Press Conference given by Dr. Debretsion Gebremichael, President of Tigray government
- They’re doing everything to exterminate us through starvation and sickness. It’s not just by the bullet that they want to kill us. After we destroyed the [ENDF] force that was in Tigray and after the rest fled, they have shut off the whole of Tigray.
- The lies and defamation they are concocting about the Tigray government doesn’t even have coherence. They are engaged in non-stop defamation campaign. It’s not just defamation, [they are saying] we are not human. They go as far as boldly saying we came from hell and that our place is in hell. They are saying day and night ‘we will put them to their place [hell]. And recently they are even saying we should be erased from history. Whether it is the devil or something else, we don’t understand what [the cause of this is]. We have heard them say that we should be erased from history. Their hatred for us is limitless. If our difference was [only] political, we could base on our respective [political] stances and carry out dialogue. You may fight; you may resolve it peacefully. But saying they should be erased from history and they should not be remembered is [absurd]. This shows the severity of their hatred. It is with those that we are fighting. It makes you look back and wonder with whom you have been living all this time. The propaganda they are disseminating on the people of Tigray is baffling.
- A huge campaign is underway to disrupt the unity of the people of Tigray. They are working day and night to cause division among us.
- The main aim of the people and government of Tigray is to conclude the people’s war which we are confronted with in a short time.
- We have accepted the executive order signed by President Biden because we believe it is of benefit to the people.
- Many things may be raised on its implementation details and that is going to be taken care of through dialogue. The basic essence of it [agrees with] what the people of Tigray had been fighting for. It has condemned the atrocities and [called for] those deeds that ought to be investigated, to be investigated; for humanitarian aid to become accessible; that we should come towards peace; that Eritrea [army] has to withdraw; that things ought to be resolved through dialogue. They have included the fundamental things. The preconditions that we had set for ceasefire, that all services that have been discontinued – electricity, telecommunication, banks should resume – they have put it in a different way; in their own way. We have supported it because we believe its basic essence is beneficial. But there are issues which we would have to discuss with their representatives.
- Fascist Abiy, on the other hand, has rejected it. We have to know that. Why? Because it must believe that he can do what he wants through force. It is because he thinks ‘I am gathering recruits, I’m importing weapons so I can change it through force’. We have to understand that this is what he believes. It’s not just for bragging or to instill morale [on his forces]… therefore we shouldn’t be caught off guard. [We may wonder] ‘once the aid comes through will it come to an end through this?’ We will strive to bring an end to it [peacefully]. But our main task even now is to intensify our ‘Mekete’ [defensive endeavor]. He is seeking [to end it] through force, then we have to end it through force. Of course it cant be concluded through force. [But] he still wants [end it through force]. It means he has not yet lost hope [of resolving it militarily]. Therefore we have to make ourselves strong. Because there is a supportive worldly condition, we can’t [afford] to do things that cool down our preparations; that cool down our struggle. We have to learn from this. We are in our beliefs. We have accepted it not because we don’t have force [military strength]. It is not because we think he can’t be destroyed through force. He is on the verge of a cliff. He can be destroyed. How did we sweep it out of Tigray? It is because we destroyed it. We followed [its footsteps] and destroyed it. We can destroy what is left – whatever manpower he brings. We work taking even that into account.
- There is a solution to large manpower too. The weapons he brings will also make little difference. There is an answer to everything. We also have military solution. We can solve it as such. We are dealing with it even now. However [we accepted peaceful dialogue] because we believe in peace and dialogue. We were like that before, we are like that now. This can be resolved peacefully. The political issue too can be dealt with politically. But this is not like that. It is genocide. Since it is genocide, unless we are exterminated it won’t be resolved. But this won’t happen. That’s why we have to be strong and destroy their forces. We have to make him yield. If it gets to that point, then it means it has ended. When we get near [to that point] he may accept peace and negotiation. If so, that’s good too. We won’t insist on destroying them all. It is genocide that they want; we have to show them that [carrying out] genocide is not possible.
- Therefore we are accepting it because our aim is not to completely destroy and wipe them out. It is to secure our existence and safety. If there is a [non-military] process that can secure for us that, then that’s good with us. We accept. If it doesn’t benefit us, we will say ‘it doesn’t benefit us’. But his [Abiy’s] aim is not like that; his aim is extermination. And a peaceful negotiation can’t serve to exterminate. Either he has to succumb or he has to be destroyed entirely. Or he may remain and come to negotiations. It is through our [military] strength that we can bring him to negotiations. If we hammer him and show him [his sun] is setting, he will say ‘save me’. So ultimately, it comes down to our strength. Our might has brought about many changes”.
- They don’t care about anything but power. They don’t even aim at bring about victory. They merely want their army make us finish our ammunition and to exhaust us. It is to make us shoot day and night. Overwhelming with numbers won’t work; we have shown them and we will show them. Let alone now, this army has not defeated us during the times of darkness. We have paid dearly and we will pay sacrifice; but it doesn’t have a posture that can conclude the war in victory. It doesn’t have that at all. It will be destroyed.
- We have to make it [PP] give itself up through force. When we come nearer, it may accept peace [negotiation]. But we will not insist on destroying it as long us the safety and security of the people of Tigray is secured. Either we have to destroy [and] subdue it, or we have to hammer it enough to make it come to peace [negotiations]
- The government of Tigray is working on the avenues of diplomacy and peace; fascist Abiy Ahmed, however, is insisting on solving it through its might. But though it wants to continue the genocide it has started, we will show them that that won’t happen.
- The plot of besieging Tigray and making it succumb will not work either now or in the future. We will break out of this siege through our martyrdom and will make them never dare [even] stare at Tigray.
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