Two airstrikes hit the capital of the Tigray region, Mekele on Wednesday morning, killing 10 people, many of them first responders, the director of the city’s flagship Ayder Referral Hospital said
Since the conflict broke out in November 2020, tens of thousands are believed to have been killed and millions displaced in the Tigray, Amhara and Afar regions.
The conflict has also repeatedly spilled into the neighbouring regions of Amhara and Afar.
The Tigray leadership said they were ready to participate in an “immediate” cessation of hostilities with Ethiopian forces leading to a comprehensive cease-fire, and even welcomed mediation led by the African Union, a significant shift.
But Ethiopia’s federal government is yet to publicly respond amid reports of more talks between the two sides in Djibouti. With independent media, human rights groups and monitors barred from Tigray, and with most basic services like internet severed, it is challenging to assess the situation on the ground.
Ethiopia’s government was unsettled when the U.S. last year removed it from a preferential trade program over its failure to end the war in Tigray that the U.S. said led to “gross violations” of human rights. Addis Ababa is lobbying for a reversal.
Inside Tigray, millions of residents are still largely cut off from the world. Communications and banking services are severed, and their restoration has been a key demand in mediation efforts.
two Amhara journalists who publicly criticised the federal government were arrested last week, according to a police document seen by Reuters. The Amhara region, Ethiopia's second most populous, has been a key part of Ethiopian Prime minister Abiy Ahmed's powerbase.
Gobeze Sisay, the founder of Voice of Amhara, was accused of supporting the TPLF on social media. Meaza Mohamed, a journalist with Roha Media, was accused of encouraging Amhara people to allow the TPLF to pass through their areas, the police document showed.
"Amhara people, especially those close to the Tigrayan border - we are tired of war," Gobeze said in a Facebook post a week ago.
Last month Gunmen killed at least 42 people in Ethiopia’s Oromia region, amid escalating violence that has left hundreds dead. The latest attack by an armed group against local residents occurred in the Amuru district, about 370km (230 miles) west of the capital, Addis Ababa.
WHO Chief Dr Tedros Gherbreysus condemned the attacks on civilians and first responders in a tweet.
We condemn attacks on civilians in #Tigray. As long as the fighting continues, innocent lives will be at risk. Ayder Referral Hospital has been short on medicines, equipment & staff to treat patients for months. We urge Ethiopian & Eritrean govts to work for peace & end the siege https://t.co/LmLHXcvw1B
— Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus (@DrTedros) September 14, 2022