Rebels take control as Ethiopian army withdraws from five towns in Tigray region
Addis Ababa/New York: The Ethiopia National Defence Force (ENDF) has withdrawn from Mekelle, and the town is now under the full control of the rebel Tigray Defence Forces (TDF). That is also the case in Adigrat, Adwa, Axum and Shire.
While the situation is largely calm in Mekelle and Shire, there have been reports of ongoing fighting in certain pockets throughout the region. Electricity and telecommunications remain cut off throughout Tigray, with communications only possible via intermittent satellite phone connection and VSAT Internet connections in two UN compounds in Mekelle and one in Shire.
United Nations’ humanitarian staff on the ground in Ethiopia said the situation in Tigray remains extremely fluid and unpredictable.
Also read: As fight continues, Tigrayan rebels regroup at regional capital Mekelle in Ethiopia
The UN has urged all parties to the conflict that they must protect civilians and refrain from obstructing the free movement of humanitarian workers and supplies, both within the region and to re-establish access to the region by air and roads.
“It is urgent to get additional staff and supplies into Tigray, restore electricity and telecoms, and ensure that cash and fuel are available throughout the region for the continuity of humanitarian operations,” Farhan Haq, Deputy Spokesman for the Secretary-General, told journalists last night (IST) at the UN headquarters in New York.
“We continue to closely monitor the situation and reiterate the Secretary-General’s call for an immediate end to the fighting and for urgent steps to peacefully resolve the conflict,” he added.
On Monday June 28, 20021, UN Secretary-General António Guterres while terming the recent events in the Tigray region as extremely worrisome, had spoken with Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed expressing hopes that an effective cessation of hostilities will take place. He had stressed that there was no military solution to the crisis.
As it is, there’s been a declaration of a ceasefire, but at the same time, right now, on the ground, the situation does remain extremely fluid and unpredictable as there is still some ongoing fighting in certain pockets even though in the main areas where there had been fighting a few days ago, Mekelle and Shire, the situation is largely reported as calm, reports suggested.
– global bihari bureau