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The New York Times: The review of captured Ethiopian soldiers in Tigray is a clear rebuke to Abi Ahmed

The New York Times said that the review of the thousands of Ethiopian troops who were captured in the Tigray capital, Mekele, shows the extent of the loss suffered by an army said to be one of the strongest in Africa.

Thousands of Ethiopian prisoners of war were paraded by Tigray forces as jubilant crowds lined the streets to taunt the captives and cheer on the Tigrayan forces who last week defeated the army.

The newspaper reported that many of the soldiers lowered their heads and their eyes were down, and some of them were carried on stretchers, while others were wearing bandages stained with blood.

The New York Times said that the rapid defeat of the Ethiopian forces was a reversal of the civil war that led to the displacement of nearly two million people in the Tigray region and the spread of hunger and reports of civilians being subjected to brutality and sexual violence.

The newspaper considered the review of the prisoners a clear rebuke of Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed, who had declared in a speech a few days ago that the reports of the defeat of his forces were a lie, and insisted that he had declared a unilateral ceasefire on humanitarian grounds.

Ahmed had declared victory last year, about a month after the start of the military operation in Tigray in November, but the fighting continued for another seven months.

The New York Times said that while some in the crowds in Mekelle mocked the captured soldiers, onlookers threw most of their anger at Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed. About eight months ago, Abiy sent his troops to Mekele to wrest power from the regional leaders and claimed that this step was necessary because the Tigrayans held local elections without the permission of the federal government and tried to seize an Ethiopian military base. But now the Tigray leaders are returning to Mekele and occupying their former offices.