In Ethiopia, the battle of Mekele is said to be about to begin. The Prime Minister announced that the 72-hour ultimatum given to the TPLF and the power of the Tigray region had expired. The army was therefore ordered to carry out the “final phase” of the offensive, which was launched on 4 November.
as reported from the region, Sebastien nemeth
The federal army is said to be about to attack Mekele, the heart of the power of TPLF. Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed does not hide his confidence in declaring that thousands of Tigray soldiers and militias have surrendered. However, this information is impossible to verify as the region remains cut off from the world.
On the Tigray side, Getachew Reda, an adviser to the presidency, told him of a “people’s war in which every inhabitant will defend himself, whether he carries a weapon or not.” Concerns are therefore highest, while the capital of Tigray has half a million inhabitants and the Prime Minister has already announced that the attack would be “ruthless”.
The UN has reported that the population is fleeing the city, but it is unclear in what proportion. She is already suffering from a severe shortage of petrol, food and medicine.
Human rights defenders ask the parties to spare the population as much as possibleRecalling that international humanitarian law was applied in this internal conflict in Ethiopia.
The Prime Minister foresaw criticism and declared that the army would be “particularly vigilant with regard to the protection of civilians. That all precautionary measures should be taken to protect heritage, worship, infrastructure or even residential areas”.
But given the intensity of the fighting in the rest of the region, the large number of casualties, the use of fighter jets and tanks, Abiy Ahmed’s words are far from reassuring.
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