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News update: Mekelle interim mayor says remark on Eritrea forces only a repeat of military official; interim CEO says…

Jan 04, 2021
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A screenshot of Ataklti Haileselassie, Interim Mayor of Mekelle city, as he spoke about the presence and participation of Eritrean forces in Tigray conflict

By Medihane Ekubamichael @Medihane 

Addis Abeba January 04/2021 – Commenting on his remarks regarding the presence and involvement of Eritrean forces in Tigray’s armed conflict, Atakilti Hailesilasie, interim mayor of Mekelle City told Addis Standard by phone that his remarks were “only a repeat of what Maj. Gen. Belay Seyoum, Chief of the North Command, relayed at a public conference to the question repeatedly raised by the people.”

“I just
repeated what Major General Belay Seyoum said at an earlier meeting held at
Hawulti Semaetat hall as this question was repeatedly raised by the people,”
Ataklti said

According to the
interim mayor, the youth raised the question and the General gave the answer
accordingly. “By the next day when we held another public conference with
civil servants, similar question was raised about this matter and I just quoted
General Belay on what he said the previous day, and explained that the
government is working on the issue with due attention.” he told Addis Standard.

When asked to
comment further on the exact nature of Eritrean force’s involvement,  Atikilti said he was not mandated to
communicate such matter as it is a national issue and it is the command post
that should deliver such issues related to national, sovereignty and border
issues.

“I am not
allowed to communicate such matter at my level, this is a national issue and the
responsible body should respond to this issue,” Atakilti said.

“The
Tigray people are suffering at the moment with many people having their houses
demolished and many more suffering from hunger lack of infrastructure. If
anyone who claims to be a supporter and representative of the Tigray people,
there are lots of issues that need to be addressed rather than focusing such
matters.”

Dr. Mulu Nega,
interim CEO of Tigray Regional State Provisional Administration, made a brief remark
to Addis Standard that “corrective measure” has been taken with regard to the interim
mayor’s speech as he is “not authorized to discuss such matters”

According to Dr. Mulu’s brief remark by phone, thess issues are exclusively given to the members of the military command post who are mandated to deliver the press on the current security situation in the regional state. AS

   

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