The northern Tigray rebels had appeared to be marching at full steam towards Addis Ababa, joining forces with the Oromo Liberation Front and occupying owns like Dessie and Kombolcha.
But an early December fightback from the Ethiopian federation army – buttressed with drone strikes on overstretched Tigrayan supply lines – seems to put the initiative back into the hands of Abiy Ahmed, the beleaguered Ethiopia Premier. “The morale of the defence forces is great”, said Abiy in a photo op on the frontline.
The Tigray forces are unlikely to retreat into Tigray, where they would be easily boxed in and bombed. Instead, they may now look at trying to take on federal army forces in other areas, such as West Tigray.
Abiy can count on the support of Turkey and China: Turkish president Erdogan visited Addis Ababa at the nadir of Abiy’s military campaign to show support; China’s Foreign
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