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(CNN) The United Nations has rebuffed Ethiopia's decision to expel seven senior UN officials as the country's war-torn northern Tigray region descends into famine, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said on Friday. "If the current trajectory continues, I fear for the future of many Ethiopian lives, and indeed for the stability of the country and the region. The UN denounced Ethiopia's decision to eject its officials from the country on Friday, and vowed to continue its humanitarian work. If the Ethiopian order goes ahead, it would mark one of the most significant expulsions of senior UN humanitarian officials from any country. Earlier this month, UNOCHA said there was a "de facto humanitarian aid blockade" into Tigray, where at least 400,000 people are facing famine conditions, according to the agency's latest figures.
Persons: Antonio Guterres, Guterres, UNOCHA, Martin Griffiths, Abiy, Griffiths, William Davison, Ethiopia's, Jens Laerke, Joe Biden, Jen Psaki, Psaki, We're, Michelle Bachelet, Bachelet, David Beasley Organizations: CNN, United Nations, UN, UN Security, Security, UN's, Fund, UNICEF, Humanitarian Affairs, Ethiopian, Reuters, International Crisis, Ethiopia's Ministry of Foreign Affairs, White, Ethiopian Human Rights, UN Human Rights, Food Programme, WFP Locations: Tigray, Ethiopia, Mekele, Geneva, Tigrayan, Wukro, UN, Axum, Eritrea
Nairobi, Kenya (CNN) Ethiopia is expelling seven senior United Nations officials for allegedly "meddling in the internal affairs of the country," the Ethiopian Ministry of Foreign Affairs said on Thursday. The group, which includes officials from the UN's Children Fund (UNICEF) and UN Office of Humanitarian Affairs (UNOCHA), have 72 hours to leave the country. Earlier this month, UNOCHA said there was a "de facto humanitarian aid blockade" into the war-torn Tigray region, where at least 400,000 people are facing famine conditions, according to the agency's latest figures. Since July, only 606 trucks carrying humanitarian supplies have managed to enter Tigray -- a small fraction of what is needed to bring humanitarian assistance to 5.2 million people, according to UNOCHA. Medical supplies continue to be denied entry into the region by the Ethiopian government, according to the UN.
Persons: UNOCHA, Read Organizations: CNN, United Nations, Ethiopian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, UN's, Fund, UNICEF, UN, Humanitarian Affairs, NGO Relief Society of Tigray, Ethiopian Locations: Nairobi, Kenya, Ethiopia, Tigray, Mekele
The Tigray conflict has its roots in tensions that go back generations in Ethiopia. Because of a previous conflict with neighboring Eritrea, there are also a large number of federal troops in Tigray. For months at the start of the conflict, Abiy denied that civilians were being harmed or that soldiers from Eritrea had joined the fight. Separate investigations by CNN and Amnesty International in February uncovered evidence of massacres carried out by Eritrean forces in the Tigrayan towns of Dengelat and Axum late last year. All actors in the conflict have been accused of carrying out atrocities, but Eritrean forces have been linked to some of the most gruesome.
Persons: Abiy Ahmed, Abiy, Tigrayans, Mahibere Dego, Tigrayan, Redwan Hussein, Antony Blinken, Ned Price, Biden, Price Organizations: CNN, Ethiopian, United Nations, Amnesty International, Eritrean, World Peace Foundation, UN, Food, Wednesday, US State Department, State Department Locations: Africa, Tigray, Ethiopia, Abiy, Africa's, Gedaref, Sudan, Eritrea, Regional, Mekelle, Amhara, Addis Ababa, Wukro, Mekele, Dengelat, Axum, Tigrayan, Mahibere, Jimma
NAIROBI, Kenya — Ethiopia’s government declared an immediate, unilateral cease-fire Monday in its Tigray region after nearly eight months of deadly conflict as Tigray fighters occupied the regional capital and government soldiers retreated in a region where hundreds of thousands are suffering in the world’s worst famine crisis. Abiy's transformation from making peace to waging war has appalled many observers since the fighting in Tigray erupted in November. Ethnic Tigrayans, even those who didn't support the former ruling Tigray People's Liberation Front before the war, say they have been targeted harshly for suspected links with the Tigray fighters. Eduardo Soteras / AFP - Getty ImagesEthiopia said the cease-fire will last until the end of the crucial planting season in Tigray. There was no immediate comment from the Tigray fighters, with whom Ethiopia had rejected talks.
Persons: Abiy Ahmed, Yasuyoshi Chiba, Antonio Guterres, Abiy, Monday's, , , Wereb Michael, Eduardo Soteras, Abraham Belay, Desta Haileselassie Hagos Organizations: Kenya —, Getty, NBC, Ethiopian, Mekele University, Tigray, United Nations, UNICEF, Security Council Locations: NAIROBI, Kenya, Tigray, Africa, Ethiopia, Mekele, AFP, Wereb, Amhara, , Eritrea, U.N, New York, United States, United Kingdom, Ireland
A plane flies next to Tigray Martyrs' monument during the funeral ceremony of Ethiopia's Army Chief of Staff Seare Mekonnen in Mekele, Tigray Region, Ethiopia June 26, 2019. REUTERS/Tiksa NegeriJune 28 (Reuters) - The former governing party in Ethiopia's Tigray region said on Monday it was back in control of the regional capital Mekelle, and three residents reported seeing troops in Tigray regional uniforms in the city for the first time since November. "The capital of Tigray, Mekelle, is under our control," Getachew Reda, spokesperson for the Tigray People's Liberation Front (TPLF), told Reuters by satellite phone. The Ethiopian prime minister's spokesperson, the head of the government's emergency task force on Tigray and the military's spokesperson did not immediately respond to phone calls and messages seeking comment. Last week, residents reported that TPLF forces had entered several towns north of Mekelle, although in at least one case they withdrew within hours.
Persons: Staff Seare Mekonnen, Reda, Getnet Adane, Maggie Fick, Alexandra Zavis, Mike Collett Organizations: Ethiopia's Army, Staff, REUTERS, Tiksa, Reuters, White, Thomson Locations: Tigray, Mekele, Tigray Region, Ethiopia, Ethiopia's Tigray, Mekelle, Togoga
(CNN) In a stunning about-turn in the devastating eight-month civil war in Ethiopia's northern Tigray region, the Ethiopian government declared an immediate and unilateral ceasefire after Tigrayan troops retook the regional capital Mekelle on Monday evening. Less than a week into the offensive by Tigrayan forces, the Ethiopian military had withdrawn from the capital, a UN official told CNN on Monday. Earlier on Monday, witnesses told CNN that Ethiopian soldiers were seen entering banks, media bureaus and the offices of humanitarian agencies. "This act violates UN privileges and immunities and the rules of International Humanitarian Law regarding respect for humanitarian relief objects." UN spokesman Stephane Dujarric joined in on the criticism of Ethiopian forces when asked by journalists at the United Nations in New York.
Persons: Abiy Ahmed, Getachew Reda, Reda, Henrietta Fore, Stephane Dujarric, Dujarric Organizations: CNN, Ethiopian, Tigray Defense Forces, Mekelle, UN, Ethiopian Government, Tigray Interim Government, International Organization for Migration, UNICEF, Food Program, Ethiopian National Defense Forces, United Nations, United Locations: Ethiopia's, Tigray, Mekelle, Getachew, Addis Ababa, Eritrea, Togoga, Mekele, Ethiopia, New York, United Nations
US officials estimate that as many as 1.25 million people live in areas humanitarian workers cannot access. Between March 27 and May 5, the government, the World Food Programme (WFP) and other partners provided food aid to more than 1.2 million people in 32 districts. Humanitarian workers say famine could have already arrived there and they would have no way of knowing. "We are seeing a trend towards more restricted humanitarian access in Tigray," a spokesperson told CNN. CNN reported Wednesday that Eritrean troops, in coordination with Ethiopian forces, had once more closed off key aid routes in central Tigray.
Persons: Abiy Ahmed, Stephane Dujarric, hadn't, we're, Thomas Thompson, Tigray's Abiy, Emily Dakin, Meskel Organizations: CNN, United Nations, Ethiopian, UN, Food Programme, Eritrean, Axum University, Referral Hospital, USAID, World Peace Foundation, Emergency, Tigray's, US Agency for International Development Locations: Tigray, Tigray's, Dujarric, Mekelle, Axum, Chila, Hawzen, Ethiopia, Samre, Mekele
CNN's efforts to reach Axum were thwarted by both Ethiopian and Eritrean soldiers multiple times over several days. Ethiopian soldiers block CNN's path, threatening the team with detention. CNN was informed by aid agencies that they had also been turned back by Eritrean soldiers manning the same checkpoint. Ethiopian military sources in the region confirmed to CNN that Eritrean soldiers were in control of key checkpoints along the route to Axum. That report was corroborated by humanitarian workers in Tigray, who said they had "protection" issues around distributing aid in some areas as civilians were later robbed of the aid by Eritrean soldiers.
Persons: Biden, aren't, Abiy Ahmed, Antony Blinken, Ned Price, Blinken, Alex Platt, Mark Lowcock, Linda Thomas, Greenfield, gurney, Girmay, we're, Thomas Thompson, hadn't, Tigray's Abiy, Emily Dakin, Meskel, Hannibal, haltingly, Bethlehem, Gianluca Mezzofiore, Katie Polglase, Read Organizations: CNN, Ethiopian, Eritrean, Abiy, Ethiopian National Defence Force, Command, USAID, Eritrean Defence Forces, EDF, Sans Frontieres, Axum University, Referral Hospital, Referral, UN, Food, World Peace Foundation, Emergency, Tigray's, Axum Teaching Locations: Tigray, Tigray's, Mekelle, Axum, Africa, Ethiopia, Eritrea, Adigrat, Greenfield, Ethiopian, Chila, Hawzen, Samre, Mekele
ADDIS ABABA (Reuters) - The leader of Ethiopia’s rebellious Tigrayan forces said on Friday that protests were breaking out in the regional capital which fell to federal troops days ago in their month-long war. FILE PHOTO: Debretsion Gebremichael, Tigray Regional President in Mekele, Tigray Region, Ethiopia June 26, 2019. With communications largely down and access for media restricted, claims from all sides have been impossible to verify. “Our priority in the region now is to restore peace, stability and order,” the 52-year-old former academic told state-run EBC. Abiy took office two years ago after nearly three decades of TPLF-led government following the overthrow of Marxist dictator Mengistu Haile Mariam in 1991.
Persons: Abiy, Gebremichael, , Isaias Afwerki, Billene Seyoum, Mulu Nega, Mai Kadra, Mengistu Haile Mariam, Abiy’s, Chris Smith, Organizations: ADDIS ABABA, Reuters, Tigray Regional, REUTERS, Tiksa, Abiy, United Nations, Administration of, U.S, Congressional Locations: ADDIS, Tigray, Mekele, Tigray Region, Ethiopia, Mekelle, Sudan, Eritrea, Administration of Tigray, Humera, U.S, Africa
War not over, says Ethiopia's Tigrayan forces leader
  + stars: | 2020-11-30 | by ( Reuters Staff | ) www.reuters.com   time to read: +1 min
FILE PHOTO: Debretsion Gebremichael, Tigray Regional President in Mekele, Tigray Region, Ethiopia June 26, 2019. The war in Tigray region has killed hundreds and probably thousands, sent refugees into Sudan, enmeshed Eritrea, impacted a peacekeeping mission in Somalia, and heightened frictions between Ethiopia’s myriad ethnic groups. “I’m close to Mekelle in Tigray fighting the invaders,” he said. Debretsion added that his soldiers had captured some Eritreans fighting alongside the Ethiopian federal forces. Claims from all sides are difficult to verify since phone and internet links to Tigray region have been largely down and access tightly controlled since the war began on Nov. 4.
Persons: Debretsion Gebremichael, “ I’m, , Debretsion, Billene Seyoum, Abiy Ahmed Organizations: Tigray Regional, REUTERS, Tiksa, Ethiopian, Reuters, Federal Locations: Tigray, Mekele, Tigray Region, Ethiopia, Tiksa Negeri ADDIS ABABA, NAIROBI, Mekelle, Sudan, enmeshed Eritrea, Somalia, South Sudan, Asmara
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 PhotoADDIS ABABA/NAIROBI (Reuters) - The leader of Ethiopia’s rebellious northern forces said on Monday he was still fighting close to the regional capital of Mekelle after it was captured by government troops. Debretsion Gebremichael, who heads the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF), also told Reuters in a text message that some Eritrean soldiers fighting alongside the Ethiopian federal forces had been taken prisoner by his side. There was no immediate comment from the Eritrean government, though at the start of the more than three-week conflict it had denied involvement. Claims from all sides are difficult to verify since phone and internet links to Tigray region have been largely down and access tightly controlled since the war began on Nov. 4.
Persons: Staff Seare Mekonnen, ADDIS, Debretsion Gebremichael, Billene Seyoum, Abiy Ahmed, Organizations: Tigray Regional President, Ethiopia's Army, Staff, REUTERS, Tiksa, Reuters, Ethiopian Locations: Tigray, Mekele, Tigray Region, Ethiopia, ADDIS ABABA, NAIROBI, Mekelle
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
Ethiopia says its military now controls the Tigray capital
  + stars: | 2020-11-28 | by ( ) www.cnbc.com   time to read: +5 min
Ethiopians gather to show their support to federal government forces fighting against the Tigray People's Liberation Front (TPLF) at Abebe Bikila Stadium in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia on November 17, 2020. Ethiopia's military has gained full control of the capital of the defiant Tigray region, the army announced Saturday after Tigray TV reported that the city of a half-million people was being "heavily bombarded" in the final push to arrest the region's leaders. "The United States is gravely concerned about the worsening situation in the Tigray region," the U.S. ambassador to the U.N., Kelly Craft, tweeted after the reported bombardment began. As Ethiopian forces moved in, Maj. Gen. Hassan Ibrahim vowed to capture the city "on all fronts." The Tigray region has been almost entirely cut off from the outside world since Nov. 4, when Abiy announced a military offensive in response to a TPLF attack on a military base.
Persons: Birhanu Jula, Abiy Ahmed, Humanitarians, TPLF, Kelly Craft, Pope Francis, Abiy, Hassan Ibrahim, Antonio Guterres, Filippo Grandi, Grandi, Abiy's Organizations: Tigray TV, United Nations, Ethiopian, African, Ethiopian News Agency, International Committee, Cross, Umm, Associated Press, AP Locations: Tigray, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, Mekele, United States, U.S, Maj, of Africa, Sudan, Umm Rakouba
ADDIS ABABA (Reuters) - The Ethiopian military has seized control of the town of Wikro, 50 km (30 miles) north of the Tigray region’s capital Mekele, state-affiliated Fana broaDcaster reported on Friday, after the prime minister announced the military was beginning the “final phase” of its offensive. “The Ethiopian National Defense took control of strategic locations to capture Mekele city,” Fana reported. Reuters was not immediately able to reach the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) for comment, or to verify the report. Claims by all sides have been impossible to verify because phone and internet connections to the region are down and access to the area is tightly controlled.
Persons: ” Fana Organizations: ADDIS ABABA, Reuters, Ethiopian, Ethiopian National Defense Locations: ADDIS, Wikro, Tigray, Mekele, Fana,
There was no Ethiopian official but instead, soldiers with Kalashnikovs and machine guns waiting for us in the field. My parents survived the massacre but soon after, my father was murdered, under circumstances unclear to us to this day. We fled the country to Sudan and lived in two refugee camps for eight years, where I was raised by my Eritrean grandmother. has fired missiles at Asmara, the Eritrean capital, supposedly retaliating for Eritrea’s sending troops to support the Ethiopian military — I was increasingly worried about my grandmother and my mother, who live in Eritrea. Mr. Ahmed’s military is preparing for an offensive on Mekele, the capital of Tigray Province, which is still controlled by the T.PL.F.
Persons: , , Sulaiman Addonia Organizations: Ethiopian, Eritrean, United Nations, New York, Facebook, Twitter Locations: Sudan, Eritrea, Asmara, Tigray Province, Mekele, Tigray, Hamdayet, British
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
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, 2019. REUTERS/Tiksa Negeri/File PhotoNAIROBI (Reuters) - The leader of Ethiopia’s Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) denied on Monday that federal troops had surrounded the regional capital Mekelle at a distance of about 50 km (31) as the government had said. “There is no such encirclement so far,” Debretsion Gebremichael told Reuters by text of the statements from a spokesman for a special Tigray taskforce set up by Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed’s government. Reuters could not independently verify either version. Claims by all sides are hard to confirm because phone and internet communication has been down while media are largely barred from the region in north Ethiopia.
Persons: Staff Seare Mekonnen, Debretsion Gebremichael, Abiy Organizations: Tigray Regional President, Ethiopia's Army, Staff, REUTERS, Tiksa, Reuters Locations: Tigray, Mekele, Tigray Region, Ethiopia, NAIROBI, Mekelle
ISTANBUL (Reuters) - Mekelle, a city nestled in the arid, mountainous Tigray region of northern Ethiopia, is steeped in the lore of its guerrilla fighters, who marched in sandals to Addis Ababa to topple a Communist dictatorship in 1991. FILE PHOTO: A plane flies next to Tigray Martyrs monument during the funeral ceremony of Ethiopia's Army Chief of Staff Seare Mekonnen in Mekele, Tigray Region, Ethiopia June 26, 2019. It was to be followed by an even worse 1998-2000 war against the neighbouring nation of Eritrea over a border dispute. On Thursday, Tigray forces accused the government of bombing a university in Mekelle. The TPLF is celebrated in Mekelle as liberators and war heroes, and billboards keep decades-old memories fresh.
Persons: Staff Seare Mekonnen, Tigrayans, Ahmed Abiy, Addis, Abiy, , Mulu Nega, Mekelle, , ” Mulu Organizations: Ethiopia's Army, Staff, REUTERS, Tiksa, Reuters, Liberation, Journalists Locations: ISTANBUL, Tigray, Ethiopia, Addis Ababa, Mekele, Tigray Region, Eritrea, Mekelle
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