The Africa File is a biweekly analysis and assessment of the Salafi-jihadi movement in Africa and related security and political dynamics.
Ethiopia Crisis Update: Fighting may be resuming in Tigray
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Fighting may be resuming between Ethiopia’s federal government and Tigray regional forces in northern Ethiopia’s Tigray region. The leader of the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) made his first statement in months on January 30, urging Tigray residents to “continue the struggle” and implying that TPLF members continue to fight against federal troops and allied militias. The Belgium-based Europe External Programme with Africa reported that fighting has begun in areas northwest of the regional capital Mekelle, including in Semema and Daero Hafash. This report is uncorroborated and information flow from Tigray remains limited. Press freedom has deteriorated in Ethiopia since fighting began in Tigray in November 2020; an Ethiopian journalist was killed in Tigray in late January.
If confirmed, renewed fighting in Tigray would contradict the Ethiopian federal government’s January 29 claim that Tigray has returned to “normalcy.” The federal government claimed to kill and capture some TPLF members in mid-January, and federal forces control Mekelle.