”Hundreds dead” as conflict in Ethiopia’s Tigray worsens
November 11, 2020 - An escalating conflict in northern Ethiopia between federal troops and forces loyal to the Tigray regional government is raising fears of civil war in Africa’s second most populous country.
Up to 200,000 refugees could pour into neighbouring Sudan while fleeing the deadly conflict, officials say, while the first details are emerging of largely cut-off civilians under growing strain. Already at least 6,000 people have crossed the border, AP said.
Communications remain almost completely severed with the Tigray region a week after Ethiopia’s Nobel Peace Prize-winning Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed announced a military offensive in response to an alleged attack by regional forces. He insists there will be no negotiations with a regional government he considers illegal until its ruling “clique” is arrested and its well-stocked arsenal is destroyed.
Ethiopia’s federal government and Tigray’s regional government, the Tigray People’s Liberation Front, blame each other for starting the conflict. Each regards the other as illegal. The TPLF dominated Ethiopia’s ruling coalition for years before Abiy came to office in 2018 but has since broken away while accusing the prime minister’s administration of targeting and marginalising its officials.