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First Martyrdom Anniversary of Hajj Qassem Soleimani, Hajj Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, and their Companions


Ethiopian Forces to Take Tigray’s Capital ‘In A Few Days’ - Army

Ethiopian Forces to Take Tigray’s Capital ‘In A Few Days’ - Army
folder_openAfrica... access_timeone month ago
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By Staff, Agencies

Ethiopian forces will take control of the Tigray region’s capital in the coming days, the military said late on Friday, a day after Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed announced the “final phase” of an offensive in the region.

Federal forces seized control of Wikro, a town 50 kilometers north of Mekelle and “will control Mekelle in a few days”, Lieutenant-General Hassan Ibrahim said in a statement. Government troops had also taken control of several other towns, he added.

Claims by all sides in the three-week-old conflict between government and TPLF forces have been impossible to verify because phone and internet connections to the region are down and access to the area is tightly controlled.

Last Sunday, the government gave the TPLF until Wednesday to lay down arms or face an assault on Mekelle, a city of 500,000 people, raising fears among aid groups of extensive civilian casualties.

Abiy announced military operations in Tigray on November 4 after months of friction between his government and the TPLF. His government and the one in Tigray led by the TPLF consider each other illegitimate.

Abiy accused Tigrayan leaders of starting the war by attacking federal troops at a base in Tigray. The TPLF said the attack was a pre-emptive strike.

Abiy, who announced on Thursday the military was beginning the “final phase” of its offensive, told the African Union’s peace envoys a day later his government will protect civilians in Tigray and is willing to talk to representatives “operating legally” in the region.

A statement issued by the prime minister’s office after their meeting, however, made no mention of talks with the TPLF to end the fighting.

The statement issued after Abiy met the African Union envoys – former Presidents Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf of Liberia, Joaquim Chissano of Mozambique and Kgalema Motlanthe of South Africa – added the government was committed to the “protection and security of civilians”.