A new front opens in Ethiopia’s resurging Tigray war
An air raid targeted the city of Mekele on Wednesday, the capital of the Tigray region in northern Ethiopia, and bombed the local hospital, the Tigray Liberation Front, which controls the region, and a medical official announced.
The Ethiopian government said that fighting broke out between its forces and the forces of the Tigray region on the border with Sudan. In a major escalation in hostilities after the collapse of the four-month-old ceasefire last week.
A spokesman for the authority of the Tigray Liberation Front said on Twitter that “a night raid by a drone targeted Mikkeli,” stressing that “there are no military targets”.
Doctor Kiprom Gebrselassie, head of the main “Eder” hospital in Mikkeli, said in a tweet on Twitter that the hospital was under attack by a drone, noting that the raid tonight on the city led to “victims who were taken to the hospital”, without specifying their number.
“The aircraft bombed the neighborhood around Mikkeli General Hospital,” pointing out that “another bombing is located near a center for the displaced around Hamidai, we are waiting for the victims,” Gebrselassie stated.
Journalists are denied access to northern Ethiopia, making independent verification of the information impossible. Also, mobile phone networks and the Internet in these areas are damaged or cut.
After a five-month truce, fighting renewed on August 24 between the Federal Army and the Tigray Front, with the two sides trading accusations of igniting confrontations.
The Tigray Front announced on Tuesday that they are still open to negotiations with the federal government, but at the same time, they are determined to continue their advances in northern Ethiopia as long as the government’s military reinforcements pose a “threat” to their region.
Diplomatic and humanitarian sources and eyewitnesses reported that in recent days, the fighters of the Front advanced about 50 kilometers south of the Tigray border, within the neighboring Amhara region, as well as southeast of the Afar region.
The government announced on Saturday that the army withdrew from Kobo, located in the Amhara region, about 15 kilometers south of the Tigray border, to “avoid heavy casualties” among civilians, while the city was attacked “from several directions” by the Tigray Fronto fighters.
After their defeat by the Federal Army in November of 2020, the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) regained control of most of the region in mid-2021 after a counter-attack that brought them close to the capital, Addis Ababa.