February 17, 2014 (ADDIS ABABA) – Sudanese President, Omer al-Bashir, on Tuesday arrived in the Ethiopia’s northern Tigray regional capital, Mekelle to attend the 40th anniversary of Tigray People’s Revolutionary Front (TPLF).
President Omer Al-Bashir meets with the Ethiopian PM Hailemariam Desalegn on 26 December 2012 (SUNA)
Upon arrival at Mekelle’s Alula Aba-Nega Airport, al-Bashir was warmly welcomed by higher regional and federal government officials.
The people in Tigray will on Wednesday mark the 40th anniversary of TPLF, the dominant section of the country’s ruling political coalition known as Ethiopia Peoples revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF).
In 1974, few Tigrians launched an armed struggle against the then military junta known as the Derg, which is responsible for extra-judicial killings of tens of thousands people mainly ethnic Tigrians.
With the support of Bashir’s regime, the then rebel group, TPLF led by the late Prime Minister, Meles Zenawi, overthrew the Marxist Derg regime in 1991 and formed a government.
During the long struggle for freedom some 60,000 TPLF fighters have died and more than 100,000 were crippled.
On the eve of the celebrations today remains of TPLF martyrs who scarified their lives were laid to rest.
At the occasion, the Sudanese president, Ethiopian prime minister, Hailemariam Desalegn and a number of senior government officials laid a wreath at the martyr’s monument.
Delegations and ambassadors of different countries as well as top government officials including the president have arrived at the city today to attend the celebrations due to take place tomorrow.
Among other, Djibouti’s President Ismail Omer Guelleh, Uganda’s Prime Minister Ruhakana Rugunda and Chairperson of the African Union Commission, Dr. Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma, have arrived at Mekelle.
Representatives of the European Union, China and South Korea are also in attendance.