Ethiopian forces have captured a town north of Tigray, state-affiliated Fana has reported.
According to Fana, the Ethiopian military on Friday said it has seized Wikro town, 50km north of Tigray’s capital, Mekelle.
A Lieutenant-General in the Ethiopian military, Hassan Ibrahim revealed that federal forces have captured Wikro “and will control Mekelle in a few days.”
He added that they’ve also taken control of some other towns barely a day after Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed said a final offensive will be launched.
Mister Ahmed was mum about reaching decisions to hold peace talks with Tigray, as he met African envoys on Friday. He was however categorical about not harming civilians in Tigray when Ethiopia launches its offensive.
African envoys comprising- former presidents Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf of Liberia, Joaquim Chissano of Mozambique and Kgalema Motlanthe of South Africa reiterated that “protection and security of civilians” is important.
Ethiopia and Tigray have been embroiled in a conflict since November 4 after Mister Ahmed accused the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) forces of launching attacks on state properties.
At least 43,000 Ethiopians have since taken refuge in Sudan, while another 100,000 are in Tigray.
The African Union has sued for peace but appeals have met a resolute Ethiopian government and stiff Tigrayan forces.
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