Fighting between the Ethiopian army and forces of the Tigray region has reached Mekelle, near the region’s biggest city, home to half a million residents. Addis Ababa should pause hostilities, all sides should minimize harm to civilians and the AU should step up efforts to avert further bloodshed.
That was the advice of the International Crisis Group––heard but not taken––as Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed announced that Tigray’s regional capital had fallen to the army after an assault that he authorized.
But without a journalist, a member of the African Union or another impartial group, social media or the internet, no one could confirm Ahmed’s claim of victory.
Each government regards the other as illegal after Abiy sidelined the once-dominant Tigray People’s Liberation Front after taking office in early 2018.
The fight is about self-determination of the region of around 6 million people, Debretsion Gebremichael, the Tigray leader said and it “will continue until the invaders are out.” His forces still have several missiles and “we can use them whenever we want.”