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    (CNN)Forces in Ethiopia's Tigray region said they are ready to observe an immediate ceasefire and accept an African Union-led peace process to end a conflict with federal forces that has stretched over nearly two years."We are ready to abide by an immediate and mutually agreed cessation of hostilities in order to create a conducive atmosphere," the Tigray People's Liberation Front (TPLF) said in a statement.Tigray's negotiation team includes TPLF spokesman Getachew Reda, and General Tsadkan Gebretinsae, who are "ready to be deployed without delay," the statement added. The Ethiopian government formed a committee in June to negotiate with forces from the Tigray region.Ethiopian government spokesperson Legesse Tulu was not immediately available for comment.Ethiopias fragile ceasefire ends as government forces and Tigrayan fighters clashRead MoreThe African Union (AU) welcomed the TPLF's announcement, calling it a "unique opportunity towards the restoration of peace" in Ethiopia, the AU chairperson Moussa Faki Mahamat said in a statement late Sunday.The TPLF had previously expressed major concerns over the AU's mediation and demanded the government restore major services such as banking and communication to Tigray before...
    MOGADISHU, Somalia (AP) — The al-Shabab extremist group has exploited Ethiopia’s internal turmoil to cross the border from neighboring Somalia in unprecedented attacks in recent weeks that a top U.S. military commander has warned could continue. The deadly incursions into Ethiopia, Africa’s second most populous country and long seen as an anchor of security in the Horn of Africa, are the latest sign of how deeply the recent war in the northern Tigray region and other ethnic fighting have made the country more vulnerable. Ethiopia has long resisted such cross-border attacks by the al-Qaida-linked al-Shabab, in part by deploying troops inside Somalia, where the extremist group controls large rural parts of the country’s southern and central regions. But the government of Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed and its security forces have struggled with unrest at home especially since the Tigray conflict began in late 2020. Experts say al-Shabab, also emboldened by instability under Somalia’s previous administration, is seizing the chance to expand its footprint and claim the killing of scores of Ethiopian security forces. But the group is also feeling the...
    (CNN)Ethiopian President Abiy Ahmed and rebel group Oromo Liberation Army (OLA) are blaming each other's military forces after an unconfirmed number of civilians were killed Monday in the country's Oromia region.The incident appears to be an ethnically targeted attack, according to a statement from the state-appointed Ethiopian Human Rights Commission (EHRC). This is the second attack against civilians in the Oromia region in under a month.The EHRC says the populations of the villages of Mender 20 and Mender 21 in Hawa Gelan in Oromia's Kellem Wollega Zone are "primarily of Amhara ethnic origin" and that residents are hiding elsewhere despite security forces having reached the area."The Shene group [another name for the OLA], fleeing from security forces, is threatening civilians in the western part of [Wollega]. In the Oromia region, civilians in [Kellem Wollega] were massacred. We mourn the loss of our citizens," Ethiopian President Abiy Ahmed tweeted Monday."We will pursue this terrorist group to the end and eliminate it with our people," he added.Read MoreThe OLA denied the accusations and blamed government militias for the apparent massacre."Two divisions of...
    Nairobi (CNN)The Ethiopian government has formed a committee to negotiate with forces from the Tigray region, Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed said in a televised speech to parliament on Tuesday.The committee has been "studying the preconditions and how the negotiations will go," he said.The committee will be led by his Deputy Prime Minister, Demeke Mekonnen, and is expected to submit a report outlining the details to Abiy within 10 to 15 days."We are committed to peace be it with TPLF (Tigrayan People's Liberation Front) or any other entity who seeks peace," he said.On Tuesday night, Debretsion Gebremichael, president of TPLF, said his group was "prepared to negotiate for peace consistent with fundamental principles for human rights, democracy, and accountability," in an open letter posted to Twitter.Tigrayan forces say they are withdrawing from Ethiopias Afar regionRead More"We shall participate in a credible, impartial and principled peace process," the letter read, adding that the group maintains that any peace talks must be held in Nairobi, Kenya with mediations led by Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta."Our position remains that the peace process requires the engagement...
    Fasika Tadesse and Simon Marks | Bloomberg Almost 7,000 civilians in Ethiopia’s Amhara region were killed between June and December last year by fighters from the northern Tigray region, according to a report commissioned by the regional government. The study, carried out by researchers from local universities and the regional statistics office and released on Saturday, found that 6,986 people were killed in the Horn of African nation’s province that borders Tigray, with almost 3,000 civilians being shot. It also documents that several mass graves were found at sites throughout the Amhara region. Tigray’s government rejected the findings. Fighting first erupted in Ethiopia in November 2020 when forces loyal to the state’s ruling Tigray People’s Liberation Front attacked a federal army base, prompting Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed to order an invasion of Tigray. The war spilled over into neighboring areas, including Amhara. While hostilities have eased following a truce agreed to on March 25, conflict has flared elsewhere in Africa’s second-most populous nation. Federal troops and regional forces from the Oromia region have staged an offensive against the Oromo Liberation...
    (CNN)Tigrayan forces are fully withdrawing from Ethiopia's Afar region, a spokesperson for the Tigrayan People's Liberation Forces (TPLF) told CNN on Monday, saying the pullout should allow humanitarian aid to reach the area.The conflict in northern Ethiopia broke out in Tigray between the TPLF and the forces of Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed's central government in November 2020, and spilled over into neighboring regions. The TPFL expanded into Afar last year.The spokesperson, Getachew Reda, said that the Ethiopian government and regional authorities were using the TPLF's presence in Afar as an excuse to block humanitarian relief there, and other neighboring regions, an accusation they deny. "Now that excuse has gone, we can expect humanitarian needs to be accessed," Reda said.Regional police commissioner Ahmed Harif said Tigrayan forces had withdrawn from the town of Abala in Afar, but were still in three of the region's districts, Reuters reported.Read MoreRights groups accuse Ethiopian regional forces of ethnic cleansing in TigrayFighting in northern Ethiopia has eased since the federal government declared a unilateral ceasefire last month, saying it would allow humanitarian aid to enter.Tigrayan...
    NAIROBI, Kenya (AP) — Ethiopia’s Council of Ministers has proposed ending the country’s six-month state of emergency now, citing recent developments in the war that has raged in the Tigray and neighboring regions for over a year. Wednesday’s proposal to end the state of emergency that was declared in early November must be approved by lawmakers. The proposal was announced by the government on social media. The state of emergency was imposed as Tigray forces fighting Ethiopian and allied forces moved closer to the capital, Addis Ababa. They withdrew back into the northern Tigray region late last month under pressure from a drone-supported military offensive. Witnesses, lawyers and human rights groups have said that thousands of ethnic Tigrayans were held under the state of emergency’s sweeping powers of detention. An unknown number have been released after the shift in the war late last month. Ethiopia’s government has sought to restrict reporting on the conflict and detained some journalists, including a video freelancer accredited to the AP, Amir Aman Kiyaro. Copyright © 2022 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material...
    NAIROBI, Kenya (AP) — The United Nations secretary-general said Wednesday he was delighted to hear “there is now a demonstrable effort to make peace” in Ethiopia after more than 14 months of war, but he gave no details. Antonio Guterres’ statement on Wednesday came after a call with African Union envoy Olusegun Obasanjo following the envoy’s latest visit to Addis Ababa and the capital of Ethiopia’s embattled Tigray region. Guterres said Obasanjo “expressed optimism that there is now a real opportunity for political and diplomatic resolution of the conflict.” His statement did not describe efforts by Ethiopia’s government and the rival Tigray forces, and Obasanjo’s spokesman didn’t immediately respond to questions. A new U.S. envoy for the Horn of Africa, Ambassador David Satterfield, is set to meet with Ethiopian officials on Thursday. Ethiopia’s war has killed an estimated tens of thousands of people and displaced millions. The United States says some 900,000 people in Tigray, which has been under an Ethiopian government blockade since late June, face famine conditions. The World Health Organization says medical supplies have not...
    NAIROBI, Kenya (AP) — An airstrike in Ethiopia’s embattled Tigray region has killed at least 56 people at a camp for displaced people, a spokesman for the Tigray forces said Saturday, as the country’s war continues despite the government’s talk of reconciliation. “Another callous drone attack,” Getachew Reda tweeted, saying the civilians had fled the conflict elsewhere in the region only to become the latest victims of recent airstrikes that have reportedly killed scores of people in Tigray. Spokespeople for Ethiopia’s government and military did not respond to requests for comment on the airstrike, which could not be independently confirmed. Much of Tigray remains cut off from the world, with limited communications for humanitarian workers who have found their work severely constrained by a months-long government blockade. Reports of the airstrike at the camp in Dedebit in northwestern Tigray came a day after Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed issued a message of reconciliation for Orthodox Christmas after 14 months of war. Ethiopia’s conflict shifted in late December, when the Tigray forces fighting Ethiopia’s government withdrew back into the Tigray region...
    NAIROBI, Kenya (AP) — Ethiopia’s government has announced that its forces will not advance deeper into the Tigray region. Ethiopian forces have been ordered to maintain the areas they have won back from the Tigray People’s Liberation Force, but not to go further into the Tigray region, the Government Communication Service head, Legesse Tulu, said Thursday. The Ethiopian federal army and its allies have made strong advances in recent weeks, recapturing major towns and cities in the neighboring Amhara and Afar regions that Tigray fighters had seized earlier this year. The Tigray forces have been forced to retreat back to their home region. “The first phase operation to expel the terrorist group from the areas it invaded has ended with victory. At this moment the enemy’s desire and ability (to engage in war) is severely destroyed,” said Legesse. “The government will take further steps to make sure that (the Tigray forces) desire won’t arise again in the future. For now, Ethiopian forces are ordered to maintain the areas it has controlled,” he said. The government of Prime Minister Abiy...
    (CNN)The leader of Ethiopia's northern Tigray region announced a withdrawal of rebel forces from neighboring areas in the country on Sunday, a move that could signal the possibility of a ceasefire after 13 months of war.In a letter to UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres and UN Security Council President Abdou Abarry, dated Sunday and seen by CNN on Monday, Debretsion Gebremichael, the leader of Tigray's region, said he had "ordered those units that are outside the borders of Tigray to withdraw to the borders of Tigray with immediate effect."Having heard the call to withdraw from both the international community and the Ethiopian federal government, Gebremichael said the Tigray People's Liberation Front (TPLF) trusted that "their bold act of withdrawal will be a decisive opening act for peace," adding he hopes to commence peace negotiations following the cessation of hostilities.Tigrayan forces and Ethiopia's federal government have been engaged in conflict since November 2020, when Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed ordered a military offensive in Tigray following lengthy disputes over the governance of the region. The fighting has left thousands dead, displaced more...
    NAIROBI, Kenya (AP) — The leader of Tigray forces in Ethiopia says its fighters outside of the region have been ordered to withdraw and return to the embattled federal state. Debretsion Gebremichael, in a letter to the U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, proposed an immediate cease-fire to be followed by negotiations. “I have ordered those units of the Tigray Army that are outside the borders of Tigray to withdraw to the borders of Tigray within immediate effect,” Debretsion said in the letter. Other proposals in the letter include the establishment of a no-fly zone for over Tigray to prevent hostile flights and the imposition of an international arms embargo on Ethiopia and Eritrea. The order for the forces to return to Tigray came as the Ethiopian federal army and its allies have made strong advances in recent weeks. Major towns and cities in the neighboring Amhara and Afar regions have been recaptured by the Ethiopian forces, forcing the Tigray fighters to retreat further into their region. Getachew Reda, spokesman for the Tigray region, confirmed on Monday the withdrawal...
    CAIRO (AP) — Sudan’s armed forces said on Sunday that six of its forces were killed in fighting in the country’s border region with Ethiopia. It came a day after the military claimed that Ethiopian military and militia forces attacked the border area of al-Fashaqa, a disputed agricultural area that straddles the two countries. The fighting is the latest turbulence for Sudan, after generals deposed the country’s transitional civilian government in late October and arrested more than a hundred officials. Mass protests followed the coup, and the generals eventually reinstated Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok under military oversight amid international pressure. However many of the country’s pro-democratic forces continue to call for the military to release its grip on power. Sudan had been struggling with its transition to a democratic government since the military overthrow of former autocrat Omar al-Bashir in 2019, following a mass uprising against three decades of his rule. The decades-old dispute with Ethiopia centers on large swaths of farming land Sudan says are within its borders, according an agreement that demarcated the line between the two nations...
    Addis Ababa, EthiopiaEthiopia's Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed has gone to direct the war from the front lines, state-affiliated media reported on Wednesday, as two Olympian athletes announced they were enlisting in the military.Gold medallist Haile Gebreselassie, who set 27 long distance running records, told Reuters he was joining up. So is Olympic silver medalist runner Feyisa Lelisa, local media reported.While Abiy is away, Deputy Prime Minister Demeke Mekonnen Hassen would take charge of routine government business in his absence, government spokesman Legesse Tulu told a news conference, according to a report from Fana news outlet.Abiy announced late on Monday he was planning to personally direct the fight against Tigrayan forces and their allies."Let's meet at the war front," he wrote "The time has come to lead the country with sacrifice."Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed pictured in Addis Ababa on June 13.Read MoreLast month Tigrayan forces and their allies threatened to march on the capital Addis Ababa. They have also been fighting fiercely to try to cut a transport corridor linking landlocked Ethiopia with the region's main port Djibouti.On Tuesday, US...
    Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed Ali and his wife Zinash Tayachew take part in a memorial service for the victims of the Tigray conflict organized by the city administration, in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, on November 3, 2021.Ethiopian Prime Ministry Office | Anadolu Agency | Getty Images Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed has reportedly traveled to lead his security forces from the frontlines in the war effort against advancing Tigrayan rebels. Abiy, who won the Nobel Peace Prize in 2019, announced on social media on Monday that he would personally "mobilize to the front to lead the defense forces," and urged Ethiopians to "rise up for (their) country." State-affiliated news outlet Fana reported on Wednesday that Abiy had left for battle, with Deputy Prime Minister Demeke Mekonnen Hassen taking charge of the government in his absence. Abiy will be joined by Olympic heroes Haile Gebrselassie and Feyisa Lilesa, both of whom have declared their intent to assist in the fight against an alliance of rebel groups led by the Tigray People's Liberation Front (TPLF). The prime minister served in the Ethiopian...
    NAIROBI, Kenya (AP) — Ethiopia’s Tigray forces are joining with other armed and opposition groups in an alliance against Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed to seek a political transition after a year of devastating war, organizers said Thursday evening. The signing in Washington on Friday includes the Tigray forces that have been fighting Ethiopian and allied forces, as well as the Oromo Liberation Army now fighting alongside the Tigray forces and seven other groups from around the country. The alliance is forming as U.S. special envoy Jeffrey Feltman is in Ethiopia’s capital meeting with senior government officials amid calls for an immediate cease-fire and talks to end the war that has killed thousands of people since November 2020. The new United Front of Ethiopian Federalist Forces seeks to “establish a transitional arrangement in Ethiopia” so the prime minister can go as soon as possible, organizer Yohanees Abraha, who is with the Tigray group, told The Associated Press. “The next step will be, of course, to start meeting and communicating with countries, diplomats and international actors in Ethiopia and abroad.” He said...
    NAIROBI, Kenya (AP) — Facebook says it has removed a post by Ethiopia’s prime minister that urged citizens to rise up and “bury” the rival Tigray forces who now threaten the capital as the country’s war reaches the one-year mark. Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed’s post on Sunday violated the platform’s policies against inciting and supporting violence, spokeswoman Emily Cain for Facebook’s parent company, Meta, told The Associated Press. It was taken down on Tuesday morning, she said. “The obligation to die for Ethiopia belongs to all of us,” Abiy said in the now-deleted post that called on citizens to mobilize “by holding any weapon or capacity.” Abiy is still regularly posting on the platform, where he has 3.5 million followers. The United States and others have warned Ethiopia about “dehumanizing rhetoric” after the prime minister in comments in July described the Tigray forces as “cancer” and “weeds.” Facebook has removed posts from world leaders before, although in rare circumstances. Earlier this year, the company deleted a video from U.S. President Donald Trump in which he peddled false claims about election...
    EXCLUSIVE: Four months after the Ethiopian government called a cease-fire, violence still reigns across northern Ethiopia, leaving thousands of women and girls victimized by sexual violence. On June 28, the Ethiopian government called an immediate unilateral cease-fire in the Tigray region after violent fighting erupted in November 2020, when the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF), a paramilitary group, attacked a federal military base. Violence between the TPLF, Ethiopian troops, Eritrean troops and Amhara militia has escalated over the last 12 months.  ETHIOPIA DECLARES IMMEDIATE, UNILATERAL CEASE-FIRE IN TIGRAY Captured Ethiopian government soldiers and allied militia members are paraded by Tigray forces through the streets in open-top trucks, as they arrived to be taken to a detention center in Mekele, the capital of the Tigray region of northern Ethiopia Friday, Oct. 22, 2021.  (AP Photo) In June, the government withdrew all federal troops from Tigray’s capital of Mekelle in an effort to stymie the violence that has displaced an estimated 4 million across northern Ethiopia.  But the TPLF rejected the calls for a cease-fire and mounted an offensive invasion into the neighboring regions...
    (CNN)When Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed received the Nobel Peace Prize in 2019, he was lauded as a regional peacemaker. Now, he is presiding over a protracted civil war that by many accounts bears the hallmarks of genocide and has the potential to destabilize the wider Horn of Africa region. In November 2020, Abiy ordered a military offensive in the northern Tigray region and promised that the conflict would be resolved quickly. One year on, the fighting has left thousands dead, displaced more than 2 million people from their homes, fueled famine and given rise to a wave of atrocities. Ethiopia was struggling with significant economic, ethnic and political challenges long before a feud between Abiy and the region's former ruling party, the Tigray People's Liberation Front (TPLF), bubbled over into unrest. But now, with escalating hostilities in other areas of Ethiopia, fears are growing that the fighting in Tigray could spark a wider crisis with the potential to pull Africa's second-most populous country apart. Here's a closer look at the spreading conflict in Ethiopia.Read MoreHow did the conflict start?An...
    GENEVA (AP) — The U.N. human rights chief said Wednesday that Ethiopia’s yearlong war has been marked by “extreme brutality” as a joint investigation into alleged atrocities faulted all sides for committing abuses, but avoided saying who was the most to blame. The investigation was hampered by authorities’ intimidation and restrictions and didn’t visit some of the war’s worst-affected locations. The report, a rare collaboration by the U.N. human rights office with the government-created Ethiopian Human Rights Commission, was released a day before the war’s one-year mark and as Africa’s second most populous country enters a new state of emergency with rival Tigray forces threatening the capital. The U.N. told The Associated Press that the collaboration was necessary for its team to gain access to a troubled region that Ethiopian authorities have largely prevented journalists, rights groups and other outside observers from entering. The conflict that erupted in Ethiopia’s Tigray region has killed thousands of people since the government of Nobel Peace Prize-winning Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed allowed soldiers from neighboring Eritrea to invade Tigray and join Ethiopian forces...
    NAIROBI, Kenya (AP) — Ethiopia’s government has declared a national state of emergency as rival Tigray forces threaten to move on the capital as the country’s yearlong war escalates quickly. The declaration by the Council of Ministers on Tuesday was the clearest sign of alarm yet from the government of Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed, who a year ago this week allowed soldiers from a neighboring country to invade the Tigray region and pursue the Tigray forces alongside Ethiopian troops. Thousands of people have been killed since then. The United States has warned the Tigray forces, who long dominated the national government before Abiy took office, against any attempt to “besiege” the capital, Addis Ababa, after seizing control in recent days of the strategic cities of Dessie and Kombolcha. That positions them to move down a major highway toward the capital. The state of emergency takes affect immediately and will last for six months. The government can impose a curfew, disrupt transport services and travel and detain indefinitely anyone suspected of having links with a terrorist group. Local administrations in...
    EXCLUSIVE: As the humanitarian crisis in northern Ethiopia continues to escalate, lawmakers on the Hill are calling on the governments of Ethiopia and Eritrea to stop the violence – but Rep. Brad Sherman, D-Calif., is looking to the U.S. Navy for help. "I'm reluctant to expose American armed forces to risk their safety at any time," Sherman said during a House Foreign Affairs Committee hearing this week. "But the American Navy could interrupt Eritrean commerce on the high seas at any time, and it would certainly be just to do so – as long as Eritrea [blocks] humanitarian aid to the people of Tigray." But the congressman’s call for action by U.S. forces does not appear to be universally shared by committee lawmakers.  ETHIOPIA’S AMHARA ETHNIC GROUP ACCUSES BIDEN OF IGNORING ATROCITIES A source familiar with the matter told Fox News the comment was "bizarre" and "dated" given Eritrea’s months-long aggression in the region.  Fox News could not reach House Foreign Affairs Committee Chair Rep. Gregory Meeks, D-Penn., or Ranking Member Rep. Michael McCaul, R-Texas, for their reaction to the comments....
    A United Nations aircraft was forced to abort a landing in Mekelle, the capital of the Tigray region of Ethiopia, amid Ethiopian government airstrikes, according to a Friday UN press briefing. “As many of you are now aware, a UN humanitarian flight that departed Addis Ababa this morning was forced to turn back in the midst of its flight after air strikes began in Mekelle. I can confirm that the Government was informed of that flight before it took off and, of course, also confirmed that the flight was forced to turn back in mid-air because of the events on the ground,” said head of the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) Regional Office for Southern and Eastern Africa Gemma Connell, according to the press briefing. “While we’re still ascertaining all of the facts in relation to this event, we’re, obviously, concerned about what has taken place today and what it means for humanitarian operations in northern Ethiopia moving forward,” Connell added. The aborted landing of the flight, which was carrying 11 aid workers, was followed by a...
    By Cara Anna | Associated Press NAIROBI, Kenya — Ethiopian military airstrikes on Friday forced a United Nations humanitarian flight to abandon its landing in the capital of the country’s Tigray region, and a government spokesman said authorities were aware of the inbound flight. It appeared to be a sharp escalation in intimidation tactics authorities have used against aid workers amid the intensifying, year-long Tigray war. Further U.N. flights have been suspended to Mekele, the base of humanitarian operations in Tigray, the World Food Program told The Associated Press. It said the flight with 11 passengers had been cleared by federal authorities but “received instructions to abort landing by the Mekele airport control tower.” It safely returned to Addis Ababa. The friction between the government and humanitarian groups is occurring amid the world’s worst hunger crisis in a decade, with close to a half-million people in Tigray said to be facing famine-like conditions. The government since June has imposed what the U.N. calls a “de facto humanitarian blockade” on the region of some 6 million people, and the AP has...
    NAIROBI, Kenya (AP) — The Ethiopian military struck a target near the capital of the country’s Tigray region on Thursday, a government spokesman said, the third day this week of airstrikes as fighting surges after nearly a year of war. Thousands of people have been killed since November in the conflict that pits the Tigray forces that once dominated the national government against the current government of Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed, the 2019 Nobel Peace Prize winner. Despite international pleas for a cease-fire, there is no end in sight. The new airstrikes targeted a former military training center near Mekele city that’s currently used as a base by rival Tigray forces, spokesman Legesse Tulu told The Associated Press. He would not say how many strikes were conducted. There was no immediate word of casualties. Three Mekele residents reported hearing heavy anti-aircraft fire as the plane approached the city. “We are investigating where the bomb was dropped,” Nahusenay Belay, a Tigray spokesman, told the AP. He said the plane was still over the city an hour later. “This aerial bombardment of...
    NAIROBI, Kenya (AP) — Witnesses say Ethiopian military airstrikes have hit the capital of the country’s Tigray region and killed at least three people. The airstrikes on Monday in Mekele, confirmed by two humanitarian workers, came days after a new military offensive was launched against the Tigray forces who have been fighting Ethiopian and allied forces for nearly a year. Spokespeople for the military and Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed didn’t immediately respond to questions. The Tigray region, along with areas of fighting in the neighboring Amhara and Afar regions, are under a communications blackout, making it challenging to verify information. One Mekele resident, Kindeya Gebrehiwot, told The Associated Press that a market was bombed on a busy market day. He asserted that many people were wounded. Copyright © 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, written or redistributed.
    WASHINGTON (AP) — The White House on Friday threatened to impose sanctions against Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed and other leaders involved in a conflict gripping the Tigray region, where 10 months of fighting have left hundreds of thousands of people facing famine. A new executive order allows the U.S. Treasury Department to sanction leaders and groups seen as fueling the violence if they don’t take steps soon to stop the fighting. Senior U.S. officials who previewed the order Thursday said that while it does not set a deadline on the leaders, they wanted to see progress made toward a cease-fire in the coming weeks. But the U.S. officials, who spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss White House strategy, said they were not optimistic Abiy would change course. The 10-month conflict in Tigray has grown from a political dispute into a more serious war threatening stability in Ethiopia, the second-most populous country in Africa and a key U.S. security ally in the region. The fighting, which involved various forces and soldiers from neighboring Eritrea, has triggered the world’s...
    CAIRO (AP) — Sudanese leaders on Monday visited a disputed area along the country’s eastern border with Ethiopia, amid growing tensions between the two East African nations that have seen Khartoum ordering its envoy to Addis Ababa home for consultations. Gen. Abdel Fattah Burhan, head of the ruling Sovereign Council, and Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok inaugurated developments projects in the fertile al-Fashaqa area which Sudanese troops reclaimed in recent months from Ethiopian forces and militias, the premier’s office said. Speaking in the eastern village of Wad Kouli, Hamdok said Sudan has sought “good ties” with Ethiopia but that it’s also able to protect and defend its territories. The decades-long border dispute centers on large swaths of agricultural land Sudan says are within its borders, according an agreement that demarcated the borders between the two nations in the early 1900s. The two nations have held rounds of talks, most recently in Khartoum in December, to settle the dispute, but haven’t made progress. The dispute has escalated in recent months after Sudan deployed troops to al-Fashaqa, driving out Ethiopian farmers and...
    NAIROBI, Kenya (AP) — Dozens of women have described shocking sexual assaults by Ethiopian soldiers and allied forces in the country’s Tigray conflict, says an Amnesty International report published Wednesday, and its researcher calls it striking how the perpetrators appeared to act without fear of punishment from their commanders. “All of these forces from the very beginning, everywhere, and for a long period of time felt it was perfectly OK with them to perpetrate these crimes because they clearly felt they could do so with impunity, nothing holding them back,” Donatella Rovera told The Associated Press. She would not speculate on whether any leader gave the signal to rape, which the report says was intended to humiliate both the women and their Tigrayan ethnic group. In her years of work investigating atrocities around the world, these are some of the worst, Rovera said. More than 1,200 cases of sexual violence were documented by health centers in Tigray between February and April alone, Amnesty said. No one knows the real toll during the nine-month conflict, as most of the health facilities...
    NAIROBI, Kenya (AP) — The U.S. official who wrote a Pulitzer Prize-winning book on genocide is visiting Ethiopia next week to press the government to lift what the U.S. calls a blockade on humanitarian aid to the conflict-hit Tigray region, where hundreds of thousands of people now face deadly famine. Samantha Power, administrator of the U.S. Agency for International Development, hopes to meet with Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed, who has asserted that “there is no hunger in Tigray,” and with senior officials who blame the aid blockade on rival Tigray forces who have retaken much of the region and vow to pursue “enemies” beyond its borders. The Ethiopian government’s assertion that Tigray forces are to blame is “100% not the case,” a senior USAID official told The Associated Press, adding that “our primary obstacle is the government.” The official was not authorized to discuss the matter by name and spoke on condition of anonymity. Witnesses have told the AP this has been the problem in Tigray for months. While the senior official said insecurity preventing movement along roads could be...
    ADDIS ABABA - Ethiopian police have confirmed the arrest of hundreds of ethnic Tigrayans in the capital Addis Ababa in recent weeks. The police said they were supporting the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF), which authorities banned after the Tigray conflict broke out in November. But rights group Amnesty International says dozens were detained because of their ethnicity. Addis Ababa Police Commissioner Getu Argaw confirmed on Saturday that authorities had arrested over 300 Tigrayans. But speaking on the state-run Ethiopian Broadcast Corporation, Getu denied the Tigrayans were arrested because of their ethnicity. Getu said the arrests were made after thorough investigations found the suspects were supporting the TPLF, which authorities banned as a terrorist group in May over the conflict in Tigray region. Getu said their arrests targeted only individuals who were supporting the ousted terrorist group. The arrests were not due to their ethnicity, said Getu, adding that suspects from other ethnic groups who were involved in supporting that terrorist group were also arrested.  Getu said illegal weapons and ammunition were seized from some of the suspects. He was responding...
    Ethiopia’s media regulator on Thursday revoked the license of the Addis Standard’s publisher, forcing the monthly magazine and news website to cease operations immediately. The outlet’s publisher, JAKENN Publishing, said in a statement that the Ethiopian Media Authority did not explain why it temporarily revoked the Addis Ababa media company’s license. The regulator called the Addis Standard around noon Thursday and requested that an employee bring the license to an impromptu meeting, an Ethiopia-based journalist with knowledge of the situation told VOA. The journalist requested anonymity over security concerns. At the meeting, the regulator took back the license but did not provide written documentation about the suspension, the journalist said. A statement from the EMA said the license was revoked over complaints that it was being used to “advance the terrorist group’s agency,” including by “legitimizing a terrorist group as a ‘Defense Force.’ ”  FILE - People walk in front of the head office of the Tigray People’s Liberation Front, the ruling party in the region, in the city of Mekele, northern Ethiopia, Sept. 6, 2020.That group is likely...
    (CNN)Food and fuel is running out in the capital of Ethiopia's war-torn northern Tigray region, a CNN producer on the ground in Mekelle reports.A communications blackout in the region, in place since Ethiopian forces withdrew and announced a unilateral ceasefire last week, has made it difficult to determine the situation in Tigray and its capital Mekelle. But on Saturday, CNN was able to reach its producer on the ground who reports a blockade on Tigray by Ethiopian forces has been ongoing since June 25.All air travel into Mekelle has been halted by the federal government and eyewitnesses tell CNN that Amhara militia and Ethiopian government forces are obstructing roads out of the city. There has been a full services blackout there -- power, phone, internet -- for nearly a week, CNN's producer reports. Because of the power outage most homes have no running water. Banks cannot operate as their network is down, so people have no access to their own money, CNN's producer added. A destroyed bridge crossing the Tekeze River is seen in the Tigray region of northern Ethiopia...
    By Giulia Paravicini and Maggie Fick | Reuters GONDAR, Ethiopia – Tigrayan forces said they had Ethiopian government troops on the run around the regional capital Mekelle on Tuesday after taking full control of the city in a sharp reversal of eight months of conflict. People in Mekelle, where communications were cut on Monday, said the incoming Tigrayan fighters were greeted with cheers. There were similar scenes on video footage from the northern town of Shire, where residents said government-allied Eritrean forces had pulled out and Tigrayan forces had entered. “We are 100% in control of Mekelle,” Getachew Reda, spokesman for the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF), told Reuters on Tuesday. There had been some fighting on the outskirts of the city, but that was now finished, he said, adding that he could not confirm the report from Shire. “Our forces are still in hot pursuit to south, east, to continue until every square inch of territory is cleared from the enemy.” The ousted TPLF was reestablishing itself in Mekelle and people could walk about again in the streets, he...
    (CNN)Rebel forces in the war-torn Ethiopian region of Tigray have rejected a ceasefire offer from the central government, raising fears of further violence a day after the fighters retook the regional capital Mekelle. The recapture of the city by Tigrayan fighters and the retreat of Ethiopian government troops on Monday marked a stunning about-turn in the country's devastating eight-month civil war. In the wake of Mekelle's capture, the Ethiopian government announced a unilateral ceasefire for several months. But on Tuesday, Tigrayan forces categorically ruled out a truce, with a spokesman for the region's ruling party saying their forces would not rest until the Ethiopian military and its allied forces had left the entire region. "We are not party to and will not be part of such a joke," Getachew Reda, spokesman for the Tigray People's Liberation Front (TPLF), said in a telephone interview, reacting to the government's proposal."The capital is firmly in the hands of our forces," he said, adding that clashes with the Ethiopian army were continuing on Tuesday 30 kilometers east of the capital. Read MoreThe Ethiopian military...
    (CNN)Less than a week into an intense offensive by Tigrayan forces, the Ethiopian military has withdrawn from the war-torn regional Tigrayan capital of Mekelle on Monday, a UN official told CNN. The official spoke on the condition of anonymity due to fear of reprisal from the Ethiopian government. The news was greeted with cheers in Mekelle, and CNN journalists witnessed as people poured onto the streets in celebration, despite calls for them to stay indoors. Fireworks could also be heard as celebrations carried on into the night. CNN reached out to both the Tigray Defense Forces and the Ethiopian Government for comment but has yet to hear back. Read MoreFighting between Ethiopian government troops and the region's former ruling party, the Tigray People's Liberation Front (TPLF), broke out in November 2020. Troops from neighbouring Eritrea have joined the conflict in support of the Ethiopian government.Last week, at least 30 people died when a government airstrike hit a busy marketplace in the small town of Togoga, west of the regional capital Mekele, as fighting intensified between Tigray's ruling party,...
    U.S. President Joe Biden condemned the six-month conflict in Ethiopia's Tigray region Wednesday, calling for a cease-fire and declaring that human rights abuses "must end." "I am deeply concerned by the escalating violence and the hardening of regional and ethnic divisions in multiple parts of Ethiopia," Biden said in a White House statement. "The large-scale human rights abuses taking place in Tigray, including widespread sexual violence, are unacceptable and must end." Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed initially sent troops into Tigray in November after accusing the once-dominant regional ruling party of orchestrating attacks on federal army camps. Abiy, a Nobel Peace Prize winner, declared victory later that month when the army entered the regional capital, Mekele. But fighting continues and the half-year conflict has sparked allegations of massacres and rape by Ethiopian forces and troops from neighboring Eritrea. "Belligerents in the Tigray region should declare and adhere to a cease-fire, and Eritrean and Amhara forces should withdraw," Biden said, referring to the Amhara region, which borders Tigray to the south. Threat of famine Earlier this week, U.N. aid chief Mark...
    (CNN)The United Nations has confirmed that military forces are impeding humanitarian access to parts of Ethiopia's war-torn Tigray region, after an exclusive CNN investigation revealed that Eritrean troops were coordinating with Ethiopian forces to cut off critical aid routes.A CNN team traveling through Tigray's central zone witnessed Eritrean soldiers, some disguising themselves in old Ethiopian military uniforms, blocking aid to starving populations more than a month after Ethiopia's Nobel Peace Prize winning leader Abiy Ahmed pledged to the international community that they would leave.In the UN's first statement confirming the obstruction of aid, Stephane Dujarric said Wednesday that "blockades by military forces" had severely impeded the ability for assistance to reach rural areas where the humanitarian crisis is worst. "Of the three million people targeted to receive emergency shelter and non-food items, only 347,000 people, that is about 12 per cent, had been reached since 3 May. With the start of the rainy season, our humanitarian colleagues warn that it is critical that aid agencies can provide minimal dignified shelter for the displaced," the statement added. Eritrean troops disguised as...
    10:28 am Wednesday 07 April 2021 (Agent): On Tuesday, the Sudanese army responded to an attempt by an Ethiopian militia, with the support of other forces, to infiltrate the Sudanese border and repulse it after controlling an Ethiopian settler inside the border. Sudanese military sources told the “Sudan Tribune” that the 2nd Infantry Division’s Armed Forces and Reserve Forces clashed with Ethiopian militants and other forces infiltrating the Sudanese border at a depth of 12 kilometers. This is for the farming season. Sources said that Sudanese forces were able to expel militants and peasants from Marsha’s Ethiopian settlement, located within the Sudanese border in the Pasanda region, south of the “Vadap Lisan” area northeast of Usa Raguba. “The army was able to defeat the militants, set fire to the settlement and take full control of Sudanese territory after it was captured by armed Ethiopian militants and other forces,” he explained. Since last November, the Sudanese military has been fighting from time to time with Ethiopian militants and forces on the eastern border, after the leadership...
    (CNN)The US State Department said Monday it was looking into reports of extrajudicial executions committed by the Ethiopian army following a CNN investigation. A CNN report published on Thursday found that Ethiopian soldiers had executed unarmed men in the country's war-torn Tigray region. The investigation, carried out with Amnesty International, verified footage of soldiers killing a group of at least 11 men before disposing of their bodies near the Tigrayan town of Mahibere Dego. A BBC investigation, also published Thursday, corroborated the same massacre. Two bullets is enoughAsked about the reports that Ethiopian forces were responsible for the massacre, State Department spokesman Ned Price said: "We are gravely concerned by reported human rights violations, abuses, and atrocities in the Tigray region of Ethiopia. We strongly condemn the killings, the forced removals, the sexual assaults, the other human rights abuses that multiple organizations have reported.""We are, of course, looking into these reports. We have taken close note of them and we'll continue to pay close attention," Price added.Read MoreEthiopia is facing a raft of intense scrutiny over human rights violations...
    The singer has become one of the biggest chart stars of the last decade R&B singer The Weeknd has promised to donate $1m (£700,000) to Ethiopians caught up in the conflict in Tigray. The star, born Abel Tesfaye in Canada, is the son of Ethiopian immigrants. “My heart breaks for my people of Ethiopia as innocent civilians ranging from small children to the elderly are being senselessly murdered,” he said. Fighting between the Ethiopian army and the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) began in November and has left millions of people homeless. The fighting started when Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed sent forces to the Tigray region, after accusing the TPLF of attacking a government military base. The TPLF had been the ruling party in the area, but fell out with Mr Abiy over his efforts to increase the central government’s power. Last week, a BBC Africa Eye investigation uncovered evidence suggesting the Ethiopian military had carried out a massacre in Tigray, killing at least 15 men. So far more than two million people have left their homes to get away...
    (CNN)Eritrea will withdraw its troops from Ethiopia, Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed said on Friday, days after acknowledging for the first time that Eritrean forces had entered Ethiopia's northern Tigray region during the country's five-month-old conflict."The government of Eritrea has agreed to withdraw its forces out of the Ethiopian border. The Ethiopian National Defense Force will take over guarding the border areas effective immediately," Abiy said in a statement on Twitter after meeting with Eritrean President Isaias Afwerki in the Eritrean capital of Asmara.The Ethiopian National Defence Force will take over guarding the border areas immediately, Abiy said.Thousands of civilians are believed to have been killed since November, when Abiy launched a major military operation against Tigray's ruling party, the Tigray People's Liberation Front (TPLF), sending in national troops and fighters from Ethiopia's Amhara region. Massacre in the mountainsCNN has previously reported that soldiers from neighboring Eritrea had crossed into Tigray and perpetrated extrajudicial killings, massacres, sexual violence and other human rights abuses. Read MoreAbiy claimed on Friday that the TPLF had provoked Eritrea's military involvement by firing rockets...
    KHARTOUM, Sudan (AP) — Ethiopia says Eritrea has agreed to withdraw its forces from the Ethiopian region of Tigray. The statement Friday by Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed’s office comes after intense pressure from the United States and others to address the deadly crisis in Tigray, where witnesses have described Eritrean soldiers looting, killing and raping. Abiy’s statement after a visit to Eritrea says Ethiopian forces will take over guarding the border areas “effective immediately.” Abiy only in the past week has acknowledged the presence of soldiers from Eritrea, long an enemy of the Tigray leaders who once dominated Ethiopia’s government. The new statement doesn’t say how many Eritrean soldiers have been in Ethiopia, though witnesses have estimated well in the thousands. Copyright © 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, written or redistributed.
    KHARTOUM, Sudan (AP) — Ethiopia says Eritrea has agreed to withdraw its forces from the Ethiopian region of Tigray. Copyright © 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, written or redistributed.
    Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed said any soldier responsible for raping or looting would be held accountable Ethiopia’s prime minister has acknowledged for the first time that troops from Eritrea have been in the Tigray region following the outbreak of conflict in November. For months both countries have denied that troops crossed the border. Abiy Ahmed told MPs that Eritrean forces came fearing they would be attacked by Tigray’s regional fighters. The conflict began after the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) captured military bases in the region. The TPLF had been the ruling party in the northern Ethiopian region, but had a massive fall-out with Mr Abiy over the future of Ethiopia’s ethnically based federal system and its role in government. Hundreds of thousands of people have fled their homes in Tigray over the last five months. Despite the TPLF being ousted from power in Tigray at the end of November and Mr Abiy declaring that the conflict was over, fighting is continuing in parts of the region. ‘Any damage is unacceptable’ Mr Abiy, a former Nobel Peace Prize winner, did...
    Residents of Tigray have denounced to human rights organizations and journalists large-scale massacres and sexual violence against civilians perpetrated by security forces in the region. Humanitarian organizations have also claimed that the health system in Tigray has been seriously affected by the conflict and warned of the risk of large-scale famine. “The High Commissioner responded positively on Monday to the request of the Ethiopian Human Rights Commission (EHRC) for a joint investigation,” Jonathan Fowler, spokesperson for the Haut’s office, told .. United Nations Commissioner for Refugees. A plan is being put in place to allow the mission to launch as quickly as possible, he added. Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed, 2019 Nobel Peace Prize winner, launched a military intervention in early November aimed at overthrowing the ruling party in the region, the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF), of which he accused the forces for attacking federal army bases. He proclaimed victory on November 28, but some of the TPLF leaders, whom the government all want to see disarmed and imprisoned, are on the run and have vowed to continue...
    US Secretary of State Antony Blinken denounced during a parliamentary hearing on Wednesday “acts of ethnic cleansing” in western Tigray and mentioned the presence of forces from Eritrea and the neighboring Amhara region which “must go”. “The allegations, or rather the real accusations, of ethnic cleansing of Tigrayans (made) by US Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken during his testimony before the House Foreign Affairs Committee on March 10, 2021, is a judgment completely unfounded and misleading towards the Ethiopian government, ”the ministry said in a statement released on Saturday. “Nothing, during or after the end of the main policing operation in Tigray, can be identified or defined in any way as targeted, intentional ethnic cleansing against anyone in the region. That is why the Ethiopian government vigorously opposes such accusations, ”the ministry continued. The press release also concludes by reaffirming the Ethiopians’ will to maintain their relationship with the United States, while “continuing to have frank exchanges on bilateral and regional issues”. The Ethiopian government “is committed to working closely with the current US administration to strengthen...
    United Nations — U.N. humanitarian chief Mark Lowcock warned Thursday that "a campaign of destruction" is taking place in Ethiopia's embattled Tigray province, saying at least 4.5 million people need assistance and demanding that forces from neighboring Eritrea accused of committing atrocities in Tigray leave Ethiopia.   As the Tigray crisis enters its fourth month, Lowcock said, the humanitarian crisis is deteriorating and "multiple credible and widely corroborated reports from Tigray... speak of widespread atrocities, involving mass killings, rapes and abductions of civilians, ongoing fighting across the region" as well as the destruction of harvests and key agricultural machinery. People gather around the body of a young man that witnesses say was shot by security forces after breaking a curfew, in the city of Mekele, capital of the Tigray region in Ethiopia, February 27, 2021. EDUARDO SOTERAS/AFP/Getty Lowcock's remarks to a closed meeting of the U.N. Security Council, obtained by CBS News, for the first time singled out Eritrean forces as fighting on the side of the Ethiopian government, and warned of possible famine "if food does not get through and...
    By EDITH M. LEDERER, Associated Press UNITED NATIONS (AP) — U.N. humanitarian chief Mark Lowcock demanded Thursday that Eritrean forces fighting alongside Ethiopian government troops in embattled Tigray province leave the country, a demand echoed by U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, according to his spokesman. Lowcock warned that “a campaign of destruction” is taking place in Tigray, saying at least 4.5 million people need assistance. His remarks to a closed meeting of the U.N. Security Council, obtained by The Associated Press, for the first time singled out Eritrean forces as fighting on the side of the government and warned of possible famine “if food does not get through and there is no agricultural revival.” When asked if the secretary-general supported Lowcock’s demand for the Eritrean forces to leave, U.N. spokesman Stephane Dujarric replied, “Yes." As the Tigray crisis enters its fourth month, Lowcock said, the humanitarian crisis is deteriorating and “multiple credible and widely corroborated reports from Tigray ... speak of widespread atrocities, involving mass killings, rapes and abductions of civilians, ongoing fighting across the region” as well as the destruction...
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