Ethiopia: Fighting On a New Front in Ethiopia’s Ongoing Tigray War

Fighting between government forces and Tigrayan rebels has broken out along a new, western front, near Sudan, after a ceasefire collapsed a week ago.

A government statement said the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF), which controls the region, had “launched an invasion” towards areas “in the direction of Wag, Wolqait and our border areas with Sudan”, which it called part of the Amhara region,

Tigrayans call the area western Tigray, and it is claimed by both Tigray and Amhara regions.

A spokesperson for the TPLF, Getachew Reda, tweeted that the government was “making up stories so it’d get away scot-free in the eyes of the international community”.

Medics also reported fresh air strikes on Mekelle, capital of northern Tigray region – one in a neighbourhood near the City’s General Hospital.

The United Nations children’s agency UNICEF condemned a separate air strike on Mekelle on Friday that “hit a kindergarten” and killed at least four people, including children.

The conflict between the Tigray rebels and Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed’s national army resumed last week after a five-month lull, with clashes on the ground and air raids ending hopes of a peaceful resolution to the nearly two-year war.

Fighting had been concentrated around the southeastern border of Tigray, with the rebels pushing into the neighbouring Amhara and Afar regions.

The new front in the west would mean there has been fighting in all directions except to the north, along the border with Eritrea.

Eritrea previously sent large number of troops into Tigray to support Ethiopia’s military.

Rights investigators said they were responsible for mass killings of civilians, gang rapes and looting, which Eritrea has denied.

Thousands of people have died in the war, which has destroyed infrastructure and plunged millions into starvation.

Almost all of Tigray’s 5.5 million people need food aid. The March truce allowed the resumption of international aid convoys to Tigray after a three-month break.

But no humanitarian deliveries have entered for nine days, according to UN officials.

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