Ethiopia regions send troops to back fight with Tigray rebels

ADDIS ABABA, 16 July 2021, (TON): Three Ethiopian regions previously untouched by the war in Tigray confirmed that they were deploying forces to back military operations there, signalling a potential widening of the conflict.

The reinforcements are coming from Oromia, Ethiopia’s largest region, as well as the Sidama region and Southern Nations, Nationalities and Peoples’ Region (SNNPR), according to official statements and state media reports.

The mobilisation follows Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed’s warning on Wednesday that his forces would repel any attacks by their enemies, effectively tearing up a government-declared ceasefire on June 28.

Oromia and Sidama regional special forces have moved towards the front line. The Sidama special forces have arrived at the front line. state-affiliated Fana Broadcasting Corporate reported.

Abiy sent troops into Tigray last November, saying the move came in response to an assault on federal army camps ordered by the region’s ruling party, the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF).

The prime minister, a 2019 Nobel Peace Prize winner, declared victory in late November, but fighting persisted and TPLF leaders remained on the run.

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