July 27, 2021

Tigray Conflict: Update

City: Addis AbabaAnalysis

President of the Amhara region called on all armed residents to mobilize for a battle against TPLF rebel forces after the resumption of the conflict.

Avatar: Hagos Gebreamlak
By Hagos Gebreamlak

A fact-checker at HaqCheck, he has worked for Fortune as a reporter previously.

Tigray Conflict: Update

Last weekend, Agegnehu Teshager, president of the Amhara region said that TPLF-forces are provoking offensives in Walkait, Maytsebri, Qobo, and Afar region adjacent to the Amhara region’s administration. He called on all armed residents to mobilize for battle against rebel forces, calling it a "survival campaign".

Agegenehu’s call to the youth to enlist in the regional special force and fight against TPLF, days after the rebel group has crossed the towns in the Amhara and Afar regions.

The conflict in Tigray began on November 4, 2020, after Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed ordered an incursion in retaliation for an attack on a Northern command of the federal army base by forces loyal to TPLF. In the ensuing conflict, the federal army has controlled major towns in Tigray, but there have been reports of armed battles and guerilla attacks in the region. The Federal government captured and killed TPLF senior military and civil officials.

After blooming crises in the region and barking pressure from the international community on the government, federal troops left the region. Though some parties claim the federal government declared a unilateral ceasefire being defeated and due to the mounting pressure from the international community, the federal government stated that it withdrew its forces following a request from the interim administration of Tigray.  

Better humanitarian access and enabling the farmers to use this rain season to farm their lands are the major reasons mentioned by the interim administration to request the federal government to withdraw forces from the mainland of Tigray, according to government reports. 

Soon after federal forces left the region, the TPLF-forces retook most of the towns in the regional state. And they have started advancing towards south and south-east, moving out of the heartlands of Tigray.  Recently armed clashes have been reported in border areas adjacent to Tigray, Amhara, and Afar regional states. There have been reports of fresh armed conflicts in the areas that border the Tigray, Amhara, and Afar regions.

The military warned that it can take serious military action against the TPLF forces if it is necessary. 

After the federal forces left the regional state, communication lines, utility, and banking services were cut. The Red Cross Association stated two weeks ago that the prices of food items and basic commodities have skyrocketed. It also announced that due to banking service standstill cash shortage had surfaced in the region posing a serious crisis in the lives of the locals.

Reports also show that the humanitarian crises in the region have not been improved.  Humanitarian aid transportation had been hindered due to fresh battles in the Afar-Tigray adjacent areas, the only route that has been serving to transport aid to Tigray.

Amid the resumption of fighting, tens of thousands of people have been displaced in the Afar and Amhara regional states.

Afar regional President Awol Arba called the Afar people last week to defend their territory from the advancement and encroachment of TPLF-forces. He called on civilians Friday to raise arms against rebels from neighboring Tigray, urging the Afar people to protect their land with any means available.

Rallies in support of the Ethiopian National Defense Forces have also been taking place across the country. Late last week and early this week rallies were conducted in Gondar, Gambella, and various Oromia towns to “show solidarity to the military and condemn TPLF’s act.”