Breaking News
Get Actionable Insights with InvestingPro+: Start 7 Day FREE Trial Register here
Investing Pro 0
Ad-Free Version. Upgrade your Investing.com experience. Save up to 40% More details

Tigray's former rulers back in Mekelle, Ethiopian government declares ceasefire

WorldJun 28, 2021 11:27PM ET
Saved. See Saved Items.
This article has already been saved in your Saved Items
 
2/2 © Reuters. FILE PHOTO: A view shows a street in Mekelle, Tigray region of northern Ethiopia December 10, 2018. Picture taken December 10, 2018. REUTERS/Maggie Fick 2/2

By Giulia Paravicini, Katharine Houreld and Dawit Endeshaw

AMBA GIORGIS, Ethiopia (Reuters) - The former rulers of Ethiopia's Tigray region said on Monday they were back in control of the regional capital Mekelle after nearly eight months of fighting, and the government which ousted them declared a unilateral ceasefire with immediate effect.

Residents in downtown Mekelle reported seeing rebel troops in the city for the first time since they were driven out by government forces in November, and several described scenes of jubilation in the streets.

The developments marked a dramatic turn in a conflict that has killed thousands of people, displaced more than 2 million and pushed hundreds of thousands to the brink of famine.

They followed recent reports of an escalation in fighting between government troops and the Tigray's former governing party, the Tigray People's Liberation Front (TPLF), outside Mekelle.

"The capital of Tigray, Mekelle, is under our control," Getachew Reda, a TPLF spokesperson, told Reuters by satellite phone on Monday night.

Ethiopia's government said it was declaring a ceasefire following a request from the interim regional administration in Tigray, which Addis Ababa appointed after ousting TPLF forces.

"This unilateral ceasefire declaration starts from today June 28, 2021 and will stay until the farming season ends," the federal government said in a statement late on Monday. Ethiopia's main planting season lasts from May to September.

Reuters could not immediately establish whether the ceasefire was discussed with the TPLF.

"Until all our enemies leave Tigray, we will fight," Liya Kassa, another TPLF spokesperson, said in an audio statement posted late on Monday on the Facebook (NASDAQ:FB) page of the party-affiliated Tigrai Media House.

Eritrea to the north and the neighbouring region of Amhara to the south both sent troops into Tigray to support Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed's government after it accused the TPLF of attacking military bases across the region in early November.

The Ethiopian prime minister's spokesperson and the military's spokesperson did not respond to telephone calls and messages seeking comment. The TPLF could not immediately be reached for comment on the ceasefire.

U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said he had spoken to Abiy and was "hopeful that an effective cessation of hostilities will take place.

"It is essential that civilians are protected, humanitarian aid reach the people in need and a political solution is found," Guterres said in a statement.

The U.N. Security Council is likely to meet on Tigray this week at the request of the United States, Ireland and Britain, diplomats said.

FIREWORKS AND CELEBRATIONS

Witnesses in the city told Reuters that after rebel forces surrounded the Martyrs' Memorial Monument, some civilians entered the streets to celebrate.

Fireworks briefly lit up the sky, they said.

Some of those gathered chanted "Abiy is a thief!", while others sang songs honouring the TPLF and waved the region's red and yellow flag.

Earlier on Monday, residents reported seeing government soldiers pack up vehicles and withdraw from positions they held in Mekelle.

The U.N. children's agency accused Ethiopian government troops of dismantling satellite equipment in UNICEF's office in Mekelle on Monday.

"This act violates UN privileges and immunities and the rules of International Humanitarian Law regarding respect for humanitarian relief objects," UNICEF Executive Director Henrietta Fore said in a statement.

The government did not respond to a request for comment on the accusation.

Last week, residents reported that TPLF forces had entered several towns north of Mekelle, although in at least one case they withdrew within hours.

On Tuesday, an air strike killed more than 60 people in the town of Togoga, to the northwest of Mekelle, a medical official told Reuters.

Colonel Getnet Adane, Ethiopia's military spokesman, said last week that only combatants, not civilians, had been hit - an assertion refuted by doctors.

​ The attack was one of the deadliest reported incidents in months in a region where the government had said most major fighting ended last year.

(Dawit Endeshaw reported from Addis Ababa. Additional reporting by Ayenat Mersie in Addis Ababa and Maggie Fick in Nairobi; Writing by Maggie Fick and Alexandra Zavis; Editing by Mike Collett-White, Robert Birsel)

Tigray's former rulers back in Mekelle, Ethiopian government declares ceasefire
 

Related Articles

Add a Comment

Comment Guidelines

We encourage you to use comments to engage with other users, share your perspective and ask questions of authors and each other. However, in order to maintain the high level of discourse we’ve all come to value and expect, please keep the following criteria in mind:  

  •            Enrich the conversation, don’t trash it.

  •           Stay focused and on track. Only post material that’s relevant to the topic being discussed. 

  •           Be respectful. Even negative opinions can be framed positively and diplomatically. Avoid profanity, slander or personal attacks directed at an author or another user. Racism, sexism and other forms of discrimination will not be tolerated.

  • Use standard writing style. Include punctuation and upper and lower cases. Comments that are written in all caps and contain excessive use of symbols will be removed.
  • NOTE: Spam and/or promotional messages and comments containing links will be removed. Phone numbers, email addresses, links to personal or business websites, Skype/Telegram/WhatsApp etc. addresses (including links to groups) will also be removed; self-promotional material or business-related solicitations or PR (ie, contact me for signals/advice etc.), and/or any other comment that contains personal contact specifcs or advertising will be removed as well. In addition, any of the above-mentioned violations may result in suspension of your account.
  • Doxxing. We do not allow any sharing of private or personal contact or other information about any individual or organization. This will result in immediate suspension of the commentor and his or her account.
  • Don’t monopolize the conversation. We appreciate passion and conviction, but we also strongly believe in giving everyone a chance to air their point of view. Therefore, in addition to civil interaction, we expect commenters to offer their opinions succinctly and thoughtfully, but not so repeatedly that others are annoyed or offended. If we receive complaints about individuals who take over a thread or forum, we reserve the right to ban them from the site, without recourse.
  • Only English comments will be allowed.

Perpetrators of spam or abuse will be deleted from the site and prohibited from future registration at Investing.com’s discretion.

Write your thoughts here
 
Are you sure you want to delete this chart?
 
Post
Post also to:
 
Replace the attached chart with a new chart ?
1000
Your ability to comment is currently suspended due to negative user reports. Your status will be reviewed by our moderators.
Please wait a minute before you try to comment again.
Thanks for your comment. Please note that all comments are pending until approved by our moderators. It may therefore take some time before it appears on our website.
 
Are you sure you want to delete this chart?
 
Post
 
Replace the attached chart with a new chart ?
1000
Your ability to comment is currently suspended due to negative user reports. Your status will be reviewed by our moderators.
Please wait a minute before you try to comment again.
Add Chart to Comment
Confirm Block

Are you sure you want to block %USER_NAME%?

By doing so, you and %USER_NAME% will not be able to see any of each other's Investing.com's posts.

%USER_NAME% was successfully added to your Block List

Since you’ve just unblocked this person, you must wait 48 hours before renewing the block.

Report this comment

I feel that this comment is:

Comment flagged

Thank You!

Your report has been sent to our moderators for review
Disclaimer: Fusion Media would like to remind you that the data contained in this website is not necessarily real-time nor accurate. All CFDs (stocks, indexes, futures) and Forex prices are not provided by exchanges but rather by market makers, and so prices may not be accurate and may differ from the actual market price, meaning prices are indicative and not appropriate for trading purposes. Therefore Fusion Media doesn`t bear any responsibility for any trading losses you might incur as a result of using this data.

Fusion Media or anyone involved with Fusion Media will not accept any liability for loss or damage as a result of reliance on the information including data, quotes, charts and buy/sell signals contained within this website. Please be fully informed regarding the risks and costs associated with trading the financial markets, it is one of the riskiest investment forms possible.
Continue with Google
or
Sign up with Email