Hours after the drone attack that reportedly targeted Mekelle University’s Adi Haki Campus and the TV station of Dimitsi Weyane, the Military Command of Tigray Army issued a statement on what is called “heavy battles which have been going on day and night for more than three weeks”.
This is the first statement from the Military Command after its last statement on August 27, 2022. The statement also comes in the same week of the Djibouti talks where Tigray was represented by Getachew Reda, Tsadikan Gebretinsae and Wondimu Asaminew, and Ethiopia by Redwan Hussien and Gedion Timothewos.
Today’s statement from the Military Command included details of the number of infantry and mechanized divisions of Ethiopia and Eritrea, as well Amhara Special Forces, Fano and militia that took part in the five fronts included, namely, Dedebit Front, Adiyabo Front, Adiarqay Front, Sekota Front, and South Front.
Some part of the statement on Dedebit Front was in the making for the past days according to UMD Media sources. Abiy Ahmed was very confident and counted on the Dedebit Front as major entry point to Tigray at the time he sent his delegation to Djibouti. Though the Ethiopian delegates went there with no agreeing or signing mandate, sources told UMD Media that everything was going relatively smoothly until the Tigray delegation informed the Ethiopian delegates and the US mediators regarding what happened at the Dedebit Front in the context of asserting the point of choosing a peaceful resolution. It is at this point the Ethiopian delegation decided to contact Addis Ababa and leave.
Sources also confirmed that Abiy Ahmed had meetings with military and civilian leaders of Ethiopia prior to August 24, 2022 on his plan of not only defeating militarily and controlling Tigray but also plans on how Tigray would be administered after victory.
The Military Command statement said, “Our enemies have mobilized all the resources of Ethiopia, regular and irregular forces and capabilities, and the foreign invading regime of Isaiah Afwerki has been using all the capabilities of Eritrea to exhaust the potential of the two countries. “
It added more than three weeks of offensive battles against it are “foiled by the remarkable perseverance and struggle of our heroic army.”
It is hard to verify the veracity of the details included in the statement independently. A significant decrease in intensity of pro Ethiopian government mainstream and social media reporting of war front has been observed over the past week by UMD Media’s monitoring unit. Whether this decrease reflects what has happened on the ground is not easy to tell.
A summary of the Military Command’s statement:
Dedebit Front – from Western Tigray:
27 divisions composed of 23 infantry divisions, 1 mechanized division, 3 divisions of Amhara Special Forces and thousands of FANO and militia aiming at breaking Tigray’s defense positions to enter Shire town.
After 10 days of a successful defensive battle, Tigray army launched a full counter-offensive on September 11, 2022.
Adiyabo Front – from Eritrea
Starting Sept 1, 2022, 9 Ethiopian infantry divisions, more than 3,000 Amhara Special Forces and 24 infantry divisions and 2 mechanized divisions of Eritrea were deployed and have been conducting extensive attacks for more than 10 days on 3 directions, namely Fikiya Gebre, Wa’ela N’hb and Hiret to Adi Awala with the aim of taking control of Shire.
Adiarqay (also spelt as Adi Arkay) Front – from Amhara
Since September 3, 2022, more than 6 infantry divisions, 1 mechanized division, 3 divisions of Amhara Special Forces and countless militias and FANO have been fighting on the Adi Arkay front.
Southern Front – from Amhara
Starting Sept 9, 2022, more than 18 infantry divisions, 4 Special Commando divisions, 1 Republican Guard division, 1 mechanized division, 4 Amhara Special Forces divisions and thousands of FANO and militia in the direction of Worke and Gobiye , Balago and Wendoch Ber and surrounding areas. Tigray forces now controls Worke, AleWha, Gobiye, Balago and surrounding areas.
Sekota (Seqota) Front – from Amhara
Between August 31- Sept 5, 2022, Ethiopian army has mobilized more than 13 infantry divisions, 1 mechanized division, 4 divisions of Amhara Special Forces and a large number of FANO and militia to take control of the town of Samre in South Tigray and its surroundings through Abergele. Tigray army and the Agew Democratic Movement army have worked together to weaken the enemy by defending and counter-attacking.