June 20, 2024

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An Afar-based armed group parts its ways with TPLF-led alliance

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ARDUF has left the TPLF-led alliance. Afar Revolutionary Democratic Unity Front (ARDUF) popularly known as Ugugumo has released a statement.

At the start of November last year, nine Ethiopian groups formed an alliance against the Ethiopian government. The alliance was named United Front of Ethiopian Federalist and Confederalist Forces. Tigray-based TPLF was the main force behind the alliance.

From the Afar region, ARDUF was part of the alliance. The alliance announced to dismantle the Ethiopian government by force or through negotiations. The alliance was formed when TPLF was threatening to remove Ethiopian PM Abiy’s government militarily by reaching Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa.

However, in recent months, battlefield advantage has shifted considerably in favor of Ethiopian government forces. Tigray forces have been forced to retreat back into Tigray from most parts of neighboring Amhara and Afar regions.

In its statement, ARDUF says it is distancing itself from the TPLF-led alliance because Tigray forces launched a new offensive on the Afar region. Tigray government announced a new attack on neighboring Afar more than a week ago. The government accused Afar and Eritrean forces of border incursions into Tigray.

ARDUF in its statement accuses Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) of civilian killings in the ongoing Tigray’s attack on Afar. ARDUF stands with the people of Ethiopia, says the Afar-based armed group.

After the military retreat of Tigray forces from neighboring Amhara and Afar regions, the TPLF-led nine-party alliance has lost its significance. Tigray forces are fighting for their survival and for breaking the siege that Tigray is under since November 2020.

How would this decision of ARDUF be seen in Afar? When TDF was advancing in Afar between July & November last year, ARDUF was on the side of the Tigray People’s Liberation Front. Now when Tigray forces are on the backfoot, ARDUF wants to stand with “the people of Ethiopia”.