Tigrayan soldiers have attacked Ethiopian forces in the Afar region of the country with as many as 54,000 locals fleeing for safety.
National military forces in Ethiopia had launched offensives against the Tigrayan people, citing attacks on government properties as reason for the retaliation.
Retaliations in the Tigray lasted and lingered and was widespread, as Tigrayans fled the region to neighboring Sudan and Eritrea. Despite Ethiopia’s announcement in November 2020 that it had launched its final offensive, the war continued with many females raped amid looting and robbery.
Eritrean soldiers also joined Ethiopia’s military forces to continuously launch offensives in Tigray, but announced a unilateral ceasefire some weeks ago. The Tigray People’s Liberation Force’s military department said the ceasefire was a “joke” and came at the heat of the moment for Ethiopia.
Events in the past few weeks have however shown that Ethiopia may have lost its footing in the war with Tigrayan forces holding some national soldiers captive, and displayed them publicly.
Recent attack on Afar was specifically targeting Amhara forces, one of the strongest regional military in the country which has so far solidly stood behind Ethiopia.
The TPLF, led by Gebremichael Debretsion has asked the Ethiopian government to accept its terms before a bilateral ceasefire agreement can be reached. Attacks in Afar may also have killed civilians, driving more people to seek refuge in already pressurised neighbouring countries.
Civilians may also have been killed in the attacks by the TPLF with houses also suspected to be burnt in the supposed attacks on Amhara forces. Foreign nations and partners have tried to intervene but have failed so far as both parties have chosen gun fuels over dialogue.
A vehicle of the UN’s World Food Programme was attacked by gunmen on Sunday, as it attempted to take food to local refugees in Tigray. There is an increased need for food in the troubled region as starvation deepens.