More than a month after renewed clashes broke out in Ethiopia’s northern Tigray region, there are few signs of de-escalation. A new air-strike hit Tigray’s capital of Mekelle on Sept. 23, while the region’s ruling party, the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF), accused Eritrea of launching a full-scale offensive in support of the Ethiopian government. There are reports that Eritrea (which has a historical enmity against the TPLF) is mobilizing army reservists, with notices handed out in Asmara, the capital. The return to combat came after a five-month truce that saw back-channel meetings between Mekelle and Addis Ababa but no formal talks. The risk that fresh fighting poses to civilians was underscored by UN investigators, who submitted their first report on the two-year conflict. The investigators accused Ethiopia’s government of war crimes in Tigray, and of using starvation as a counterinsurgency tool. Tigrayan forces were also accused of serious human rights abuses.
From The New Humanitarian, Sept. 23