Ethiopia bombs Tigray arms depots; thousands flee fighting

Published November 12, 2020
Members of Amhara region militias ride on their truck as they head to face the Tigray People's Liberation Front (TPLF), in Sanja, Amhara region near a border with Tigray, Ethiopia on Nov 9. — Reuters
Members of Amhara region militias ride on their truck as they head to face the Tigray People's Liberation Front (TPLF), in Sanja, Amhara region near a border with Tigray, Ethiopia on Nov 9. — Reuters

ADDIS ABABA: Ethiopia’s air force said on Wednesday it had bombed arms and fuel depots in the northern region of Tigray, as an escalation in fighting prompted thousands more people to seek refuge in neighbouring Sudan.

Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed sent troops and warplanes into the federal state of Tigray last week after a months-long feud with its ruling party, which he accuses of seeking to destabilise the country.

Abiy, last year’s Nobel Peace laureate, said the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) had crossed a “red line” and attacked two federal military bases, which the party denies.

Air force commander Major General Yilma Merdassa said jet fighters had “bombed arms and fuel depots as well as other areas that the TPLF junta has planned to use,” the state-affiliated Fana Broadcast Corporate (FBC) reported.

Alsir Khaled, head of Sudan’s refugee agency in the eastern border town of Kassala, said 11,000 Ethiopians had fled to Sudan this week. The UN refugee agency UNHCR said the number of refugees “is likely to rise sharply” and urged neighbouring countries to keep their borders open.

The agency said it was also deeply concerned for more than 96,000 Eritreans living in four refugee camps in Tigray, as well as for humanitarian workers. “Roads are blocked and electricity, phone and internet are down, making communication nearly impossible. There is a shortage of fuel, and banking services have halted resulting in a lack of cash,” said UNHCR.

Tigray has been under a communications blackout since the military operation was launched on November 4, making it difficult to verify the situation on the ground as both sides make conflicting claims.

Published in Dawn, November 12th, 2020

Opinion

Vaccine uptake
26 Feb 2021

Vaccine uptake

The reasons for refusal need to be carefully recorded.

Editorial

Terrorist’s escape
Updated 26 Feb 2021

Terrorist’s escape

It is not clear how many military personnel were involved in this incident and what the investigation into their actions revealed.
26 Feb 2021

Penalising filers

THE FBR has decided to penalise taxpayers filing their returns late. Apparently, these filers will be required to ...
26 Feb 2021

Corporal punishment

FOR a child born in our society, the cycle of violence begins early. The first taste of violence often comes at the...
IHK & human rights
Updated 25 Feb 2021

IHK & human rights

If India continues to be pampered and the Kashmiris’ plight ignored, peace in South Asia will remain a distant dream.
25 Feb 2021

A better law

THAT the Sindh Police has taken an initiative to bring improvements to the criminal justice system is a positive...
25 Feb 2021

Power breakdown report

A NEPRA inquiry into last month’s power breakdown that left almost the entire country without electricity for up ...