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6 Nov, 2020 11:17

Ethiopia PM defends ‘limited’ military operations in Tigray, as UN condemns ‘alarming’ activity

Ethiopia PM defends ‘limited’ military operations in Tigray, as UN condemns ‘alarming’ activity

Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed has defended Ethiopia’s “limited” military operations in the northern Tigray region after the UN called for a “peaceful resolution” to the “alarming” dispute.

Ethiopia’s government has mobilized troops to send to the Tigray region after clashes between the military and the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF). Humanitarian workers in the area reported hearing the sound of shelling near the Tigray-Amhara border around 3am local time on Friday, Reuters reported.

Abiy described the military operations in the region as having “clear, limited and achievable objectives” that are intended to “to restore the rule of law” in the region.

The prime minister blamed the TPLF for the need to engage in military actions, claiming that the federal government attempted for months to reach a peaceful resolution with the regional leaders, but said, “all failed because of TPLF criminal hubris and intransigence.”

UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres said on Twitter that he is “deeply alarmed” at the military build-up in the Tigray region, calling for an “immediate de-escalation of tensions and a peaceful resolution,” adding that stability in Ethiopia is important for the entire Horn of Africa.

The TPLF was the dominant party in Ethiopia’s ruling coalition before Prime Minister Abiy’s Oromo political group swept into office two years ago. After taking office, Abiy reorganized the ruling parties into one single political group, which the TPLF refused to participate in.

Abiy won the 2019 Nobel Peace Prize for putting an end to a decades-old war between Ethiopia and Eritrea. However, he’s failed to address divisions within his own country and prevent ethnic unrest among his citizens.

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