Ethiopian airlines resumes flights to Lalibela weeks after TDF exit
ADDIS ABABA - Ethiopian Airlines has resumed flights to the ancient holy city of Lalibela weeks after Tigray Defense Forces [TDF], in what would boost transportation to the fragile northern regions which are struggling with conflicts.
In December, Tigray Defense Forces formerly Tigray People's Liberation Front [TPLF] left the town after capturing it from Ethiopia National Defense Forces [ENDF] for almost six months, further causing panic in the country.
But government troops in December 2021 denied claims of TDF exiting willingly, arguing that it overpowered the Tigray rebels who have been at loggerheads with the Addis Ababa administration.
Lalibela is a UNESCO inscribed world heritage site and its take over by TDF triggered worldwide condemnation. This led to the suspension of flights to the city by the national career, further dwindling the tourism fortunes of the country.
The flight has been resumed after the Airlines carried out some restoration and rebuilding activities at the airport. The town is celebrated in the entire Horn of Africa and generates millions of dollars from foreign exchange bureau in the country.
Fighting in Tigray, Amhara, and Afar regions has almost destabilized the country, with both sides refusing to honor calls for a ceasefire. The TDF retreated strategically to Tigray but vowed to bounce back.
The team, which initially worked closely with the government, fell out with Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed, who won Nobel Peace Prize in 2019. Abiy Ahmed recently led ENDF to the battlefield, shocking people across the country and around the world.