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Somalia expels Kenyan envoy in latest row between neighbours
  + stars: | 2020-11-30 | by ( Reuters Staff | ) www.reuters.com sentiment -0.99   time to read: +1 min
MOGADISHU (Reuters) - Somalia ordered the expulsion of Kenya’s ambassador after accusing neighbouring Kenya of interfering in the electoral process in Jubbaland, one of Somalia’s five semi-autonomous states, the latest dispute between the two countries. Somalia also recalled its ambassador from Nairobi. The statement did not elaborate on the interference or the agreement the Jubbaland president had reneged on. Last year, Kenya recalled its ambassador after Mogadishu decided to auction oil and gas exploration blocks at the centre of a maritime territorial dispute. Early on Monday, the militants attacked an army base in central Somalia, Major Nur Mohamud, told Reuters, adding that five soldiers had been killed.
Persons: Jubbaland, Cyrus Oguna, Nur Mohamud Organizations: Reuters, Kenyan, Somali Foreign Ministry, Facebook, African Locations: MOGADISHU, Somalia, Kenya, Jubbaland, Nairobi, , Mogadishu, African Union, al Qaeda
Somalia expels Kenyan ambassador over 'interference'
  + stars: | 2020-11-30 | by ( Abdi Sheikh | ) www.reuters.com sentiment -0.99   time to read: +2 min
MOGADISHU (Reuters) - Somalia expelled Kenya’s ambassador and recalled its own envoy from Nairobi after accusing its neighbour of interfering in the electoral process in Jubbaland, one of Somalia’s five semi-autonomous states. Somalia did not go into further details on the alleged interference, while Kenya denied any wrongdoing and dismissed what it called “unsubstantiated allegations”. Kenya’s foreign ministry said on Monday it had not received any official communication from Somalia about the expulsion of its ambassador. In February last year, Kenya recalled its ambassador after Mogadishu decided to auction oil and gas exploration blocks at the centre of their maritime rights dispute. Early on Monday, militants attacked an army base in central Somalia and killed five soldiers, Major Nur Mohamud of the Somali army said.
Persons: Jubbaland, , al, Major Nur Mohamud Organizations: Reuters, Kenya’s, Kenya, Kenyan, Facebook Locations: MOGADISHU, Somalia, Nairobi, Jubbaland, Mogadishu, Kenya, Kismayo, Somali, African Union, al Qaeda
In addition to detentions and the freezing of assets by the Central Bank, those interviewed by Reuters said some protesters had received threats or been subject to other harassment. “WE ARE VERY AFRAID”Nigeria’s Central Bank has said it froze the accounts of 20 people involved in the demonstrations. According to an Oct. 20 court filing, the central bank wanted the assets frozen while it investigated whether there were links to terrorism financing. He showed Reuters a letter from Access Bank dated Oct. 26 citing a Central Bank directive as the reason his account was frozen. The Central Bank and Access Bank did not respond to requests for comment.
Persons: Onomene Adene, Muhammadu Buhari, ” Adene, welling, Adene, hadn’t, Sagir Musa, , , Eromosele, haven’t, Ikemesit Effiong, Buhari, Kanye, Beyonce, Oluwatosin, hasn’t, Isa Sanusi, Amnesty’s Sanusi, Akin, Adewunmi Enoruwa Organizations: Reuters, Government, African Union, REUTERS, Tiksa, Police, Central Bank, Army, ” Police, Protesters, SBM Intelligence, Kanye West, Amnesty International, Nigerian Immigration Service, Interior Ministry, Amnesty, Bank, Access Bank Locations: LAGOS, State, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, Nigerian, Lagos, West, Lagos State, Nigeria, Delta, Lekki, Abuja, United States
Ethiopia's war is not over, says leader of Tigrayan forces
  + stars: | 2020-11-30 | by ( Reuters Staff | ) www.reuters.com + 0.00   time to read: +3 min
FILE PHOTO: Debretsion Gebremichael, Tigray Regional President in Mekele, Tigray Region, Ethiopia June 26, 2019. REUTERS/Tiksa Negeri“I’m close to Mekelle in Tigray fighting the invaders,” Debretsion Gebremichael told Reuters in a text message, which the government dismissed as a deluded claim. The war in Tigray region has killed hundreds and probably thousands, sent refugees into Sudan, enmeshed Eritrea, impeded a peacekeeping mission in Somalia, and heightened frictions between Ethiopia’s myriad ethnic groups. Both sides have spoken of hundreds of dead in the Tigray war, and diplomats believe the toll is in the thousands. The battle-hardened TPLF helped to topple Ethiopia’s Marxist dictatorship in 1991 and knows how to exploit its mountainous terrain and borders with Sudan and Eritrea.
Persons: ” Debretsion Gebremichael, Abiy, Debretsion, Billene Seyoum, Debretsion’s, , TPLF, Ethiopia’s, al Organizations: Tigray Regional, REUTERS, Negeri, Negeri “ I’m, Reuters, Federal, U.S . State Department, Diplomats, African Union peacekeeping Locations: ADDIS ABABA, NAIROBI, Ethiopia, Mekelle, Tigray, Mekele, Tigray Region, Negeri “, Sudan, enmeshed Eritrea, Somalia, South Sudan, Eritrea, Wukro, Asmara, al Qaeda
FILE PHOTO: Debretsion Gebremichael, Tigray Regional President, attends the funeral ceremony of Ethiopia's Army Chief of Staff Seare Mekonnen in Mekele, Tigray Region, Ethiopia June 26, 219. REUTERS/Tiksa Negeri/File PhotoThe nearly month-long war has killed hundreds and probably thousands, sent refugees into Sudan, enmeshed Eritrea, affected a peacekeeping mission in Somalia, and deepened divisions between Ethiopia’s myriad ethnic groups. “I’m close to Mekelle in Tigray fighting the invaders,” Debretsion Gebremichael told Reuters in a text message. There was no comment from the Asmara government, though at the start of the war it denied involvement. Both sides have spoken of hundreds of dead in the Tigray war, and diplomats believe the toll is in the thousands.
Persons: Abiy Ahmed, Tigray’s, Staff Seare Mekonnen, ” Abiy, , , Debretsion Gebremichael, “ I’m, ” Debretsion Gebremichael, Abiy, , Billene Seyoum, TPLF, Ethiopia’s, it’s, Will Davison, al Organizations: Ethiopia’s, Tigray Regional President, Ethiopia's Army, Staff, REUTERS, Tiksa, American, Reuters, Crisis, U.S . State Department, Diplomats, African Union peacekeeping Locations: ADDIS ABABA, NAIROBI, Tigray, Mekele, Tigray Region, Ethiopia, Sudan, enmeshed Eritrea, Somalia, Mekelle, South Sudan, Eritrea, Wukro, Asmara, al Qaeda
ADDIS ABABA/NAIROBI (Reuters) - Ethiopia’s Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed lauded his troops on Monday for their victory over a rebellious northern movement, but the leader of Tigrayan forces said they were still resisting amid fears of a protracted guerrilla conflict. The nearly month-long war has killed hundreds and probably thousands of people, sent refugees into Sudan, enmeshed Eritrea, and stirred rivalries among Ethiopia’s myriad ethnic groups. Drones were used to watch the TPLF, but federal forces declined to use rockets in Tigray, Abiy said. “I’m close to Mekelle in Tigray fighting the invaders,” he told Reuters in a text message. The battle-hardened TPLF helped to topple Ethiopia’s Marxist dictatorship in 1991 and knows how to exploit its mountains and borders with Sudan and Eritrea.
Persons: Abiy Ahmed, Tigrayan, ” Abiy, , , Mekelle, Abiy, Debretsion Gebremichael, “ I’m, Billene Seyoum, TPLF, Ethiopia’s, it’s, Will Davison, al, Mai Kadra Organizations: Ethiopia’s, Federal, American, Reuters, Diplomats, Crisis, African Union peacekeeping Locations: ADDIS ABABA, NAIROBI, Sudan, enmeshed Eritrea, Mekelle, Tigray, South Sudan, Eritrea, Wukro, Asmara, Ethiopia, al Qaeda, Somalia, Mai
Ethiopian Forces Launch Offensive on Tigray Capital
  + stars: | 2020-11-28 | by ( Joe Parkinson | ) www.wsj.com sentiment -1.00   time to read: 1 min
Ethiopian government forces began an artillery assault on the capital of the rebel-run region of Tigray, confirming the failure of last-minute diplomacy from the African Union and raising fears of a protracted humanitarian crisis in the strategic Horn of Africa. Shelling began around midday Saturday in the center of Mekelle, a normally peaceful city of a half-million people close to the border with Eritrea, Western diplomats and aid workers said. Ethiopia’s government had given the leaders of the Tigray People’s Liberation...
Organizations: African Union, Tigray People’s Locations: Tigray, of Africa, Eritrea, Western, Tigray People’s Liberation
Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed greets an African Union (AU) envoy in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia November 27, 2020, in this picture obtained from social media. Federal forces have captured Wikro “and will control Mekelle in a few days”, Lieutenant-General Hassan Ibrahim said in a statement. Reuters was not immediately able to reach the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) for comment, or to verify the statement. Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed accuses Tigrayan leaders of starting the war by attacking federal troops at a base in Tigray on Nov. 4. His government also put senior Tigrayan officials on trial for crimes such as corruption, torture and murder.
Persons: Abiy Ahmed, Wikro “, Hassan Ibrahim, Tigrayan, Abiy, Ellen Johnson, Joaquim Chissano, Ahmed Shide, , France24, Kenneth Roth, Pope Francis Organizations: Ethiopian, African Union, Federal, Reuters, Union, United Nations, Human Rights, Twitter Locations: ADDIS ABABA, NAIROBI, Wikro, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, Tigray, Liberia, Mozambique, Kgalema, South Africa, Eritrea, Horn of Africa, Sudan, Mekelle, Ethiopia’s Tigray
NAIROBI/ISTANBUL (Reuters) - Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed’s political slogan is “medemer” - or “coming together”. But some analysts say reforms meant to unify Ethiopia have inflamed simmering ethnic and political divisions and risk unravelling Africa’s second most populous nation. The TPLF frames the conflict as a battle for the rights of Ethiopia’s 10 regions against a premier bent on centralising power. They say Abiy has discriminated against Tigrayans since he came to power and have referred to his rule as an “illegal, unitarist and personalistic dictatorship”. The TPLF has fired missiles at its capital Asmara and says Eritrea is now fighting alongside Ethiopian troops in Tigray, which Ethiopia denies.
Persons: Abiy, unravelling, Abiy Ahmed Ali, NTB Scanpix, Hakon Mosvold Larsen, , militants.Leenco Lata, he’s, Tigrayan, Zemelak, TPLF, , Isaias Afwerki, Billene, Alex de Waal Organizations: Ethiopian, REUTERS, Tigrayans, African Union, Western, Addis Ababa University, Reuters, Tufts University, Federation Locations: NAIROBI, ISTANBUL, Ethiopia, Oslo City Hall, Norway, Tigray, Eritrea, Somalia, South Sudan, North Korea, Abiy, Asmara, TPLF, Dansha
President-elect Joe Biden's pick for national security adviser warned Wednesday about the risk of war crimes in Ethiopia, where government forces are surrounding a city governed by rebellious regional leaders in what's threatening to spiral into civil war. In one of his first tweets after being named, Jake Sullivan warned about "the risk of violence against civilians, including potential war crimes" in the East African country. I'm deeply concerned about the risk of violence against civilians, including potential war crimes, in the fighting around Mekelle in Ethiopia. Marwan Ali / APThe TPLF regional leader Debretsion Gebremichael told Reuters his fighters were "ready to die in defense of our right to administer our region." Sullivan isn't the first to warn about possible war crimes.
Persons: Joe Biden's, Jake Sullivan, I'm, — Jake Sullivan, Abiy Ahmed, Mike Pompeo, Pompeo, Donald Trump, rancor, Ahmed, Abiy, Tigrayans, Dejene Tsegaye, Marwan Ali, Debretsion Gebremichael, Sullivan isn't, Human Rights Michelle Bachelet, Ethiopia's Organizations: African Union, Aid, Democratic, NBC News, Associated Press, Communications, Amnesty, United Nations, Human Rights, Reuters Locations: Ethiopia, East, Mekelle, Tigray, Sudan, Egypt, Eritrea, Mekele, Qadarif
EU says Ethiopia fighting destabilising region, urges ceasefire
  + stars: | 2020-11-25 | by ( Reuters Staff | ) www.reuters.com sentiment -1.00   time to read: +2 min
ADDIS ABABA/NAIROBI (Reuters) - Fighting between Ethiopia’s military and regional forces from the northern Tigray region is seriously destabilising the East African region and hostilities should halt, the European Union foreign policy chief said. Ethiopia has described the fighting as an internal law enforcement matter, a position Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed reiterated in a statement on Wednesday. Tigrayans forces have fired rockets at the neighbouring country of Eritrea, and Ethiopian soldiers have been pulled from peacekeeping missions in Somalia and South Sudan. In Somalia, Ethiopia has disarmed several hundred Tigrayans in an African Union peacekeeping force fighting al Qaeda-linked militants. Three soldiers of Tigrayan ethnicity were also sent home from a U.N. peacekeeping force in South Sudan, a diplomatic and security source told Reuters.
Persons: , ” Josep Borrell, Abiy Ahmed, , al, Billene Organizations: European Union, African Union peacekeeping, Reuters Locations: ADDIS ABABA, NAIROBI, Tigray, Sudan, Ethiopia, Eritrea, Somalia, South Sudan, al Qaeda, Ethiopia’s
Ethiopia war destabilising east Africa, warns EU
  + stars: | 2020-11-25 | by ( Reuters Staff | ) www.reuters.com + 0.00   time to read: +4 min
A 72-hour government deadline for Tigray forces to surrender is due to expire on Wednesday evening. Tigrayans forces have fired rockets at the neighbouring country of Eritrea, and Ethiopian soldiers have been pulled from peacekeeping missions in Somalia and South Sudan. The U.N. mission in South Sudan said it was aware of the three soldiers’ repatriation, and that its human rights division was following up. Although Ethiopia is ultimately responsible for the conduct and movement of the roughly 2,000 troops it had in South Sudan, the statement said, discrimination due to ethnicity could violate international law. Long lines of cars were forming in front of gas stations in Mekelle, the Tigray regional capital, according to satellite images taken on Nov. 23 and provided to Reuters by Maxar Technologies.
Persons: Mohamed Nureldin Abdallah, , ” Josep Borrell, Abiy Ahmed, , Borrel, Joaquim Chissano, Ellen Johnson, Kgalema, al, UNMISS, ” Billene Organizations: European Union, REUTERS, African Union, United Nations Security, Reuters, Maxar Technologies Locations: ADDIS ABABA, NAIROBI, Tigray, Horn, Sudan, Ethiopia, Kassala state, Mozambique, Liberia, South Africa, Addis Ababa, Niger, Tunisia, Eritrea, Somalia, South Sudan, al Qaeda, Ethiopia’s, Mekelle, Axum
Ethiopia says foes surrendering, Tigray forces report battle win
  + stars: | 2020-11-24 | by ( Reuters Staff | ) www.reuters.com + 0.00   time to read: +4 min
FILE PHOTO: Tents belonging to Ethiopian refugees fleeing from the ongoing fighting in Tigray region, are seen at the Um-Rakoba camp, on the Sudan-Ethiopia border, in the Al-Qadarif state, Sudan November 23, 2020. REUTERS/Mohamed Nureldin Abdallah/File PhotoHundreds have died, more than 41,000 refugees have fled to Sudan, and there has been widespread destruction and uprooting of people from homes in the northern Tigray region. “Using the government’s 72-hour period, a large number of Tigray militia and special forces are surrendering,” a government taskforce said. The U.N. Security Council was to hold informal talks later on Tuesday over Tigray, according to a U.N. source and an email. MYRIAD ETHNIC GROUPSHis predecessor, Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn, criticised international mediation efforts by “well-intentioned outsiders” in a piece for Foreign Policy magazine.
Persons: Mohamed Nureldin Abdallah, al, Abiy Ahmed’s, , Getachew Reda, Billene Seyoum, Abiy, Hailemariam Desalegn, , Debretsion Gebremichael, Michelle Bachelet Organizations: Ethiopian, REUTERS, Reuters, Washington, African Union, . Security, Policy Locations: ADDIS ABABA, NAIROBI, Tigray, Sudan, Ethiopia, Eritrea, Somalia, al Qaeda, Raya, United States, France, Britain, Paris, London, Amhara, Geneva,
The commission accused local forces of colluding in the “massacre”. The war has spread to Eritrea, where the Tigrayans have fired rockets, and also affected Somalia where Ethiopia has disarmed several hundred Tigrayans in a peacekeeping force fighting al Qaeda-linked militants. ‘TRAGIC CONFLICT’The battle-hardened TPLF, which had ruled the region of more than 5 million people, gave a different version, saying their troops were keeping federal forces at bay and scoring victories. Abiy, whose parents are from the larger Oromo and Amhara groups, denies any ethnic overtones to his offensive, saying he is pursuing criminals who ambushed federal forces. On the other side you have had the TPLF leadership say they are ready to die,” said Michelle Bachelet.
Persons: Mohamed Nureldin Abdallah, Abiy Ahmed’s, al, Getachew Reda, Billene Seyoum, Debretsion Gebremichael, Abiy, Hailemariam Desalegn, , , Michelle Bachelet Organizations: REUTERS, Human Rights, Amnesty, Reuters, Washington, African Union, . Security Locations: ADDIS ABABA, NAIROBI, Tigray, Sudan, Ethiopia, Mai Kadra, Amhara, colluding, Eritrea, Somalia, al Qaeda, Raya, United States, France, Britain, Paris, London, Geneva,
Ethiopia's Tigray forces claim battle win, global alarm grows
  + stars: | 2020-11-24 | by ( Reuters Staff | ) www.reuters.com + 0.00   time to read: +4 min
ADDIS ABABA/NAIROBI (Reuters) - Tigrayan forces said on Tuesday they had destroyed an Ethiopian army division in battles to control the northern region where a three-week-old war has killed hundreds and spread global alarm. FILE PHOTO: Tents belonging to Ethiopian refugees fleeing from the ongoing fighting in Tigray region, are seen at the Um-Rakoba camp, on the Sudan-Ethiopia border, in the Al-Qadarif state, Sudan November 23, 2020. But the battle-hardened TPLF say their troops are keeping the federal army at bay and scoring some big victories. He has given Tigrayan forces until Wednesday to surrender or face an assault on the highland city of Mekelle, home to about half a million people. The TPLF says he wants to subdue Tigray to amass more personal power.
Persons: Mohamed Nureldin Abdallah, Abiy, Getachew Reda, Billene Seyoum, al, ” Abiy, Debretsion Gebremichael Organizations: Ethiopian, REUTERS, Mekelle, Tigray TV, Reuters, African Union, U.S, Citizens Locations: ADDIS ABABA, NAIROBI, Tigray, Sudan, Ethiopia, Mekelle, Raya, Eritrea, Somalia, al Qaeda, United States, U.S, Eritrea’s, Asmara, France, Amhara
Factbox: As mediation calls mount, who has leverage in Ethiopia?
  + stars: | 2020-11-23 | by ( Reuters Staff | ) www.reuters.com + 0.00   time to read: +6 min
NAIROBI (Reuters) - Ethiopia has rebuffed attempts at international mediation since conflict erupted in its northern Tigray region on Nov. 4. The AU fired its own security chief, an ethnic Tigrayan, after the Ethiopian government raised concerns over his loyalty. Regional experts have suggested that Sudan could use its control over key border crossings as leverage to press both sides in Ethiopia to talk. The Ethiopian foreign ministry said Redwan “commended China for understanding Ethiopia’s stance not to internationalize the undergoing operation in Tigray ... Ethiopia summoned the U.S. ambassador to seek clarification after President Donald Trump said Cairo could end up “blowing up that dam”.
Persons: Mohamed Nureldin Abdallah, Redwan Hussein, Abiy Ahmed, Abiy, Redwan “, , Abu Dhabi’s, Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed, Abdullah bin Zayed, Donald Trump, Antony Blinken, Joe Biden, Blinken, Barack Obama, Susan Rice, Gayle Smith, Meles Zenawi, Yoweri Museveni, Addis Ababa, Museveni Organizations: Ethiopian, REUTERS, African Union, Monday, AU, Eritrean, ” UNITED, United Arab Emirates, Reuters, UNITED, United, U.S, USAID, European Union Locations: NAIROBI, Ethiopia, Tigray, Sudan, Hamdayet, Kassala, SUDAN, Sudanese, CHINA, Beijing, Addis Ababa, China, EMIRATES, UAE, Assab, Eritrea, of Africa, Africa, Egypt, U.S, Cairo, United States, Eritrea’s, Asmara, UGANDA, Addis, EUROPE, Oslo
Ethiopia says Tigray capital encircled after surrender ultimatum
  + stars: | 2020-11-23 | by ( Reuters Staff | ) www.reuters.com + 0.00   time to read: +4 min
ADDIS ABABA/NAIROBI (Reuters) - Ethiopian federal forces were encircling the Tigray region’s capital from around 50 km (31 miles) on Monday, the government said, after giving the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) a 72-hour surrender ultimatum. An Ethiopian woman who fled the ongoing fighting in Tigray region, carries her child near the Setit river on the Sudan-Ethiopia border in Hamdayet village in eastern Kassala state, Sudan November 22, 2020. The conflict has spread beyond Tigray, with the TPLF firing rockets into both neighbouring Amhara region and across the border to Eritrea. Redwan told Reuters by text that federal forces were ringing Mekelle at a distance of about 50 km (30 miles). “We are people of principle and are ready to die in defence of our right to administer our region,” TPLF leader Debretsion added in a text message to Reuters.
Persons: Mohamed Nureldin Abdallah “, , Redwan Hussein, Abiy Ahmed, Debretsion Gebremichael, Redwan, of Sheba, Abiy, Debretsion, Catherine Sozi Organizations: Ethiopian, REUTERS, Reuters, Bahir Dar, UNESCO, Communist, Addis Ababa University, African Union, United Nations Locations: ADDIS ABABA, NAIROBI, Tigray, Sudan, Ethiopia, Hamdayet, Kassala, of Africa, Amhara, Eritrea, Bahir, AXUM, Axum, Mekelle,
They left their home onto the streets of Mai-Kadra, a market town in the northern Tigray region of Ethiopia. Thousands like Oyeb have made the journey to neighboring Sudan where they have encountered a shortage of food, beds and shelter. Tigray civilians paying the priceAs Ethiopian troops close in on Tigray's capital of Mekelle, leaders of the TPLF refuse to surrender. A refugee crisisHundreds have died and at least 30,000 refugees have fled to neigboring Sudan, according to the UN. "There is a real humanitarian crisis being created by the unfolding conflict in Ethiopia's Tigray region," said the EU crisis management commissioner, Janez Lenarčič, in a statement on Thursday.
Persons: Oyeb Bari, Oyeb, Abiy Ahmed, Gashaw Maleda, Deprose Muchena, Tigrayan, Abiy, Halka, Abiy's, Redwan Hussein, Tibor Nagy, Hameed Nuru, Maras, jerry, Rashid Aldaw, Cross, Janez Lenarčič Organizations: CNN, Hamdayet, Ethiopian Defense Forces, EDF, Ethiopian Prime, theEthiopian Defense Forces, UN, Amnesty International, Amnesty, Ethiopian, Facebook, State, Ethiopian News Agency, United Nations, UNHCR, Refugees, Food Programme, Sudanese Red Crescent Society, UN Humanitarian Air Service, WFP, African, International Committee, European Locations: Mai, Tigray, Ethiopia, Africa, Sudan, Amhara, Kadra, Tigray's, Mekelle, Hamdayet, neigboring Sudan, Lugdi, Sudanese, Gedaref, Eritrea, Kassala, African Union, Addis Ababa, Geneva, Ethiopia's Tigray
NAIROBI/ADDIS ABABA (Reuters) - Ethiopia denied on Saturday that talks on the growing conflict in its northern Tigray region were imminent, just hours after three African former presidents were named to help mediate the two-week-old crisis. Tigrayan forces were not immediately available for comment. Destroyed buildings lined the main road in the town of Dansha, where the conflict broke out, the images showed. The African Union announced late on Friday the appointment of former presidents Joaquim Chissano of Mozambique, Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf of Liberia and Kgalema Motlanthe of South Africa as special envoys. The government has appointed an alternative interim government to run Tigray when troops take Mekelle.
Persons: Tigrayan, Joaquim Chissano, Ellen Johnson, Kgalema, , U.N, Antonio Guterres, , Abiy Ahmed Organizations: ADDIS ABABA, Reuters, Maxar Technologies, African Union, Ethiopian, Federal Government Locations: NAIROBI, ADDIS, Ethiopia, Tigray, Addis, Dansha, Sudan, Amhara, Eritrea, Mozambique, Liberia, South Africa
Ethiopia pushes toward Tigray capital, rebuffs African mediation
  + stars: | 2020-11-21 | by ( Reuters Staff | ) www.reuters.com + 0.00   time to read: +3 min
NAIROBI/ADDIS ABABA (Reuters) - Ethiopia said on Saturday its forces had seized another town in their advance on the capital of northern Tigray region and rebuffed an African Union (AU) push to mediate in the war with rebel forces in the region. An overview of Dansha airport and destroyed buildings in Dansha, Ethiopia, is seen in this satellite image taken November 18, 2020 and supplied by Maxar Technologies. The conflict has spread beyond Tigray, whose forces have fired rockets at the neighbouring Amhara region and the nation of Eritrea, spurring concern of a wider war. There was no immediate response from the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) rebels who have promised “hell” for the advancing federal troops. Abiy denies that, saying he is seeking only to restore law and order and preserve the unity of Ethiopia and its 115 million people.
Persons: Abiy, Adigrat, TPLF, Joaquim Chissano, Ellen Johnson, Kgalema, Tigrayans Organizations: ADDIS ABABA, Reuters, African Union, Maxar Technologies, REUTERS, , Federal Government, United Nations, U.S Locations: NAIROBI, ADDIS, Ethiopia, Tigray, Dansha, Sudan, Amhara, Eritrea, Mekelle, Mozambique, Liberia, South Africa
NAIROBI/ADDIS ABABA (Reuters) - The Ethiopian government rebuffed an African effort to mediate on Saturday, saying its troops had seized another town in their march towards the rebel-held capital of northern Tigray region. Hundreds, possibly thousands, have died and more than 30,000 refugees have fled to Sudan since the conflict erupted on Nov. 4. The Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) rebels said nine civilians had died among heavy casualties in artillery hits on Adigrat. Eritrea denies TPLF allegations it has sent soldiers over the border to back Abiy’s offensive against the Tigrayan forces, who are also an old foe of Eritrea’s. “We will do all that is necessary to ensure stability prevails in the Tigray region and that our citizens are free from harm and want,” the prime minister tweeted on Saturday.
Persons: Abiy, Adigrat, Joaquim Chissano, Ellen Johnson, Kgalema, Tigrayans, , Jens Hesemann Organizations: ADDIS ABABA, Reuters, Ethiopian, African Union, Federal Government, Maxar Technologies, United Nations, UNHCR Locations: NAIROBI, ADDIS, Tigray, Mekelle, Sudan, Amhara, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Mozambique, Liberia, South Africa, Dansha
NAIROBI/ADDIS ABABA (Reuters) - The Ethiopian government rebuffed an African effort to mediate on Saturday, saying its troops had seized another town in their march towards the rebel-held capital of northern Tigray region. Hundreds, possibly thousands, have died and more than 30,000 refugees have fled to Sudan since the conflict erupted on Nov. 4. The Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) rebels said nine civilians had died among heavy casualties in artillery hits on Adigrat. Eritrea denies TPLF allegations it has sent soldiers over the border to back Abiy’s offensive against the Tigrayan forces, who are also an old foe of Eritrea’s. “We will do all that is necessary to ensure stability prevails in the Tigray region and that our citizens are free from harm and want,” the prime minister tweeted on Saturday.
Persons: Abiy, Adigrat, Joaquim Chissano, Ellen Johnson, Kgalema, Tigrayans, , Jens Hesemann, jerry Organizations: ADDIS ABABA, Reuters, Ethiopian, African Union, Federal Government, Maxar Technologies, United Nations, UNHCR Locations: NAIROBI, ADDIS, Tigray, Mekelle, Sudan, Amhara, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Mozambique, Liberia, South Africa, Dansha, Hamdayet
Jordan to open consulate in Western Sahara amid dispute
  + stars: | 2020-11-19 | by ( Reuters Staff | ) www.reuters.com + 0.88   time to read: +2 min
RABAT (Reuters) - Jordan will open a consulate in Western Sahara, Morocco said on Thursday, in an apparent show of support for Rabat after the disputed territory’s Polisario independence movement said it was returning to an armed struggle. The consulate will be in Laayoune, the largest city in Western Sahara, and the decision to open it came after a phone call between King Mohammed VI and King Abdullah II. Following the entry of the Moroccan army into the UN-monitored buffer strip, the Polisario independence front said it has quit the UN-brokered ceasefire and declared war. Algeria, which backs the Polisario, was the only Arab state that has condemned Morocco’s actions in the Western Sahara passage. The Polisario and its ally Algeria reject this and say they want a referendum, with independence for Western Sahara as one of the options.
Persons: Jordan, King Mohammed VI, King Abdullah II Organizations: Rabat, Polisario, UN, African Union Locations: RABAT, Western Sahara, Morocco, Laayoune, Jordanian, Kingdom of Morocco, Saharan Africa, Moroccan, Polisario, Algeria, The UAE, Rabat, Spain, Western
NAIROBI (Reuters) - Ethiopian peacekeepers in Somalia have disarmed between 200 and 300 of their ethnic Tigrayan colleagues over the past week as conflict rages in the northern Ethiopian region, four security and diplomatic sources told Reuters. The soldiers’ weapons were removed due to concerns over the their loyalty, the sources said, without detailing the process. Ethiopian troops began fighting forces from the northern region of Tigray earlier this month after what the government described as a surprise attack by Tigrayan forces on their colleagues stationed there. Ethiopia had also withdrawn a small number of troops stationed in Somalia bilaterally, three sources told Reuters, but had decided against large-scale withdrawals. U.S. troops have already withdrawn from two bases in Somalia last month and Trump is mulling pulling out most of the rest.
Persons: can’t, , Donald Trump, Mebratu, Al Shabaab Organizations: Ethiopian, Reuters, African Union, U.S, Trump Locations: NAIROBI, Somalia, Ethiopian, Tigray, U.S, Ethiopia, Somali, al, Al, Kenya
NAIROBI (Reuters) - Ethiopia said on Wednesday peacekeepers from its Tigray region serving in Somalia had been disarmed over a security issue, raising concerns over the forces’ ability to fight al Qaeda-linked militants. Diplomatic and security sources said earlier that between 200 and 300 Tigrayans had had their weapons removed. Earlier, four diplomatic and security sources told Reuters those disarmed included bilateral and AU troops. Ethiopia had also withdrawn a small number of troops stationed in Somalia bilaterally, three sources told Reuters, but had decided against large-scale withdrawals. Last week, a spokesman for the taskforce said the offensive in Tigray would not lead Ethiopia to withdraw peacekeepers abroad.
Persons: al, Tigrayans, Donald Trump, can’t, , Mebratu, Trump, Al Shabaab Organizations: African Union, Reuters, State, Emergency, AU Locations: NAIROBI, Ethiopia, Tigray, Somalia, al Qaeda, Horn of Africa, U.S, Somali, al, Al, Kenya
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