Last updated on September 11th, 2021 at 07:55 am
Ethiopia, on Thursday, said rebellious forces from the troubled Tigray region had been defeated in the neighbouring Afar region and had withdrawn. The Tigrayan forces, on the other hand, said they had just shifted troops to neighbouring Amhara as a part of their strategy. “The TPLF force has fled from Afar,” foreign ministry spokesperson Dina Mufti said at a news conference in the capital.
The TPLF ruled Ethiopia for three decades but became the northern region’s ruling party after fighting broke out in November 2020. “According to information from the military, they were defeated, and they fled,” he said. Getachew Reda – Tigrayan spokesperson – speaking to media outlets by satellite phone from an untraceable location, said the Ethiopian authorities had merely realised that the Tigrayan forces had withdrawn.
“We have not been defeated. There was no strife in Afar, so we moved the troops from there to the highlands in the adjoining Amhara region,” he said. The Ethiopian military spokesperson could, however, not be reached for comment on the Tigrayan account of events. None of the claims could be verified. PM Abiy Ahmed’s spokesperson said the Tigrayan forces were “routed” in the adjacent Afar by the military and inflicted heavy losses on the Tigrayan forces. In November, war broke out in Tigray between the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) and the federal troops.
Thousands of people have since been killed, and more than 2 million people have been forced to leave their homes. The TPLF, in July, recaptured the provincial capital of Mekelle and seized back most parts of Tigray, its forces went into Afar and Amhara regions – signifying an expansion of the conflict into untouched areas. The government estimates that more than 450,000 people have fled fighting in both regions. Abiy dismissed early appeals from AU envoys for talks with Tigrayan leaders. He kept himself stuck to his line that the conflict is just a “law and order” operation. Imp Keywords/tags