– On November 24, clashes between ENDF and TPLF were reported near the Adi- Harush Refugee Camp
– 40,000 Ethiopian refugees fled to Sudan escaping the fighting in the Tigray region, according to the UN
– On November 24, TPLF forces destroyed an armored vehicle of the Ethiopian Army near Mekele, according to Al-Arabiya
– On November 23, TPLF leader Debretsion Gebremichael rejected Abiy Ahmed’s ultimatum. The TPLF is set to continue the war.
On November 24th, the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) claimed that it had “destroyed” an Ethiopian army division in battles to control the northern region.
TPLF spokesman Getachew Reda told Tigray TV a prestigious army unit – which he termed the 21st mechanized division – had been “completely destroyed” in an assault at Raya-Wahirat led by a former commander of that unit now fighting for the TPLF.
Initially, the Ethiopian government forces under the command of Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed expected to have a quick and easy victory, but the fights have gone on for a third week, and the conflict could potentially escalate.
Billene Seyoum, the prime minister’s spokeswoman, told Reuters that the TPLF’s claims were not true.
The government said many Tigrayan soldiers were surrendering in line with a 72-hour ultimatum before a threatened attack on the regional capital Mekelle.
Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed’s troops launched an offensive against the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) local government on November 4th and currently claim they are closing in on Mekelle in a final push to win the conflict. Mekelle is the capital of the Tigray region.
But the battle-hardened TPLF say their troops are keeping the federal army at bay and scoring some big victories.
So far, the conflict has spread to Eritrea, where the TPLF has fired rockets, and also affected Somalia where Ethiopia has disarmed several hundred Tigrayans in a peacekeeping force fighting al Qaeda-linked militants.
Abiy, who won the Nobel Peace Prize last year for ending a standoff with Eritrea, has said he will not negotiate with the TPLF though he does plan to receive AU envoys.
He has given Tigrayan forces until November 25th to surrender or face an assault on the highland city of Mekelle, home to about half a million people.
TPLF leader Debretsion Gebremichael has disputed the government version that Mekelle is encircled at a roughly 50km distance and claimed that the ultimatum was a cover for government forces to regroup after defeats.
The United Nations Security Council (UNSC) will hold its first meeting on the Ethiopian Tigray region conflict, upon a request from Tunisia, South Africa, and “Saint Vincent and the Grenadines”.
The meeting comes after the leader of Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) Debretsion Gebremichael, said that his people are “ready to die” defending their homeland, rejecting Ethiopian Prime Minister (PM) Abiy Ahmed’s surrender ultimatum period.
“He does not understand who we are. We are people of principle and ready to die in defense of our right to rule our region,” Gebremikail he said.
MORE ON THE TOPIC:
- Map Update: Federal Government’s Ultimatum To Tigray Rebels Nears Its Deadline
- Ethiopian PM Gave Tigray Rebels 72 Hours To Surrender