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Tigray Forces Leader: Fighting Continues Near Mekelle After Seizure by Ethiopian Government

Sputnik News

Sergei Gridnev. Sputnik International
07:18 GMT 30.11.2020(updated 09:53 GMT 30.11.2020)

On 28 November, Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed Ali announced that the country's National Defence Forces (ENDF) had gained full control of the Tigray region's capital of Mekelle.

The leader of Tigray People's Liberation Front (TPLF) rebel group, Debretsion Gebremichael, told Reuters on Monday that his forces were still fighting close to the regional capital of Mekelle after it was captured by government forces.

According to a written statement he gave Reuters, some Eritrean soldiers fighting alongside the Ethiopian government forces had been taken prisoner by his side.

At the same time, Ethiopia's Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed told parliament that the government forces had not killed a single civilian in their advance, while the TPLF had previously accused the government of targeting civilians in airstrikes and ground fighting.

In September, the TPLF, in opposition to the Ethiopian government, asked Addis Ababa for permission to hold regional elections, which had been postponed by COVID-19 restrictions. After their request was denied, the party organised elections on its own, which the federal government refuse to recognise.

On 4 November, the Ethiopian government launched a military operation in Tigray, accusing the TLFP of an attack on a local military base to hijack weapons and arm anti-government militia.

On 26 November, the government forces launched a final offensive on the regional capital, after the TPLF rejected their ultimatum to surrender within 72 hours. Two days later, the country's prime minister announced that the region's capital, Mekelle, had been captured by the federal forces.

© Sputnik

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