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The conflict in Ethiopia could turn into a long and bitter war

A confidential United Nations report revealed that despite the talk of “successive successes” for the Ethiopian army in the Tigray region (north of the country), government forces are facing stiff resistance there, and are vulnerable to a prolonged “war of attrition”, according to what was reported by The Guardian newspaper. ) British.

The newspaper said that the UN report – in addition to dozens of interviews with workers in international relief organizations – raises real concerns that the conflict between the federal government and the Tigrayan People’s Liberation Front forces may develop into a long and brutal battle, destabilizing a region that is one of Africa’s most fragile regions. .

The UN report and analyzes of relief organizations stated that the expectation of a quick and decisive victory for government forces in Tigray is an “optimistic scenario,” and the resistance there is likely to intensify further in light of the Popular Front forces resorting to the mountainous heights east of Mikkeli, the provincial capital.

“Although the forces of the Tigray People’s Liberation Front may have been affected at first by the rapid advancement of the Ethiopian Defense Forces, the nature of the terrain in the east of the region makes it easy to defend the region and halt the advancement of government forces; at that time the course of the conflict may turn from a blitzkrieg to war. drain”.

The documents reviewed by the Guardian also indicated that fighting continues even in areas that Addis Ababa claims is now under its control, although the editors of those documents admit that this information is very difficult to verify.

The documents confirm that the Ethiopian army units present at the “well-trained and heavily armed” front exceed the main cities to avoid costly fighting in urban areas, and rush towards Mikkeli the capital, but the militias and paramilitary forces that leave them in those areas are not sufficiently equipped or disciplined, and therefore they are Highly vulnerable to counterattacks by Tigrayans.

Complex struggle

The documents reflect a “complex and fluid conflict” across most of Tigray’s regions, with most clashes concentrated in the west of the province, as Ethiopian forces sought to advance towards the strategic town of Hamira, and in the southwest along the main road to Mekele. Heavy fighting was also reported around the town of Alamata, 6 miles from the border with neighboring Amhara Governorate, which is firmly loyal to the central government.

The confidential UN report expects that if the Ethiopian forces continue their current advance, their supply lines and their backyards will become exposed and vulnerable to “guerrilla” attacks Which will increase the number of victims in its ranks.

The report warns that, “even if the Ethiopian Defense Forces succeed in their mission to control the capital, Mekele, this will not necessarily lead to an end to the conflict, rather it will likely develop into a long-term asymmetric conflict and insurgency, and the longer the conflict continues, the humanitarian crisis will worsen.” Implications of it.




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