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As Kalashnikov leans on his shoulder, Ali Muhammad Musa points to the unseen mountain of the city of Konnaba in the northern Afar region.Ethiopia. “Look, they’re upstairs, upstairs”, The militant claims to have covered his face with dust, pointing to the positions of Tigre People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) soldiers. The latter occupied the area for three months. Konnaba was recaptured by Afar militants on April 22, but the front line did not disappear.
The TPLF has been in North Afar since the end of January. Until then, the civil war that had provoked the Tigris rebels against the government of Prime Minister Abi Ahmed since November 2020 had only been in the Tigris and Amhara areas. “At night they attacked the city with motorbikes and other artillery.”, Aliu Muhammad Musa recalled. The violence, which quickly spread, pushed 336,000 people into displaced camps, according to the United Nations.
In an official press release issued on April 26, the TPLF promised “Completely withdrawn” Of the province. In fact, it still retains road rights in four districts. “They never acknowledged that they invaded us, and now they say they’re completely gone … again, they’re lying”, “he said. Condemns Mohammed Idris, the governor-in-chief of Zone 2, one of the five administrative zones of the Afar region.
“No water, no food”
Two weeks after the release of Connaught, known for its gold deposits, none of the 50,000 people were able to return. The province was looted: haunted cities, destroyed buildings, destroyed administrations, looted shops, looted houses … “It’s indescribable” Says Valerie Browning, Australian President of the Afar Pastoral Development Association. According to her, the forces of the TPLF “The north of the region goes back fifty years”.
In Connaught Place, the hospital still bears signs of the occupier’s wrath. The sidewalks and operating theaters are littered with drugs, utensils and equipment. The power cables inside the company were cut properly. “They stole machines and destroyed what they could not take.” Osman Nooru, the leader of the Konnaba district, is underlined.
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