Foreign

Ethiopia crisis: Rebels recapture Tigray capital

Ethiopia’s Northern Tigray region is once again under siege as rebels took over the Capital, Makelle yesterday, forcing officials to flee from the post.

According to the BBC, the retake of the capital sparked widespread street celebrations by the locals who came out in jubilation of the development.

The crisis in the Tigray region is reported to have caused famine among some 350,000 Ethiopians with more than two million having been displaced.

A statement released under the name, Government of the National State of Tigray, applauded what they termed “ A stunning victory” and indicated that the capital, Makelle was now under the complete control of the “Tigray Defence Forces”.

The statement further admonished the people and rebels to “stay vigilant, relentless and on constant alert until Tigray is fully free from all invading forces”.

Meanwhile, UN Secretary General, Antonio Guterres has made efforts to intervene in the situation in a bid to restore normalcy. He tweeted via his official Twitter handle on Monday night saying “ I have just spoken with Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed and I am hopeful that an effective cessation of hostilities will take place in Tigray.

It is essential that civilians are protected, humanitarian aid reaches the people in need and a political solution is found”.

Background

The Tigray region of Ethiopia is its northernmost regional state and  a homeland to the Tigrayan, Irob, and Kunama people of Ethiopia, with its capital being Makelle.

The ongoing conflict in the region began in November 2020 following the consolidation and merger of ethnic and region-based constituent parties of the Ethiopian People’s Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF) coalition and other parties into the Prosperity Party by the Ethiopian Prime Minister, Abiy Ahmed.

However, the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) refused to join the new party, alleging that the Prime Minister became an illegitimate ruler due to the postponement of the general elections to 2021 as a result of the Covid 19 outbreak.

The TPLF which has been a major political force in Ethiopia for 27 years, then went ahead to conduct its own election in defiance of the Federal Government which subsequently declared same election illegal.

On November 4, 2020, pro-TPLF security forces launched attacks on the Northern Command bases, provoking reprisal attacks by the Ethiopian National Defence Force. Mass extrajudicial killings were reported between December and November 2020 as a result of the conflict.

 

By Nat G. Tetteh|Myxyzonline.com|Ghana

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