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Ethiopians wait to cross Setit River near a Sudanese village after fleeing fighting in Tigray Regional State. | © Photo credit: Reuters


As violent conflict is raging in the northern part of Ethiopia, Redwan Hussein, the spokesperson for the state of emergency task force, was formal as he briefed members of the media on the current status between the forces of the federal and Tigray regional governments. He thought through each word and phrase, careful to articulate just why the federal government is justified in its military operations and how it is more of a law enforcement operation against ''an intolerable force''.

He went into the genesis of how armed conflict erupted and the political complications that led down this rabbit hole. He stressed that the last step, the “red line … which is very much irredeemable” was attacking the Northern Command base of the Ethiopian National Defense Force: an “unwarranted, unprovoked, very much heinous, and downright treasonous” act.



As it has been the case with most reports coming out of the northern front where there is a communication blackout, these details are repudiated either in part or in full by the regional government.

But the Spokesperson’s briefing came last Tuesday, and several developments continue to further complicate the situation. Over the week, there have been several demonstrations across Ethiopia as officials rallied public support for the armed forces, and Mulu Nega (PhD), state minister for Science & Higher Education, was appointed chief executive for the provisional administration of Tigray Regional State.





The humanitarian toll of the conflict has become more conspicuous as Ethiopians, around 7,000 by last Wednesday, fled into neighbouring Sudan, according to the UN Refugee Agency. The indiscriminate killing of “scores, and likely hundreds,” of people, according to Amnesty International, was another unsettling development.

Most recently, in the late hours of Friday, there was a rocket attack in the cities of Bahir Dar and Gonder in Amhara Regional State that both sides have confirmed. It was a response to airstrikes carried out in parts of Tigray, according to the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) statement on Facebook.


Just yesterday, forces in Tigray Regional State struck Asmera, the capital of Eritrea, potentially creating a regional conflict.

This is an evidence Redwan used to justify the federal government's determination to disarm forces in Tigray Regional State.

“They admitted [that] they have a rocket and missile that can go up to 700Km … from Meqele to Addis [Abeba] or Bishoftu. It’s almost equal to 600Km to 700Km,” said Redwan during his briefing. “If they have it on their own account, then it has to be destroyed, because no region, no district is allowed to be armed with such a devastating arsenal.”



PUBLISHED ON Nov 14,2020 [ VOL 21 , NO 1072]






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