WORLD / AFRICA
Ethiopian PM says military operations in Tigray ‘completed’
Published: Nov 29, 2020 04:58 PM

Ethiopian refugees who fled fighting in Tigray province lay in a hut at the Um Rakuba camp in Gedaref province, Sudan on Monday.


Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed said Saturday that military operations in the country's northern Tigray region were "completed" after the army claimed control of the regional capital, declaring victory in a three-week-old conflict that has left thousands dead. 

"I am pleased to share that we have completed and ceased the military operations in the #Tigray region," Abiy said in a Twitter post Saturday night.

Abiy, 2019's Nobel Peace Prize winner, announced on November 4 that he had ordered military operations against leaders of the Tigray People's Liberation Front (TPLF), the regional ruling party that dominated Ethiopian politics for nearly three decades before he came to power in 2018.

Tigray has been under a communications blackout ever since, making it impossible to know the full toll of fierce fighting that has included multiple rounds of air strikes and at least one massacre that killed hundreds of civilians. 

After securing control of western Tigray and giving TPLF leaders a 72-hour ultimatum to surrender, Abiy announced on Thursday that he had ordered a "final offensive" against pro-TPLF forces in the regional capital Mekele, a city with a population of half a million. 

Global concern mounted over a possible bloodbath, and heavy shelling was reported in Mekele earlier Saturday.  

But on Saturday night, Gen Berhanu Jula, the army chief, said in a statement that his forces "completely controlled" Mekele. 

AFP
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