Tigray accused of launching an attack into Afar to sever links to Djibouti

Fighting intensifies in Tigray and Afar regions

Source: BBC 

[Note: this is computer translated from Amharic]

3 hours ago

Members of the Afar Special Forces


Image description: Members of the Afar Special Forces

According to the Afar regional government, the TPLF attack captured Sardo and targeted the Ethio-Djibouti corridor.

The Afar Regional State Communication Bureau said in a statement that the TPLF attacks have spread to five different woredas in the Kilbeti Resu zone and the town of Abala.

The statement said the TPLF had taken control of Abala Woreda, Magalle Woreda, Erbiti, Konba and Berahle woredas.

The bureau said the TPLF’s current heavy artillery attack was aimed at “capturing Sardo and using the Ethio-Djibouti line as a bargaining chip.”

The TPLF has said it has taken strong action against Afar forces in the past, but has not yet commented on the alleged escalation.

The federal government also said it had no comment on the fighting in the Afar region, but a week ago the National Security Council said it would take necessary action against the TPLF.

“They are waging a mechanized battle to cut off the Ethio-Djibouti corridor corridor.”

Officials in the Afar Regional State have repeatedly stated that residents, civilians, and government institutions have been severely injured in the absence of federal security forces outside the region.

The Communications Bureau said in a statement that the TPLF had fought hard to prevent the TPLF from advancing beyond the towns of Abala, Abala, Magaale and Arabti districts it had seized last week.

However, he accused the TPLF rebels of “carrying out massacres and looting in the Rahel and Konba districts” by deploying mechanized forces and carrying out heavy artillery attacks in the Afar region.

Map of Tigray Afar

The region said the TPLF forces were conducting a “mechanized battle” to control the Afar region and cut off the Ethio-Djibouti corridor.

According to the Afar Regional State, the TPLF has been wreaking havoc in the border areas since December 10, 2014, causing heavy human and material losses in the group-controlled districts and war-torn districts.

More than 350,000 people have been displaced from the war-torn region

Afar Regional Disaster Risk Management Bureau Head Mohamed Hussein told the BBC that more than 350,000 people had been displaced by the TPLF’s recent attacks.

He also said that individuals and government institutions as well as schools and religious institutions were vandalized and looted.

According to the region, the TPLF forces have entered the Afar region as far as 150 km, and the group has “regrouped for a third time by reorganizing its forces and mechanized forces.”

Two weeks ago, the Afar Regional State announced that the TPLF had infiltrated several districts in the Kilbeti Resu zone following weeks of heavy artillery shelling from the border areas of Tigray to the Afar region.

As a result, it has been two weeks since TPLF forces took control of Abala, Magale and Rahle woredas, and hundreds of thousands of people have fled the fighting since the beginning of the heavy artillery fire, regional security chief Mohamed Hussein told the BBC.

Ahmed Kaloita, head of the Afar Regional State Government’s Communication Bureau, told the BBC that TPLF forces had launched a major offensive in three woredas of the Afar Regional State.

After weeks of fighting, the TPLF entered the Afar region and launched a major offensive, seizing control of several areas, but the TPLF denied the allegations.

The TPLF said in a statement that it had been defending the Afar region for weeks and that it had taken strong action to quell the threat.

However, according to some officials and residents of the Afar region, TPLF forces are expanding their offensive and launching a major military operation in the border areas. The disaster chief told the BBC that this was aimed at capturing more areas in the region.

The war in northern Ethiopia, which lasted for more than a year, erupted in the Tigray region last year and lasted for eight months and spread to neighboring Afar and Amhara regions.

Following the federal government’s withdrawal of troops from Tigray at the end of June last year, TPLF forces invaded the Amhara and Afar regions and held sway for months.

In late November, the TPLF forces were forced out of the two regions after a major military operation by the federal government forces, in which the prime minister took part, along with Amhara and Afar forces.

The TPLF rebels, who had moved north and south of Tigray, north of Shoa and east to Mele, were defeated by federal and regional forces, but TPLF leaders reportedly returned their fighters to Tigray for peace.

In addition to sporadic clashes, heavy fighting and clashes have resumed in the border areas of Tigray and Afar, despite weeks of fighting in most areas.

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