Social Media Situation Report on the Conflict in Ethiopia (October 1-25, 2021)

Summary

  • Heavy fighting continues in the Amhara and Afar regions and in Western Tigray. Tigrayan forces claimed that they have made gains in control of more territory and captured “many more” prisoners of war and destroyed several divisions belonging to the Ethiopian National Defence Forces (ENDF). Tigrayan forces now claim to have controlled Chifra in the “Afar front” and several areas in the “Wello front” including Wegel Tena, Hayk and Kuta Ber.
  • The Tigrayan forces are reportedly trying to make their way to capture the cities of Kombolcha and Dessie, cities which are allegedly of massive strategic military importance. The federal government and allied forces have been reportedly mobilizing forces to keep the Tigrayan forces out. Both sides are reportedly sending busloads of young soldiers. This is especially true from the Amhara militia i.e., Fano side, in which young new recruits have been filling the back of trucks with whatever kind of weapon they could get including machetes and axes and heading to the frontlines.
  • As Tigrayan forces claim more territory gains, the Ethiopian Airforce has intensified its airstrikes in several parts of Tigray. Since 18 October, 2021, more than seven rounds of airstrikes were reported in Tigray including in regional capital Mekelle and Adwa. According to sources, many civilians are killed, and much more people are injured because of the airstrikes.
  • The Ethiopian air force airstrikes on Mekelle on October 22, 2021, forced a United Nations humanitarian flight to abandon its landing in the capital of the Tigray region, and the government said authorities were aware of the inbound flight.
  • On the other hand, the Amhara regional government called for the people of the region to “go out and fight” for the reason that “TPLF is mobilizing a lot of forces in the Amhara region, especially in the South Wollo Zone, to capture Dessie and Kombolcha,”.
  • As the war heightens, the number of people being displaced from war-torn areas is increasing. Many residents of Wuchale and Habru districts in the Amhara region, where fighting has been raging since last week, have reportedly fled to the towns of Dessie and Kombolcha. Similarly, in Afar State, residents of Chifra, Magalle and other woredas have been displaced, according to regional officials.
  • Ethnic based attacks and conflicts on other parts of the country has also increased over the course of this reporting period. However, they are largely overshadowed by the conflict in the northern part of Ethiopia. An instance here would be what happened in East Welega on October first and second. According to VOA, residents say clashes in East Welega Kiremu Woreda have killed and displaced scores of people since October 1 and 2.
  • The government has expelled seven aid workers from the country. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ethiopia (MFA) said it has issued in letters today declaring a “persona non grata” for seven individuals who the Ministry said are working for various UN affiliated organizations working in Ethiopia “for meddling in the internal affairs of the country”
Report-on-the-Conflict-in-Ethiopia-October-1-25-2021

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