Museveni's son endorses Tigray forces' bid to conquer Addis Ababa

The son of Uganda’s President Yoweri Museveni, Maj Gen Muhoozi [File Photo]

KAMPALA - The Tigray Defense Forces [TDF] has received a major boost in the fight against Ethiopian National Defense Forces [ENDF], in what could change the course and the overall strategy in the ongoing conflict within the federal republic of Ethiopia.

Lt. General Muhoozi Kainerugaba, the son of Uganda President Yoweri Museveni, backed the TDF struggle against Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed's administration, in what could widen the conflict between Addis Ababa and Kampala.

Muhoozi Kainerugaba is the current force commander of Uganda People's Defense Forces [UPDF]. He was promoted to head the Ugandan land forces recently having served as a close advisor of President Museveni.

In a viral tweet, Muhoozi also seemingly suggested that President Yoweri Museveni is supporting the Tigray rebels, who have pushed the Ethiopian National Defense Forces [ENDF] further south. TDF had pledged to seize Addis Ababa.

"I urge my great and brave brothers in the Tigrayan Defence Forces to listen to the words of General Yoweri Museveni! I am as angry as you and I support your cause. Those who raped our Tigrayan sisters and killed our brothers must be punished," he said.

Muhoozi Kainerugaba, being a close advisor of his father, could as well suggest that Uganda is keen to have PM Abiy Ahmed's administration toppled. Museveni was recently in Addis Ababa for African Union summon and held bilateral talks with Abiy Ahmed.

But the tweet did not go well with United Nations Aids Executive Director Winnie Byanyima, who is also the spouse to veteran Ugandan opposition leader Kizza Besigye. Kizza has been at loggerheads with his former ally cum foe Yoweri Museveni.

"Please delete this tweet. It is risking the lives of Ugandans working and living in Ethiopia," Winnie Byanyima responded to Muhoozi Kainerugaba's remarks.

"Madame Winnie. Good to hear from you. It's been a long time. I last saw you in SH in 1987. It is the responsibility of the Ethiopian gov’t to protect all citizens and visitors in Addis and the rest of the country. If the TDF is doing it in areas they control, why shouldn't the government," Kainerugaba respond?

Despite the ongoing tussles, on Sunday, the African Union special envoy to the Horn of Africa Olusegun Obasanjo held talks with top Tigray leadership in Mekelle. TDF spokesperson Getachew Reda termed the discussion as " fruitful".

But the Tigrayan ethnic group living in Addis Ababa and other Ethiopian cities said the expansion of the conflict has meant an escalation of a crackdown by police and government security forces against them.

Several Tigrayan people interviewed by The Wall Street Journal said they have gone into hiding after relatives and friends were detained in recent days and weeks and struggled to find lawyers to represent them.

On Sunday, thousands of Ethiopians sympathetic with Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed held peaceful protests in Addis Ababa in solidarity with the rather weakened ENDF. They vowed to stand with the federal army during this "difficult moment".


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