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Tigray Forces Announce Withdrawal From Afar, Amhara Regions

FILE - An Afar special forces fighter is pictured in Bisober, Tigray region, Ethiopia, Dec. 9, 2020.
FILE - An Afar special forces fighter is pictured in Bisober, Tigray region, Ethiopia, Dec. 9, 2020.

After months of fighting, forces of the Tigrayan People’s Liberation Front say they are withdrawing their forces to their home Tigray region.

The TPLF forces entered the neighboring Amhara and Afar regions after the Ethiopian government announced a unilateral ceasefire in June.

Speaking to Reuters, TPLF spokesperson Getachew Reda said the move is to pave the way for the international community to take action regarding the situation in Tigray, and for the Ethiopian government to stop using TPLF forces advancement into Amhara and Afar as a pretext for continued war.

So, far the Ethiopian Authorities have not commented on the matter. But in Monday’s press briefing, the government communications service state minister spoke of the advance by government forces in North Wollo Zone of Amhara region.

In a letter addressed to the U.N. Secretary General, Tigray region head Debretsion Gebremichael also made several appeals. He asked the U.N. to enforce an arms embargo on both Ethiopia and Eritrea, and also enforce a no-fly zone, including drones, over the airspace of Tigray.

He also expressed his concern for the lives of ethnic Tigrayans living in other parts of Ethiopia. Gebremichael says, most Tigrayans across the country are being targeted and arrested while others still live in fear.

According to regional leader, the TPLF withdrawal is to settle the 13-month Tigray conflict which is taking the lives of civilians and inviting proxy war to the region.

Gebremichael also shared his concern about the situation in Northern and Western Tigray, where humanitarian conditions are dire.

The U.N. Security Council is due to discuss on Ethiopia in a session Monday. The U.N. undersecretary for humanitarian affairs, Martin Griffiths, is expected to brief the session, which is being held by the request of the United Nations and European nations.

The U.N. says the conflict in North Ethiopia has exposed over 400,000 people to famine in Tigray and made 9.4 million people dependent on aid.

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