TPLF’s child soldiers who have been peacefully surrendered to federal forces in Afar State said that the terrorist clique indiscriminately conscripted their age mates and forced them to raise arms against the more trained and armed defense forces.
Approached by local media, the child soldiers, in a flood of tears, stated that they became part of the war not to be killed by the criminal faction. Sadly, they have lost many of their brothers and sisters in the military engagement.
One of the child soldiers, Eyerusalem Hailay said that she was taken by forces loyal to the outlaw group while she was out of her home in Mekelle on July 14. Without training and weapons, the forces ‘fooled’ her to join the war, promising her that ‘TPLF will win and capture Addis Ababa shortly.’
“When the war started, we panicked and surrendered to the Ethiopian National Defense Forces (ENDF).”
Helen Hadgu, another child soldier, said for her part that she had no idea what would happen when was taken away from Mekelle to Afar State. During the war, the child soldiers were provided only with biscuits and river water.
“My friends were in terror when I surrendered to the Ethiopian Army, and I am happy about that.”
She also called on the people of Tigray to fight the terrorist TPLF that forces children to war in order to stay in power.
As to Isaias Alem, another child soldier, the faction has been forcibly recruiting Tigray’s children to war. “My age-mates and I have a dream to learn and to become better citizens, but TPLF says that we have to fight so as not to be attacked.”
Noting their lives saved by the careful action of the Ethiopian National Army, Isaias expressed his regret that fugitives of justice have sent their own children abroad for education whilst they decide to remain in power at the expense of Tigray children’s lives.
Afar State Correction Facilities Deputy Commissioner Mohammed Ahmed stated that the pastoral community along with the ENDF and the state’s Special Forces repulsed the junta’s invasion and inflicted significant harm to the latter.
The Ministry of Defense announced that the terrorist TPLF clique forcibly used under age children in the war dreaming of victory. The faction also collected the dead bodies of these child soldiers planning for its propaganda consumption, blaming ‘Ethiopian National Army is a killer.’