement campaign on Tigray People’s Liberation Front /TPLF/ in the Tigray regional state. Leaders of the TPLF would be facing charges of high treason, terrorism and as well as charges for attacking a neighboring state.
“Based on our investigation and the pronouncement of statement showing decision made by the top leaders of TPLF have gone to show that this constitutes serious crimes under the laws of the land,” said Gedion Timothewos, federal attorney general on a joint press briefing with Redwan Hussein, State Minister for Foreign Affairs and spokesperson for the State of Emergency Task Force on Monday.
According to Gedion, the TPLF was guilty of impeding the defensive power of the State of Ethiopia, and under the ongoing criminal investigation, that would constitute high treason. “So far 167 individuals have been identified by the federal police collaborating with the federal prosecutor and issued arrest warrants by the federal court,” he said adding that some have already been arrested.
“There are certain individuals living abroad who are members of TPLF receiving orders and collaboration with the TPLF on the current crime,” said Gedion adding that, “This will be an ongoing process that might take some time for granting and requesting extradition.” However, there had not been official issued request to extradition as the federal attorney general said.
The TPLF leadership would also be facing charges of attacks against the territorial integrity and constitutional order of the country, both qualifying as high treason. The successive times the TPLF admittedly fired rockets on in Bahirdar and Gonder in the neighboring Amhara region would also constitute terrorism and for the rockets fired against a neighboring and friendly state.
“The attack against the northern command could constitute crimes of impairing the defensive power of the state and armed rebellion under the definition of the criminal code,” he stated.
On the briefing Redwan said the city of Mekele was totally encircled by the Ethiopian Defense Forces as a 72 hour deadline issued by Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed for TPLF leaders and fighters to surrender was approaching. “In offering a 72-hour ultimatum, the government hoped the people of Tigray would understand the reality on the ground versus what they had been made to believe through hoaxes and TPLF propaganda,” he uttered.
“TPLF is now limited to Mekele,” he said, “It is now high time that the people of Tigray said enough is enough.”
He said TPLF forces had destroyed the airport in the ancient town of Axum, bulldozing the runway before escaping from the city.
“We have enough reason to believe they would render derelict sacred places in Mekele. The TPLF already destroyed six bridges and other roads,” he said.
On Thursday Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed had ordered the army to move to Mekele after the 72 hours ultimatum ended to surrender and warned the residents of Mekele to stay in door. “As the federal government is mandated to enforce rule of law in the country the failure to do so would nurture a culture of impunity with devastating cost to the survival of the country,” said the Prime Minister’s office in its statement.
In the beginning of the week , South African President Cyril Ramaphosa appointed a three member delegation including Joaquim Chissano from Mozambique, Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf of Liberia and Kgalema Motlanthe of South Africa to come to Ethiopia to meet with Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed,
Similarly, on Friday the representatives of the African union envoy met with Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed in order to end military offence in the country as well as encouraging to reach to negotiations with the TPLF.