Ethiopia Warns ‘Anything Can Happen’ in Ultimatum

Officials vow no mercy against Tigray capital

Ethiopian troops are surrounding the Tigray capital of Mekelle on Monday, poised to end three weeks of fighting in the region. They are now issuing an ultimatum that boils down to surrender or die.

Ethiopia says if the rebels don’t surrender, or get handed over in 72 hours, they will attack, and will inflict civilian casualties in the city of about 300,000 people, premising “no mercy,” and suggesting that anything could happen.

TPLF leader Gabremichael has vowed to fight on, and declared Mekelle’s residents “ready to die” to keep the fight going. He spurned the ultimatum, accusing Ethiopia of trying to buy time.

Ethiopia’s leader demanded locals embrace the military invasion, declaring them treasonous. Ethiopia also rejected international mediation, preferring a military solution and saying all options are on the table “except negotiating.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is Senior Editor for He has 20 years of experience in foreign policy research and his work has appeared in The American Conservative, Responsible Statecraft, Forbes, Toronto Star, Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Providence Journal, Washington Times, and the Detroit Free Press.