The Ethiopian government has claimed that “large number” of Tigray Special Forces and the militia are surrendering.
The surrender, it claimed on Tuesday, has come in the wake of the 72-hour ultimatum to the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) fighters.
They were asked to surrender peacefully to the Ethiopian National Defense Forces (ENDF).
“Using the government’s 72-hour period, a large number of Tigray militia and special forces are surrendering.
“Many have surrendered through the Afar region, and the remaining forces are surrendering peacefully,” the state of emergency task force, established by the federal government to watch over the ongoing military operations against the TPLF, said in a statement on Tuesday.
“The Ethiopian government would like to thank members of the Tigray Special Force and the militia who are responding to the call,” the statement read.
“Those still under the control and captivity of the TPLF and are unable to surrender, are asked to disarm wherever they are and refrain from being exploited by the TPLF until the National Defense Forces rescue them,” it added.
Since the early hours of Nov. 4, the Ethiopian government began military operations against the TPLF, which rules over Ethiopia’s northernmost Tigray regional state.
The federal government’s operation followed the TPLF’s attack on the Northern command base of the Ethiopian Defense Force, a division stationed in the region for over two decades and based in Mekelle city, capital of Tigray region.
The Ethiopian government, said on Sunday that its military operations in the northern Tigray regional state are now in its “final and crucial phase.”
Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed urged “members of the Tigray Special Forces and militia, who are carrying out the mission of the destructive clique are called upon to surrender peacefully.”
Amid the ongoing fighting, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), the UN Refugee Agency, disclosed that the number of Ethiopian refugees fleeing to neighbouring Sudan surpassed 38,600.
“Over 3,000 more men, women and children from Ethiopia were registered in East Sudan today. This brings the total up to over 38,600 refugees,” the UNHCR said over the weekend.
The UN Refugee Agency also stressed that Ethiopian refugees fleeing to neighboring Sudan are “in dire need of support, including food, water, sanitation and shelter.”
The Ethiopian government had also vowed to rehabilitate the displaced nationals, who are now in neighboring Sudan.
Ethiopian Prime Minister, Abiy Ahmed, late Sunday stressed his government’s keen interest and readiness to return and rehabilitate its citizens.