Ethiopian Military Deploys Air Power in Opposition-Controlled Tigray Region

Africa

Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed Ali ordered the military to start an operation in the restive, opposition-controlled region on Wednesday followed an alleged attack on federal forces.

The Ethiopian Air Force has carried out air strikes against opposition-held military positions in Tigray province, destroying military hardware and arms depots in and around the region’s capital of Mekelle, Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed Ali has announced.

The strikes, described by the prime minister as the “first round of the operation” against the region’s Tigray People’s Liberation Front government, were said to have “completely destroyed rockets and other heavy weapons” possessed by the TPLF.

Characterizing the TPLF government as a “junta” and a group of “fugitives from justice,” Ahmed vowed to continue the operation until the regional authorities was “made accountable by law.” He also accused TPLF of using the region’s civilian population “as human shields.” 

In a related development, the International Committee of the Red Cross issued a statement Friday calling on all parties in the clashes in northern Ethiopia “to respect people’s lives and property as well as their access to timely medical care and assistance.” The IRC provides some 90,000 people in Tigray with humanitarian assistance.

Addis Ababa began its military operation in the opposition-held region on Wednesday, describing the decision to resort to force as “the last…

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