This week, the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPF) went to war after “stealing” 570,000 liters of fuel from the World Food Program, it claimed.
The Ethiopian government officially started the war again this week after about five months of a humanitarian ceasefire. It started when the Ethiopian government demanded that the TPLF return fuel “stolen” from the World Health Organization. So what is known so far?
- It has been more than four days since the TPLF began their fight against the Ethiopian government. On August 24, the Ethiopian government announced that the TPLF had ended the humanitarian ceasefire introduced in March of this year.
- The government and the rebels were due to meet for peace talks in Kenya this month (US officials announced). Just two days before the Tigray-based rebels resumed fighting against the Ethiopian government, Debretsion Herbemichael, chairman of the TPLF, published an article in the African Report denigrating the African Union as a neutral mediator. The organization made its intentions clear when it said the peace talks would fail.
- About three weeks before the war, a US special envoy and a European Union special envoy led a delegation of ambassadors from Canada and many European countries to Mekelle, where they met and discussed with TPLF leaders for about five hours.
- TPLF forces moved further south and took control of the city of Kobo, which is located in the Amhara region of Ethiopia. The Ethiopian government on Saturday said the TPLF launched hostilities on Kobo from various directions, using a “human wave” strategy, and also infiltrated forces into the city with the aim of starting an urban battle. He also said that he had ordered the withdrawal of troops to avoid heavy civilian casualties in the city.
- Video footage circulated on social media shows Kobo residents crossing the river, leaving their homes and heading for the city of Woldia.
- The TPLF confirmed they had taken control of Kobo. Information released on Sunday indicates that the Ethiopian Defense Forces are once again engaged in combat with ONLF forces in Kobo.
- On Saturday this week, it looked like the TPLF might push towards the city of Woldia to the point where Woldia University students were forced off campus (as reported by DW Amharic). There were also reports that the TPLF controlled Robit, a small town between Kobo and Woldia. The distance between Voldia and Kobo is about 50 kilometers.
- The TPLF launched a war to break the so-called “siege of Tigray”.
- In addition to the Amhara region, TPLF forces also invaded the Afar region of Ethiopia.
- Several regional states (including Afar, Amhara and Oromia) issued statements condemning the military attacks by the TPLF, which they describe as a terrorist organization, as defined by the Ethiopian Parliament.
- Earlier this week, the Ethiopian government announced that it had shot down an Antonov aircraft (claimed to have flown from Sudanese airspace) while delivering weapons to ONLF forces.
- The Ethiopian government also announced airstrikes against selected military installations in Mekelle and other parts of Tigray. The TPLF accused the government of attacking the “kindergarten”.
- The TPLF dominated Ethiopia’s federal government and politics for nearly thirty years before they fell from power in 2018 to widespread and defiant opposition.
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