Airstrikes Hit Capital of Ethiopian Tigray Region

Kibrom Gebreselassie, chief executive of Ayder Referral Hospital, said on Twitter that an area near Mekelle General Hospital in the capital of Ethiopia's northern Tigray region was hit in an airstrike late on Tuesday.

Airstrikes Hit Capital of Ethiopian Tigray Region
Image credit: AFP [via France 24]

Facts

  • Kibrom Gebreselassie, chief executive of Ayder Referral Hospital, said on Twitter that an area near Mekelle General Hospital in the capital of Ethiopia's northern Tigray region was hit in an airstrike late on Tuesday.
  • While the extent of damage and casualties remains unclear and difficult to fully verify, the Tigray People's Liberation Front (TPLF) - the party that controls Tigray - claimed Tues. to have repelled an offensive against its troops and launched a counteroffensive.
  • According to Addis Ababa, which didn't respond to requests for comment on the suspected air attack, the TPLF had opened a new front in the Amhara region near Sudan.
  • The latest incident follows what Tigrayan sources described as an airstrike on a children's play area on Fri. that killed seven people, including women and children.
  • Less than a week ago, a months-long truce between the TPLF and government forces broke down, leading to renewed fighting in southern Tigray. Both sides blame the other for the renewed outbreak of hostilities.
  • The war in Tigray began in Nov. 2020 before reaching a stalemate in March. The conflict has killed thousands of people, and displaced millions, with widespread atrocities, including mass killings and sexual violence, often being reported.

Sources: Al Jazeera, VOA, Reuters, and France24.

Narratives

  • Establishment-critical narrative, as provided by Ethiopia Insight. It was clear that the central government would seek to break the truce as it has continued its brutal siege of Tigray. Even with the ceasefire in effect, Addis Ababa restrained humanitarian aid deliveries in order to make the people of Tigray and the regional government capitulate.
  • Pro-establishment narrative, as provided by Ena. Though the TPLF may be able to fool the international media, in reality, they were undoubtedly the instigators of the renewed fighting. It was the government that proposed the truce in the first place and has offered peace to the terrorist TPLF on a number of occasions, but it has refused to negotiate.
  • Cynical narrative, as provided by The Washington Post. Both sides are to blame for this conflict, which has seen civilians suffer the most. Human rights abuses have been committed by both the central government and Tigrayan rebels, including war crimes and crimes against humanity. Even though the number of casualties in Ethiopia's war dwarfs those of other conflicts, the media has consistently ignored the suffering of the Ethiopian people.