Here are our top stories today
. On Monday, reports emerged that the Tigray Defense Force
had defeated the Ethiopian National Defense Force
and liberated Tigray’s capital Mekelle
following series of battles over the last two weeks. In the past one week alone, Tigray Defense Force was said to have been carrying out an operation codenamed Alula Aba Nega
(named after a legendary Tigrayan general
) against the Ethiopian National Defense Force (ENDF) and Eritrean Defense Force . On Monday, Ethiopian troops and the interim government were forced to flee Mekelle. Ethiopia’s government also declared an immediate and unilateral cease-fire in Tigray, where millions are at risk of famine after nearly eight months of violent conflict that has destabilized the region. The Ethiopian government said the cease-fire will “enable farmers to till their land, aid groups to operate without any military movement around and engage with remnants who seek peace.” It added that it did not flee but deliberately left the region. “For months now, the international community has grown increasingly outspoken about the deteriorating humanitarian situation in Ethiopia’s Tigray region, condemning the atrocities and calling for peaceful resolution. The United States and European Union have on multiple occasions demanded an immediate cessation of hostilities and the complete withdrawal of Eritrean troops from the region. As the conflict has dragged on for nearly eight months now, millions of Tigrayans have been displaced from their homes and regional food supplies have been devastated. The US, EU, and United Nations have all expressed the dire importance of urgent unfettered humanitarian assistance to the region, as livelihoods depend on it. Up this point, these pleas had all been met without cooperation
from Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed, the Ethiopian government, and the Eritrean government,” notes Today News Africa global politics correspondent based in California, Noah Pitcher
. The new development changes all that and will allow the international community to provide badly needed humanitarian assistance to hundreds of thousands of people who are now facing unprecedented famine in the region. However, Alex de Waal
, the Executive Director of the World Peace Foundation at The Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University who is considered one of the foremost experts on Sudan and the Horn of Africa, writes that although the Tigray Defense Force has defeated the Ethiopian National Defense Force, what is needed is “a comprehensive agreement that protects civilians, removes Eritrean forces, and begins a political settlement.” And that is our top story today.
Simon Ateba, Publisher, Today News Africa, Washington D.C.