Tigray Forces Advance: Disputed Areas See Exodus as People Flee

Tigray Forces Advance: Disputed Areas See Exodus as People
TOPSHOT - Soldiers of Tigray Defence Force (TDF) prepare to leave for another field at Tigray Martyr's Memorial Monument Center in Mekele, the capital of Tigray region, Ethiopia, on June 30, 2021. - Rebel fighters in Ethiopia's war-hit Tigray seized control of more territory on June 29, 2021, one day after retaking the local capital and vowing to drive all "enemies" out of the region. (Photo by Yasuyoshi Chiba / AFP) (Photo by YASUYOSHI CHIBA/AFP via Getty Images)

Tigray Forces Advance: Disputed Areas See Exodus as People Flee

Tensions have escalated in northern Ethiopia as reports emerge of Tigrayan fighters seizing control of additional disputed territories along the border with the Amhara region. The recent flare-up of violence, which erupted on Saturday, saw Tigray forces accused of advancing towards Alamata, a key town in the contested Raya district.

Neighboring Amhara town officials in Kobo have confirmed a surge in displaced residents fleeing the conflict in recent days. The influx underscores the humanitarian impact of the ongoing clashes, with “many” seeking refuge from the violence.

In a strongly worded statement issued on Wednesday, the Amhara regional government condemned the Tigrayan forces’ actions as an “invasion” and issued threats of retaliation. However, Tigrayan forces have yet to respond to these allegations, although Getachew Reda, head of the interim administration in Tigray, previously attributed the escalation to unnamed “die-hard enemies.”

The contested Raya district, formerly under the administration of southern Tigray, became a focal point of conflict following the outbreak of hostilities between the federal government and Tigrayan forces in 2020. Amidst the turmoil, Amhara forces, in collaboration with the federal army, seized control of these disputed areas.

While federal authorities have refrained from commenting on the recent clashes, previous statements indicated that disputed regions would remain under the control of the national army pending resolution. However, the latest escalation threatens to undermine the implementation of the peace agreement brokered between the federal government and the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) in Pretoria, South Africa, in November 2022, which aimed to end the civil war.

As tensions escalate and the humanitarian situation deteriorates, concerns mount over the potential for further violence and instability in the region. Efforts to resolve the underlying grievances and establish lasting peace remain paramount to averting further bloodshed and facilitating the return to stability in northern Ethiopia.


Related Posts