Ethiopian army working on clearing TPLF from Amhara, Afar
The spokeswoman for Addis Ababa dismisses TPLF's statements of retreating from Amhara and Afar and says the government forces are still clearing them from the two regions.
The Ethiopian armed forces are still working on clearing Tigray People's Liberation Front (TPLF) forces from Amhara and Afar, Ethiopian government spokeswoman Billene Seyoum said Tuesday.
Billene dismissed TPLF statements in which the group said it was retreating from the northern regions, displaying what she said was a series of military victories for the army over the TPLF.
"As we have seen in recent weeks, the national defense forces together with allied forces from the Afar region and the Amhara region have made considerable gains in reversing the occupation by TPLF of many Amhara and Afar towns," Billene told a news conference.
"These gains have been made in very heavy battles that have been undertaken over the past weeks, the most recent being the full clearing of TPLF from North Wollo Zone and liberating its strategic capital Woldiya," the spokeswoman asserted.
She also underlined that the Ethiopian army was still in the process of clearing TPLF forces from pockets within Amhara and Afar.
The Tigray People's Liberation Front (TPLF) announced Monday they had withdrawn from Amhara and Afar, two northern Ethiopian regions, and retreated to Tigray, which constitutes a turning point in the 13-month war that left thousands dead.
"We decided to withdraw from these areas to Tigray. We want to open the door to humanitarian aid," TPLF spokesperson Getachew Reda, said.
The decision was made a few weeks ago, Getachew said, later tweeting: "We have just completed the withdrawal of our forces from both Amhara and Afar regions."
Several states had urged the UN Human Rights Council to send international investigators to Ethiopia amid warnings of looming generalized violence.
This move makes for a major reversal by the TPLF, who had previously dismissed the government's insistence on their withdrawal from Afar and Amhara for talks to begin as "an absolute non-starter."