Tigray forces fired rockets at a neighbouring state on Friday, heightening fears the internal conflict could spread to other parts of the country, a day after Ethiopia said its forces were closing in on the dissident region’s capital Mekele.
Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed, last year’s Nobel Peace Prize winner, unleashed a military campaign in the Tigray region on November 4 with the declared aim of unseating its ruling party, the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF), which he accuses of defying his government and seeking to destabilise it.
Hundreds of people are reported to have been killed in the conflict in Africa’s second most populous country, while tens of thousands have fled fighting and air strikes in Tigray, crossing to neighbouring Sudan.
Abiy this week insisted the military operation was in its final phase. Redwan Hussein, spokesman for an Ethiopian crisis committee handling the conflict, said that “our defence forces are moving forward and closing in on Mekele.”
An official in Ethiopia’s Amhara state said TPLF forces fired rockets at the regional capital, Bahir Dar, early Friday morning.