The Ethiopian army announced that its forces were advancing towards the capital of Tigray after taking control of several cities in the region, while the United Nations expected an increase in the number of people fleeing to Sudan from neighboring Ethiopia to 200,000 refugees.
The army confirmed in a statement yesterday evening, Saturday, its advance towards the city of Mikeli, the center of the Tigray region in the north of the country on the borders with Eritrea and Sudan, after announcing its control over the town of Adigrat in the northern part of the region, which is almost isolated from the outside world, after cutting off communications from it.
The Ethiopian Defense Forces had previously controlled the cities of Axum and Adwa, and confirmed their control over most of the eastern and western regions in the region, which has a population of about 5 million, who make up more than 6% of Ethiopia’s population of 116 million, according to the latest statistics published by the World Wide Web site. Mitter.
Al-Jazeera correspondent in Ethiopia reported that the Tigray People’s Liberation Front forces have lost, since the start of the battles on November 5, until now, about 80% of the Tigray region, after the advance of the Ethiopian forces from all directions.
A few days ago, Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed announced the end of a three-day deadline that he had set for the surrender of the Tigrayan People’s Liberation Front, which dominates the region, and promised a close settlement to the battles, and to bring the leaders of the front to justice, while rejecting any international mediation to stop the fighting.
Ahmed had ordered a military operation in response to what he said was an attack by the front on a camp for the federal forces in the city of Mikkeli, and confirmed his determination to strip the front of its weapons, denying that the battles in Tigray were a civil war.
Tensions increased between the federal government and the Tigray administration after the postponement of the general elections that were scheduled to take place last August, and the region’s organization of local elections in defiance of the central government.
The great progress made by the Ethiopian army, according to official data, comes amid air strikes targeting the Tigray front camps, which on their part were used ballistic missiles to hit two airports in the neighboring Amhara region, as well as the airport of the Eritrean capital Asmara, where the front accused Eritrea of participating in the fight against it.
The influx of refugees
Humanly, the Sudanese army confirmed that there is no intention to close the borders with Ethiopia despite the large influx of refugees at the rate of 5 thousand refugees per day.
The commander of the ground forces in the Sudanese army, Issam Karar, said yesterday that his country will continue to receive Ethiopian refugees fleeing the war in the Tigray region, and that it will observe all international laws in this regard.
For its part, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees said that the number of Ethiopian refugees fleeing the war in Tigray has risen to 33,000.
United Nations officials said that the international organization is taking into account the possibility of 200,000 refugees arriving in Sudan within 6 months.
For its part, the Sudan Refugee Affairs Office called on the international community to quickly intervene to help Ethiopian refugees overcome their ordeal.
While calls for help fleeing Ethiopia are frequent, the Secretary-General of the United Nations, António Guterres, called for the opening of humanitarian corridors and the adoption of a humanitarian truce for the distribution of aid.