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World Thousands flee Ethiopia as violence escalates

20:11  11 november  2020
20:11  11 november  2020 Source:   cnn.com

Ethiopia’s military carries out airstrikes in Tigray as Abiy moves to impose federal control over region

  Ethiopia’s military carries out airstrikes in Tigray as Abiy moves to impose federal control over region Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed said the airstrikes in Tigray destroyed rockets and other heavy artillery. © Mulugeta Ayene/AP Ethiopian Orthodox Christians light candles and pray for peace during a church service at the Medhane Alem Cathedral in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, on Thursday. His declaration on state television came the same day he moved to impose full federal control over Tigray and strip its ruling Tigray People’s Liberation Front of power, while also disarming its large paramilitary force and local militia.

Thousands of people fled to neighboring Sudan on Tuesday as the conflict escalated between Ethiopia 's federal government and local leaders in the Those fleeing conflict also included at least 30 armed Ethiopian troops seeking protection as the fighting escalated in northern Ethiopia , where

Those fleeing conflict also included at least 30 armed Ethiopian troops seeking protection as the fighting escalated in northern Ethiopia , where Nobel Peace Prize-winning Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed has launched a military offensive against Tigray’s regional government, which the federal government

Thousands of Ethiopian civilians have fled into neighboring Sudan to escape escalating conflict in their country's northern region, with many more expected to follow, according to Sudanese officials and the United Nations (UN).

a group of people that are standing in the grass: TOPSHOT - Amhara militia men, that combat alongside federal and regional forces against northern region of Tigray, receive training in the outskirts of the village of Addis Zemen, north of Bahir Dar, Ethiopia, on November 10, 2020. (Photo by EDUARDO SOTERAS / AFP) (Photo by EDUARDO SOTERAS/AFP via Getty Images) © EDUARDO SOTERAS/AFP/Getty Images TOPSHOT - Amhara militia men, that combat alongside federal and regional forces against northern region of Tigray, receive training in the outskirts of the village of Addis Zemen, north of Bahir Dar, Ethiopia, on November 10, 2020. (Photo by EDUARDO SOTERAS / AFP) (Photo by EDUARDO SOTERAS/AFP via Getty Images)

More than 7,000 refugees from the Ethiopian region of Tigray have entered Sudan, fleeing fighting between government and regional forces, said UN High Commissioner for Refugees Filippo Grandi on Wednesday.

How Abiy Ahmed, Nobel Prize Laureate, Lost Control of Ethiopia’s Peace

  How Abiy Ahmed, Nobel Prize Laureate, Lost Control of Ethiopia’s Peace The Ethiopian has deployed troops on a restive populace, risking a regional escalationHe was, after all, a member of the very same autocratic ruling system that he had pledged to disrupt when he was appointed Prime Minister in 2018. That didn’t stop the Nobel committee from awarding him its highest honor in 2019 for his efforts to end long-standing hostilities with next door Eritrea and for promoting peace in the region. But a peace prize doesn’t necessarily guarantee peace.

Malicha Doyo, a 36-year old mother of six from Ethiopia , cradles her five-day-old baby daughter Nuria in a temporary reception centre in Moyale, in northern Kenya on the border Malicha arrived heavily pregnant and hungry from the town of Tuqa five days ago, after an outbreak of violence in Ethiopia .

Ethiopia ’s deadly conflict with its northern Tigray region spilled over borders Tuesday as several thousand people fled into Sudan, while the Tigray Others were on the way, he said. At least 30 armed Ethiopian troops joined the refugees fleeing the fighting into Sudan, the state-run SUNA news

"There are also many displaced people in Tigray, and 96,000 Eritrean refugees," he said in a tweet. "If hostilities continue, the humanitarian impact will worsen."

As of Tuesday night, more than 1,800 people from the Ethiopian region of Tigray had crossed the border and were traveling to the Sudanese state of Kassala, while hundreds more had arrived in the border area of Al-Luqdi, the Sudanese commissioner for refugees, Abdalla Suleman, told CNN.

The movement comes after Ethiopia's federal government announced that it was "at war" with the ruling party of the Tigray region, the Tigray People's Liberation Front (TPLF). The federal army has since stepped up its military offensive, carrying out air strikes as part of Prime Minister and Nobel laureate Abiy Ahmed's "law enforcement operation," which has led to clashes across the area.

Tigray Confirms Eritrea Strike as Ethiopia Conflict Spreads

  Tigray Confirms Eritrea Strike as Ethiopia Conflict Spreads (Bloomberg) -- The leader of the Tigray region said his forces fired rockets at neighboring Eritrea as the growing regional conflict in Ethiopia spreads beyond its borders. Tigray President Debretsion Gebremichael confirmed the shelling of Eritrea, and said in a text message that the Tigray People’s Liberation Front was fighting 16 Eritrean divisions without offering proof. He also confirmed missile strikes on Saturday targeting the airport of the neighboring Asmara region in Ethiopia, calling it a “legitmate target.”Officials from the TPLF have blamed Eritrea for helping Ethiopia Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed in the conflict with Tigray.

Tribal armed groups have killed more than 100 people in the Democratic Republic of Congo's east, sending hundreds of thousands of people across the border

NAIROBI: Ethiopia ’s deadly conflict with its northern Tigray region spilled over borders on Tuesday as several thousand people fled into Sudan, while the Tigray regional leader accused Eritrea of attacking at the request of Ethiopia ’s federal government.

The governor of Kassala is preparing facilities to accommodate up to 20,000 people initially, a UN official told CNN. Although borders are officially closed, the governor has offered amnesty to refugees and the UN predicts up to 100,000 could cross over in the next year.

Nine million people adjacent to the front line fighting along Tigray's borders are at high risk and conflict could lead to massive displacement of these people, the UN said in a statement.

The escalating fighting has led to casualties across the region, according to local reports and state media. On Tuesday, state-affliliated broadcaster Fana TV reported that Ethiopia's federal army had killed 550 Tigray fighters. It is unclear whether these fighters were members of the TPLF.

CNN was not independently able to confirm the death tolls.

At least 17 Ethiopian military officers have breen arrested on suspicion of treason and accused of conspiring with the TPLF to cut off communications between North and Central Command, Fana TV reported Wednesday, citing the federal police commission. CNN has not been able to independently verify this.

Ethiopia's Tigray leader confirms firing missiles at Eritrea as fighting escalates

  Ethiopia's Tigray leader confirms firing missiles at Eritrea as fighting escalates “We will take any legitimate military target and we will fire,” said Tigray regional President Debretsion Gebremichael.Tigray regional President Debretsion Gebremichael, in an interview Sunday with The Associated Press, would not say how many missiles were fired at the city of Asmara on Saturday but said it was the only city in Eritrea that was targeted.

A refugee crisis has been playing out on the Ethiopia -Kenya border as fighting in Ethiopia between ethnic Oromo and Somali communities this year has forced

Inter-communal violence in Ethiopia (documented in this June 2018 photo of the aftermath of a bombing in Addis Ababa) has prompted a displacement crisis with hundreds of thousands fleeing their homes in the country's southeast (AFP Photo/Yonas TADESSE).

The UN Office for Humanitarian Affairs said in its latest situation report that an aerial and road blockade and the regional communications black-out are significantly affecting aid assistance within Tigray. Even before the conflict, more than 600,000 people in the region were dependent on food relief, according to UN agencies.

Abiy came to power in 2018 on a reformist agenda promising to bridge divisions between regional governments, but officials in Tigray and other regions have complained that Abiy was only trying to solidify his rule from Addis Ababa, Ethiopia's capital. While lauded internationally, his leadership has seen ethnic and political tensions rise significantly in several parts of the country, often with deadly consequences.

Violent conflict escalates

In a press briefing on Tuesday, Redwan Hussein, Ethiopia's state minister for foreign affairs and spokesperson for the newly established state of emergency task force, told reporters that a dialogue with regional leaders would only take place once the TPLF was disarmed and members brought to justice.

Rebel Tigrayans fire rockets at neighboring Eritrea in escalation of Ethiopia conflict

  Rebel Tigrayans fire rockets at neighboring Eritrea in escalation of Ethiopia conflict The leader of the Tigray region justified the attack claiming Eritrean troops had invaded. In a major escalation of a two-week-old conflict, Tigray’s President Debretsion Gebremichael said his forces had fired missiles at Eritrea’s capital Asmara in retaliation for its siding with the federal government in Addis Ababa.

"There will be a window of dialogue, that's inevitable, but the question is when," Redwan said, adding, "when is when these objectives are met, once we destroy these armaments."

Redwan claimed the TPLF had significant military capabilities, including a rocket that could strike the capital. He did not provide proof of this allegation.

The spokesperson also confirmed that local forces had taken the Ethiopian military's Northern Command post in the Tigray capital of Mekelle. CNN was unable to get comment from the TPLF leadership.

"They managed to subdue the whole compound because we did not have enough arms and personnel there," Redwan said.

On Tuesday, the head of the TPLF, Debretsion Gebremichael, accused the neighbouring Eritrean government of launching attacks on state of Tigray. The accusation was denied by both the Eritrean government and the Ethiopian national army.

On Sunday, police detained Medihane Ekubamichael, the product editor of Addis Standard, the political news magazine said in a statement. He was released, but rearrested on Tuesday, his employer said in a tweet.

Four other journalists were detained overnight on Tuesday, Ethiopia's chief human rights commissioner, Daniel Bekele, said on Wednesday.

International focus

International efforts are being stepped up to try and ease tensions in Ethiopia as the conflict threatens to drag the nation into a possible civil war.

As Ethiopia descends into civil war, civilians are caught in the crossfire

  As Ethiopia descends into civil war, civilians are caught in the crossfire More than 250,000 Ethiopian immigrants and their children live in the United States — more than from any other African country except Nigeria. More live in California than any other state.A man from the town of Alamata had climbed to the top of a hill, searching for a signal amidst a government-imposed blackout. He managed to pass along accounts that the regional government — the Tigray People’s Liberation Front — had placed a tank outside the city, camouflaged in green. Ten buses had arrived to bus residents of Tigrayan ethnicity to safety, leaving thousands of worried residents behind.

The European Union's top diplomat, Josep Borrell, said Monday he had been "holding talks to support efforts to restore peace and political dialogue in Ethiopia."

Borrell said he had spoken to Abiy to convey "the EU's concern for the risks to the integrity of the country and the stability of the wider region should the current situation endure" and offered European support "for any action contributing to de-escalation of tensions, return to dialogue and securing rule of law."

A United Nations spokesman said Monday that Secretary-General Antonio Guterres had delivered a similar message on Saturday, calling "for an immediate de-escalation of tensions." He added that "humanitarian colleagues and their partners are finalizing a humanitarian response plan for Tigray."

"In addition to Tigray, there are nearly nine million people at high risk due to the conflict living near the area. More than 6,000 people are affected by COVID-19 in the Tigray region. It is also one of the areas most affected by the desert locust infestation," the spokesman said at a press briefing.

The UK's Foreign Secretary, Dominic Raab, said he spoke with Abiy on Tuesday. He added to the international pressure for de-escalation, saying in a tweet that "civilians and humanitarian access must be protected."

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo urged "immediate action to restore the peace" in a tweet on November 4.

Peace was swift in Ethiopia under Abiy. War was, too. .
NAIROBI, Kenya (AP) — Abiy Ahmed left Ethiopians breathless when he became the prime minister in 2018, introducing a wave of political reforms in the long-repressive country and announcing a shocking peace with enemy Eritrea. The young prime minister was cheered as he toured Ethiopia in his feverish first days, including when he visited the powerful Tigray region, whose leaders had dominated the national ruling coalition for decades. The international community, dazzled, showered Abiy with praise. Not even two years after taking power, he was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. © Provided by Associated Press FILE - In this Tuesday, Dec.

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