The Ethiopian army has uncovered 22 fuel tanks that were buried by the rebellious Tigray People Liberation Front (TPLF) near Mekelle, Tigray’s regional capital.
13 of the tanks each holding 225,000 liters of gasoline were found at a place called Gebreal while the remaining nine were found about 300 Km away from the capital, Captain Yohannes Matewos Deputy Operations Head of the 25th Fenqil Division of the Defense Force has disclosed.
According to Captain Yohannes, the contribution of residents of Mekelle city was immense in exposing the whereabouts of the fuel tanks. “The residents also are calling for a rigorous search for additional fuel reserve and firearms,” he added
TPLF kept the fuel secretly at the expense of the people of Tigray for the purpose of war it lost against the federal government, he claimed.
The city’s residents said they were told by local administration that the government had been undertaking massive water projects as fuel concealing activities took place in the area.
There were reports of big fuel and food price hikes as well as water shortages in Mekelle over the past one and half months.
The price of fuel reportedly jumped nearly 10 times from 22 birr before the conflict to 300 birr on the black market.
Power and telephone links were also restored in regional capital Mekelle after a virtual communications blackout since federal troops’ Nov. 4 offensive.
The new government-appointed provisional administration head Dr. Mulu Nega has told state employees, including rank-and-file workers from the previous administration, to return to work or be fired.