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US News Ethiopia: a journalist murdered in Tigray, according to relatives

23:18  21 january  2021
23:18  21 january  2021 Source:   20minutes.fr

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The Ethiopian prime minister and last year’s Nobel peace prize winner, Abiy Ahmed, sent federal troops and aircraft into Tigray on Wednesday in a major escalation of a long-running feud. The fighting has brought Africa’s second-most populous nation to the brink of what analysts say could be a long

Rebellious forces from Ethiopia 's Tigray region fired rockets at the airport in Eritrea's capital Asmara on Saturday evening, their leader said on Sunday, confirming earlier reports of a major escalation in a 12-day old conflict in Ethiopia .

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A journalist who worked for the official Tigray television station, Tigray TV, was shot dead in Mekele, the capital of this region in northern Ethiopia, the scene of a recent armed conflict with the federal government, relatives told AFP on Thursday.

The body of Dawit Kebede Araya was discovered Wednesday morning in his car, parked 100 meters from his home, next to that of a friend, Bereket Berhe, a businessman, said, under cover of the anonymity, a relative of the journalist.

This assassination seems to deny the return to normalcy in Tigray, reported by the federal government since it dislodged at the end of November, after a month of fighting, the regional authorities from the Tigray People's Liberation Front (TPLF) .

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Ethiopia 's parliament has voted to dissolve the government of the northern Tigray region, amid a On Friday, Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed said air strikes had been carried out on military targets in Tigray . There are fears the conflict could lead to civil war, which could also destabilise neighbouring countries.

The area borders Ethiopia 's Tigray region where fighting last month forced more than 50,000 refugees to flee into Sudan. Federal troops took over Mekelle at the end of last month after weeks of conflict with fighters loyal to the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) - the party that used to control the

Party having held the real power in Addis Ababa during nearly three decades, the TPLF contested for several months the authority of the government of Abiy Ahmed. He had gradually marginalized the party by becoming Prime Minister in 2018, thanks to a popular protest against the power of the Tigrayan minority (6% of the population).

"We heard gunshots around 8:00 p.m. Tuesday, but because of the curfew, we didn't dare go out to find out what happened," said the journalist's relative.

MM. Dawit and Bereket were buried on Wednesday afternoon.

A colleague of Mr. Dawit, who requested anonymity for safety reasons, said security forces briefly arrested the journalist over the weekend, for unclear reasons.

Both Mr. Dawit's relative and his colleague said they believed the security forces were responsible for his assassination.

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After weeks of deadly conflict in Ethiopia 's northern Tigray region, Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed has given Tigrayan forces a 72-hour deadline to surrender. Hundreds have died and at least 30,000 refugees have fled to neigboring Sudan, according to the United Nations.

My interest in Ethiopia , and specifically the northern province of Tigray , developed during the course of my tenure as a journalist for The Sudan Times Secondly, historical writing on Ethiopia concentrated on the central state, and according to Triulzi, '[m]ost Ethiopian history was political or diplomatic

Mr Dawit worked for Tigray TV before Abiy Ahmed - 2019 Nobel Peace Prize winner - launched the federal army against the TPLF in early November, but it was not clear if he was still employed there when he died.

Tigray TV, official television of the regional authorities of Tigray, formerly run by the TPLF, is now administered by the interim authorities, installed by Addis Ababa since the flight of the TPLF leaders.

Mulu Nega, head of the interim administration, did not respond to an AFP request for comment.

Mr. Abiy proclaimed victory in Tigray after the capture of Mekele at the end of November by the federal army, but the fleeing TPLF leaders say they want to continue the fight.

Although the Ethiopian government assures us that the situation is returning to normal in Tigray, the scarce information filtering from the region indicates that the conflict is continuing.

The precise human toll of the conflict in Tigray is unknown, but the fighting has pushed tens of thousands of people to seek refuge in neighboring Sudan.

rcb / np / ri / ayv / hba

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