Ethiopia: Tigray forces fire rockets at regional capital

Nellie Chapman
November 21, 2020

Earlier this week Abiy said the military operation was in its final phase.

The outbreak of conflict in Ethiopia's Tigray region has left some 2.3 million children in urgent need of assistance and thousands more at risk in refugee camps, the United Nations children's agency said Friday.

A statement from Tigray's self-declared president Debretsion Gebremichael on Thursday said the army had "called upon assistance from an outside force, with drones starting to be used in the battle".

A communications blackout in Tigray has made claims hard to verify, but the overall toll is believed to be in the hundreds.

The TPLF also carried out rocket attacks last weekend on airports in the Amhara region, as well as the capital of neighboring Eritrea. Eritrea made peace with Ethiopia in 2018, earning Mr. Abiy the Nobel Peace Prize.

"The rockets have caused no damage". He added that two of the rockets struck near the airport while the third hit a maize field.

The government did not immediately respond to requests for comment although it has previously denied bombing civilian targets.

Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed's government moved to dismiss those fears Wednesday, saying its operation against Tigray's leadership is "primarily" targeting members of the ruling circle.

A Strawberry Moon rises along with a partial eclipse on Friday
During the lunar eclipse , Earth moves in between the sun and the moon and obstruct the sunlight that is reflected by the moon. According to timeanddate.com, the penumbral lunar eclipse will start at 11:15 pm on June 5 and ends at 2:34 am on June 6.


The party has complained about being sidelined under Abiy, and scapegoated for the country's woes. The bitter feud with the central government led the TPLF to hold their own elections this year in defiance of a postponement due to the coronavirus pandemic. Since the western part of the state is free from the Front, the refugees in Sudan may return without difficulties to this area, Aemero said, and also denied that the government's maneuver could provoke an escalation of armed conflicts in the region.

The African Union has appointed former presidents Joaquim Chissano of Mozambique, Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf of Liberia and Kgalema Motlanthe of South Africa as special envoys to seek a ceasefire and mediation talks.

"There may be massive displacement inside Tigray and that is of course a concern and we try to prepare the best way possible", Jens Laerke, spokesman of the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), said.

On Nov 4, Abiy said the TPLF had attacked two federal military camps in the region, crossing a "red line".

Hundreds of people are reported to have been killed.

Almost 30,000 Ethiopians have now fled into neighbouring Sudan and analysts say the hostilities could destabilise the entire Horn of Africa region.

"There are pregnant women in the camp, diabetics with no insulin, people living with HIV/Aids with no medical care, and children without parents".

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