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|Part of conflicts in the Horn of Africa|
Location of Tigray Region in Ethiopia
(For a more detailed map, see here.)
|Commanders and leaders|
(President of Eritrea)
(Chief of the Defence Staff)
(General of Eritrean Defense Forces)
Alleged or on Standby:
|Casualties and losses|
|1 MiG-23 aircraft lost||550 killed (government claim)|
|At least 611 civilians killed; possibly thousands dead|
The Tigray conflict is an ongoing armed conflict that began in November 2020 in the Tigray Region of Ethiopia, between Tigray Region special forces led by the Tigray People's Liberation Front (TPLF), and the Ethiopian National Defense Force (ENDF) in alliance with Amhara Region special forces.
The conflict stemmed from the attempt of Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed to distance the country's politics from ethnic federalism, a power-sharing system giving regional influence to individual ethnic groups, by merging the ethnic and region-based parties of the Ethiopian People's Revolutionary Democratic Front, which had governed Ethiopia for 30 years, into a nationwide Prosperity Party.
The Tigray People's Liberation Front, a military and politically powerful entity inside Ethiopia representing 6%[ citation needed ] of the total population ethnically, refused to join the new party, and alleged that Abiy Ahmed became an illegitimate ruler by rescheduling the general elections set for 29 August 2020 to an undetermined date in 2021 due to COVID-19.
The TPLF, led by Chairman Debretsion Gebremichael, went ahead with regional elections in Tigray in September 2020 in defiance of the federal government, which declared the Tigray election illegal.
The situation escalated to violence on 4 November with an alleged attack by the Tigray People's Liberation Front on the Northern Command Headquarters of the Ethiopian National Defense Force. Rocket attacks have spilled over into the neighbouring Amhara Region and country of Eritrea.
The federal forces claimed to have captured the Tigrayan capital of Mekelle on 28 November, following which Prime Minister Abiy declared the Tigray operation 'over'.The TPLF has said they will continue fighting. After the win for Prime Minister Aiby in Mekelle, the TPLF leaders fled to the mountains hiding from the Ethiopian army.
Following the end of the Ethiopian Civil War in 1991, Ethiopia became a dominant-party state under the rule of the Ethiopian People's Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF), a coalition of ethnicity-based parties whose founding, and most influential, member was the TPLF, whose chairperson was Meles Zenawi, FDRE Prime Minister until his death in 2012. Hailemariam Dessalegn, an ethnic Wolayta from the Southern Ethiopian People's Democratic Movement (SEPDM), became premier.
The TPLF used to be part of the Ethiopian governing coalition until its 2019 refusal to merge into the Prosperity Party.Tensions between the government and the TPLF escalated in the months before the Tigray military intervention. Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed, who is of Oromo-Amhara descent, accused the TPLF Party Members in the Tigray Regional Government of undermining his authority. By contrast, the Tigray authorities saw the refusal to recognise the September 2020 election for the Tigray parliament (which, along with all elections in Ethiopia, had been delayed by the federal government and elections board until the end of the COVID-19 pandemic in Ethiopia) as the reason for the outbreak of the conflict. Abiy Ahmed's government considered the September Tigray election to be illegal. The warming of relations between Abiy Ahmed and Eritrean President Isaias Afwerki, who is poorly regarded in Tigray, was also considered to have fuelled the tension.
The day prior to the TPLF's alleged attack on a military camp, the federal parliament of Ethiopia had suggested designating the TPLF as a terrorist organization. [ citation needed ]As tension continued to grow, a general appointed by Ahmed was prevented by the Tigrayan government from taking on his military post.
The 1995 Constitution of Ethiopia states in Article 39, 1, "Every Nation, Nationality and People in Ethiopia has an unconditional right to self-determination, including the right to secession."
Article 62, 9 grants HoF the right to "order Federal [government] intervention if any State [government], in violation of [the] Constitution, endangers the constitutional order."
In late September 2020, the TPLF stated that the constitutional term limit of the HoF, the House of Peoples' Representatives (HoPR), the Prime Minister and the Council of Ministers was 5 October 2020, and that for this reason, it would consider "the incumbent" constitutionally illegitimate after 5 October. TPLF proposed replacing the government by a technocratic caretaker government as detailed in a plan posted on Facebook by the Coalition of Ethiopian Federalist Forces.
On 4 November 2020, Tigray People's Liberation Front (TPLF) and Ethiopian National Defense Force (ENDF) soldiers came into conflict during alleged Tigrayan attacks on an Ethiopian base in Mekelle and the Fifth Battalion barracks in Dansha.In retaliation, an Ethiopian offensive was launched which was accompanied by a declaration of a state of emergency and a shutdown of government services in the region. During the subsequent days, skirmishes continued and the Ethiopian parliament declared the creation of an interim government for Tigray. Ethiopian offensives in the north were accompanied with airstrikes and several towns and cities were retaken. On the night from 9 to 10 November, 600 civilians, mostly Amharans and Welkait, were killed in a massacre in the town of Mai Kadra using machetes and knives by local militias and police loyal to the TPLF, according to preliminary investigations by Amnesty International and the Ethiopian Human Rights Commission. On 14 November 2020, Tigrayan forces launched rockets at the Eritrean capital of Asmara with the intent to drag other countries into the conflict, but the missiles missed. By 18 November, the prime minister of Ethiopia claimed that they had captured the cities of Shire and Axum with battles going on around Mekelle; Ethiopian forces further claimed to have taken some land south of the city. On 23 November, the government issued an ultimatum giving the rebels 72 hours to surrender. On 26 November, when the ultimatum ended, Abiy ordered federal military forces to launch an attack on Mekelle. On 28 November, the Ethiopian government announced that it had taken control of the city, bringing the "the last phase of its law enforcement operation" to an end. The TPLF has said they will continue fighting. Debretsion confirmed TPLF was withdrawing from Mekelle. Thousands of people are believed to have been killed in the conflict and around 44,000 have fled to Sudan. On 29 November claims that South Sudan was harboring the chairman of the TPLF, Debretsion Gebremichael, led to the Ethiopian ambassador to South Sudan abruptly returning to Ethiopia, and South Sudanese diplomats in Ethiopia allegedly being given 72 hours to leave the country. On 2 December the United Nations were given humanitarian access to the federal held territory in the Tigray Region.
Claire Wilmot, writing in The Washington Post , speculated that Internet restrictions imposed by the Abiy government during the Tigray conflict might be motivated by the wish to deescalate the conflict. She argued that much of the Twitter activity that she analysed was authentic English-language communication by Ethiopian diaspora, with the hashtag #StopTheWarOnTigray, and aiming to complement the "one-sided and highly dangerous image" that dominated views on the conflict.Wilmot saw the Tigray conflict related Ethiopian online activity as mostly distinct from Ethiopian online hate speech, which in 2019 was mostly in Amharic on Facebook, but also suggested that the lines between authentic online political activity and deliberate misinformation were becoming blurred. Wilmot suggested that the "information vacuum" in the conflict reduced the "ability to verify information".
The Tigray Region is the northernmost region of Ethiopia. Tigray is the homeland of the Tigrayan, Irob and Kunama peoples. Tigray is also known as Region 1 according to the federal constitution. Its capital and largest city is Mekelle. Tigray is the 5th largest by area, the 5th most populous, and the 5th most densely populated of the 9 Regional States.
Mekelle, or Mekele, is the capital city of Tigray Region in Ethiopia. Mekelle was formerly the capital of Enderta awraja in Tigray. It is located around 780 kilometres (480 mi) north of the Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa, with an elevation of 2,254 metres (7,395 ft) above sea level. Administratively, Mekelle is considered a Special Zone, which is divided into seven sub-cities. Mekelle is the economic, cultural, and political hub of northern Ethiopia.
The Tigray People's Liberation Front (TPLF) was a political party in Ethiopia, established on 18 February 1975 in Dedebit, northwestern Tigray, according to official records. Within 16 years, it had grown from about a dozen men into the most powerful armed liberation movement in Ethiopia. It led a coalition of movements named the Ethiopian People's Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF) from 1989 to 2018. With the help of its former ally, the Eritrean People's Liberation Front (EPLF), EPRDF overthrew the dictatorship of the People's Democratic Republic of Ethiopia (PDRE) and established a new government on 28 May 1991 that ruled Ethiopia until its refusal to merge into the Prosperity Party in 2019.
The Eritrean–Ethiopian War was a conflict that took place between Ethiopia and Eritrea from May 1998 to June 2000, with the final peace only agreed to in 2018, twenty years after the initial confrontation.
Tigrayans are an ethnic group in the Tigray Region in northern Ethiopia. They speak the Tigrinya language.
Abiy Addi is a town in central Tigray, Ethiopia. It has a latitude and longitude ofwith an elevation ranging from 1917 to 2275 meters above sea level. Abiy Addi is at the southeastern edge of the Kola Tembien woreda, of which it is the capital.
The Ethiopian Civil War was a civil war in Ethiopia and present day Eritrea, fought between the Ethiopian military junta communist governments and Ethio-Eritrean anti-government rebels from September 1974 to June 1991.
Gebru Asrat is an Ethiopian politician, president of Tigray Region (1991–2001), and one of the top leaders and executive central committee member as well as politburo member of the Tigray People's Liberation Front (TPLF), and the Ethiopian People's Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRF).
Debretsion Gebremichael is an Ethiopian politician who currently serves as President of Tigray People's Liberation Front (TPLF) and previously served as deputy and acting President of Tigray Region. His party nominally won all 152 contested seats and 98.2% of the votes of the unauthorized 2020 Tigray regional election, which was held in defiance of the Federal government that had prohibited elections because of the COVID-19 pandemic in Ethiopia. In November 2020, the Ethiopian PM, along with the Federal Police Commission tried to issue arrest warrants against him and other top politicians and leaders of TPLF following the war on Tigray, and after interim period of Tigray Region.
Abiy Ahmed Ali is an Ethiopian politician serving as 4th Prime Minister of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia since 2 April 2018. He is the first Oromo chairman of the ruling Ethiopian People's Revolutionary Democratic Front from the Oromo Democratic Party (ODP), which is one of the four coalition parties of the EPRDF. Abiy is also an elected member of the Ethiopian parliament, and a member of the ODP and EPRDF executive committees. Since Abiy has taken power, Ethiopia is under series of various ethnic conflicts and violence accompanied by the murder of many high-profile people including military general Se'are Mokonen.
The 2018 Eritrea–Ethiopia summit was a bilateral summit that took place on 8–9 July 2018 in Asmara, Eritrea, between Eritrean President Isaias Afwerki and Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed and officials from the two countries.
General elections were supposed to be held in Ethiopia on 29 August 2020 to elect officials to the House of Peoples' Representatives, but were delayed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Regional and municipal council elections were also planned to be held at the same time around the country. In May the sitting House of Representatives voted to postpone the election until 2021.
The 2019 Amhara Region coupe d'état attempt were a coordinated assassinations and killing spree of Amhara Region's high degree officials and the Generals of Ethiopian National Defense Force in Addis Ababa on 22 June 2019. Factions of the security forces of Amhara Region, Ethiopia attempted a coup d'état against the regional government, during which Amhara Region Chief Administrator Ambachew Mekonnen was killed. A bodyguard siding with the Amhara nationalist factions assassinated General Se'are Mekonnen, the Chief of the General Staff of the Ethiopian National Defense Force, as well as his aide Major General Gizae Aberra. The Prime Minister's Office accused Brigadier General Asaminew Tsige, head of the Amhara region security forces, of leading the plot. Asaminew was later shot dead after escaping.
Events of 2020 in Ethiopia.
Transitional Government of Tigray is a caretaker administration that was formally declared by the House of Federation of Ethiopia on 7 November 2020, in the context of a conflict between the Tigray People's Liberation Front (TPLF), in power in the Tigray Regional State and the federal government of Ethiopia. As of 28 November 2020, the administration, headed by Mulu Nega, plans public consultation and participation in choosing new leaders at the regional and zonal level and preservation of woreda and kebele administrations.
The Mai Kadra massacre was a series of ethnic cleansing and mass murders carried out on 9–10 November 2020 in the town of Mai Kadra, by forces loyal to the Tigray People's Liberation Front, in the Tigray Region of northwestern Ethiopia, near the Sudanese border.
The Mekelle offensive was a military campaign fought between the armed forces of Ethiopia and the Tigray Region to reach the city of Mekelle in the Tigray Region, during the Tigray conflict.
Getachew Reda is an Ethiopian politician. He is an advisor to the deputy and acting President of the Tigray Region, Debretsion Gebremichael, and also an Executive Committee member of the Tigray People's Liberation Front.
This is an account of the military engagements of the Tigray conflict, an ongoing armed conflict in the Tigray Region of Ethiopia that began in early November 2020.
Keria Ibrahim is an Ethiopian politician and Spokesperson of House of Federation until her resignation on 9 June 2020. She was the Tigray Region's Head of Civil Service and a Chief Administrator of Debub Misraqawi Zone. Keria is one of the nine Central Committee members of the Tigray People's Liberation Front (TPLF), and the head of Women's Affair in the region.
Mr Abiy said the army was in full control and that this "marks the completion of the [military's] last phase".