Airstrike hits Ethiopia’s Tigray region after ceasefire was offered

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NAIROBI (Reuters) – An air strike wounded at least one person on Tuesday in Mekele, the capital of northern Ethiopia’s Tigray region, a hospital official said, two days after Tigrayan forces said they were ready for a ceasefire with the federal government. .

The strike hit the commercial campus of Meckel University and Dimitsi Wuyani TV station, which is run by the regional government, said Kiburum Gebrselassie, CEO of Ayder Referral Hospital. He cited a witness who arrived with a man who was wounded in the raid.

Getachew Reda, a spokesman for the regional government, said on Twitter that the commercial campus had been bombed by drones.

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Ethiopian army spokesman Colonel Getnet Adan and government spokesman Legisi Tolo did not respond to requests for comment.

The air strike was the third to hit Mekele since the nearly two-year-old conflict resumed late last month after a five-month ceasefire. Each side blames the other for the renewed fighting.

The Tigray People’s Liberation Front, which rules Tigray, said on Sunday it was ready for a ceasefire without preconditions and would accept an African Union-led peace process. Read more

Diplomats described the offer as a potential breakthrough. The Ethiopian government has yet to officially respond.

Mohamed Idris Farah, former Djibouti ambassador to Ethiopia, said in a tweet that former Nigerian President Olusegun Obasanjo, who was appointed chief mediator of the African Union, met with US envoy to the Horn of Africa, Mike Hammer. .

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The TPLF dominated national politics for nearly three decades until Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed came to power in 2018.

The Tigray People’s Liberation Front accuses Abiy of centering power at the expense of the regions of Ethiopia. Abi denies this and accuses the TPLF of trying to regain power, which it denies.

Journalists arrested

The conflict has also repeatedly spread to the neighboring regions of Amhara and Afar.

According to a police document seen by Reuters, two Amhara journalists who publicly criticized the federal government were arrested last week. The Amhara region, Ethiopia’s second most populous region, was a major part of the Abe Energy Base.

Gobez Sesay, founder of Voice of Amhara, has been accused of supporting the Tigray People’s Liberation Front on social media. The police document showed that Meeza Mohamed, a journalist with Roha Media, is accused of encouraging the Amhara people to allow the Tigray People’s Liberation Front to pass through their areas.

“The people of Amhara, especially those close to the Tigrayan border – we are tired of war,” Gobez said in a Facebook post a week ago.

Amhara journalists, politicians and militiamen were among thousands arrested during a regional crackdown in May. Some are still in prison.

An Ethiopian government spokesman, the head of the Ethiopian Media Authority and a police spokesman did not respond to requests for comment.

The Committee to Protect Journalists said last month that it had documented the detention of at least 63 journalists and media workers since the conflict erupted.

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Reporting from the Nairobi newsroom. Editing by Frank Jack Daniel

Our criteria: Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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