turning point?

Ethiopia: Will Addis Ababa fall to Tigray forces?

By Morris Kiruga

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Posted on November 1, 2021 16:53

Irreechaa Festival, the Oromo People thanksgiving ceremony, marked in Addis Ababa
People attend Irreechaa Festival, the Oromo People thanksgiving ceremony at the Hora Finfinnee, in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, October 2, 2021. REUTERS/Tiksa Negeri

Nearly a year since the Tigray war begun, the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) and an allied rebel group announced they had seized control of three strategic towns in Amhara region, a development that could change the course of the conflict.

The TPLF said it is “firmly in control of Kombolcha,” its spokesperson Getachew Reda said on Twitter on Sunday. The group also claimed to have occupied the strategic town of Dessie, 13kms from Kombolcha, and 400kms north of the capital Addis Ababa, on the major road that connects the federal capital to Mekelle, the capital of Tigray Region.

The federal government denied the claims but its spokesperson accused the TPLF of executing more than 100 residents of Kombolcha.

Strategic military loss

The fall of the town of Dessie is a strategic military loss to the federal government, as it marks the furthest south the TPLF has ventured since it launched a counter-offensive into Amhara Region.

The former ruling party, now designated a rebel group by the government in Addis, claims that its presence outside Tigray is meant to “break the siege on the people of Tigray,” a reference to a siege on

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