Rebels claim military gains in Ethiopia restive Tigray regiion

Written by on July 13, 2021

Forces from Ethiopia’s northern restive Tigray region said on Monday that they were pushing south and had recaptured a town from government forces, underscoring their determination to keep fighting until the region’s prewar borders are restored.

Conflict erupted in Tigray eight months ago after Ethiopia’s Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed sent government forces to quell a rebellion by a powerful ethnic faction, the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF).

Prime Minister Ahmed’s Prosperity Party won the recently held parliamentary elections in a landslide, tightening his grip on power.

The government declared victory three weeks later when it took the regional capital Mekelle, but the fighting continued, leaving thousands of people dead and nearly two million forced from their homes.

But on June 28, the TPLF announced the recapture of Mekelle and now claims to control most of Tigray, home to seven million people.

TPLF spokesperson Getachew Reda told Reuters on Monday that Tigrayan forces controlled Korem, a town 170 kilometres (105 miles) south of Mekelle, and were pushing to seize control of the major town of Alamata, 20km (12 miles) further south.

Ethiopian military spokesman Colonel Getnet Adane did not comment on who was in control of the town but said in a text message, “we had declared a ceasefire,” referring to a unilateral ceasefire declared by the Ethiopian government after its troops pulled out of Mekelle. The TPLF has called the ceasefire “a joke”.

A spokesperson for Prime Minister Ahmed and the head of the government’s task force on Tigray did not respond to requests for comment.

Source: Aljazeera

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