Ethiopian troops recaptured two strategic cities from insurgent fighters

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ADDIS ABABA – The Ethiopian authorities on Monday introduced it had recaptured two strategic cities from insurgent fighters, the most recent in a swift string of battlefield victories claimed by forces loyal to Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed.

The announcement marks one other dramatic flip within the 13-month battle that has killed hundreds and sparked a deep humanitarian disaster within the north of Africa’s second most populous nation.

The authorities communications service stated on Twitter that Dessie and Kombolcha had been “freed by the valiant joint security forces” who had additionally taken management of a number of different cities on the Eastern Front.

The two cities, situated within the Amhara area on a freeway about 400 kilometers (250 miles) by street northeast of the capital Addis Ababa, have been reportedly taken by the Popular Front for the Liberation of Tigray (TPLF) finish of October.

Their seize had raised fears that the TPLF and its ally, the Oromo Liberation Army, would march on the capital, main alarmed international governments to induce their residents to depart the nation as quickly as potential.

According to Abiy, the state-owned Ethiopian Broadcasting Corporation stated the rebels suffered “heavy casualties and (were) unable to cope with a strike from Allied forces.”

“The enemy will be hit and the victory will continue,” he stated.

Abiy – who received the Nobel Peace Prize two years in the past – introduced final month that he would go to the entrance traces following a sequence of advances claimed by the rebels, because the preventing reportedly rages on a minimum of three fronts.

And for a number of days final week, the federal government stated the navy and its allies had recaptured the UNESCO World Heritage web site of Lalibela, which fell to TPLF fighters in August, as effectively because the city of Shewa Robit which is simply 220 kilometers from Addis Ababa. by the street.

TPLF spokesman Getachew Reda stated on Twitter Monday night that insurgent forces had left cities like Kombolcha and Dessie “as part of our plan.”

TPLF chief Debretsion Gebremichael on Sunday denied the federal government was successful main victories, saying the rebels have been making strategic territorial changes and remained undefeated.

“The enemy is getting stronger and stronger, so we must also be strong and step up our struggle,” he stated.

– Shock return –

The authorities declared a nationwide state of emergency in early November after TPLF fighters claimed duty for the seize of Dessie and Kombolcha as they superior in direction of the capital.

But the Abiy administration referred to as the TPLF’s positive aspects exaggerated and insisted town of greater than 5 million individuals was safe.

Much of northern Ethiopia is underneath a communications blackout and journalists’ entry is restricted, making claims on the battlefield tough to independently confirm.

War erupted in November 2020 when Abiy despatched troops to Ethiopia’s northernmost area, Tigray, to topple the TPLF after months of simmering tensions with the group that had dominated politics three many years earlier than. taking workplace. He stated the transfer was a response to the assaults. on the military camps by the TPLF, and swore a fast victory.

But the rebels staged a shock return, retaking most of Tigray in June earlier than advancing into neighboring areas of Amhara and Afar.

The preventing has displaced greater than two million individuals and pushed tons of of hundreds into circumstances bordering on hunger, in response to UN estimates, with experiences of massacres and mass rapes by each side.

But intense diplomatic efforts by the African Union to strive to realize a ceasefire haven’t resulted in any seen breakthrough.

Risk of “fracture”

Last week, UN Under Secretary for Humanitarian Affairs Martin Griffiths warned Ethiopia was liable to falling into sectarian violence that might “fracture” the nation if the battle unfold to Addis Ababa.

Earlier Monday, the United States and its Western allies sounded the alarm over experiences that the Ethiopian authorities had illegally detained giant numbers of residents on ethnic grounds and referred to as for an “immediate end to the arrests “.

“Many of these acts are likely violations of international law,” Australia, Canada, Denmark, the Netherlands and Britain, as effectively because the United States, stated in a press release.

“People are being arrested and detained at no cost or listening to and are stated to be held in inhumane circumstances.

The assertion cites experiences from the Ethiopian Human Rights Commission and Amnesty International, which “describe widespread arrests of ethnic Tigrayans”, together with the aged and younger youngsters.

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