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ETHIOPIAN CRISIS: Tigray General Rules Out Talks With Gov’t after Taking Over Two Key Towns

(SOURCE: BBC)

 

The top general of Tigrayan fighters, Tsadkan Gebretensae, has ruled out negotiations with the Ethiopian government, saying the war is nearing its end.

 

The government’s communication office has, meanwhile, accused Tigrayan forces of killing dozens of civilians in Kombolcha town.

 

There is no independent confirmation of the claim, and the rebels have repeatedly denied targeting civilians.

Tigrayan rebel forces yesterday took over two key Ethiopian towns of Dessie and Kombolcha.

 

On Sunday, Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed appealed to his supporters to use any weapons they have to stop the advance by Tigrayan rebel forces.

Mr Abiy said it was the duty of citizens to, “block, destroy and bury” the forces of the TPLF rebels.

 

He issued the appeal on Facebook after the rebels said they’d made further territorial gains in the Amhara region, taking them closer to the Ethiopian capital, Addis Ababa.

 

A TPLF spokesman, Getachew Reda, said they had captured Kombolcha city and that their only aim was to break a siege of Tigray.

 

The Ethiopian government has denied assertions by the TPLF rebels that they’ve seized Kombolcha and nearby Dessie in the Amhara region.

 

It came as a spokesman of the rebel Oromo Liberation Army (OLA) also said they had taken Kemise city – about 50km (33 miles) from Kombolcha and 325km from Addis Ababa – and were fighting with government forces.

 

Communications with the Tigray region are largely blocked and desperately needed aid hasn’t been getting through.

 

The United Nations estimates that 400,000 people in the region are living in famine-like conditions, a year after the conflict began.

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