Drone strikes hit Ethiopia’s Tigray region after ceasefire offer – local authorities

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  • Drones target the campus and TV station in Mikkeli
  • One person was injured, a hospital official said
  • It comes after the people of Tigray offered a new truce with the federal government

NAIROBI (Reuters) – One person was wounded in drone strikes on Mekele University and a TV station in Ethiopia’s Tigray region, the Ethiopian broadcaster and a hospital official said, after Tigrayan forces expressed readiness for another ceasefire with the federal government.

One of the strikes on Tuesday hit the Mikkeli University business campus while the other hit the regional government-run Dimitsi Wuyan TV station, said Kipro Gebrselassie, chief executive of Ayder Referral Hospital. He cited a witness who arrived with a man who was wounded in the raid.

Dimitsi Wuyani said in a statement posted on Facebook that the second drone had caused the TV station to stop broadcasting. Images published by the station appeared to show damaged transport equipment on the roof of the building.

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Tigrayan Provincial Government Spokesman Getachew Raza said on Twitter that the business campus had been bombed by drones.

Ethiopian army spokesman Colonel Getnet Adan and government spokesman Legisi Tolo did not respond to requests for comment.

This is the third case of air strikes on Mekele since the nearly two-year conflict resumed late last month after a five-month ceasefire. Each side blamed the other for the renewed fighting.

The Tigray People’s Liberation Front, which governs Tigray, said on Sunday it was ready for another truce without preconditions and would accept an African Union-led peace process. Read more

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Diplomats described the offer as a potential breakthrough. The Ethiopian government has yet to officially respond.

Former Nigerian President Olusegun Obasanjo, who has been appointed chief mediator of the African Union, met with US envoy for the Horn of Africa, Mike Hammer, on Monday, according to a tweet from Djibouti’s former ambassador to Ethiopia, Mohamed Idris Farah, who was also… Present.

The TPLF dominated national politics for nearly three decades until Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed came to power in 2018.

The Tigray People’s Liberation Front accuses Abiy of centering power at the expense of the regions of Ethiopia. Abi denies this and accuses the TPLF of trying to regain power, which it denies.

Journalists arrested

The conflict has also repeatedly spread to the neighboring regions of Amhara and Afar.

According to a police document seen by Reuters, two Amhara journalists who publicly criticized the federal government were arrested last week. The Amhara region, Ethiopia’s second most populous region, was a major part of the Abe Energy Base.

Gobez Sesay, founder of Voice of Amhara, has been accused of supporting the Tigray People’s Liberation Front on social media. The police document showed that Meeza Mohamed, a journalist with Roha Media, is accused of encouraging the Amhara people to allow the Tigray People’s Liberation Front to pass through their areas.

“The people of Amhara, especially those close to the Tigrayan border – we are tired of war,” Gobez said in a Facebook post a week ago.

Reuters’ efforts to contact the journalists via their Facebook pages yielded no response.

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Amhara journalists, politicians and militiamen were among thousands arrested during a regional crackdown in May. Some are still in prison.

An Ethiopian government spokesman, the head of the Ethiopian Media Authority and a police spokesman did not respond to requests for comment.

The Committee to Protect Journalists said last month that it had documented the detention of at least 63 journalists and media workers since the conflict erupted.

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Reporting from the Nairobi newsroom. Editing by Frank Jack Daniel and Mark Heinrich

Our criteria: Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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