On November 22, Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed gave the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) 72 hours to surrender before the Ethiopian military launch an attack on the city of Mekelle, the capital of the northern region.
“We urge you to surrender peacefully within 72 hours, recognizing that you are at the point of no return,” Abiy said in a message posted on Twitter.
Abiy ordered a military operation against the TPLF in Tigray on November 4, following an attack on military positions of the Ethiopian National Defense Forces (ENDF).
In his message, Abiy said the first and second phase of the ENDF operation in Tigray, which were meant to contain and weaken the TPLF, have been largely completed. The PM also called on the residents of Mekelle to support government forces.
“We call upon the people of Mekelle to play a key role in bringing this treasonous group to justice by standing in solidarity with the national defence force in this law enforcement action,” Abiy said. “No lives should be lost and no property should be destroyed for the sake of a few greedy individuals that are seeking irnpunity using their own people as human shields.”
In the last few days, the ENDF reached Mekelle city from the eastern direction after recapturing several areas from the TPLF, which sustained heavy losses.
Ethiopian national television released footage of a destroyed T-72 in Tigray. The first documented armor loss. pic.twitter.com/eiQ5R3QkQG
— Ethiopia Map (@MapEthiopia) November 22, 2020
Earlier today, a spokesman for the ENDF said the advancing Ethiopian troops want to surround Mekelle with tanks and may shell the city to force surrender.
PM Abiy’s time limit will likely escalate the clashes in Tigary, where the TPLF is still holding vast areas. The battle in the region is still far from over and may go on for weeks, if not months.
- Ethiopian Military Develops Its Advance On Capital Of Tigray Province Amid Heavy Clashes With Local Forces (Map Update)
- Tigray’s Forces Reportedly Bombed Nearby Region’s City, Vow To Keep Fighting Even If Capital Falls