Ethiopian army retakes town in Afar region from Tigray forces

Image
Chifra is west of the town of Mille, which Tigrayan forces have been trying to capture for weeks [source: Getty]

ADDIS ABABA - Ethiopia's army has retaken the town of Chifra in the Afar region, the state-run broadcaster said on Sunday, its first major seizure from rebellious Tigrayan forces since Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed appeared on the frontlines two days ago.

The Tigray People's Liberation Front (TPLF) captured Chifra, on the border between the northern Afar and Amhara regions, after fighting intensified last month between Ethiopian troops and forces loyal to the TPLF.

"Ethiopian Defense Forces and Afar Special Forces have controlled Chifra," the Ethiopian Broadcasting Corporation said on its Twitter account.

It did not give further details.

Reuters was not able to independently verify the report. Government spokesperson Legesse Tulu and TPLF spokesperson Getachew Reda did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

Chifra is west of the town of Mille, which Tigrayan forces have been trying to capture for weeks because it lies along the highway linking landlocked Ethiopia to Djibouti, the Horn of Africa's main port.

State-affiliated Fana Broadcasting reported on Friday that Abiy was on the frontline with the army fighting the Tigrayan forces in Afar.

"The moral of the army is very exciting," he said in the remarks broadcast on Friday, promising to capture Chifra town "today".

Thousands of civilians have been killed and millions displaced by fighting since the war erupted in Tigray last November.

Tigrayan forces were initially beaten back, but recaptured most of the region in July and pushed into neighbouring Amhara and Afar, displacing hundreds of thousands more people.

Related Articles

Ethiopia's PM Abiy Ahmed congratulates new Somalia's president

For months, Ethiopia has been accused of working with Farmajo, including even dispatching Ethiopia National Defense Forces [ENDF] to crack a whip on the opposition. T

  • Africa

    16-05-2022

  • 12:53PM

More than 1,000 suspected rebels surrender in western Ethiopia

The statement also said the individuals are members of a banned rebel group, the Benishangul Peoples Democratic Movement (BPDM).

  • Africa

    12-05-2022

  • 12:02PM