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Adigrat under siege after Ethiopian Defense Force took control of Aksum, Adwa

Adigrat – the second biggest city in Tigra – is under siege, according to Ethiopian Defense Force 

Aksum _ Ethiopian Defense Force
Photo from Ethiopian Defense Force page

November 20, 2020

Advancing Ethiopian Defense Forces on Friday controlled key towns of Aksum and Adwa. Ethiopian State of Emergency Fact Check Task Force, a body organized after the start of the war tasked with sharing verified information, among other things, has confirmed that the above two towns are now under the control of the Ethiopian Defense Force.

The army was advancing from the west. The TPLF force that was said to be in a fortified trench near Selehlaha resisted the advance but was in the end defeated as the Ethiopian Defense Force destroyed the fortification.

As was the case in the past, TPLF forces destroyed roads by using graders and excavators to check the advancing Ethiopian army. It was not a useful strategy as it did not stop the Ethiopian army.

It was after overcoming the road blockage that the army controlled Aksum and Adwa towns.

Ethiopian State of Emergency Fact Check Task Force confirmed that Ethiopian forces have advanced further east to control Adigrat city, which is the second biggest in Tigray region.

It is not yet under full control of Ethiopian troops but the Defense Force announced on Friday on its social media page that Adigrat and Inticho are under siege.

The distance between Adigrat and Mekelle is about 100 kilometers.

The TPLF did not confirm that they have lost Aksum and Adwa to the Ethiopian Defense Force and the situation in Adigrat. Looking floppy, Getachew Reda appeared on Dimtsi Woyane TV to give an update on the situation. He said that there is still fighting in the west, east, south, and north-west part of the region and claimed that “Tigray’s forces” inflicted heavy losses on “the invaders.”

“In the past few weeks, we have seen skype…eehh spike in conflict since the open declaration of war by Abiy Ahmed on November 4 and his partner in crime Isaias Afeworki,” he said.  His statement contradicts Sekoture Getachew, another key mouthpiece of TPLF, who said last week appearing on the same TV station that TPLF started the war in a “preemptive strike,” against the Ethiopian Defense Force.  And there is no concrete evidence suggesting that Eritrea is involved in the war. Last week, the TPLF fired three rockets at Asmara in what was said to be an attempt to get Eritrea to involve in the war but Eritrea crossed off a retaliatory response to the attack.

Ethiopian Defense Forces controlled much of the Tigray region after the attack on the northern command bases in the region on November 4 although the TPLF commanded hundreds of thousands of forces including the region’s militia.

It is apparent the TPLF is losing the war. Many analysts are suggesting that the leaders should surrender. Getachew Reda seemed to have an explanation as to why the TPLF is fighting a war that it is not going to win. “We are interested in making sure that the invaders do not have free ride in their open vow to subjugate Tigray,” he said.

Obviously, Tigray is part of Ethiopia. And The Ethiopian Defense Force has been in the region at least for two decades as part of a mission to defend the sovereignty of Ethiopia. It is that same force that Getachew Reda (or TPLF) labeled as “invaders.”

For the Ethiopian government and the majority of Ethiopians including Tigreans, the operation is a campaign to enforce the rule of law by bringing TPLF leaders, who started the war when they brutally massacred members of Ethiopians Defense Forces as they were sleeping, to justice. 

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