The U.S. ambassador to the Horn of Africa will travel to Ethiopia on Friday, November 4, to call for a peaceful settlement in the country, where rebel groups are threatening to march on the capital, Addis Ababa.
The Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) rebels, who have been fighting the Ethiopian army in the north for a year, said this weekend they captured the towns of Dessie and Kombolcha, located at the strategic road junction 400 kilometers north of Addis. Ababa.
At the same time, the Oromo Liberation Army (OLA), an insurgent group affiliated with the TPLF, announced the capture of areas further south on the highway to the capital.
“If things continue in the current dynamic state, then [la prise d’Addis-Abeba] Weeks are not months ”, Odaa Tarbii spokeswoman Odaa Tarbii told the Agency France-Presse (AFP) on Wednesday that the fall of Prime Minister Abi Ahmed was certain. “Run in advance”.
On Wednesday evening, TPLF spokesman Getachew Reda said the organization was now working with the OLA to take control of Kemisi, 325 kilometers from the capital. “Joint activities will continue in the coming days and weeks”, Getachew Reda added on Twitter.
The government denies any progress of the rebels, however A state of emergency was declared across the country on Tuesday, Residents of Addis Ababa were invited to make arrangements to defend their city. Communications have been cut off in much of northern Ethiopia, and journalists’ access to the area has been blocked, making it difficult to independently verify ground conditions.
The move, which has been on the rise for the past few days, has caused concern in the international community. “The United States is increasingly concerned about the escalation of war and interracial violence.”The U.S. diplomatic spokesman announced Wednesday that its ambassador to the Horn of Africa, Jeffrey Feldman, had announced a visit to Ethiopia on Thursday and Friday.
Prime Minister Abi Ahmed on Wednesday accused the rebels of being an alliance “Destroy the country”, Transforming into Libya or Syria. In Addis Ababa, concerned residents reaffirmed their support for the government on Wednesday. “They are the enemies of Ethiopia, they should [être] Rejected, for which we must all submit to the state of emergency. ”, Says Asmerao Berhan, a self-employed worker.
As part of the emergency law, officers can recruit “Any citizen of combat age and armed” Or suspend suspected media“Provide direct or indirect moral support” In TPLF, according to state media Fanaa Broadcasting Corporate. Getachew Reda called these actions “Carde Blanche to imprison or kill Tigris”.
Two prosecutors overseeing the detainees’ arbitrary detention told the AFP on Wednesday that they had received reports of dozens of arrests by police in Addis Ababa since the state of emergency was declared.
“Crimes against humanity”
Triggered in November 2020, the conflict in Tigray has seen a dramatic turn in recent months. Abi Ahmed announced the victory on November 28, 2019, after sending troops to the region to remove disgruntled officers from the TPLF, which he has accused of attacking federal military bases. But in June, separatist militants of the TPLF captured most of the region. The government later withdrew its troops and declared a unilateral ceasefire on June 28, but the rebels continued their offensive in neighboring Afar and Amhara.
The period from November 3 to June 28 has been mentioned due to several irregularities including “Some may be war crimes and crimes against humanity”, The Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights and the Ethiopian Commission on Human Rights are expected to hold a public hearing on Wednesday. The report specifically addresses unjust executions, torture, abductions, sexual violence – including gang rape of women and men – and looting. The embassy also said it had documented abuses carried out after a period of involvement in the investigation, particularly the killing of 47 civilians in September in the village of Amhara in Senna, which was run by the TPLF.
Abi Ahmed stressed that the report did not establish any evidence of genocide in Tigray, but Michelle Bachelet, the High Commissioner for Human Rights, responded that the investigation had not been established or dismissed these allegations that further investigation was needed. Twelve months of conflict also plunged northern Ethiopia into a serious humanitarian crisis, leaving millions of people on the brink of famine.