Ethiopia says Tigray city seized, conflict embroils Eritrea


© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Members of Amhara area militias trip on their truck as they head to the mission to face the Tigray Folks’s Liberation Entrance in Sanja


By Giulia Paravicini

ADDIS ABABA (Reuters) – Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed’s authorities mentioned on Monday it had captured one other city within the northern Tigray area after practically two weeks of combating in a battle already spilling into Eritrea and destabilising the broader Horn of Africa.

A whole bunch have died, not less than 20,000 refugees have fled to Sudan and there have been studies of atrocities since Abiy ordered air strikes and a floor offensive towards Tigray’s rulers for defying his authority.

The battle might jeopardise a latest financial opening, fire up ethnic bloodshed elsewhere round Africa’s second most populous nation, and tarnish the status of Abiy who received a Nobel Peace Prize final 12 months for a peace pact with Eritrea.

The Tigray Folks’s Liberation Entrance (TPLF), which governs the area of greater than 5 million individuals, has accused Eritrea of sending tanks and hundreds of troopers over the border to help Ethiopian federal troops. Asmara denies that.

Tigray forces fired rockets into Eritrea on the weekend.

A activity drive arrange by Abiy to deal with the federal government’s response to the disaster, mentioned troops had “liberated” the city of Alamata from the TPLF. “They fled, taking alongside round 10,000 prisoners,” it added, with out specifying the place these have been from.

With communications primarily down and media barred, Reuters couldn’t independently confirm assertions made by all sides.

There was no quick remark from Tigray’s leaders on occasions in Alamata, close to the border with Amhara state, about 120 km (75 miles) from Tigray’s capital Mekelle.

TPLF chief Debretsion Gebremichael urged the United Nations and African Union to sentence Ethiopia’s federal troops, accusing them of utilizing of high-tech weaponry together with drones in assaults he mentioned smashed a dam and a sugar manufacturing unit.

“Abiy Ahmed is waging this conflict on the individuals of Tigray and he’s liable for the purposeful infliction of human struggling on the individuals and destruction of main infrastructure initiatives,” he mentioned.

“We aren’t the initiators of this battle and it’s evident that Abiy Ahmed performed this conflict as an try to consolidate his private energy,” he added, warning that Ethiopia might turn into a failed state or disintegrate.


The combating has unfold past Tigray into Amhara, whose native forces are allied with Abiy’s forces. On Friday, rockets have been fired at two airports in Amhara in what the TPLF mentioned was retaliation for presidency air strikes.

Tigray leaders accuse Abiy, who’s from the biggest Oromo ethnic group and Africa’s youngest chief, of persecuting them and purging them from authorities and safety forces during the last two years. He says they rose up towards him by attacking a navy base.

Amnesty Worldwide has denounced the killing of scores and presumably lots of of civilian labourers in a bloodbath that either side have blamed on one another.

The Ethiopian Nationwide Defence Drive (ENDF) has round 140,000 personnel and loads of expertise from combating Islamist militants in Somalia and insurgent teams in border areas, plus a two-decade border standoff with Eritrea.

However many senior officers have been Tigrayan, a lot of its strongest weaponry is there and the TPLF has seized the highly effective Northern Command’s headquarters in Mekelle.

There are studies of defections of Tigrayan members of the ENDF. And the TPLF itself has a formidable historical past, spearheading the insurgent march to Addis Ababa that ousted a Marxist dictatorship in 1991 and bearing the brunt of a 1998-2000 conflict with Eritrea that killed lots of of hundreds.

Eritrea’s President Isaias Afwerki – a long-time foe of the Tigrayan leaders – controls an enormous standing military which the USA’ CIA places at 200,000 personnel.

Abiy as soon as fought alongside the Tigrayans and was a companion in authorities with them till 2018 when he took workplace, profitable early plaudits for pursuing peace with Eritrea, beginning to liberalise the economic system and opening a repressive political system.