By John Ikani
Rebels controlling Ethiopia’s Tigray region – the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) say Ethiopian army and allied forces have launched a second day of ground attacks as part of a fresh military offensive against them.
A senior member of the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF), Getachew Reda told newsmen that “thousands have perished” in the renewed fighting and the rebel forces are “holding their ground and more”.
Fresh fighting is exacerbating the already dire humanitarian situation in Tigray and other areas impacted by the war.
The rebels control the Tigray region and had advanced to neighbouring Amhara region where the fighting is reportedly taking place.
The federal government has largely been silent but a statement by its National Defence Forces on Monday accused rebel forces of spreading lies and attempting to simultaneously play victors and victims.
“It must be known that if our defence forces begin a full offensive in accordance with their own plan, that will be carried out even before [the rebels start] complaining about being attacked,” the statement reported by state media read.
Fighting has been going on since November 2020, destabilising the populous country in the Horn of Africa, leaving thousands of people dead with 350,000 others living in famine conditions.
Eritrean soldiers are also fighting in Tigray for the Ethiopian the government. All sides have been accused of atrocities.
A power struggle, an election and a push for political reform are among several factors that led to the crisis.