Reported airstrike in Mekelle City, North Ethiopia

Ethiopian Air Force said last week it will continue airstrike on selected military targets. Debretsion Gebremichael accuses the government of targeting civilians

Mekele Airstrike _
Mekelle City after the airstrike on Monday. (photo : VOA Amharic)

November 16, 2020

The Ethiopian Air force reportedly carried out an airstrike in Mekelle City on Monday.  A report by VOA Amharic reporter, Mulugeta Atsebeha, said it happened around quarter to eleven o’clock in the morning.

The target was in the east of the city behind balloni stadium. “I saw smoke and dust, and a hole in the area where there was a strike,” said the Mulugeta Atsebeha.

The reporter also cited residents in the area to report that one person was killed in the attack. Furthermore, there was unspecified minor damage to residential homes in the area.

Banking service was restored in the city but internet and phone communications remained disconnected. The only phone service out of the region is through the Red Cross for which people have to get registered.

Reuters reported that the government did not target civilian areas in the airstrike.

On the other hand, Chairman of the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) and president of Tigray regional state, Debretsion Gebremichael accused the government of targeting civilians in the airstrike – which the Ethiopian government dismisses as a lie.  Furthermore, he reported a drone strike and called on the international community to condemn it.

“The Eritrean and Ethiopian Defense Force along with Amhara region special forces are launching a coordinated attack,” he claims. However, Eritrea denies involvement in the war between TPLF and Ethiopian Defense Forces.

Furthermore, he said that “non-African forces” are involved in the war but did not specify who exactly these forces are, as reported by VOA Amharic service.

So far over 20,000 people have crossed the border to Sudan fleeing the war. But there are unconfirmed reports that TPLF is mobilizing the migration in an attempt to internationalize the war with the aim to get the attention of the international community.

In what turned out to be a confirmation as to how the war started, one of the key propaganda men of TPLF, Sekoture Getachew, admitted on Dimtsi Woyane Television – which belongs to TPLF – this week that the TPLF forces made a “preemptive attack” on the northern command of the defense force on November 4.  Hundreds of unsuspecting Ethiopian Defense Force members are believed to have been massacred when TPLF did so as soldiers were sleeping.

According to the Ethiopian government narrative, In the days following the attack a considerable number of the Ethiopian Defense Force managed to break out of the siege. TPLF lost control of several towns in the west and south.

Moreover, Ethiopian troops are reportedly advancing towards Mekelle where the TPLF leaders, that are said to be responsible for the war, are believed to be residing.  Yet, it is unclear if the war will be over in a matter of weeks or it will be a protracted one.

There have been demonstrations in several Ethiopian cities supporting the Ethiopian Defense Forces.

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Reported airstrike in Mekelle City, North Ethiopia