Ethiopia Claims Victory as Rebels Retreat North, But Peace Remains Distant
MIN READDec 7, 2021 | 21:06 GMT
Members of the Ethiopian National Defense Force (ENDF) are seen on a truck in Shewa Robit, Ethiopia, on Dec. 5, 2021.
(AMANUEL SILESHI/AFP via Getty Images)
The Ethiopian government’s recapturing of key towns is unlikely to significantly hasten the end of the yearlong civil war, as both sides remain unwilling to negotiate. The Ethiopian government announced on Dec. 6 that it had retaken Dessie and Kombolcha a month after the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) seized the two strategic towns, which are both located along the A2 highway connecting the northern Tigray region to Addis Ababa. Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed pointed to the latest victories as proof that his Ethiopian National Defense Forces (ENDF) had won the war against Tigrayan forces, which began in November 2020. But while TPLF spokesperson Getachew Reda appeared to confirm that the rebel group had left Dessie and Kombolcha, he also noted the retreats were “part of [the TPLF’s] plan.” Announcements from both sides should be treated with skepticism, as the ongoing media blackout in Ethiopia has made it exceedingly difficult...