Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed has given Tigray militants 72 hours to surrender as Ethiopian army advances on the region.
According to The Guardian, Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed has reportedly given Tigray militants 72 hours to surrender. This comes after weeks of violent attacks in the region. Ahmed declared a state of emergency three weeks ago when Tigrayan forces allegedly looted an Ethiopian army base in Mekelle. The Tigray People's Liberation Front (TPLF) have reportedly killed hundreds and displaced thousands, affecting neighbouring countries Eritrea and Sudan. Ahmed issued a call for surrender on Sunday evening, this according to VoA News.
Ahmed, released a statement on Sunday directed at the TPLF. Part of the statement reads: "Your journey of destruction is coming to an end, and we urge you to surrender peacefully within the next 72 hours, recognising you are at a point of no return. Take this last opportunity."
The Ethiopian army has reportedly fired airstrikes into the region with Tigray attacked with missiles in Amhara. Furthermore, the TPLF has fired missiles into neighbouring country Eritrea for reportedly supporting Ahmed's call for the TPLF to submit themselves to the Ethiopian government. The Guardian reports that over 36 000 Ethiopians have since fled to Sudan in the wake of these attacks. The United Nations (UN) reports that they expect 200 000 refugees should the regional war continue.
Head of the African Union and South African President, Cyril Ramaphosa, reportedly gathered three former presidents to mediate between the TPLF and Ahmed's government. However, the Ethiopian government rejected the intervention claiming that the conflict is an internal "law enforcement" mission. The Ethiopian government instead called for Tigrayans to put pressure on TPLF to end the regional war.
Reports on the Tigray crisis have been difficult due to intermittent internet shutdowns allegedly caused by the Ethiopian government. Additionally, Ahmed reportedly cut government funds to Tigray after the TPLF held elections despite the Prime Minister's postponement. This a contributing factor for the alleged conflict. Tigray regional forces show no signs of surrendering despite reports of retreat following the Ethiopian's army advancement. Communication and transport services have been severely hampered since the regional attacks started.
The full statement was also released on Twitter via the Prime Minister's account.
Dear fellow Ethiopians, https://t.co/3H9XXSiFM7— Abiy Ahmed Ali 🇪🇹 (@Abiy Ahmed Ali 🇪🇹)1606063178.0