By Firaol Bersisa @FiraolBer
Addis Abeba – The Ministry of Defense commented on the refusal of 528 Tigrayan UN Peacekeepers in Abyei (UNISFA) to return home. The ministry said that the troops who reportedly sought political asylum in Sudan fell victims to propaganda by TPLF’s servants abroad which alleged that returning to Ethiopia meant imprisonment’. “This has caused a state of confusion amongst these deployed members which in turn caused the desertion of ‘some Tigrinya speakers from the Ethiopian National Defense Forces,” the statement said.
In drawing paternalistic similarity, the statement indicated that prior to the ‘law enforcement operation’, Tigrean speaking peacekeepers from Darfur ‘refused to return and subsequently joined the Samri to fight and die in battle.’
The ministry’s presser released on April 27, 2022, accused Tigrayan forces of ‘infiltrating’ Tigrean speakers within the defense forces for its own aims of perpetrating an attack against the Northern command in November 2020.
The statement went on to state that during the ‘national law enforcement operation’, Tigrinya speakers members of the ENDF were afforded their salaries and benefits whilst staying home for the sake of what it called the ‘success of the operation and internal coherence’. And accordingly added that Tigrinya speaker stationed abroad for peace deployment missions were made to remain there because ‘it was assumed their presence would cause no impact on the law enforcement operation’,
The ministry, however, attached gratitude to those Tigrinya speakers it said returned to their country despite many pressures. It stressed that when this conflict is resolved, Tigrinya speakers who are based in their homes and those who returned from peacekeeping operations [both of which are entitled to their rights and benefits] will return to the ENDF to serve their country.
Lastly, the conclusion made an extended call to members of peacekeeping operations, and soldiers undertaking duties within the army, including those currently out of work whilst receiving salaries and benefits to ‘‘to serve their country, protect their families from disintegration, maintain their benefits and not avoid historical treason’ by guarding against the ‘propaganda of TPLF’. AS