Jan 11, 2021 14:43 UTC
  • Ethiopia says TPLF members killed, captured in fresh Tigray operation

The military confrontation in Ethiopia's Tigray seems far from over two months after a violent conflict erupted in the northern region, with government forces now saying they have killed more than a dozen members of the former ruling party in the restive region.

State-run TV cited a military source as saying on Sunday that 15 TPLF members had been killed and eight other party members captured.

Citing a brigadier-general from the National Defense Force, the state-run Ethiopian Broadcasting Corporation (EBC) said the region’s former President Abay Weldu, also a former chairman of TPLF, was among those captured.

The region’s former deputy police commissioner was among those killed by government forces, EBC added.

In late November after weeks of fighting, Ethiopia declared victory against the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF), a political party that previously governed the province and enjoyed huge political clout in Addis Ababa. 

Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed announced on November 28 that the federal government was "fully in control" of the regional capital Mekelle, and was clearing the surrounding areas of hostile rebel forces. 

Fugitive leaders of the TPLF pledged back then to resist and continue to fight the federal government from their mountain hideouts.

The latest announcement about fresh killings and detentions comes after the military said on Friday that it had captured Sebhat Nega, a founding member of the TPLF.

On Saturday, he was transported to the capital Addis Ababa, state TV reported, adding the region’s former Vice President, Abraham Tekeste, was also captured.

However, the whereabouts of TPLF's current leader, Debretsion Gebremichael, and other members of the party’s central committee and many high-ranking former military officers, remained unknown.

The armed confrontation in the region has resulted in a serious humanitarian crisis for the local population.