The Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) started war this week after “stealing” 570,000 liters of fuel from the World Food Programme, as the latter claimed
It is official that the Ethiopian government has started the war again this week after about five months of Humanitarian cease-fire. It was started as the government of Ethiopia was demanding the TPLF to return fuel “stolen” from the World Health Organization. So what is known so far?
- It has been over four days since the TPLF started fighting the Ethiopian government. On August 24, the Ethiopian government announced that the TPLF ended the humanitarian ceasefire that was introduced in March this year
- The government and rebels were meant to meet for a peace talk in Kenya this month ( as announced by U.S. officials ). Just two days before the Tigray-based rebels resumed fighting against the Ethiopian government, Debretsion Gerbemichael, who is the chairman of TPLF, published an article on the “African Report” tarnishing the image of the African Union as a neutral mediator. The organization made its intentions clear when it said that the peace talk will fail.
- About three weeks before the war, a US special envoy and the European Union special envoy led a delegation of Ambassadors from Canada and many European countries to Mekelle where they met and discussed with TPLF leaders for about five hours.
- The TPLF forces have advanced further in the southern direction and taken control of Kobo town which is in the Amhara region of Ethiopia. The Ethiopian government on Saturday said that the TPLF opened fighting on Kobo from different directions using a “human wave” strategy, and has also infiltrated forces into town with the aim to start an urban battle. It also said that it ordered the withdrawal of forces to avoid heavy civilian casualties in the town.
- Video footage circulating on social media showed residents of Kobo crossing the river leaving their homes behind and heading to Woldia town.
- The TPLF has confirmed that it took control of Kobo. Information that emerged on Sunday indicated that the Ethiopian Defense Forces is engaging the TPLF forces in Kobo again.
- On Saturday this week it looked as if the TPLF was capable of advancing to Woldia town to the extent that students at Woldia University had to vacate the campus ( as reported by DW Amharic). There were also reports that the TPLF had control over Robit – a small town between Kobo and Woldia. The distance between Woldia and Kobo is about 50 kilometers.
- The TPLF started the war with the aim to break what it called “siege of Tigray.”
- Apart from the Amhara region, the TPLF forces have also invaded the Afar region of Ethiopia.
- Several regional states (including Afar, Amhara and Oromia) have issued statements condemning military attacks from TPLF – which they call a terrorist organization – as designated by the Ethiopian Parliament
- Earlier this week the Ethiopian government announced that it downed an Antonov plane ( which was said to have come from the Sudanese air space) while delivering weapons to the TPLF forces.
- The Ethiopian government has also announced that it has carried out an airstrike on selected military targets Mekelle and other parts of Tigray. The TPLF accused the government of attacking “kindergarten.”
- The TPLF dominated federal government and Ethiopian politics for nearly thirty years before they lost power in 2018 following a pervasive and defiant opposition.
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