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ADDIS ABABA/NAIROBI (Reuters) - Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed’s government will protect civilians in the northern region of Tigray, he told African peace envoys on Friday, a day after he announced the military was beginning the “final phase” of an offensive there. FILE PHOTO: Ethiopia's Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed waits for the arrival of European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen before their meeting in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia December 7, 2019. Kenneth Roth, executive director of Human Rights Watch, said such efforts were not akin to protecting civilians from harm. In September, before the Tigray hostilities began, the U.N. migration agency IOM said conflict had displaced more than 1.2 million Ethiopians around the country. Abiy accuses Tigrayan leaders of starting the war by attacking federal troops at a base in Tigray three weeks ago.
Persons: Abiy Ahmed’s, Abiy Ahmed, Ursula von der Leyen, Abiy, Ellen Johnson, Joaquim Chissano, Mekelle, Ahmed Shide, , France24, Kenneth Roth, Tigrayan Organizations: Ethiopian, Ethiopia's, REUTERS, Tiksa, Union, United Nations, Reuters, Human Rights, Twitter, IOM Locations: ADDIS ABABA, NAIROBI, Tigray, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, Mekelle, Liberia, Mozambique, Kgalema, South Africa, Eritrea, Horn of Africa, Sudan, Ethiopia’s Tigray
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
Some 42,000 refugees have fled over the border to Sudan and TPLF rockets have hit neighbouring Eritrea. Tigrayan forces have fired rockets at the airport of Eritrea’s capital Asmara, while 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. Although Ethiopia is ultimately responsible for the conduct and movement of its 2,000 troops in South Sudan, the statement said, discrimination due to ethnicity could violate international law. Ethiopia has described the Tigray fighting as an internal law enforcement matter.
Persons: Mohamed Nureldin Abdallah, Abiy, , Joaquim Chissano, Ellen Johnson, Kgalema, Joe Biden’s, Jake Sullivan, “ I’m, al, ” Billene Seyoum, Mai Kadra, Tigrayans, of Sheba, Grant Harris Organizations: REUTERS, Reuters, Maxar Technologies, Union, United Nations Security, Ethiopian, Covenant, National Security Locations: ADDIS ABABA, NAIROBI, Ethiopia, Tigray, Sudan, Kassala state, Mekelle, Eritrea, Amhara, Dansha, Adwa, Mozambique, Liberia, South Africa, Addis Ababa, Africa, Eritrea’s, Asmara, Somalia, South Sudan, al Qaeda, Ethiopia’s, Mai, Axum, Barack Obama’s
African envoys head for Ethiopia as ultimatum expires for assault
  + stars: | 2020-11-25 | by ( Reuters Staff | ) www.reuters.com + 0.00   time to read: +5 min
Thousands of people are already believed to have died and there has been widespread destruction from aerial bombardment and ground fighting since the war began on Nov. 4. If confirmed, the presence of Eritrean ground forces would amount to a major escalation of the conflict. In Tigray, satellite images showed Ethiopian troops in the ancient town of Axum and trenches dug across the local airport’s runway. Axum’s history and ruins give Ethiopia its claim to be one of the world’s oldest centres of Christianity. Abiy repeated his position on Wednesday that the Tigray fighting was an internal law enforcement matter.
Persons: Abiy, , Joaquim Chissano, Ellen Johnson, Kgalema, Joe Biden’s, Jake Sullivan, “ I’m, Grant Harris Organizations: Rights Watch, Reuters, Union, Maxar Technologies, Ethiopian, National Security Locations: ADDIS ABABA, NAIROBI, Ethiopia, Tigray, Mekelle, Sudan, Eritrea, Ethiopia’s Amhara, Mozambique, Liberia, South Africa, Axum, Barack Obama’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
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
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