On July 19, Al Jazeera reported that militants from Tigray region had carried out several attacks in neighboring Afar region which previously was not involved in the conflict.
According to the reports, clashes erupted on July 17, when Tigrayans crossed the border, and have lasted for several days in a row.
Afar spokesman Ahmed Koloyta said that Afar forces and allied militias were still fighting the militants and were waiting for reinforcement from Ethiopian military forces.
“Now [Ethiopian military forces] are on their way and we will work with them to eliminate [the Tigrayan forces],” he was cited as saying.
On the other side, a spokesman for the Tigrayan forces, Getachew Reda, confirmed that the fighting had lasted for several days, claiming that the invaders were not aiming to take control over the territory of a neighboring region.
“We are not interested in any territorial gains in Afar, we are more interested in degrading enemy fighting capabilities,” he said via satellite phone.
According to Getachew Reda, Tigrayans have already repelled militias from another region of Oromia. These forces were reportedly sent to fight alongside the Afar soldiers.
An eight-month-old conflict in Ethiopia sees no end. Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) has recently recaptured the regional capital Mekelle and most of Tigray. The recent celebration parade in the capital was carried out alongside the showcase of more than 7,000 Ethiopian soldiers taken prisoners in the fights.
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