Members of Amhara region militias head to face the Tigray People's Liberation Front in Sanja. File/Reuters
Gulf Today Report
Ethiopian forces have liberated a town in the northern Tigray region as the leader of the Tigray region claimed responsibility for rocket strikes targeting the airport in neighbouring Eritrea's capital.
The escalating conflict that entered the 13th day has killed hundreds on both sides, and threatens to destabilise other parts of Ethiopia and the Horn of Africa.
There was no immediate comment from Tigray’s leaders on the events in Alamata, a town near the border with Amhara regional state, about 120 km (75 miles) from Tigray’s capital Mekelle.
Debretsion Gebremichael, Tigray Regional President, attends the funeral ceremony. File/Reuters
Diplomats told the media on Saturday night that multiple rockets had struck Asmara, landing near the airport, though communications restrictions in Tigray and Eritrea made the reports difficult to verify.
At least 20,000 Ethiopians have fled into Sudan, the United Nations said on Sunday.
Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed announced November 4 he had ordered military operations in Tigray in a dramatic escalation of a long-running feud with the region's ruling party, the Tigray People's Liberation Front (TPLF).
Ethiopian migrants gather in the border reception centre of Hamdiyet, Kasala, on Sunday. Ebrahim Hamid/ AFP
TPLF leader Debretsion Gebremichael told the media on Sunday that, "Ethiopian forces are also using the airport of Asmara," saying this made the airport a "legitimate target" for the strikes.
He added that his forces had also been fighting "16 divisions" of Eritrean forces in recent days "on several fronts".
The US State Department’s top diplomat for Africa, Tibor Nagy, denounced the attacks by Tigrayan forces on Eritrea, calling them “efforts to internationalize the conflict” in Tigray.
Ethiopian forces have liberated a town in the northern Tigray region, the government’s emergency taskforce said late on Sunday, accusing local leaders of taking 10,000 prisoners from the town as they fled.
Fighting between Ethiopian government troops and the region’s former ruling party, the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF), has killed thousands of people and forced hundreds of thousands from their homes in the mountainous region of about 5 million.
Rights group Amnesty International said scores and possibly hundreds of civilians were stabbed and hacked to death in the region on Nov.9, citing witnesses. It said it had not been able to independently confirm who was responsible,
In the late hours of Nov. 13, 2020, “a rocket was fired towards Bahir Dar and Gondar cities. As a result, the airport areas have sustained damages," a government statement said.
In June that year, Daesh fighters attacked the northwestern prison, freeing Sunni Muslims inmates and forcing 583 mainly Shiite prisoners into truck, before driving them to a ravine and shooting them.
The aid is sent to alleviate the humanitarian impact on approximately 450,000 displaced people, especially women and children, affected by the eruption of the Mount Nyiragongo volcano near Goma.
Lakes state is awash with illegal guns in the hands of the civil population. Several attempts by state authorities to disarm civilians have not borne fruits, leading to casualties on both civilians and soldiers.