Statement on the Tigray Region Rule of Law Operations

3 Mar 2021

March 3, 2021 | Addis Ababa


I. Context

On November 4, 2020, the Federal Government of Ethiopia initiated a rule of law operation in the northern part of the country – the Tigray Region. The objectives of the rule of law operations have been clearly articulated on several occasions, as has the genesis and history of Constitutional transgressions by the criminal TPLF clique that necessitated a Federal government intervention. The deliberate and heinous attack on the Northern Command of the Ethiopian National Defence Forces, which brutally killed the ultimate guardians of the Constitution, is a crime of high treason under the laws of the land. No individual or entity, nationally or internationally, is above the laws of the land. The Government of Ethiopia realizes its duties of upholding the law and protecting the country.

The objective of the intervention by the Federal government in the current phase of the rule of law operations in Tigray remains two-fold:

  1. To rebuild the region by ensuring that humanitarian needs are addressed; damaged infrastructure is repaired and administrative and governance functions are restored to effectively provide public services to citizens, and
  2. To complete the process of bringing to justice the perpetrators of crime still actively operating in the region

The Federal Government of Ethiopia is committed to delivering on its Constitutionally mandated primary responsibilities of enforcing law and order and will pursue the two objectives to their completion.


II. Situation Update

Humanitarian Situation

Further to the February 24th 2021 update on the Tigray region, current humanitarian assistance has increased to 780,534.6 quintals of food items distributed by the Federal Government to 3.8mil beneficiaries.

The Federal Government has thus far spent Birr 1.87 billion in humanitarian assistance to the Tigray region by reallocating spending other priorities within its budget. Non-food items estimated at more than Birr 80 million have also been distributed in the region by the Federal government.

Considering damages to water lines, around Birr 31million has been allocated to fulfil the requisite spare parts are available for maintenance of water lines, as well as provision of water trucks to areas where service is disrupted. Similarly, extensive work has been undertaken and is ongoing in the health sector, with 20 hospitals and 71 health facilities that have now become operational again. Medical supplies worth close to Birr 199 million have been made available in addition to other materials like emergency vehicles and computers. In the education sector, preparations have been finalized to resume normal school activities at the cost of more than Birr 96million for repair work and procuring the necessary teaching materials.

On humanitarian access, it is to be recalled that Ethiopia announced unfettered access for humanitarian agencies last week. Per consultations held today with UN agencies and other international organizations, further amendments have been made based on consensus on the modality of operations. Humanitarian agencies can operate in the region with unfettered access unhindered mobility, by simply providing a notification of operations to the Ministry of Peace, and at their own risk in region-wide movement.

All entities are expected to abide by the laws of the land and any entity or individual abetting criminality under the guise of provision of aid, will be held accountable.

Human Rights Situation

The Government of Ethiopia has also taken concrete steps to address human rights abuses that have occurred within the context of the conflict triggered by the TPLF. The first major human rights abuse and atrocity to be reported in this regard has been the atrocity committed in Maikadra, resulting in the death of hundreds of civilians by youth organized, enabled and assisted by the TPLF militia. The Ethiopian Human Rights Commission has conducted a thorough investigation of the matter and has released its preliminary findings in a report.

Furthermore, the Federal Police and federal prosecutors have also conducted a criminal investigation relating to the atrocities that have been committed in Humera and Maikadra. Based on this criminal investigation in which more than 250 witnesses have given their testimony, investigators have identified around 200 suspects. Although most of the suspects have fled to Sudan,21 suspects have been apprehended and criminal charges will be pressed against them in the coming weeks.

In line with the government’s commitment to uphold rule of law and bring to account anyone who is responsible for committing such heinous crimes, federal investigators are conducting investigations in relation to other credible allegations of atrocities and serious human rights abuses in other parts of the region, including in Axum. The Ethiopian Human Rights Commission is also conducting its own independent investigation in relation to such incidents and allegations in other parts of the Tigray Region including in Axum. The Commission has also signalled its willingness to collaborate with relevant UN agencies for the purpose of these investigations.

The Attorney General Office is also committed to conducting its own independent investigations. Based on thorough, on the ground investigations, the Government of Ethiopia is committed to discharging its obligation of ensuring accountability for any serious human rights violations.

Media Access

The Federal Government has recently granted full access for international and local media to travel to and report from the Tigray region. As such so far eight international media are already active.

Media operating in the region are to be bound by operating protocols that ensures understanding of the context, legal operations and mobility as established by the Ethiopian Broadcast Authority. The Government of Ethiopia believes the allegiance of journalists must always be to the facts, the nuances of history, and to a sober analysis of facts. We caution the media from simply confirming the considerable misinformation and disinformation campaign of TPLF operatives that is conducted by influencing witness testimonies.

The Ethiopian National Defence Force will ensure the security of media personnel in areas that the ENDF are stationed in within the Tigray region. Any media wishing to venture out of ENDF stationed areas will not be hindered from mobility but will do so at their own risk. The Federal Government will not be responsible for risks endured by media personnel that function outside of the established operating protocols.

The Federal Government welcomes the work of international and local media to cover events and activities in the Tigray region. Nevertheless, any media entity or personnel that breach national laws, including by aiding and abetting criminal entities and perpetrators, will be held accountable per the laws of the land.

Law Enforcement

The government is also supporting the strengthening and operationalization of law enforcement bodies within the region. Having completed training, the regional police force is now operational in six zones of the region. Correctional facilities in Mekelle and Adigrat have become operational again to deal with criminal offenders. And courts in Mekelle have begun to attend to cases with efforts underway to operationalize the judicial system region-wide.

Infrastructure Repairs

The region has sustained heavy infrastructure damage by TPLF forces in the past few months, resulting in telecom line, electricity and transportation access disruptions. Since then, the Federal government has been making a concerted effort to undertake repairs.


Video footage retrieved from Ethio Telecom Mekelle site shows perpetrators tampering with the data centre equipment which led to telecom service interruption in early November 2020. Transmission lines and fibre optic cables were also damaged by the TPLF militia retreating into the mountains, further cutting off from communication the entire region. Efforts by Ethio Telecom and other stakeholders to repair damaged infrastructure have enabled 363 mobile sites have been restored with mobile voice and fixed services actively running in more than 26 areas in the region. Some areas have been reconnected with temporary transmission lines and therefore some service interruptions are possible.


Electricity transmission lines and conductors have also been tampered with and damaged by the TPLF militia which resulted in an electricity blackout in the region. Ethiopian Electric Power undertook an extensive technical audit of damages to 18 transmission as well as 17 power distribution centres lines in the North. Damages sustained are estimated at more than Birr 240 million with repair efforts underway.


Based on initial damage assessments undertaken by the Ethiopian Roads Authority in the Tigray region, specific places along 195kms of roads have been damaged by retreating TPLF militia since November 2020. Efforts to repair the damage has been initiated with an estimated budget of Birr 11million required to maintain damages caused by TPLF on public roads in the region.

Banking Services

Banking services have also become operational in many parts of the region, following a disruption of services due to damages to telecom infrastructure. With the resumption of fixed broadband service by Ethio Telecom, most banks in the region have already resumed services, with the exception of a few that have sustained damages.


III. State of Emergency Leadership

It is to be recalled that following the enactment of the State of Emergency in Tigray Region on November 4, 2020, by the Council of Ministers in their 21st Extraordinary Session, the State of Emergency Task Force was being led by the Chief of Staff of the Armed Forces. As of March 3, 2021, the State of Emergency Task Force will be led by General Yohannes Gebremeskel Tesfariam.


IV. Conclusion

The Federal Government of Ethiopia encourages international partners interested in supporting our efforts of rebuilding the Tigray region to engage constructively. Engagements need to be based on ensuring that the people of the region receive the assistance they need for life to fully return to normalcy.

Ethiopia rejects any partisan interventions and politically motivated campaigns against the country and government, aimed at undermining the rule of law measures it has taken and will continue to take in bringing the criminal clique and other perpetrators to justice. The Ethiopian people, in all corners of the country, have paid sacrifices over a span of three decades due to the criminality of the TPLF and are now intent on forging ahead on to the path of democratization, enduring peace and development.

The Federal Government of Ethiopia welcomes partnerships that will support it to deliver on these aspirations and those embodied in the reforms journey undertaken since 2018.


Latest News

Browse all
27 Feb 2024
የኢ.ፌ.ዴ.ሪ. ኤምባሲ ለንደን የሚሸፍናቸው ሀገራት ነዋሪ ለሆናችሁ ሁለተኛ ትውልድ ኢትዮጵያውያን እና ትውልደ ኢትዮጵያውያን የቀረበ ታላቅ ሀገራዊ ጥሪ! ክቡር የኢ.ፌ.ዴ.ሪ. ጠቅላይ ሚኒስትር ዶ/ር ዐቢይ አሕመድ ሁለተኛው ትውልድ የኢትዮጵያ ዳያስፖራዎች በሦስት ዙር ወደ ሀገራቸው በመግባት ኢትዮጵያን እንዲጎበኙ እና የባህል መሠረታቸውን እንዲያውቁ የቀረበውን ጥሪ በመቀበል የመጀመሪያው ዙር የጉዞ መርሃ ግብር የተጀመረ ሲሆን በዚህም በመላው ዓለም የሚገኙ በርካታ ኢትዮጵያውያን እና ትውልደ ኢትዮጵያውያን ወደ ሀገራቸው…
11 Jan 2024
Back To Your Origins
UK pledges to increase dev’t aid to 200 mln Euros Ethiopia and United Kingdom (UK) have finalized to ink the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to scale up the diplomatic ties to strategic partnership level, said Ethiopian Ambassador to UK. In an exclusive interview with The Ethiopian Herald, Ethiopian Ambassador to the UK Teferi Melesse said that the activities are ongoing…
9 Jan 2024
Ethiopia-UK ties to enter ‘new era’
The Embassy of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia in London wishes you a joyful holiday season and prosperous New Year.
31 Dec 2023
Happy New Year 2024!
we extend our warmest invitation to you for the highly anticipated 1st Dire International Technology Expo 2024. As an influential figure in the technology sector, your presence at this groundbreaking event would be highly valued. Date: Jan 24 to Jan 28 / 2024 Venue: Dire Dawa Youth Sports Center Website: The first Dire International Technology Expo 2024 is poised…
27 Dec 2023
Dire International Tech Expo
22 Dec 2023
Festive Message from Ambassador Teferi Melesse Desta
በለንደን የኢ.ፌ.ዴ.ሪ ኤምባሲ አስተባባሪነት ከዩናይትድ ኪንግደም ከሚገኙ የንግድና ዘርፍ ማህበራት ጋር በመቀናጀት እ.ኤ.አ ከዲሴምበር 13-15/2023 ባዘጋጀው የልምድ ልውውጥ ፕሮግራም 11 አባላትን የያዘ የኢትዮጵያ ንግድና ዘርፍ ማህበራት ምክር ቤት የልዑካን ቡድን በለንደን ከተማ ከሚገኙ 3 የብሪታንያ የንግድ ምክር ቤቶች ጋር የልምድ ልውውጥና የትብብር ግንኙነት ውይይት አደረጉ፡፡ ሶስቱ የንግድ ም/ቤቶች የብሪቲሽ ንግድ ም/ቤት፤ የብርቲሽ-ኢትዮጵያ ንግድ ም/ቤትና የለንደን ንግድ ም/ቤት ናቸው። በሶስቱም መድረኮች…
15 Dec 2023
የኢትዮጵያ ንግድና ዘርፍ ማህበራት ምክር ቤት የልዑካን ቡድን የለንደን ቆይታ
7 Dec 2023
The main office of the Global Black History, Heritage, and Education Centre (GBHHEC) will be officially established in Addis Ababa on Friday, December 08, 2023. Lead by Ambassador Teferi Melesse, Ethiopian Ambassador to the United Kingdom and North Ireland, a delegation of founding board members of the Global Black History, Heritage, and Education Centre (GBHHEC) landed in Addis Ababa. Director…
6 Dec 2023
Ethiopia will remain the center of important historical, cultural, and diplomatic initiatives.
በኤፕሪል 1973 ወደ ዩናይትድ ኪንግደም በረራውን ቦይንግ 720-ቢ አውሮፕላን በመጠቀም በሳምንት ለሁለት ቀናት የጀመረው የኢትዮጵያ አየር መንገድ በአሁኑ ወቅት አጅግ ዘመናዊ የሆኑ ኤርባስ 350 እና ቢ787 ድሪምላይነር አውሮፕላኖችን በመጠቀም በሳምንት ለአስር ጊዜያት በቀጥታ በረራ እያካሄደ መሆኑ ተመልክቷል፡፡ በዚህም ከአስር ሺህ በላይ መንገደኞችን ወደ 60 አለም አቀፍ መዳረሻዎች እያጓጓዘ መሆኑን በዩናይትድ ኪንግደም እና አየርላንድ የአየር መንገዱ ጽ/ቤት አስታውቋል፡፡ በለንደን ሂትሮ እና…
23 Nov 2023
የኢትዮጵያ አየር መንገድ ወደ ዩናይትድ ኪንግደም የሚያደርገውን በረራ በሳምንት ወደ አስር ጊዜያት ማሳደጉን አስታወቀ፡፡
On the sidelines of the Global Food Security Summit the Ethiopian Ambassador to UK H.E. Ambassador Teferi Melesse Desta met with British International Investment and AgDevCo to discuss potential investment and collaboration in Ethiopia. The Ambassador commended the work done with EthioChicken and explained the robust potential Ethiopia has attract even more investment.
21 Nov 2023
Ambassador Teferi met with BII and AgDevCo
We are excited to announce the inaugural flight of Ethiopian Airlines from Addis Ababa to Gatwick Airport landed earlier today! This new route marks an important milestone in Ethiopian Airlines commitment to providing convenient and seamless travel options for passengers between the UK and Ethiopia. We look forward to welcoming you on board as we connect the vibrant city of…
21 Nov 2023
Ethiopian Airlines Started new route to London Gatwick Airport.