• Tuesday, Oct 04, 2022
  • Last Update : 10:24 am

Heavy fighting kills 20 in region bordering Tigray

  • Published at 12:06 pm July 22nd, 2021
Tigray Defence Force
Soldiers of Tigray Defence Force (TDF) reacts to people as they are welcomed on a street in Mekele, the capital of Tigray region, Ethiopia, on June 29, 2021 AFP

On Sunday, the rebels said they carried out a ‘very limited action’ in Afar region targeting special forces and militia fighters from Oromia region

At least 20 civilians have been killed and tens of thousands displaced in heavy fighting between rebels and pro-government forces in Ethiopia's Afar region, which borders war-hit Tigray, an official told AFP on Thursday. 

"The heavy fighting is still continuing. So totally about 70,000 are affected directly and they are displaced... More than 20 civilians are dead," said Mohammed Hussen, an official with Ethiopia's national disaster response agency based in Afar. 

Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed sent troops into Tigray last November to oust the region's ruling party, the Tigray People's Liberation Front (TPLF), a move he said came in response to TPLF attacks on federal army camps. 

Though the 2019 Nobel Peace laureate declared victory later that month, fighting has dragged on, killing thousands of people and plunging hundreds of thousands into famine, according to the United Nations. 

Last month the war took a stunning turn when pro-TPLF fighters retook the Tigray capital Mekele and Abiy declared a unilateral ceasefire. 

But clashes have continued especially in western and southern Tigray, disputed territories that were occupied by forces from Ethiopia's Amhara region, which borders Tigray to the south, at the beginning of the war.

Officials from six regions and the city of Dire Dawa have since said they would send troops to back up government forces. 

On Sunday, rebel spokesman Getachew Reda said pro-TPLF forces carried out a "very limited action" in Afar targeting special forces and militia fighters from Oromia region, the country's largest. 

Yet Mohammed, the disaster response official, indicated on Thursday that the operations were wider in scope and that civilians were caught in the crossfire. 

"As we know the junta crossed the border to Afar and attacked the innocent pastoral community," he said, using a term that government officials employ to refer to the TPLF, which is officially considered a terrorist organization. 

"They are trying to subjugate the Afars. So now the federal forces are joining the Afar special forces, the Afar local communities, the Afar militias. In the last days the Afars were fighting and protecting themselves."

Facebook 50
blogger sharing button blogger
buffer sharing button buffer
diaspora sharing button diaspora
digg sharing button digg
douban sharing button douban
email sharing button email
evernote sharing button evernote
flipboard sharing button flipboard
pocket sharing button getpocket
github sharing button github
gmail sharing button gmail
googlebookmarks sharing button googlebookmarks
hackernews sharing button hackernews
instapaper sharing button instapaper
line sharing button line
linkedin sharing button linkedin
livejournal sharing button livejournal
mailru sharing button mailru
medium sharing button medium
meneame sharing button meneame
messenger sharing button messenger
odnoklassniki sharing button odnoklassniki
pinterest sharing button pinterest
print sharing button print
qzone sharing button qzone
reddit sharing button reddit
refind sharing button refind
renren sharing button renren
skype sharing button skype
snapchat sharing button snapchat
surfingbird sharing button surfingbird
telegram sharing button telegram
tumblr sharing button tumblr
twitter sharing button twitter
vk sharing button vk
wechat sharing button wechat
weibo sharing button weibo
whatsapp sharing button whatsapp
wordpress sharing button wordpress
xing sharing button xing
yahoomail sharing button yahoomail