Ethiopia Declares Cease-Fire After Rebels Take Tigray Capital

Ethiopia declared a unilateral stop-fire in its 8-thirty day period war in the northern Tigray area on Monday, several hours right after separatist fighters entered the provincial cash in a blow to the govt of Africa’s 2nd-most populous country.

Witnesses stated that hundreds of Tigrayans took to the streets of Mekelle waving flags and singing, as rebel fighters armed with AK-forty seven rifles, acknowledged as the Tigray Protection Forces, marched in columns through various metropolis suburbs. Throughout a lot of the working day, Ethiopian troops aboard camouflaged armed service vans have been leaving the metropolis pursuing various times of strategic setbacks in an ever more bloody guerrilla war, the witnesses stated.

The seize of Mekelle, which also serves as the de facto cash for a lot of humanitarian-assist companies running in the area, and the federal government’s declaration of a stop-fire, could mark a decisive shift in the conflict. The U.S. final thirty day period imposed sanctions on officers in Ethiopia, a single of its critical allies on the African continent, pointing to allegations of prevalent atrocities against civilians in Tigray.

It was unclear how the Tigrayan forces would react to the stop-fire declared by the govt of Ethiopia’s Nobel Peace Prize-profitable Primary Minister Abiy Ahmed.

There was also no fast reaction from neighboring Eritrea, whose troops have been combating alongside the Ethiopians and whose leader, Isaias Afwerki, has been a longtime opponent of the Tigrayan rebels.