Forces of the government of Ethiopia managed to capture two towns in the northern region of Tigray where rebel soldiers that are loyal to the local political party are largely based in their fight against the central government.
Tigray’s leader confirmed the losses but stated that it was just a temporary setback. He has vowed to come back stronger to defeat the government.
The Prime Minister of Ethiopia yesterday said that the national army was now making advancement on the Tigrayan capital of Mekelle.
Reports are that the ongoing unrest has led to the death of hundreds of people just in the space of two weeks.
A long-standing tension between the powerful Tigrayan regional party, People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) and the Central government of Ethiopia is the major catalyst for the ongoing conflict.
When Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed postponed a national election due to coronavirus in June, tension escalated between the two groups. The TPLF sees the central government as illegitimate, arguing Mr Abiy no longer has a mandate to lead the country.
The government accused the TPLF of attacking a military base to steal weapons, this is an allegation which the TPLF has denied. In response, to this alleged attack on the government’s military base, Mr Abiy ordered a military offensive, accusing the TPLF of treason.
Government forces have seized the towns of Shire and Axum after a three-day deadline given by Prime Minister Abiy to Tigray’s forces to surrender expired on Tuesday.
The leader of the TPLF, Debretsion Gebremichael, confirmed this to a local TV station on Wednesday, indicating that his soldiers had lost control of the towns in the south and west of Tigray, he however boasts that this is a temporary situation as his men would be regrouping to come back better and harder to defeat the Ethiopian forces.
“Let us mobilise our entire capacity,” he said, calling for all Tigrayans including children to join the “struggle”.
Ethiopian officials have accused the TLPF of destroying four bridges close to the Tigray capital Mekelle, but the group denies this claims.
Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed projected on Tuesday that the fighting would soon end, stating that “the final critical act of law enforcement will be done in the coming days.”
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