Conflicts broke out between Tigrayan rebels, government forces and Eritrean troops. The northern province of Ethiopia has been in conflict since November 2020.
The federal power, backed by troops sent by Asmara, confronts the TPLF, the former power in Tigray and its armed wing, the Tigray Defense Forces (TDF). For several days, the uprising began the offensive and took back several cities.
The TDF launched a major offensive and the offensive was announced by one of the spokesmen for the Tigrayan forces on Saturday (June 19). According to researcher Kjetil Tronvoll, the rebels began an operation called Alula as early as five o’clock on Friday. They attacked between Agbe and Agere Salam, west of the provincial capital of Mekele.
“Enemy forces are being directed,” commented Getachu Reda, a member of the TPLF’s executive committee who, after weeks of silence, is active again on social networks. This offensive took place while Ethiopia was organizing law elections on Monday, June 21.
The offensive has been expanded. Fighting broke out in the center and south where the city of Machew was reportedly taken over.
Above all, in the north, the TDF would have taken Adigrat, the second city of Tigray, almost without a fight; the federal troops had partially withdrawn quickly. “There were some shootings. But people celebrated the victory with horns and even fireworks, says one resident.
Against an Eritrean counter-offensive
However, a medical source speaks of at least four dead and ten injured among civilians. “Life goes on. People do not lock themselves in their homes. They want the old power to return,” explains one resident. Adigrat is not only strategic in its size but also in its position and is located at the intersection of the eastern and northern regions.
At the same time, several sources expect an imminent Eritrean counterattack. Many federal soldiers have withdrawn to Mekele, whether it is a strategic withdrawal or a real military defeat, these are contrary to the government’s rhetoric, according to which the province is pacified.
The prime minister denied famine in Tigray and said the government could fix the region’s problems. “This is our gift to Abiy Ahmed at the time of the coronation as the naked emperor of Ethiopia,” Getachu Reda commented.