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Monday, November 23, 2020

Ethiopian prime minister warns Tigray forces to surrender within 72 hours

Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed gave Tigray forces three days to surrender as conflict continues in the region.

Ahmed cautioned the forces to surrender in 72 hours in a tweet on Sunday, adding they were at the “at the point of no return.” Ethiopian troops plan to surround Mekelle, Tigray’s capital, with tanks in an attempt to force a surrender, according to Reuters.

Reuters couldn’t immediately reach Tigrayan forces for comment.

Fighting has escalated since Ahmed accused Tigray’s forces of attacking federal Ethiopian troops on Nov. 4. Ahmed claimed the government utilized airstrikes to limit the military capacity of Tigray’s forces. The Tigray People’s Liberation Front, or TPLF, was the dominant, ruling party in the country until Ahmed was elected in 2018.

The United Nations warned of a “full-scale humanitarian crisis” for refugees in the areas, as estimates indicate 27,000 people have fled Ethiopia for Sudan amid the conflict.

“People are coming out of Ethiopia really scared, afraid, with stories saying they have been fleeing heavy fighting and there’s no sign of the fighting stopping,” said a spokesman of the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees Babar Baloch while at a Geneva news briefing. “UNHCR is warning that a full-scale humanitarian crisis is unfolding as thousands of refugees flee ongoing fighting in Ethiopia’s Tigray region each day to seek safety in eastern Sudan.”

Phone and internet connections have been cut off by the Ethiopian government, making it difficult for journalists to verify claims from either side of the conflict.

Read More at Washingtonexaminer

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