Tigray War Highlights | CNN


Here is an overview of the armed conflict in the Tigray region of Ethiopia, between the Ethiopian National Defense Federal Forces (ENDF) of Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed and the forces of the previously dominant political party, the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF). .

The Tigray Conflictwhich began in 2020, left thousands dead, more than two million displaced and fueled a famine.

Tigray is one of the 11 administrative regions of Ethiopia, the second most populous country in Africa. Each region is mostly autonomous, with its own police force and militia. Regional governments are largely divided along entrenched ethnic lines. Longstanding tensions between the regions have led to ethno-nationalist clashes there.

The TPLF, which ruled the country for more than three decades before Abiy came to power in 2018, has been designated a terrorist group by the current government.

After becoming prime minister, Abiy worked to dismantle the power of the TPLF. He announced the rearrangement of the ruling coalition founded by the TPLF – the four-party Ethiopian People’s Revolutionary Front (EPRDF) – into a single new Prosperity Party (PP) – ostracizing the TPLF in the process.

Abiy won the Nobel Peace Prize in 2019 for helping to end the 20-year war between Ethiopia and neighboring Eritrea.

Eritrean forces have since joined the military campaign in Tigray alongside the Ethiopian government.

All parties to the conflict have been accused of committing atrocities, but Eritrean forces have been linked to some of the most gruesome. In addition to perpetrating massacres and rapes, Eritrean soldiers were also found blockading and looting relief food in several parts of Tigray. The Eritrean government has denied any involvement in the atrocities.

November 4, 2020 – After accusing the TPLF of attacking a federal army base outside Mekelle, the Tigray regional capital, Abiy orders a military offensive against the TPLF in the northern Tigray region and promises that the conflict will be resolved quickly.

November 9, 2020 – According to Amnesty International, more than 600 civilians are killed in Tigray amid fighting between local and federal governments. The killings take place in Mai-Kadra, a town in the south-west of the region.

November 26, 2020 – Abiy tweets that Ethiopia has entered the ‘final stage’ of a military ‘law enforcement’ operation in northern Tigray after the expiry of a 72-hour deadline to surrender.

February 26, 2021 – A CNN investigation sheds light on a massacre that took place during a religious holiday in the town of Dengelat late last year. Eyewitnesses told CNN that a group of Eritrean soldiers opened fire on a church during a service, claiming the lives of priests, women, entire families and a group of more than 20 school children.

February 26, 2021 – Amnesty International Report Reveals Eritrean Forces Killed Hundreds of Unarmed Civilians in the city of Aksum in November 2020 by shelling and indiscriminate shooting and extrajudicial executions, which the human rights organization says could constitute a crime against humanity.

February 27, 2021 – US Secretary of State Antony Blinken calls for the withdrawal of Eritrean and Ethiopian regional forces from the Tigray region and an end to the killings and human rights violations.

March 4, 2021 – Michèle Bachelet, United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights calls for an independent investigation in human rights abuses that could amount to war crimes in Tigray, days after CNN’s exclusive reporting on the Dengelat massacre.

March 10, 2021 – During a congressional committee hearing, Blinken uses the term “ethnic cleansing” to describe the human rights abuses he says are being perpetrated in western Tigray, calling the situation “unacceptable”.

June 2021 – A new United Nations report warns of starvation in ethiopia, while more than 350,000 people in the Tigray region are experiencing “catastrophic” levels of “acute food insecurity”.

June 21, 2021 – Abiy wins another 5-year term in Ethiopia’s first multi-party election in 16 years. A month later, the electoral committee confirmed Abiy’s landslide victory.

June 28, 2021 – The Ethiopian government declare an immediate and unilateral ceasefire after Tigrayan forces retook Mekelle.

August 10, 2021 – Amnesty International publishes report detailing widespread rape and sexual violence perpetrated by members of the ENDF, Eritrean Defense Forces (EDF) and other special forces and aligned militias.

September 17, 2021 – The Biden Administration sanctions the Eritrean army and its only political party for his involvement in the current crisis in Tigray. Biden signs an executive order designating the EDF and the Popular Front for Democracy and Justice (PFDJ). The administration is also sanctioning two individuals and two entities linked to the groups.

October 6, 2021 – A CNN survey finds that the Ethiopian government used Ethiopian Airlines, the country’s main commercial airline, to transport weapons to and from neighboring Eritrea during the war.

November 2, 2021 – Ethiopian Attorney General Gedion Timotheos announces a emergency state after Tigrayan forces claimed to have gained territory in the key towns of Dessie and Kombolcha. The move comes two days after Abiy urged citizens to take up arms to defend themselves against the TPLF.

November 22, 2021 – Abiy announces he will personally lead his country’s soldiers to the front lines of the war against the advancing rebel fighters, “From tomorrow, I will head to the war front to lead the defense forces in person”, he wrote in a statement on Twitter, urging citizens to “lead the country with sacrifice” and join him.

January 8, 2022 – Fifty-six are killed and 30 injured in an airstrike on a camp for displaced people in Tigray.

January 10, 2022 – Biden speaks with Abiy, urging the leader to negotiate a ceasefire after 14 months of war.

March 24, 2022 – The Ethiopian government declares a cessation of hostilities, to allow food aid to reach Tigray. Tigrayan forces say they will abide by the ceasefire as long as sufficient aid is provided to the region “in [a] reasonable time.”

April 1, 2022 – Trucks transporting food aid enter Tigray for the first time since mid-December, according to a tweet from the United Nations World Food Program (WFP). The convoy carrying more than 500 tonnes of food and nutritional items is expected to reach Mekelle soon for “communities on the brink of starvation”.

June 14, 2022 – The Ethiopian government forms a committee to negotiate with the TPLF, which will be led by Deputy Prime Minister Demeke Mekonnen.

August 24, 2022 – Military hostilities between Ethiopian government forces and Tigrayan forces resume after a three-month ceasefire.

September 11, 2022 – The TPLF says it is ready to observe an immediate ceasefire and agree to an African Union-led peace process to end a conflict with federal forces, “We are ready to respect an immediate and mutually agreed cessation of hostilities in order to create a conducive atmosphere.”

October 6, 2022 – According to the Tigrayan forces, an airstrike in Adi Diero kills more than 65 people and injures more than 70. Many of those killed are displaced people who were sheltering inside a school building.

November 2, 2022 – Ethiopia and TPLF agree to ‘final cessation of hostilities’ after about a week of AU-led negotiations in Pretoria, South Africa. The truce marks an important step towards peace between the warring parties that have been in conflict for two years.

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