Ethiopia’s Military Captures Tigray’s Former President


ADDIS ABABA (Somaliguardian) – Ethiopia’s military has arrested former president of Tigray region Abay Weldu and the acting Deputy president of the region’s ousted administration Dr. Abraham Tekeste.

Images of the two officials who were members of the country’s outlawed TPLF rebellious group have circulated online and it was noted that Abay Weldu looked very unwell as he appeared handcuffed in footage published by state-affiliated media.

The Ethiopian military said Abay Weldu had been arrested in a remote valley he was hiding in since allied Ethiopian and Eritrean forces took over Tigray’s regional capital, Mekelle in late November last year.

Abay Weldu was the president of Tigray region from 2010 until 2018.

Among other officials captured by the military is the region’s acting deputy president Abraham Tekeste. Mr Tekeste was the Minister of Finance and Economic Cooperation of Ethiopia in 2016 and served other ministerial posts during TPLF’s rule of Ethiopia.

Other senior officials arrested include former chief auditor of the Tigray region Redae Berhe, Director of Tigray Statistics Muleta Yirga, Head of Religious Affairs in Tigray Iqubay Berhe and Head of Security of Tigray Getachew Tefari.

Dozens of TPLF affiliated individuals have been arrested since Ethiopian federal troops seized control of Mekelle on November 28 last year.

More updates on Ethiopia

There have been reports over the past days that TPLF members have been arrested and taken to Eritrea. TPLF officials captured in the town of Shire were reportedly flown to Eritrea and Ethiopian government has not immediately commented on the move.

It is reported that the son of Sebhat Nega, one of the founders of TPLF, Tekeste Sebhat, was killed by a drone when he was driving in a remote area in Tigray region. The attack took place six weeks ago and it was earlier reported that TPLF spokesman Sekoture Getachew and former director of the Ethiopian Broadcasting Authority, and journalist Abebe Asgedom were killed in a drone strike a month ago.

Reports have emerged over the past hours that TPLF’s head of logistics Major General Ibrahim Abduljelil and Brigadier General Gebrekidan Gebremariam have been killed by the Ethiopian military in a recent attack.

Eritrean troops have forced more than 6,000 refugees from Shimelba camp to return to Eritrea, days after their presence in Ethiopia have been officially confirmed by Ethiopian military officials. Sources approached by some media were quoted as saying that 120 refugees disappeared and 64 others were killed in the camp.

Witnesses have told media that 12 Ethiopian civilians were massacred by Eritrean soldiers in the church of Medhanie Alemin Gu’etelo near Asefe, which is not far from Adigrat. The attack took place in December, according to people who saw as the incident happened.

Heavy fighting has been taking place in the town of Asgede in North West of Tigray region and fires have been detected in the area.

A convoy heading for Shire has been reportedly been ambushed by Tigray regional forces. Casualties have not been immediately clear and sources say a high ranking military officer might have been part of the convoy.

There have been reports of door to door killings of civilians en masse in BoraSolewe in Tigray over the last few days. The area has seen TPLF resistance against military offensive by federal troops.

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