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Entertainment Conflict in Tigray: Abiy justifies his duty to "maintain order" in front of the emissaries of the AU

01:15  28 november  2020
01:15  28 november  2020 Source:   france24.com

Ethiopia launches army against Tigray region

 Ethiopia launches army against Tigray region © EDUARDO SOTERAS Members of the Tigray police at a checkpoint on the outskirts of Mekele on September 9, election day. The Prime Minister announced a military operation in response to “the attack on a federal camp” in Tigray. The authorities in this region no longer recognize the legitimacy of the government.

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The TPLF denies the attack and has accused Abiy of concocting the story to justify deploying the military. There was no immediate response from the government in Tigray to the announcement of airstrikes. The region is being increasingly boxed in by movement restrictions and a six-month state of

Le Premier ministre d'Éthiopie, Abiy Ahmed, lors d'un évènement en l'honneur des forces militaires, le 17 novembre 2020. © Eduardo Soteras, AFP The Prime Minister of Ethiopia, Abiy Ahmed, during an event in honor military forces, November 17, 2020.

Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed reiterated on Friday that it was his duty to "maintain order" in Ethiopia, after a meeting with special envoys charged by the African Union (AU) mediation in the conflict in Tigray.

Ethiopia: the AU wants the end of hostilities in Tigray, Abiy Ahmed follows his roadmap

 Ethiopia: the AU wants the end of hostilities in Tigray, Abiy Ahmed follows his roadmap © EDUARDO SOTERAS Members of an Amhara militia, who fight alongside the Ethiopian army against the security forces of Tigray, in the Ethiopian city of Gondar, November 8, 2020 The African Union (AU) on Tuesday called for an end to hostilities in the dissident Ethiopian region of Tigray, where the Ethiopian Prime Minister, in conflict with the regional authorities, has assured that operations were proceeding as planned and were on the verge of completion.

This is an account of the military engagements of the Tigray conflict , an ongoing armed conflict in the Tigray Region of Ethiopia that began in early November 2020.

Abiy , the winner of last year's Nobel Peace Prize, announced on Thursday a "third and final phase" in his campaign against the TPLF. Abiy accuses Tigrayan leaders of starting the war by attacking federal troops at a base in Tigray on November 4 . The TPLF say the attack was a pre-emptive strike.

For the Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed, the conflict in Tigray is a "maintenance of order" operation. He reaffirmed this defense on Friday, November 27, after a meeting organized in Addis Ababa with the special envoys charged by the African Union (AU) with mediation in the conflict in Tigray.

Ethiopia: rockets fired from Tigray hit the capital of Eritrea

 Ethiopia: rockets fired from Tigray hit the capital of Eritrea © Eduardo Soteras, AFP Militias of the Amhara ethnic group have been spotted alongside federal forces in the conflict with Tigray. Here, an Amhara militia is training near Addis Zemen on November 10, 2020. Several rockets, fired from the Ethiopian breakaway region of Tigray, hit the border Eritrean capital Asmara on Saturday, a significant escalation that reinforces fears that the conflict between Addis Ababa and the Tigray authorities is escalating.

Abiy Ahmed, last year's Nobel Peace Prize winner, ordered the federal troops to move on Mekelle after "Warnings don't absolve the Ethiopian military of the duty to protect civilians during military operations in urban areas. Tigray girl who fled the conflict in Ethiopia's Tigray region, watches

Abiy ’s government and the regional one run by the Tigray People’s Liberation Front each consider the other illegitimate. Tigray men who fled the conflict in There was no immediate word from the three AU envoys, former Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, former Mozambique President Joaquim

Abiy Ahmed on Thursday ordered the army to launch the "last phase" of the military operation launched on November 4, with the attack on Mekele, the capital of this dissident region in northern Ethiopia.

The Tigrayan leaders, from the Tigray People's Liberation Front (TPLF), are entrenched in Mekele, now surrounded by federal forces and which before the start of the conflict had some 500,000 inhabitants.

The international community, worried about the consequences of an assault on civilians and possible "war crimes", is trying to put pressure on Abiy Ahmed. But he firmly rejected any "interference in the internal affairs" of his country.

"Constitutional responsibility to maintain order"

Among other initiatives, the AU, headquartered in Addis Ababa, has appointed three special envoys, former Mozambican presidents Joaquim Chissano, Liberian Ellen Johnson Sirleaf and South African Kgalema Motlanthe , arrived Wednesday in the Ethiopian capital. The Ethiopian government promised to meet them "out of respect", but had politely declined this offer of mediation in advance, like all previous ones.

Ethiopia: Tigray fires rockets again in neighboring Amhara region

 Ethiopia: Tigray fires rockets again in neighboring Amhara region © Provided by Le Point Rockets fired by the Tigray forces, which confront the Ethiopian federal army, again targeted the neighboring region of Amhara. hours after the central government claimed its troops were closing in on Mekele, the capital of the dissident region.

Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed again ruled out dialogue with the leaders of the defiant Tigray region Friday but said he was willing to speak to representatives "operating legally” there during his meeting with three African Union special envoys trying to end the deadly conflict between federal

Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed again ruled out dialogue with the leaders of the defiant Tigray region Friday but said he was willing to speak to representatives "operating legally” there during his meeting with three African Union special envoys trying to end the deadly conflict between federal

On Friday, the Prime Minister thus expressed in a statement his "gratitude" to the South African Head of State, Cyril Ramaphosa, who holds the rotating presidency of the AU, and to the special envoys, for their commitment to to propose "African solutions to African problems". But he also recalled that his government had "the constitutional responsibility to maintain order (in Tigray) and across the country", stressing the patience it has long shown in the face of "provocations" and "the agenda of destabilization "of the TPLF.

UN, Vatican and France call for peace

In the evening, UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres on Friday urged in a statement "the parties" in Ethiopia "to seize the vital opportunity" African mediation "to peacefully resolve the conflict" in Tigray.

Thursday, the Ethiopian Minister of Foreign Affairs, Demeke Mekonnen, had at the same time continued the diplomatic tour started ten days ago to defend the government's position, by meeting in Paris the French Minister of Foreign Affairs, Jean-Yves Le Drian .

Ethiopia does not want AU mediation in the Tigray conflict

 Ethiopia does not want AU mediation in the Tigray conflict In the northern Ethiopian region of Tigray, the central government continues to rely on its armed forces and violence. Diplomatic negotiations should not take place until the TPLF leadership is arrested. © Ethiopian News Agency / AP / picture alliance The photo released by the government is said to show the Ethiopian military advancing into Tigray Ethiopia's Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed - 2019 Nobel Peace Prize laureate - has turned down an offer to mediate by the African Union (AU).

At the end of this interview, the head of French diplomacy declared in a press release condemning the "ethnic violence" and called for "measures to protect civilians" .

Pope Francis has launched "to the parties to the conflict a call to end the violence, to save the lives, in particular of civilians, so that the populations can find peace", the Vatican said in a statement on Friday.

No precise record of the fighting in Tigray has been available so far, but at least several hundred people have been killed . More than 43,000 Ethiopians have fled to neighboring Sudan, according to UNHCR, the UN refugee agency.

On Friday, UNHCR said it had airlifted 32 tonnes of emergency aid to Sudan - including blankets, mosquito nets, and solar lights. A second shipment is due to arrive on Monday.

Friday, 24 hours after the order given to the federal army, it was not possible to know if the offensive against Mekele had indeed started.

The regional authorities said on Friday that the federal army was bombing "(their) towns and (their) villages", "inflicting heavy damage" there, without specifically mentioning Mekele.

In Sudan, Ethiopian refugees try to rebuild life in their camp

 In Sudan, Ethiopian refugees try to rebuild life in their camp © ASHRAF SHAZLY An Ethiopian refugee sells tea, in a transit camp in Sudan, November 26, 2020 Samarwat Tkhali, 10, has been walking around for a week the streets of "Village 8" in Sudan, where thousands of Ethiopians have taken refuge fleeing the war in Tigray. To survive, she sells the chocolate cakes bought by her father. In this miserable village, where some 15,000 Ethiopian refugees are crowded near the border, she approaches the people by asking them timidly: "Do you want to taste one?".

"Our struggle will continue in all directions and strengthen until the self-determination of the people of Tigray is guaranteed and the invader is driven out of Tigray," they said in a statement read on Tigray television. Tigray TV. "We call on the people of Tigray as always to fight and defend themselves against our enemies."

Obscure situation on the ground

Verification on the ground and from an independent source of the assertions of both sides is difficult, Tigray being almost cut off from the world since the beginning of the conflict.

On Thursday, Ethiopian state-run television, EBC, said TPLF leaders were holed up in various locations in Mekele, including a cement factory, museum and auditorium, communicating "by military radio".

Spearhead of the armed struggle against the military-Marxist regime of the Derg, overthrown in 1991, the TPLF then controlled the political and security apparatus of Ethiopia for almost 30 years.

Gradually removed from power in Addis Ababa by Ahmed Abiy from the moment he became Prime Minister in 2018, the party continues to dominate its stronghold of Tigray.

Tensions between Mr. Abiy and the TPLF have continued to grow, culminating in September with the organization in Tigray of a regional election described as "illegitimate" by Addis Ababa, then with the attack in early November, according to the government, two bases of the federal army by the forces of the TPLF, which denies the latter.

With AFP

Ethiopia: hospitals in the capital of Tigray overwhelmed after the victory announced by Addis Ababa .
© Supplied by Le Point Numerous wounded flock to hospitals in Mekele on Sunday, 24 hours after the Ethiopian government announced the capture of this city , capital of Tigray (north), and its military victory in this dissident region, warned the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC).

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