Ethiopia: Tigray capital encircled after surrender ultimatum

Tigray's ruling TPLF was given a 72-hour ultimatum to surrender by Wednesday.

Tigray’s ruling TPLF was given a 72-hour ultimatum to surrender by Wednesday.

Addis Baba … News Time

The Ethiopian government says federal forces are tightening the siege on Tigray’s regional capital after a 72-hour ultimatum to the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF). According to the report of the news agency ‘Reuters’, the spokesman of the Ethiopian government, Redwan Hussein, referring to the tension that has been going on for three weeks, said that he wants the beginning of the end to begin. Earlier, Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed gave a 72-hour ultimatum to the TPLF, the ruling party in the mountainous region of Tigray, with a population of 5 million, to surrender by Wednesday. Get ready for the final battle in Mekelle.

TPLF leader Debretsion Gebremichael, on the other hand, dismissed reports of Mekelle’s visit, saying the ultimatum was a ploy to reorganize government forces as they face defeat on three sides. Is falling according to the report, the claims of both sides could not be confirmed by independent sources as the telephone and internet system in the region is slow. It is believed that the TPLF was accused by the Ethiopian government of attacking a military base on November 4, after which the operation was launched. Tensions in Ethiopia, which began on November 4, have so far claimed hundreds of lives, with more than 40,000 people fleeing to neighboring Sudan.

The TPLF also fired rockets at Tigray along the border with nearby Amhara and Eritrea, accusing them of supporting federal forces against Tigray. Redwan Hussein said in a press conference that the government has control of most of the Tigray areas and people in the occupied territories are returning the weapons provided by the TPLF. He said federal forces were 50 kilometers from Tikray’s capital, Mekelle. He said Tigray’s forces also fired rockets at Dar, outside the capital of Amhara, a pro-government force, causing damage. “No casualties have been reported so far and I think we are used to it so there is not much to worry about,” a government spokesman said, referring to the attack on a local hotel.

Police in the Ethiopian capital, Addis Ababa, have arrested 796 people who worked for the TPLF on terrorism charges. It should be noted that there was a long-running feud between the government and the local administration of Tigray and clashes started last week. Dozens of people were killed in the airstrikes, while fears were being expressed that the fighting could lead to civil war in the country and could affect neighboring countries. The United Nations says fighting between Ethiopian central government troops and Tigray forces continues in eight different locations. Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed had ordered the army to operate in the region, after pro-Tigra forces seized a central army base in Mekelle. The Ethiopian cabinet has also declared a six-month state of emergency in the region.


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