The war in Ethiopia is ramping up, on November 10th. The attacking forces under Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed are attacking the Tigray region, under control by Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF).
On November 10th, the death toll has gone in the hundreds since fighting began on November 4th.
Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed, a Nobel Peace Prize laureate, insisted on November 9th that Ethiopa was not descending into “chaos” despite an ongoing military operation in Tigray.
“Ethiopia is grateful for friends expressing their concern. Our rule of law operation is aimed at guaranteeing peace and stability once and for all by bringing perpetrators of instability to justice,” he tweeted. “Concerns that Ethiopia will descend into chaos are unfounded and a result of not understanding our context deeply.”
But a military official in the neighboring Amhara region, on the side of the federal troops, told Reuters news agency that clashes with Tigrayan forces in Kirakir had killed nearly 500 on the Tigrayan side.
Leaders of Ethiopia’s northern Tigray region said on November 9th the federal government led by Abiy had launched more than 10 air raids against them in recent days.
“These fascists have demonstrated they will show no mercy in destroying Tigrayans by launching more than 10 air strike attempts in Tigrayan cities,” the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF), which governs the northern region, said on Facebook without mentioning any casualties.
“The people and government of Tigray are standing together,” it added.
These are the developments over the past few days:
Fana, an Ethiopian news agency, reported that federal forces had seized the airport in the city of Humera, as well as the territories of Mydali, Dansha, Baeker and Lygudi and the highway from Humera to Sudan.
Earlier on November 8th, the Sudanese newspaper Al-Rakuba wrote that hundreds of federal military and customs officers were on the territory of Sudan at the Al-Lakdi border checkpoint after the successful offensive of the NFOT, where they asked for asylum from the authorities of the Vilaya Gedaref.
However, on the same day, the Ethiopian Armed Forces announced the restoration of control over the border, and are likely going to use the territory of Sudan for operations in Tigray – presumably this topic was discussed during the visits to Addis Ababa by Abdel Fattah al-Burhan and the leader of the Sudanese Rapid Support Forces. Potentially as a result, Sudan deployed approx. 6,000 troops at the border.
The Ethiopian Armed Forces routinely report on the successful containment of the TPLF attacks – amid assurances that additional units, including armed militias from Amhara, will soon arrive to help the Northern Command, Abiy Ahmed is preparing to move to the second phase of the operation. Especially a lot of forces are deployed in the Raya region in the south of Tigray.
TPLF, apparently, is also preparing for a counteroffensive, promising to deploy up to 200,000 experienced fighters.
Under the conditions of the information blockade, the number of victims is unknown, but the count goes to hundreds.
Apart from one hundred soldiers who died on November 3 during the storming of the Northern Command base, only in the battles in the Dansha region, according to the officers close to Addis Ababa, several hundred federal soldiers were killed, heavy fighting took place on Friday in the Abdurafi region (at 5 km from Sudan).
As mentioned above, according to the Amhara state authorities, at least 500 supporters of the TPLF were killed in the battles in the Kirakir region, in turn, the 33rd Division of the Ethiopian Armed Forces suffered heavy losses from the TPLF special forces.
The Central Bank of Ethiopia ordered the closure of all banks in Tigray (a total of 616 branches), in Addis Ababa and its district, they continue to detain and inspect Tigers in search of TPLF agents, and many Tigrayans living outside the region report harassment and threats on social networks.
As SouthFront reported earlier, against the background of the escalation of the war, Abiy made reshuffles in the power block and the Foreign Ministry. The National Defense Forces were headed by the Deputy Chief of the General Staff, General Berhanu Djula, the National Intelligence and Security Service – Temesgen Tirune, who resigned from the post of head of Amhara. All these people are the prime minister’s inner circle.
The Tigray leadership asked the African Union and its chairman Cyril Ramapos for mediation.
However, Addis Ababa has already rejected the proposals of the UN, AU, Kenya and Sudan, since it considers the war to be a purely internal affair of Ethiopia.
At the same time, the head of the TPLF and Tigray leader Debrezion Gebremikhael said that the resistance would continue until Addis Ababa negotiates.