Ethiopia says it has completed and ceased military operations in the Tigray region after claiming its capital, but it’s unclear if fighting will immediately end.
Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed says military operations in the country’s northern Tigray region are “completed” after the army claimed control of the regional capital, declaring victory in a three-week-old conflict that has left thousands dead.
“I am pleased to share that we have completed and ceased the military operations in the #Tigray region,” Mr Abiy said in a Twitter post Saturday night.
Mr Abiy, last year’s Nobel Peace Prize winner, announced on 4 November he had ordered military operations against leaders of the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF), the regional ruling party that dominated Ethiopian politics for nearly three decades before he came to power in 2018.
Tigray has been under a communications blackout ever since, making it impossible to know the full toll of fierce fighting that has included multiple rounds of air strikes and at least one massacre that killed hundreds of civilians.
After securing control of western Tigray and giving TPLF leaders a 72-hour ultimatum to surrender, Mr Abiy announced on Thursday he had ordered a “final offensive” against pro-TPLF forces in the regional capital, Mekele, a city of half a million.