The fighting in Ethiopia’s north erupted in early November, when the federal government accused the ruling party in the rebel Tigray region of attacking a local military base. The government has launched an offensive in the region in response.
The Ethiopian government has taken control of Adigrat, a town located in the Tigray Region, authorities said on Saturday, as quoted by Reuters.
Adigrat lies 116 km north from Mekelle, the capital of Tigray Region, and 898 km north of the nation’s capital Addis Ababa. The Ethiopian government is currently pushing its military further into the region to topple rebel forces following an eruption of violence on 4 November.
“Our defence forces are currently marching on Mekele,” the Ethiopia State of Emergency Fact Check, a government agency, latter added.
According to Reuters, it’s hard to verify the current positions of the forces, as internet and phone lines have been down since the conflict began.
Ongoing Clashes in Ethiopia
The federal government is accusing the rebel TPLF party (Tigray People’s Liberation Front), which maintains de facto control of the region, of attacking a local military base in early November.
According to Ethiopia’s Ambassador to Russia Alemayehu Tegenu, the operation has been conducted with “maximum care to protect civilians”, in the region, in spite of “fake news and information spread on social media and even in mainstream media” about the conflict.
The official also said that the TPLF was “trying to escape accountability for the genocidal crime it committed both on the Ethiopian National Defence Force and civilians in May Cadera”.
Last week, the rebel group has fired rockets into neighboring Eritrea, claiming that its soldiers were deployed and fighting against Tigray forces along the border. The Ethiopian government has also accused Tigray forces of firing rockets at the direction of Bahir Dar and Gondar in Ethiopia’s Amhara state.
UN Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator Mark Lowcock earlier expressed his concerns about humanitarian situation in northern Ethiopia.
“I call for full access to reach people in need wherever they are; safe passage for civilians seeking assistance; and the security of aid workers,” the official said in a statement.