Nov. 8 (UPI) — Ethiopia’s parliament on Saturday voted in an emergency session to dissolve the government of the country’s troubled northern region of Tigray.
Ministers voted to disband the Tigray People’s Liberation Front, the party that administers the region, after military skirmishes with soldiers from the Ethiopian Defense Forces Northern Command have flared up in recent weeks.
“The illegal actions of the TPLF elites are now beyond the containment of ordinary actions of rule of law,” said Mesfin Chernet, the parliament’s deputy whip. “They passed the boundaries of law and order and cannot be controlled or prevented under routine law enforcement mechanisms.”
Ethiopia’s Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed, awarded the Nobel Peace Prize last year, said Friday that air strikes had been carried out on military installations in Tigray.
Ahmed called the TPLF “criminal elements” in a tweet Saturday and said the Ethiopian federal authority “aims to end the impunity that has prevailed for far too long and hold accountable individuals and groups under the laws of the land.”
The United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, Michelle Bachelet, called on both sides Friday to resolve the violence and make peace.
“Over the past week, we have seen alarming violence erupt in the Oromia region as well as in Tigray. I urge all sides to halt the violence, to avoid additional loss of life, mass displacement and further destabilization,” Bachelet said. “I call on all actors to engage in a genuine, inclusive and credible dialogue to solve any differences through peaceful means,” she added.
The TPLF was formerly a dominant force in Ethiopia’s ruling coalition, even though the region has only about 6% of the population. The party’s power was slashed after Abiy became prime minister as he dissolved the ruling coalition to replace it with the Prosperity Party, a single, national party that TPLF refused to join