Ethiopia’s federal government announces ceasefire as Tigray troops make profits in the region

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On Monday, the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) announced that it had recaptured the Tigray capital Mekelle from the Ethiopian federal government.

It signals a major turning point in a conflict that has lasted more than six months, displaced millions of people and claimed an estimated thousands of lives.

Connected: The Tigray region is facing a deepening crisis after 3 months of conflict

“We would like to congratulate our capital Mekelle that our armed forces are under full control and that the elected regional government is reinstated,” said Liya Kassa, a spokeswoman for the Tigray regional government, which was dissolved after the conflict broke out.

The latest development is a marked turning point: six months ago, Ethiopian federal troops launched a major offensive against the city, chased away the Tigray troops and installed a transitional government in the city.

Connected: Growing anger as young people are embroiled in the Tigray War

On Monday, at the request of the Tigray interim administration, the federal government announced a ceasefire for humanitarian reasons.

“In summer we need the farmers to take a break to cultivate what they have. Second, we have enough food aid for those in need so far. “

Dr. Abraham Belay, head of Tigray’s interim government

“In summer we need the farmers to take a break to cultivate what they have. Second, we have enough food aid for those in need so far, ”said Dr. Abraham Belay, head of Tigray’s interim government, in state media.

He said many of the “destructive” Tigray forces had been defeated, but claimed that some were open to talks with the federal government.

The situation on site remains unclear and communication throughout Tigray is interrupted. But in a recent statement, the TPLF said it would keep fighting its enemies. They did not say whether they would accept the ceasefire announced by the federal government.

Support for the TPLF inside and outside Ethiopia remains high.

On Sunday around 200 Tigrayans living in neighboring Sudan came together for a donation campaign for refugees sponsored by TPLF. Since the conflict, more than 60,000 Ethiopians have fled to neighboring Sudan and are now living in refugee camps.

Connected: Ethiopian refugees tell their stories from Sudan

The atmosphere was energetic – Tigrayans young and old danced to patriotic music and wore t-shirts in support of the Tigray Defense Forces. Women sat around a table and counted donations.

Solomon Gebremedhin, a TPLF leader in Khartoum, said the Tigray forces made profits and retook territories in Tigray. Their determination is high, he said, especially after seeing the atrocities committed during the conflict.

All parties, including the TPLF forces, were charged with human rights violations.

“In the [the] Orthodox Church, there is no doctrine that rules[s] You to kill people. But rather [it] advises you to resolve differences under one table. “

Rev. Kasai Alam, Orthodox Priest, Medhanialem Church, Khartoum

“In the [the] Orthodox Church, there is no doctrine that rules[s] You to kill people. But rather [it] advises you to resolve differences under one table, ”said Rev. Kasai Alam, an Orthodox priest of the Medhanialem Church in Khartoum.

Alam comes from the Axum area, where religious buildings are reported to have been destroyed during the conflict.

Connected: Amnesty report describes Axum massacre in Tigray, Ethiopia

When the night ended, the participants stopped in front of Kasai to be blessed by the wooden Orthodox cross he was holding. For him, too, the conflict has taken its toll.

“I used to travel to Tigray to visit my family. However, after this conflict, I couldn’t travel and see them, ”he said.

Six months later, he has still not heard or seen anything from his family.

United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres said he spoke with Ethiopia’s Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed.

Guterres said he hoped hostilities would end in Tigray so that humanitarian aid, which has been limited since the conflict began, can reach those in need and pave the way for a political solution to the conflict.



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