The former rulers of Ethiopia’s Tigray regional said they were conducting “mop-up” operations on Tuesday against Ethiopian government forces retreating from the regional capital Mekelle and that the city was “100%” back under their control.
“Twenty-five minutes ago the active engagement in Mekelle was over,” Getachew Reda, spokesman for the Tigray People’s Liberation Front, told Reuters by satellite phone on Tuesday morning. “Our forces are still in hot pursuit to the south, east.”
A spokeswoman for the prime minister, a military spokesman and the head of the government’s emergency taskforce in Tigray did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) adviser Fesseha Tessema told the BBC that the changed situation meant international agencies could now bring urgently needed aid into Tigray
“The vast majority of people are now under the government of Tigray. Therefore, the international community has no excuse now to say Addis [Ababa municipal] government has been ignoring them.
The vast majority of people are now under the government of Tigray. Therefore, the international community has no excuse now to say Addis [Ababa municipal] government has been ignoring them.
“They can bring all the international assistance to the greater majority of Tigrayans in their need because the situation on the ground is conducive to deliver aid. They have been subjected to all kinds of atrocities, starvation used as a weapon. Now that has been lifted and the international community should help us feed the people.”