Ethiopian army is ordered for ‘final stage’ of battle in Tigray

Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy says he ordered the attack on Mekele, the capital of the rebellious region of Tigray. The ultimatum that Abiy had set the insurgents expired last night. After three weeks of fighting, the offensive enters its final stage, let Abiy know.

Mekele is surrounded by tanks and other heavy equipment of the government army. Half a million people live there. Abiy called on them to stay inside and dispose of weapons. The UN says a growing number of people are leaving the city. This will continue after the expiry of the ultimatum.

Abiy says his people will do their utmost to protect citizens, but human rights groups and international organisations are afraid of massacre.

Talking is over

Abiy refuses to negotiate with the leaders in Tigray. It has been insisted on this from abroad. He also rejects mediation by neutral parties. The rebels say they are willing to die for the right to govern their region themselves.

The battle that broke out at the beginning of this month may have already killed thousands of people. It is not possible to get a good picture of the struggle, because the Internet and other means of communication are closed.

Tens of thousands of people have fled. In Sudan alone, 40,000 Ethiopian refugees arrived.

EU Commissioner for Crisis Management, Janez Lenarcic, is concerned that the conflict will turn into a humanitarian crisis. He wants aid workers to be admitted to the area to provide citizens with food, medicine and other necessary means.

The Netherlands temporarily stops payments to utilities in Tigray, which are implemented through the Ethiopian Government. According to Minister Kaag for Development Cooperation, the Dutch government is also very concerned about the military escalation of the conflict.

An amount of approximately EUR 2.8 million will be withheld. The Minister will resume payments when Ethiopia terminates military operations in Tigray. She is concerned about reports of large numbers of refugees, displaced persons and potential civilian casualties and human rights violations.

Attack on army bases

In Tigray, the government army of Abiy and the Tigray Peoples Liberation Front (TPLF) fight each other. The TPLF was the service in Ethiopia until 2018. That year, Abiy won the election. Since then, tensions have been increasing ever higher.

At the

beginning of this month, the TPLF would have attacked two federal military bases in Tigray. That was the reason for Abiy to launch the attack on Tigray.