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World Ethiopian forces will take Tigrayan capital in coming days, military says

10:50  28 november  2020
10:50  28 november  2020 Source:   reuters.com

Ethiopian federal troops advancing on Tigray's capital says gov't spokesman

  Ethiopian federal troops advancing on Tigray's capital says gov't spokesman Ethiopian federal troops are closing in on Tigray's capital of Mekelle, Redwan Hussein, the government spokesperson for the state of emergency task force, told CNN on Wednesday. © Ethiopian News Agency via AP This image, made from undated handout video released by the state-owned Ethiopian News Agency on November 16, 2020, shows Ethiopian military in an armored personnel carrier near the border of the Tigray and Amhara regions of Ethiopia.

Officials in Addis Ababa, the Ethiopian capital , describe the offensive in Tigray as a “law enforcement operation” aiming PM Abiy Ahmed had set 72-hour deadline for Tigrayan forces to surrender or face offensive on Mekelle. Ethiopia fighting could drive 200,000 to Sudan in coming months, says UN.

Ethiopian forces attacked the Tigray capital of Mekelle Thursday as more than 40,000 refugees from the region fled into Sudan, the United Nations said . As more than 40,000 refugees flowed into Sudan from Tigray, Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed Ali said a final ultimatum to the Tigrayan People's

ADDIS ABABA/NAIROBI (Reuters) - Ethiopian forces will take control of the Tigray region's capital Mekelle in coming days, the military said late on Friday, a day after the Prime Minister announced the "final phase" of an offensive in the region.

a group of people walking down a dirt road: FILE PHOTO: Members of the Amhara Special Force return to the Dansha Mechanized 5th division Military base after fighting against the Tigray People's Liberation Front (TPLF), in Danasha, Amhara region near a border with Tigray © Reuters/TIKSA NEGERI FILE PHOTO: Members of the Amhara Special Force return to the Dansha Mechanized 5th division Military base after fighting against the Tigray People's Liberation Front (TPLF), in Danasha, Amhara region near a border with Tigray

Federal forces seized control of Wikro, a town 50 km (30 miles) 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 said.

Ethiopia's Tigray: These refugees fled a town littered with corpses. They join tens of thousands making the journey to Sudan

  Ethiopia's Tigray: These refugees fled a town littered with corpses. They join tens of thousands making the journey to Sudan Thousands have made the journey from the Tigray region in Ethiopia to neighboring Sudan where they have been met with a shortage of food, beds and shelter. The UN described Tigray as a humanitarian crisis which will only escalate in the coming weeks. A town 'covered with corpses'Another survivor, Gashaw Maleda, said four of his friends escaped, but another 15 were killed. Tigrayan militias came with machetes and knives, looking for people from the Amhara region to kill, he said. © Marwan Ali/AP At least 30,000 refugees have fled to neigboring Sudan, according to the UN. "I hated being human at the time.

Ethiopian prime minister says the army has been ordered to move on the Tigray capital , tells residents to ‘stay indoors’. (Reuters) - Former guerrilla radio operator Debretsion Gebremichael is leading Tigrayan forces fighting Ethiopia 's military for control of the mountainous northern

Ethiopia 's prime minister said Thursday the army has been ordered to move on the embattled Tigray regional capital after his 72-hour ultimatum ended for “We will take utmost care to protect civilians,” Abiy's statement said . It also asserted that thousands of Tigray militia and special forces surrendered

a group of people standing next to a man in a suit and tie: Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed meets with AU envoys in Addis Ababa © Reuters/TWITTER/ @PMETHIOPIA Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed meets with AU envoys in Addis Ababa

Reuters was not immediately able to reach the Tigray People's Liberation Front (TPLF) for comment, or to verify the statement.

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.

On Friday evening in the neighbouring country of Eritrea, "a loud noise, possibly an explosion" was heard in the capital Asmara, the U.S. Embassy there said in a statement early on Saturday.

Reuters has not been able to reach Eritrean government official for more than two weeks. TPLF rockets hit neighbouring Eritrea on Nov. 14.

Ethiopia says foes surrendering, Tigray forces report battle win

  Ethiopia says foes surrendering, Tigray forces report battle win Ethiopia says foes surrendering, Tigray forces report battle winHundreds have died, more than 41,000 refugees have fled to Sudan, and there has been widespread destruction and uprooting of people from homes in the northern Tigray region.

The military offensive “has reached its final stage” after three weeks of fighting, Prime “We will take utmost care to protect civilians,” the statement said . The United Nations has reported 4 between Ethiopian forces and the heavily armed forces of the Tigray People's Liberation Front, which once

What led the prime minister, Abiy Ahmed, to initiate a military campaign against the powerful Tigray region of Ethiopia , and what are the likely consequences for the country and the Horn of Africa? Flags representing the Tigray region of Ethiopia lining a wall in the Tigrayan city of Mekele.

The Ethiopian military has been fighting rebellious local forces in the northern region of Tigray, which borders Eritrea and Sudan.

Thousands of people are believed to have died and there has been widespread destruction from aerial bombardment and ground fighting since the war began. Around 43,000 refugees have fled to Sudan.

Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed accuses Tigrayan leaders of starting the war by attacking federal troops at a base in Tigray on Nov. 4. The TPLF says the attack was a pre-emptive strike.

The government gave the TPLF an ultimatum last Sunday 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. The ultimatum expired on Wednesday.

Abiy, who announced on Thursday that the military was beginning the "final phase" of its offensive, told African peace envoys on Friday that his government will protect civilians in Tigray.

Ethiopian Human Rights Commission accuses Tigrayan youth group of slaughtering 600 civilians

  Ethiopian Human Rights Commission accuses Tigrayan youth group of slaughtering 600 civilians The Ethiopian Human Rights Commission accused a group of Tigrayan youth of slaughtering 600 civilians. © Provided by Washington Examiner A Nov. 9 attack, which was first reported by Amnesty International, took place in southwest Tigray. The Ethiopian government believes that Samri, a Tigrayan youth group, is to blame. The civilians were reported to be primarily of Amharic descent, making the attack appear ethnically motivated. The commission said the victims were strangled, stabbed, and beaten to death.

Ethiopia conflict: Military begins 'final offensive' against rebel forces in Tigray capital . PM Abiy Ahmed says the period for forces of the Tigray People's Liberation Front (TPLF) "to surrender peacefully is now over". Ethiopian news agency says 10000 Tigrayan troops 'destroyed' in war - Africa - World.

Ethiopia 's PM says the army's operation is in the final phase. "Thousands of Tigray militia and special force members have surrendered during the 72 Hundreds of people have reportedly been killed and thousands have been forced from their homes as Ethiopian forces have seized various towns in

But a statement issued by the prime minister's office after their meeting made no mention of talks with the TPLF to end fighting. It also did not mention any plans for further discussions with them.

LETTER TO ENVOYS

On Friday, a letter was sent to embassies in Addis Ababa warning defence attaches that they risked expulsion if they were in contact with unnamed enemies of Ethiopia.

"Some military attaches are working with those who endangered the security of the country, identified in blacklist and sought by attorney of the court,” said the letter. The letter was stamped by Brigadier-General Boultie Tadesse of the Defence Foreign Relations Directorate, on the copy of shown to Reuters.

“We will expel those who do not refrain from their actions who are in contact with those extremist group."

A military spokesman and the head of the government’s Tigray taskforce did not respond to requests for comment.

Billene Seyoum, a spokeswoman for the prime minister’s office, said she could not address questions about the letter, including whether it was referring to the TPLF, without seeing the original document.

Tigrayans, who make up about 6% of Ethiopia's 115 million population, dominated the government until Abiy took power two years ago.

Abiy pledged to unite Ethiopians and introduce freedoms after years of state repression that filled jails with tens of thousands of political prisoners. His government also put senior Tigrayan officials on trial for crimes such as corruption, torture and murder. The Tigrayan region saw those trials as discrimination.

Abiy’s reforms created more political space but also lifted the lid on long-repressed tensions over land and resources.

(Reporting by Addis Ababa newsroom, David Lewis and Omar Mohammed; Writing by Maggie Fick; Editing by Frances Kerry)

Ethiopia's Nobel winner, clouded by war, declares victory over northern region .
Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed claimed victory against Tigray forces. However, there was no immediate official comment on Saturday from forces loyal to the Tigray People's Liberation Front, who have been fighting federal troops for more than three weeks. Sources with the TPLF told ABC News that they decided to leave the city before the arrival of Ethiopian forces and called their move a "tactical retreat.

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