Tensions rise – Ethiopian govt face-off with Tigray rebels
The Government of Ethiopia has declared a State of Emergency and the launch of a military operation in the opposition-controlled Tigray region, located at the borders of Eritrea and Sudan in a standoff between the federal government and the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF).
The Ethiopian Prime Minister, Abiy Ahmed, confirmed in a statement on Wednesday that the Council of Ministers decided to impose the State of Emergency for a period of six months, in this region, which held local elections in September that the Addis Ababa government considers illegal.
In another statement, the Prime Minister’s office ordered the army to take offensive measures against the Tigray People’s Liberation Front, accusing it of attacking the offices of the Defence Forces Northern Command stationed in Mekele, the capital of Tigray, with the aim of seizing artillery and military equipment there.
Abiy Ahmed acknowledged the “several martyrs have died” and called on Ethiopians to “remain calm and vigilant in the possible confrontation and to stand by the National Defence Forces on this crucial issue”.
His Sudanese counterpart, PM Abdallah Hamdok phoned him on Wednesday to check on the situation there, in light of the statement issued by the Ethiopian government about the events in Tigray.
Ahmed said that his government is working to stabilise the situation and return to normal. Hamdok expressed Sudan’s keenness for stability in brotherly Ethiopia, as it constitutes stability for Sudan and the region. The two leaders agreed to continue communication in light of the existing relations and ties between the two countries and the two brotherly peoples.
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