Ethiopian Government Launches Airstrikes on Tigray’s Capital

Hundreds reported killed in the fighting, 25,000 refugees fled to Sudan

The Ethiopian government bombed the Tigrayan capital Mekelle on Monday, as fighting between the federal government and the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) continues.

Debretsion Gebremichael, the leader of the TPLF, said two civilians had been killed and one wounded in the airstrikes. Gebremichael said that while Mekelle was being bombed, the town of Alamata in southern Tigray was hit by a drone attack. Ethiopia’s government claimed they made gains in Tigray and “liberated” Alamata from the TPLF.

The Ethiopian government resisted efforts by other countries to help settle the conflict, denying reports that Uganda will be mediating talks. A spokesman insisted the campaign will be over soon. “We are saying ‘Give us time.’ It’s not going to take until eternity … it will be a short-lived operation,” Redwan Hussein, a government spokesman, said. “We have never asked Uganda or any other country to mediate.”

The TPLF has accused Eritrea of sending troops over the border to fight on behalf of the Ethiopian government. Eritrea denied the claims, but on Sunday, the TPLF said they fired missiles at Eritrea’s capital, a potentially huge escalation.

Since Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed ordered the military operation on November 4th, reports have been tough to confirm due to the shut down of phone and internet services in Tigray. Hundreds are believed to have been killed so far, and 25,000 refugees fled to Sudan to avoid the bloodshed.

Author: Dave DeCamp

Dave DeCamp is the assistant news editor of Antiwar.com, follow him on Twitter @decampdave.