Ethiopia’s national army launched a ground offensive against forces in the rebellious northern Tigray region on Monday, said the region’s ruling party, the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF).
TPLF spokesman Getachew Reda told Reuters by telephone that the army, along with forces from the northern Amhara region, had launched the offensive on Monday morning.
Reuters could not independently verify his statement.
“On the morning of October 11, the Ethiopian army with the support of the Amhara special forces launched coordinated offensives on all fronts,” Reda’s office said in a statement.
Reda said there was fighting in the Amhara region cities of Wegeltena, Wurgessa and Haro, and that forces were using heavy artillery, fighter jets, drones, tanks and rockets to attack.
Official press release on Abiy’s ‘final offensive’ pic.twitter.com/OnHwmcecrn
– Getachew K Reda (@reda_getachew) October 11, 2021
There were no immediate comments from the spokesman for the Ethiopian Prime Minister, Abiy Ahmed, or military spokesmen on the matter. When asked for comment, the Amhara regional government referred Reuters to the federal government.
Last week, Reda had said that airstrikes against Tigrayan forces in Amhara had increased in what he described as the run-up to a ground offensive by the Ethiopian army and its allies.
The fighting since November 2020 has displaced millions of people and forced hundreds of thousands of Tigrayans into famine, a situation the United Nations has attributed to a government blockade. The government denies that it is blocking aid.
Tigrayan forces retaken most of the Tigray region in late June, then advanced into neighboring Afar and Amhara regions, forcing hundreds of thousands of people to flee their homes. Around 5.2 million people in Tigray and another 1.7 million in Afar and Amhara depend on food aid.