Lieutenant General Tadesse Werede Tesfay, Commander-in Chief of the Tigray Defense Forces’s message to the people of Tigray
“Honored sons and daughters of Tigray,
We have been [closely] following the fact that you were being victims of great propaganda attacks of the enemy.
We all know that it [the Ethiopian government] has been making use of all the lies of the world, everything possible, things which ought and ought not to be uttered, and has been and is still carrying out propaganda attacks.
We are in a war, and in war, we all know that there is no smooth road.
This is not something which is new especially to the people of Tigray. It is known that in war there is pushing forward and being pushed back; during fighting one can withdraw a little or advance forward greatly.
What I would like to say, with this as background is, in the past few days, we decided that we needed to make territorial adjustments and left some of the territories, which we had reached, of our own accord in order to minimize vulnerability.
This is one thing; this is not something we did because we were overpowered; all the adjustments we made in all fronts and in all areas, we made voluntarily. Yet [we should keep in mind that] the adjustments were also done within the pressures that take place during war.
It is inevitable that war [inherently] puts you in situations where you are pressured to re-adjust [pull back] or advance forward or take other actions.
Consequently, in accordance with the statement given by the military command, we have made some adjustments.
When we made these adjustments, the enemy considered it as a huge victory; it started carrying out massive operations in various areas.
The operations [mobilizations] which it undertook included local guards [Nech Lebash], militia, trained and untrained [recruits]; it started to carry out offensives from all directions.
It has also been disseminating propaganda saying, “I captured them here and cut [enveloped] them there”. But what is even more amazing is situations were observed when it tried to put all the Amhara farmers in danger by telling them, “position yourselves on the [bottle] neck; capture them; they have scattered”. The other amazing thing is he even started saying, “surrender”.
We are all seeing that he is still saying it.
But I would like to state that the facts on the ground are different from this.
Firstly, the territorial adjustment was [done] voluntarily.
Secondly, the adjustment was done while sorting out [taking care of] the enemy’s attacks and operations. We know that when we go one step back, we will go two steps forward tomorrow. This is also not something new to the people of Tigray.
Having said that, the noise and propaganda of the enemy, their saying, “we’ve entered through this; we’ve mobilized through that”, won’t remain for long.
I would like to assure you that we will reverse this in a short time, reach to our full capability and our full offensive and shorten the war.
The [process of] reversing of the [enemy] noise, which has been prevailing up to now, has also started. I would also like to assure you that we will transition to big tasks [missions] in a few days wherein we will score greater victories.
We are in a very reliable position [militarily] at this moment. The enemy’s attempts which it had undertaken under presumption, is in the process of being neutralized.
Hence, the people of Tigray, “[you should] be confident of your children!”.
Whatever the technology and however large the manpower the enemy brings, [you should] have confidence without doubt on your children, sisters, brothers, fathers, and in general on this army. Soon we will transition into a huge leap; I would like to assure you that the time when we will bring the war to conclusion is very close.
Victory to the people of Tigray!
Tigray will be victorious!”