Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed gave Tigrayan regional forces 72 hours to surrender before the military begins an offensive on the regional capital of Mekelle. The Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF), which is refusing to surrender its rule of the northern region, said its forces were digging trenches and standing firm. The conflict erupted on Nov. 4 and has killed hundreds, possibly thousands.
The leader of Ethiopia’s Tigray region has confirmed firing missiles at neighboring Eritrea’s capital and is threatening more, marking a huge escalation as the deadly fighting in northern Ethiopia between regional forces and the federal government now spills across an international border. The Tigray regional government has accused Eritrea of attacking it at the invitation of Ethiopia’s government since the conflict erupted on Nov. 4.
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. Rights group Amnesty International said scores and possibly hundreds of civilians were stabbed and hacked to death in the region on Nov. 9, citing witnesses.
Countries pressed Ethiopia’s Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed on Thursday to halt a military campaign in the Tigray region to avert civil war, but sources said he showed no sign of backing down from confrontation with a powerful ethnic faction. Federal troops and regional forces clashed in the northern region on Wednesday, after Abiy ordered them to respond to an alleged attack on government forces in the region by the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF).
Ethiopia’s Nobel Peace Prize-winning prime minister on Wednesday ordered the military to confront the country’s Tigray regional government after he accused it of carrying out a deadly attack on a military base, declaring “the last red line has been crossed” after months of alleged incitement. The well-armed Tigray People’s Liberation Front, immediately raised concerns that one of Africa’s most populous and powerful countries could plunge back into war.
Ethiopia’s water minister denied that his country has started filling up Africa’s largest dam on Wednesday, a day after talks with Sudan and Egypt on the issue came to a deadlock. Following reports on his remarks, the minister said that higher water levels were due to recent heavy rainfall — and not due to the conscious efforts to fill the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD).
At least 50 people were killed in Ethiopia’s Oromiya region in protests following the fatal shooting of a popular singer, a regional spokesman said on Wednesday, laying bare splits in the prime minister’s political heartland ahead of next year’s polls. Musician Haacaaluu Hundeessaa was shot dead on Monday night in what police said was a targeted killing.
Sahle-Work Zewde was elected by the Ethiopian parliament as the country’s first female president. President Sahle-Work vowed to focus on gender equality in Ethiopia and to promote peace. Sahle-Work was appointed to the ceremonial position of president a week after Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed created a cabinet with women filling half of the positions.
Ethiopia planted more than 353 million trees in 12 hours on Monday, which officials believe is a world record. The burst of tree planting was part of a wider reforestation campaign named “Green Legacy,” spearheaded by the country’s Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed. According to Farm Africa, an organization working on reforestation efforts in East Africa, less than 4% of Ethiopia’s land is forested, compared to around 30% at the end of the 19th century.
The suspected ringleader of Saturday’s failed coup attempt in Ethiopia’s Amhara region has been shot dead, police say. Brig Gen Asaminew Tsige was killed as he attempted to escape from his hideout in Amhara’s capital, police added. Ethiopia’s army chief Gen Seare Mekonnen was killed while trying to foil the coup, the government said. Gen Asaminew is a member of the Amhara, the country’s second largest ethnic group.