Ethiopia’s military has defeated local forces in the west of Tigray state, Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed said on Thursday, accusing his foes of atrocities during a week of fighting that threatens to destabilize the Horn of Africa.
“The western region of Tigray has been liberated,” Abiy said in a tweet.
Air strikes and ground combat between government forces and the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) have stirred the domestic divisions, and sent refugees flooding into Sudan. The casualty numbers remain unclear.
A man lies down after giving blood at a blood drive in support of Ethiopia’s military, at a stadium in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, November 12, 2020. /AP
The United Nations and humanitarian partners are concerned over the protection of civilians in the Tigray conflict area amid fears the region is at risk, a UN spokesman said on Thursday.
“Our humanitarian colleagues are telling us that they are increasingly concerned over the protection of civilians due to the fighting in Tigray,” said Stephane Dujarric, spokesman for UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres. “We are also alarmed by the already large number of Ethiopian asylum-seekers who have crossed into Sudan fleeing the hostilities or out of fear of an attack.”