Nairobi, Kenya (AP) – The Ethiopian Prime Minister has said he will launch “final and decisive” military action against the government in the country’s rebel north Tigre region in the coming days.
Prime Minister Abi Ahmed said in a social media post that the three-day deadline given to leaders and special forces in the Tigre region was “out of date”.
Abi, winner of last year’s Nobel Peace Prize, has spread to neighboring Eritrea in a two-week battle over the African Horn, with more than 25,000 Ethiopian refugees fleeing to Sudan.
Panic-stricken African neighbors, including Uganda and Kenya, have called for a peaceful resolution, but Abi’s government has ruled that Tigre’s local government is illegal after local elections in September. The Tigre local government opposes postponing the national election until next year due to the Kovid-19 pandemic, and considers the federal government of Abi to be illegal.
The federal government of Ethiopia on Tuesday confirmed that it had launched new airstrikes outside the Tigre capital, McClellan. He called them “accurately led and operated on” and denied the Tigre government’s claim that civilians had been killed.
Communications and transport links with the Tigre region have been completely cut off, making it difficult to verify claims on both sides.