Home | News    Sunday 29 November 2020

Ethiopian army retakes control of Tigray capital

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Members of the Amhara Special Force return to the Danasha base in Amhara near the border with Tigray after fighting against the TPLF, on November 9, 2020 (Reuters Photo)November 28, 2020 (KHARTOUM) - The federal force have captured Mekelle the capital of the Tigray region, said the Ethiopian minister and the army chief of staff in two separate statements on Saturday.

On 26 November, Abiy Ahmed announced the end of a 72-hour ultimatum given to recalcitrant Tigran forces to surrender and gave the green light to launch the final stage of the "law enforcement campaign" on the Tigrayan People’s Liberation Front (TPLF).

"The federal government is now fully in control of the city of Mekelle,” said Abiy in a statement posted on Twitter.

"I am pleased to share that we have completed and ceased the military operations in the Tigray region," he further said in a separate tweet released after the statement.

General Birhanu Jula the federal army Chief of Staff said in a statement by the official Ethiopian News Agency they have taken control of the Northern Command Centre in Mekelle and freed more than 7,000 troops who were taken as hostages by the TPLF group.

Jula added that the TPLF armed the civilians and asked them to attack the federal troops but the people showed loyalty and handed over their weapons.

However, the TPLF vowed to continue the fighting against the assailing government troops after withdrawing its fighters from Mekelle.

"Their brutality can only add [to] our resolve to fight these invaders to the last," TPLF leader Debretsion Gebremichael said in a text message to Reuters.

Asked if that meant his forces would continue fighting, he said: "Certainly. This is about defending our right to self-determination."

For its part, the Ethiopian army vowed to continue hunting the TPLF armed elements after the fall of Mekelle.

"It is possible that some of the wanted people may go to their families or neighbouring areas and try to hide for a few days. But our armed forces, after seizing control of Mekele city, will be tasked to hunt down and capture these criminals one by one wherever they may be," said Maj Gen Hassan Ibrahim according to the AP.

(ST)

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