Tigray: Renewal conflict is said to be widening

Nairobi, Kenya –

Officials in Ethiopia’s resilient Tigray region allege that Ethiopian forces have once again teamed up with those from neighboring Eritrea to attack the northern region.

The Ethiopian government did not comment on Thursday following allegations by the Tigray Foreign Office and Tigray Forces spokesman, Getachew Reda, who said a “large-scale” attack had begun in the northwest. Tigray.

But the government alleges that fighting by Tigray’s forces has increased.

Claims by both sides in the new conflict are difficult to verify as the Tigray region remains largely cut off from the world and without basic services. The conflict that began in November 2020 subsided earlier this year but resumed last week after efforts to negotiate peace failed.

With both sides choosing to fight over talk, millions of people in Tigray are still severely deprived of food and other supplies and those in the neighboring regions of Amhara and Afar fear for their lives. their network.

Ethiopia’s foreign minister and chief negotiator for the previously planned talks, Demeke Mekonnen, told diplomats in the capital, Addis Ababa, that the government remained open to peace efforts. “But we will take whatever measures are necessary to ensure the sovereignty of the country,” he said.

A witness in the capital of the Afar region, Semera, told the Associated Press he had seen a large contingent of Ethiopian military units mobilize on Sunday and Monday and move north to Eritrea, next to Tigray area, the next day. He spoke on condition of anonymity for fear of retribution.

The Eritrean Information Ministry, in a statement on Thursday, accused Tigray’s forces of starting the latest skirmish.

In a rare admission, Ethiopian officials last week said federal and allied forces had withdrawn from the strategic Amhara town of Kobo, south of Tigray.

On Wednesday, both the Ethiopian government and Tigray forces announced the opening of a new front in the border area with Sudan.

A resident of the historic town of Lalibela in the Amhara region told the AP he saw an “unprecedented” level of aircraft movement on Thursday, after Tigray officials allege that coalition forces The state is running dozens of flights to the town.

The Ethiopian government on Thursday again warned against making military movements public, saying anyone who supports or abets “enemy” propaganda will face life in prison.

On social media, many Ethiopians are expressing their support for the government in the latest fighting. But some question Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed’s administration’s handling of the war, and organizations such as the Interfaith Council of Ethiopia are calling on both sides for a chance for peace and talks. judge.

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