Getachew’s comments further confirm the contents of a video filmed on November 21 of a Zoom meeting between numerous American and European diplomats and Berhane Gebre-christos, a longtime TPLF official who served numerous diplomatic and ministerial roles during the TPLF’s 27 years in power, including a 10-year posting as ambassador to Washington, DC, and two years as Ethiopia’s foreign minister.
\In a recent interview on Tigray TV, a spokesperson for the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) said the group, categorized as a terrorist organization in Ethiopia, was directed by the US to seize power. Publicly, Washington has maintained a position of neutrality on the conflict.
“China’s intention is clear so I understand it. Whereas, the intention of the Americans is for us to enter Addis,” TPLF spokesperson Getachew Reda told Tigray TV’s Dimsti Woyane on December 8, according to a translation from Tigrinya by the Ethiopian outlet Borkena.
In a statement given to the US state media Voice of America’s Amharic-language service on Monday, the US Department of State denied Getachew’s comments, saying the US “has never encouraged the TPLF to expand its military operations or enter Addis Ababa.”
As Sputnik reported, the Western diplomats praised the TPLF’s gains and floated various scenarios about how Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed, the country’s first democratically-elected leader, might be forced to step down.
“I hope that you’ll have military success fairly soon, because it seems as if the situation is only becoming more drastic,” Vicki Huddleston, the former US deputy assistant secretary of defense for African Affairs and US assistant secretary of state for Africa, told Berhane. “Abiy should step down, there should be an all-inclusive transition government.”
The secretive meeting occurred under the auspices of a TPLF-connected think tank set up with financial backing from the US Agency for International Development (USAID), which is part of the US State Department, and the National Endowment for Democracy (NED), a CIA front group used to funnel support to US-aligned groups.