Ethiopia’s prime minister Abiy Ahmed [Photo: Atalayar]
Nov, 23rd 2020 – Ethiopia’s prime minister Abiy Ahmed has issued Northern Tigray a 72 hour ultimatum to surrender as government troops advance in Mekelle as Ahmed says they have reached a point of no return. The Tigray People’s Liberation Front(TPLF), which controls the mountainous region, has however vowed to keep fighting.
In a tweet, Abiy said, “We urge you to surrender peacefully within 72 hours, recognizing that you are at the point of no return.”
Speaking to broadcasters, Dejene Tsegave, a military spokesman, said, “The next decisive battle is to surround Mekele with tanks. Save yourself, a directive has been communicated for you to dissociate yourself from this junta, after that there will be no mercy.”
The feud with Abiy caused the TPLF to hold their own elections early this year, despite the postponement of national polls due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Tensions flared after an alleged TPLF attack earlier this month. Abiy then responded by taking several towns with aerial bombardments and ground fighting.
The conflict has reportedly killed hundreds and displaced thousands in recent weeks. The UN has warned it could trigger a humanitarian crisis.