Ethiopia vows to seize Tigray airport despite peace pledges

The Ethiopian government on Monday reiterated its commitment to peace talks while vowing to take control of the airport and other sites in Tigray amid heightened international vigilance over fighting in the war-torn region.

The African Union called for an immediate and unconditional ceasefire on Sunday as fighting escalates in northern Ethiopia. The region has been at war between pro-government forces and rebels from the Tigray region for nearly two years.

Authorities in Tigray said on Sunday they were “ready to comply with an immediate cessation of hostilities” and called on the international community to pressure the government to come to the negotiating table.

But he said he would also pursue “defensive measures” to protect Ethiopia’s sovereignty and territorial integrity from internal and external threats.

“It is therefore imperative that the Ethiopian government take immediate control of all airports and other federal facilities and facilities in the region,” said a Government Communications Service (GCS) statement.

The conflict has left an unknown number of civilians dead, sparked a major humanitarian crisis in Tigray and other parts of northern Ethiopia, displaced at least two million people and displaced millions more. I need it.

TPLF spokesperson Getachew Reda responded to the GCS statement by saying in an AFP message:

Abiy’s government and Tiglayan officials were due to attend AU-led negotiations in South Africa earlier this month, but the talks fell through after logistical issues were cited as one of the stumbling blocks.

Meanwhile, Ethiopian forces, along with neighboring Eritrean forces, have stepped up their offensive near Shire, a city of 100,000 in northwest Tigray, with heavy artillery fire reporting civilian casualties.

U.S. aid chief Samantha Power warned on Sunday that there was a “growing risk of further atrocities and loss of life” around the Shire, condemning indiscriminate attacks by Ethiopian and Eritrean forces.

According to the World Food Program (WFP), IRC officials distributed food to vulnerable civilians, including women and children.

“This is the 24th aid worker killed in the Tigray since the conflict began. Civilians and aid workers must be protected and #NotATarget,” Keegan wrote on Twitter.

“The Ethiopian government deeply regrets the damage it may have caused to civilians, including humanitarian personnel,” the GCS said, adding that it would investigate such incidents.

The TPLF dominated Ethiopia’s dominant political alliance for decades until Abiy took power in 2018, sidelining the party.

first published as Ethiopia vows to seize Tigray airport despite peace pledges

Ethiopia vows to seize Tigray airport despite peace pledges

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