Tuesday 13 July 2021
Addis Ababa – (AFP):
Rebel forces in Ethiopia’s Tigray region launched a new offensive, a rebel spokesman told AFP on Tuesday, less than two weeks after an initial offensive that forced the government to declare a ceasefire.
“Yesterday (Monday) we launched an offensive in Raya (south of Tigray) and managed to defeat the Federal Defense Forces and Amhara forces, and the rebel fighters are still chasing the pro-government forces,” Getachew Reda told AFP by phone.
“We managed to ensure the security of most of southern Tigray,” he said, noting that the rebels had taken control of Alamata, the region’s largest city, and that he was there.
It was not possible to contact a spokesman for the federal army at the present time, to verify the assertions of Getachew in light of the interruption of communication networks in the region.
In November, Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed launched a military operation in the northern region of the country, to disarm the Tigrayan People’s Liberation Front and arrest its leaders.
After capturing the state capital, Mekele, the government declared victory at the end of November, but the battles continued for eight months.
At the end of June, the army withdrew, retreating in the face of a lightning advance by the forces loyal to the front, which recaptured Mekele on the 28th of the month and then the greater part of Tigray in the following days.
Monday’s attack was directed at areas in the south and west of Tigray still under the control of the Amhara forces, which entered to support the federal army in the conflict, which witnessed atrocities, amid increasing risks of famine.
“We promised that we would liberate every inch of Tigray,” Getachew Reda said.
He pointed out that the battles are still continuing in the west of the region, and he did not mention any specific location in the area located in the border triangle between Ethiopia, Eritrea and Sudan.