ADDIS ABEBA – Ethiopian national Defence force has taken control of Adigrat Town from forces of Tigray people’s Liberation Front [TPLF] earlier today, authorities said on Saturday.
“Our forces have now fully liberated Adigrat Town from TPLF militia as of today, following the control of the surrounding areas last night,” the office of the Prime Minister of Ethiopia said.
The fall of Adigrat Town in the hands of the federal army came hours after the government said its forces defeated TPLF militias out of the city of Axum and the town of Adwa. Forces battling its military in both areas had “surrendered”, the government said.
“Citizens of the cities and towns under federal command in Tigray region are already easing into regular routine with the protection of the federal police,” the PM office said.
It also said people that have fled to neighboring Sudan “have the firm commitment of the federal government that they will be supported to resume lives with normalcy”.
The national defense force is now marching towards the capital of the region Mekelle city, despite resistance from regional forces who have used bulldozers to plough up roads and are putting up resistance.
The conflict erupted between the central government and leaders of the region two weeks ago after TPLF forces attacked the federal army stationed in the region.
On Saturday, the government has rejected reports that the African Union has offered to mediate the conflict in northern Ethiopia.
“PM Abiy Ahmed will be meeting the Chairperson’s special envoys to speak with them one on one,” said the Prime Minister’s official Twitter page on Saturday.
“News circulating that the envoys will be traveling to Ethiopia to mediate between the Federal Government and TPLF’s criminal element is fake,” it added.
The announcement came hours after reports claim that the South African President Cyril Ramaphosa, the current AU Chairperson, appointed three ex-presidents to mediate in the Tigray conflict.