• Tue. Sep 27th, 2022

Abiy Ahmed, last year’s Nobel Peace Prize winner, continues to reject international pleas for dialogue and de-escalation

Nov 17, 2020

Ethiopians wave national flags as they participate in a two-minute ceremony to honour the members of Ethiopian National Defense Forces (ENDF) fighting against the Tigray Special Forces, in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, Nov. 17, 2020.
TIKSA NEGERI/Reuters
Ethiopias prime minister says the final and crucial military operation will launch in the coming days against the government of the countrys rebellious northern Tigray region.
Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed in a social media post on Tuesday said a three-day deadline given to the Tigray regions leaders and special forces has expired today.
Abiy, last years Nobel Peace Prize winner, continues to reject international pleas for dialogue and de-escalation in the two-week conflict in the Horn of Africa that has spilled into neighbouring Eritrea and sent more than 25,000 frightened Ethiopian refugees pouring into Sudan.
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Alarmed African neighbours including Uganda and Kenya are calling for a peaceful resolution, but Abiys government regards the Tigray regional government as illegal after it defiantly held a local election in September. The Tigray regional government objects to the postponement of national elections until next year because of the COVID-19 pandemic and considers Abiys federal government illegal, saying its mandate has expired.
Ethiopias federal government on Tuesday also confirmed carrying out new airstrikes outside the Tigray capital of Mekele, calling them precision-led and surgical and denying the Tigray governments assertion that civilians had been killed.
Tigray TV showed what appeared to be a bombed-out residential area, with damaged roofs and craters in the ground.
I heard a sound of some explosions. Boom, boom, boom, as I entered the house, the station quoted a resident as saying. When I got out later, I saw all this destruction. Two people have been injured. One of the injured is the landlord, and the other is a tenant just like us.
Communications and transport links with the Tigray region remain almost completely cut off, making it difficult to verify either sides claims.
Hungry, exhausted and scared, refugees from the Tigray region continue to flow into Sudan with terrifying accounts of war.
These people are coming with knives and sticks, wanting to attack citizens. And behind them is the Ethiopian army with tanks. The knives and the sticks arent the problem, its the tanks, said one refugee, Thimon Abrah. They struck and burned the entire place.
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When a man, or even a child is slaughtered, this is revenge, said another, Tedey Benjamin. This is a tribal war.
Ethiopias prime minister on Monday night said his government is ready to receive and reintegrate the refugees and that federal forces would protect them.
But many refugees say those same forces sent them fleeing.
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