Location of Tigray Region in Ethiopia
(For a more detailed map of the situation, see here.)
|Commanders and leaders|
(Prime Minister of Ethiopia)
(ENDF Chief of Staff)
(Minister of Defense)
(Chief Administrator of Amhara Region, early November 2020)
(Chief Administrator of Amhara Region, as of late November 2020)
Awol Arba (Chief Administrator of Afar Region)
(President of Eritrea)
(Chief of the Defence Staff)
(General of Eritrean Defense Forces)
(President of Tigray Region, Chairman of TPLF)
(Deputy Chairman of TPLF)
Ethiopian National Defense Force Ethiopian Federal Police|
Amhara Region Special Force
Amhara Region Police Force
Afar Region Special Forces
Afar Region Police Force
Eritrean Defence Forces
42 Divisions(one eye-witness account)
|Casualties and losses|
|550 killed (government claim; 4–11 November 2020)|
Total civilian casualties are disputed[a] |
3 UN guards and 5 aid workers killed
~2,500,000 internally displaced
4,500,000 in need of aid
Massacres: Adigrat, Hagere Selam, Hitsats, Humera, Debre Abbay, Mai Kadra, Maryam Ts'iyon, and other places
The Tigray War is an ongoing armed conflict that began around midnight of 3–4 November 2020 in the Tigray Region of Ethiopia. It is between the Tigray Regional Government, led by the Tigray People's Liberation Front (TPLF), and the Ethiopian National Defense Forces (ENDF) aided by the Ethiopian Federal Police, regional state police and gendarmerie forces of neighboring Amhara Region and Afar Region with reported involvement  of the Eritrean Defense Forces. War crimes have been committed by both sides during the conflict.
To distance the country's politics from ethnic federalism and ethnic nationalist politics, prime minister Abiy Ahmed merged the ethnic and region-based parties of the Ethiopian People's Revolutionary Democratic Front, which had governed Ethiopia for 27 years, into the new Prosperity Party. The TPLF, a politically powerful entity that had dominated Ethiopian politics during those 27 years, refused to join the new party, and alleged that Abiy Ahmed became an illegitimate ruler by rescheduling the general elections set for 29 August 2020 (which Abiy postponed twice before from the regular May 2020 election date, before COVID-19) to an undetermined date in 2021 due to COVID-19. The TPLF, led by Chairman Debretsion Gebremichael, went ahead with regional elections in Tigray in September 2020 in defiance of the federal government, which declared the Tigray election illegal. Several journalists were barred by the federal government (at Addis Ababa airport) from traveling to cover Tigray's regional election.
Fighting between the TPLF and the Federal Government began with the 4 November attacks on the Northern Command bases and headquarters of the Ethiopian National Defense Force (ENDF) in Tigray Region by TPLF aligned security forces and with attacks by the ENDF in the Tigray Region on the same day, that federal authorities described as a police action. The federal forces captured the Tigrayan capital Mekelle on 28 November, after which Prime Minister Abiy declared the Tigray operation 'over'. The TPLF stated in late November that it would continue fighting, until the 'invaders' are out. Mass extrajudicial killings of civilians took place during November and December 2020 in and around Adigrat and Hagere Selam, in the Hitsats refugee camp, and in Humera, Mai Kadra Debre Abbay, and the Maryam Ts'iyon church.
Peace and mediation proposals included an early November African Union (AU) mediation proposed by Debretsion and refused by Abiy; an AU trio of former African presidents who visited Ethiopia in late November; an emergency Intergovernmental Authority on Development summit of East African heads of government and state that met in late 20 December 2020 in Djibouti; and peace proposals on 19 February by the TPLF and on 20 February by the National Congress of Great Tigray (Baytona), Tigray Independence Party (TIP) and Salsay Weyane Tigray (SAWET).
Following the end of the Ethiopian Civil War in 1991, Ethiopia became a dominant-party state under the rule of the Ethiopian People's Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF), a coalition of ethnically-based parties. The founding and most influential member was the TPLF and the chairperson was Meles Zenawi, who was the Prime Minister of Ethiopia until his death in 2012.
On 2 April 2018, the once powerful TPLF was ousted from power in the federal government owing to a growing discontent within the public, a reaction to 27 years of repression. In a closed door election to chair the EPRDF, executive committee members from Amhara, Oromo and Southern Nations Nationalities Peoples regions voted for Abiy Ahmed in defiance to TPLF, which was hoping to get Shiferaw Shigute elected chairman. After losing the election and being ousted from the federal government, TPLF officials relocated to Tigray and continued administering the region for three years frequently clashing with the federal government. In one instance, the regional administration of Tigray is reported to have defied the federal government and refused to allow Ethiopian Federal Police to arrest Getachew Assefa, the former chief of the National Intelligence and Security Services (NISS) of Ethiopia and executive member of TPLF.
On 1 December 2019, Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed merged the ethnic and region-based parties of the Ethiopian People's Revolutionary Democratic Front, which had governed Ethiopia for 27 years, into the new Prosperity Party. The TPLF, a politically powerful entity that had dominated Ethiopian politics during those 27 years, refused to join the new party, and alleged that Abiy Ahmed became an illegitimate ruler by rescheduling the general elections set for 29 August 2020 (which Abiy postponed twice before from the regular May 2020 election date, before COVID-19) to an undetermined date in 2021 due to COVID-19.
The TPLF used to be part of the Ethiopian governing coalition until its 2019 refusal to merge into the Prosperity Party. In 2020, tensions between the government and the TPLF escalated in the months before the November Tigray military intervention. Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed, who is of Oromo descent, accused the TPLF Party Members in the Tigray Regional Government of undermining his authority. By contrast, the Tigray authorities saw the refusal to recognize the September 2020 election for the Tigray parliament (which, along with all elections in Ethiopia, had been delayed by the federal elections board because of the COVID-19 pandemic in Ethiopia) as the reason for the outbreak of the conflict. Abiy Ahmed's government considered the September Tigray election to be illegal. The warming of relations between Abiy Ahmed and Eritrean President Isaias Afwerki, who is poorly regarded in Tigray, was also considered to have fuelled the tension. Ethiopian elite units were transported to Gherghera base near Asmara "as part of a security pact" between Abiy and Isaias in a plan to "strike out of existence the TPLF", according to former Eritrean Minister of Defence, Mesfin Hagos. In late October, the Ethiopian Reconciliation Commission stated that it was trying to mediate between the federal and Tigrayan governments, but that pre-conditions set by both sides were blocking progress.
As tension continued to grow, a general appointed by Abiy was prevented by the Tigrayan government from taking on his military post. The day prior to the TPLF's 4 November Northern Command attacks, the federal parliament of Ethiopia had suggested designating the TPLF as a terrorist organization.
In late September 2020, the TPLF stated that the constitutional term limit of the HoF, the House of Peoples' Representatives (HoPR), the Prime Minister and the Council of Ministers was 5 October 2020, and that for this reason, it would consider "the incumbent" constitutionally illegitimate after 5 October. TPLF proposed replacing the government by a technocratic caretaker government as detailed in a plan posted on Facebook by the Coalition of Ethiopian Federalist Forces.
Course of the conflict
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On 4 November 2020, TPLF and Ethiopian National Defense Force (ENDF) soldiers came into conflict during the TPLF attacks on the ENDF Northern Command headquarters in Mekelle, the Fifth Battalion barracks in Dansha, and other Northern Command bases. Several people were killed and the TPLF claimed the attack was carried out in "self-defense."
In retaliation, an Ethiopian offensive was launched which was accompanied by the declaration of a state of emergency, the creation of the State of Emergency Inquiry Board and a shutdown of government services in Tigray Region. During the subsequent days, skirmishes continued and the Ethiopian parliament declared the creation of an interim government for Tigray. Ethiopian offensives in the north were accompanied with airstrikes and several towns and cities were retaken.
On the night from 9 to 10 November, 600 civilians, mostly Amharans and Welkait, were killed in a massacre in the town of Mai Kadra with machetes and knives used by local militias and police loyal to the TPLF, according to preliminary investigations by Amnesty International and the Ethiopian Human Rights Commission. While refugees interviewed by Financial Times and Reuters said it was the Amharan militia who were the perpetrators Tigrayans who were the victims. Two days later, refugees interviewed by the Daily Telegraph, The Guardian and The New York Times stated that Amhara militias, including Fano, and the ENDF carried out beatings and a massacre of 20 Tigrayans in Humera. Humera was shelled from the direction of the Eritrean–Ethiopian border for two days around 9–11 November. The ENDF gained control of Humera on 12 November.
Offensives of joint ENDF-Amhara-Eritrean forces into Tigray were facilitated by the intervention of "Pterosaurus" drones, launched by the United Arab Emirates from its base in Assab (Eritrea). The chinese-made armed drones bombed Tigrayan towns and defence forces. EEPA has provided a summarised translation of the Chinese article.
On 14 November 2020, Tigrayan forces launched rockets at the Eritrean capital of Asmara, but the missiles missed. In addition Tigrayan forces fired a rocket towards Bahir Dar and Gondar cities in the Amhara region in the late hours of Nov. 13, 2020.
On 17 November, the Ethiopian government accused the TPLF of blowing up four main bridges leading to Mekelle, while the TPLF denied the accusations. The TPLF also fired rockets at the Amhara Region in Bahir Dar and Gondar. The TPLF claimed these locations contained military terminals that served as bases to carry out airstrikes. From 17–19 November, Ethiopian forces captured the cities of Shire, Alamata, Raya, Adwa and Axum. In Raya there were an estimated 760 casualties from both forces. While fighting between the TPLF and Ethiopia continued in Zalambessa and Ethiopian forces starting moving towards Adigrat. Fighting between the TPLF and Eritrea took place in Adi Quala, Zalembesa, Taruna, Ali Tina, Wadqomdi, and Bademe.
On 23 November, Ethiopian forces reached the regional capital of Mekelle and encircled it. A military spokesperson for Ethiopia, Col Dejene Tsegaye, announced that Mekelle would be shelled, and told Tigray civilians to flee the city because Ethiopian forces would show no mercy. Many residents of Mekelle had already left the city due to airstrikes in and around the city, but many others still remained in the city.
Even though TPLF leaders, Tigray Special forces and militia forces had already left the city, the Ethiopian forces still begin their direct assault on Mekelle on the morning of 28 November and started heavy shelling of the city. By the evening Prime Minister Abiy declared Ethiopian forces had taken full control of the city. In total 27 civilians were killed and 100 others were injured. The TPLF vowed to continue fighting. Two days later Prime Minister Abiy claimed no civilians were killed.
After the capture of Mekelle
On 28–29 November, according to witnesses and survivors, some who were refugees in Sudan, the Eritrean Defence Forces (EDF) carried out the Aksum massacre of about 720–800 civilians. The Eritrean government stated that it was angered by Amnesty International's report on the Aksum massacre, that the report was "fallacious" and that the Eritrean government had not been contacted by Amnesty International prior to publication. The Eritrean government also said: "It must be underscored that Amnesty made absolutely no attempt to seek any information from Eritrea. Moreover, the fabricated Axum accusation has mutated over the last month from a 'massacre of Orthodox Christians at St. Mary's Church' to 'house-to-house' killing of civilians."
According to people who were in Tigray when the war broke out and according to refugees, the EDF would then go on and kill 80–150 in Idaga Hamus on 30 November, and kill 17 in Hadish Hiwot on 2 December after forcing the victims to loot the Goda factory. The EDF would also kill 13 boys the ages of 12–15 from 1 December to 14 December in Tokot.
By 16 December 2020, fighting had reached the places of Hagere Selam, Samre, Dogu’a, Kolla Tembien, May Tsemre, and around Maychew. During this time a violently enforced curfew was set up by Ethiopian forces along with Eritrean soldiers. In one town over 200 people were killed and was left deserted. The Ethiopian government denied involvement in the killing.
On 26 December 2020, it was reported that Eritrea started withdrawing some of its troops from Tigray.
By 6 January 2021, Tigrayan forces were still in control of the mountainous areas of Tigray. Fighting continued to take place around Mekelle and ENDF forces retreated from rural positions towards the Tigray capital of Mekelle. Mutinies were reported among the ENDF troops as some didn't want to fight the TPLF in the mountains. Also, the Tigray regional special forces and Eritrean forces fought each other near Endabaguna and Kisadgaba.
On 9 January 2021, Ethiopian TV reported that 300 refugees in Hitsats camp were executed by the TPLF. According to refugees, pro-TPLF forces used Hitsats as a base for several weeks in November 2020, killing several refugees who wanted to leave the camp to get food, and in one incident, killed nine young Eritrean men in revenge for having lost a battle against the EDF.
On 18 February 2021, unidentified militiamen ambushed a passenger bus in Adi Mesino, killing six and injuring 10.. On 20 February, Yemane Niguse, a prominent Tigrayan dissent was assassinated in his birth town of Hewane by unknown assailants. The allegiance of the assassins is unknown, though it is presumed that the TPLF murdered him.
Eritrean occupation of the North-East
UN chief coordinator of humanitarian efforts Mark Lowcock said that up 40% of Tigray was not in control of Ethiopian troops. He said that much of that area was under the control of Eritrean soldiers pursuing their own objectives independent of Ethiopian command.
Refugees told VICE World News that Eritrean is in control of parts of northern Maekelay Zone and most likely extended beyond the zone. Different refugees told VICE that not only did Eritrean cross into border areas, but they also took control of the area. One refugee from Maekelay told them “Since the war started, we haven’t seen a single Ethiopian soldier. Only Eritreans, they occupy the rural areas.”
By 18 November, Abiy claimed that Ethiopia National Defense Force had captured the cities of Shire and Axum with battles continuing around Mekelle; Ethiopian forces further claimed to have taken some land south of the city. On 23 November, the government issued an ultimatum giving the rebels 72 hours to surrender. On 26 November, after the ultimatum ended, Abiy ordered federal military forces to launch an attack on Mekelle. On 28 November, the Ethiopian government announced that it had taken control of the city, bringing "the last phase of its law enforcement operation" to an end. The TPLF said they would continue fighting. TPLF Chairman, Debretsion Gebremichael, confirmed the TPLF was withdrawing from Mekelle. On 2 December the United Nations was promised humanitarian access to the territory held by ENDF in the Tigray Region. The first UN convoy reached Mekelle on 12 December. On 16 December the EU delayed financial aid to Ethiopia citing the governments restrictions against UN humanitarian aid as the reason.
Spillover into Sudan
Thousands of people were believed to have been killed in the conflict and around 44,000 have fled to Sudan. On 29 November, claims that South Sudan was harboring Debretsion, led to the Ethiopian ambassador to South Sudan abruptly returning to Ethiopia, and South Sudanese diplomats in Ethiopia allegedly being given 72 hours to leave the country.
On 15 December, 4 Sudanese soldiers were killed, and 27 others were injured near the border with Ethiopia, in what Sudan claims to be an ambush by Ethiopian forces and militias. A soldier later claimed that Ethiopian forces had launched artillery attacks on them and intruded into the Jebel al-Teyyour area, located 7 kilometres inside Sudan. Other soldiers claim that the attackers were Amhara militias. Ethiopia claimed the clashes were Ethiopia trying to stop a Sudanese militia which had tried to cross into Ethiopian territory and seize farmlands.
In response to the killings, Sudan started to build-up its military along the border with Ethiopia. Military sources claimed that Sudan had recaptured Jebel Abutiour. Then on 19 December Sudanese army and the Rapid Support Forces were reported to have taken areas previously taken by Ethiopia and Amhara militias in Al Qadarif. On the same day, 150 civilians were reported to have been killed by Eritrean forces in Edaga Hamus.
Spillover in Somalia
On 7 December heavy fighting broke out between African Union Mission to Somalia and Ethiopian troops in Halgan District, Somalia, when Ethiopian troops tried to disarm Tigrayan troops. In total 21 Tigray People's Liberation Front-affiliated Ethiopian soldiers and 20 Ethiopian soldiers not affiliated with the TPLF were killed in the internal military mutiny.
Alleged Somali involvement
Guld said that the soldiers, aged from 20 to 30 years old, were secretly taken from Mogadishu and sent to Asmara for military training. Guld stated that 370 of the Somali troops trained by Eritrea were killed in Tigray and hundreds of others were wounded.
On 18 January 2021, the head of Somalia's parliamentary committee on foreign affairs asked the Somali president to investigate claims by family members that their sons had gone off to fight in Ethiopia and are now missing.
According to the United Nations (UN), some 2.3 million children have been cut off from desperately needed aid and humanitarian assistance. Since the start of the conflict, the Ethiopian federal government has strictly controlled access to the Tigray region, and the UN has said it is frustrated that talks with the Ethiopian government had not yet secured adequate humanitarian access. This necessary aid includes "food, including ready-to-use therapeutic food for the treatment of child malnutrition, medicines, water, fuel, and other essentials that are running low" said UNICEF.
Possible COVID-19 outbreaks have been feared as refugees fleeing the Tigray conflict have sheltered in crowded camps.
In November 2020, the UN warned of “very critical” supply shortages for the nearly 100,000 Eritrean refugees who, prior to the war, were registered in four camps in Tigray region. Later that same month, the UN reported that people in Tigray were fleeing Mekelle. The federal government had warned of "no mercy" if TPLF and residents remained intermingled.
As of December 2020, the UN estimated more than one million people have been internally displaced by the fighting. More than 50,000 people have fled to Sudan due to the conflict. Communications and travel links were still blocked, and Human Rights Watch warned that "actions that deliberately impede relief supplies" would violate international humanitarian law.
There have been “deeply distressing reports of sexual and gender-based violence, extrajudicial killings, [and the] widespread destruction and looting of public and private property by all parties” according to the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights. More than 136 cases of rape have also been reported in hospitals in Mekelle, Ayder, Adigrat and Wukro in the east of Tigray region between December 2020 and January 2021, with indications that there are many more such unreported cases.
As of 2 February 2021, 20,000 of the Eritrean refugees in Tigray, mostly from the Hitsats and Shimelba camps, remained unaccounted for, according to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees.
Claire Wilmot, writing in The Washington Post, found that a significant number of new, single-issue Twitter accounts were opened in the immediate aftermath of the 4 November attacks. Most appeared to be authentic accounts from people seeking to raise international awareness of the conflict in the midst of a communications blackout in Tigray. The Ethiopian government cited disinformation and hate speech to justify communications blackouts. Researchers suggested that reducing access to information could help to create contexts where misinformation can thrive, because it reduces the ability to verify information. The Ethiopian government tried to control the information environment by positioning itself as the sole provider of reliable information. In February, pro-government groups called on their supporters in Ethiopia and the diaspora to combat what they called "TPLF fake news" online. Pro-government groups used tactics similar to those of pro-TPLF groups to push their narrative of the conflict, though as of 5 February, pro-government campaigns had produced fewer Tweets overall. BBC News showed examples of manipulated photos which misleadingly endorsed both the federal Ethiopian government and the TPLF. Researchers found that groups use tactics such as "copy and paste" campaigns hosted on websites, which include instructions for opening new accounts, copying and pasting pre-written tweets, and tagging influencers. Both campaigns produced disinformation and misinformation, though the majority of content produced was activist in nature. Wilmot suggested that the lines between authentic political activity and deliberate manipulation of online content during the conflict were increasingly blurred.
Ethnic profiling of Tigrayans
Ethnic profiling against Tigrayans occurred during the Tigray War, with Ethiopians of Tigrayan ethnicity being put on indefinite leave from Ethiopian Airlines or refused permission to board, prevented from overseas travel, and an "order of identifying ethnic Tigrayans from all government agencies and NGOs" being used by federal police to request a list of ethnic Tigrayans from an office of the World Food Programme. Tigrayans' houses were arbitrarily searched and Tigrayan bank accounts were suspended. Ethnic Tigrayan members of Ethiopian components of United Nations peacekeeping missions were disarmed and some forcibly flown back to Ethiopia, at the risk of torture or execution, according to United Nations officials.
Several proposals for peace negotiations and mediation were made involving some of the main groups involved in the war. Around 9 November 2020, Debretsion asked the African Union to stop the war and requested peace negotiations; Abiy refused to negotiate. On 25–27 November, a trio of former African presidents appointed by AU chair Cyril Ramaphosa visited Ethiopia with the aim of mediating; they met Abiy and representatives of the Transitional Government of Tigray that officially replaced the elected TPLF Tigrayan government. An emergency Intergovernmental Authority on Development summit of East African heads of government and state met on 20 December 2020 in Djibouti, resulting in a statement of support for the Ethiopian constitutional order and humanitarian access to Tigray Region.
On 19 February 2021, the TPLF expressed its wish for peace negotiations, declaring eight preconditions for the negotiations. On 20 February, the National Congress of Great Tigray (Baytona), Tigray Independence Party (TIP) and Salsay Weyane Tigray (SAWET) published six demands to the international community that closely overlapped with the TPLF's pre-conditions.
- The Ogaden National Liberation Front (ONLF) condemned the "decision of President Mustafe to portray Somalis in Ethiopia as supporters of the war against Tigray".
- On 12 November 2020, the TPLF chairman Debretsion Gebremichael denied allegations that the TPLF had surrendered, stating that "we are still holding. These people cannot defeat us. We cannot be beaten."
- On 27 November, Ethiopian Attorney General, Gedion Timothewos, pressed by the BBC's Stephen Sackur to clarify if his country was now "sinking into civil war", responded: "If the Prime Minister were to let the TPLF go on with the kind of things they have been doing, if he had let them acquire the heavy weaponry they wanted to acquire by attacking the Northern Command, yes, we would have descended into that kind of situation; but by taking the measures we are taking right now, we will be able to avert that possibility."
- When Ethiopian Prime minister Lt. Col. Abiy Ahmed came to power in 2018, he made significant reforms to the country's judicial system, economy and foreign policy. According to an article by Hailemariam Desalegn, the former prime minister of Ethiopia, TPLF officials were concerned these moves were going to threaten their political and economic position in the country. Thus TPLF officials started defying the orders from the federal government and made overt and covert actions to undermine and delegitimize the Ethiopian parliament, defense forces and the federal government.
On Tuesday 9 February 2021, when religious leaders started a visit to Mekelle organised by federal authorities to show that the situation was "normal", protestors used stones and burnt tyres to block central parts of the town in objection to the claim that the situation had return to normality. Soldiers fired at the protestors, killing one. The head of the transport division of Ayder Referral Hospital and his son were beaten by soldiers, and stated that there were many injured who were not being brought to the hospital.
- Canadian Foreign Minister François-Philippe Champagne called on all parties to show restraint. Champagne also called for a peaceful solution and protection of civilians.
- At the UN Security Council meeting, China objected to interfering in Ethiopia's internal affairs.
- Djiboutian President Ismaïl Omar Guelleh expressed strong support for Abiy, saying that he had chosen to "restore law and order at the federal level, and punish those seeking to break up the country" and dismissed the prospect of negotiations, saying that the TPLF had "structured itself so as to bring the central government to its knees" and that talks could "only lead to the partition of Ethiopia", setting a precedent for secession by other groups in the region.
- Eritrean President Isaias Afewerki politically support the actions taken by the Ethiopian national government against Tigray People's Liberation Front.
- At the UN Security Council meeting, India objected to interfering in Ethiopia's internal affairs.
- Japan extended its emergency grant aid of 6.6 million US dollars for people affected by the war.
- Kenya, Political Support for the Ethiopia national government.
- Minister of Foreign Affairs (Turkey) Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu stated that the Turkish government "understood" the federal Ethiopian government's decision and "expressed his confidence that the operation would end soon and not compromise the safety of civilians."
- Norway said it was “deeply concerned by reports of the use of SGBV in Tigray. Norway joins UN Special Rapporteur Pramilla Patten in calling on all parties to commit to a zero-tolerance policy for SGBV. Obligations under international humanitarian and human rights law must be respected.”
- The Polish Ministry of Foreign Affairs stated in response to the massacre in the Church of Our Lady Mary of Zion, "We strongly condemn the perpetrators of this barbaric crime committed in a place of worship. We expect the Ethiopian authorities to immediately take all possible to clarify its circumstances and punish the perpetrators.” Poland also called "on the parties to the conflict to refrain from violence and respect human rights, to ensure the safety of civilian population, and to properly protect the places of worship and freedom of religion. We appeal for an unimpeded access for humanitarian deliveries to the Tigray province.
- At the UN Security Council meeting, Russia objected to interfering in Ethiopia's internal affairs.
- Somalia President Mohamed Abdullahi Farmajo politically supports the current military actions taken by the Ethiopian government against Tigray People's Liberation Front.
- British Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab said he had spoken with Abiy and urged "de-escalation of the Tigray conflict" and further stated that "civilians and humanitarian access must be protected".
- British House of Lords member, David Alton, called on the British government to investigate the reports of massacres and attacks on refugee camps in Tigray.
- U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo urged de-escalation of the conflict and immediate action to restore peace, and emphasized the importance of protecting civilians. U.S. President-elect Joe Biden's foreign policy adviser Antony Blinken expressed deep concern over the humanitarian crisis in Ethiopia, ethnic violence and threats to peace and security in the area. He called on the TPLF to protect civilians and take steps to end the conflict.
- U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for Africa Tibor Nagy condemned the Tigray People's Liberation Front for their rocket attacks against Asmara, Eritrea, calling it an "unjustifiable attacks against Eritrea ... its efforts to internationalize the conflict in Tigray."
- U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken urged for the immediate withdrawal of Eritrean forces and Amhara regional forces from Tigray. He also asked the African Union and regional partners, to work with the U.S. to address the crisis in Tigray.
- U.S. President Joe Biden met with Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta to discuss the deteriorating humanitarian situation in Tigray and the need to prevent further loss of life and to ensure humanitarian access.
- The United Nations (UN) warned of the emergence of a major humanitarian crisis, if a full-scale conflict arose.
- The European Commission said it was mobilizing an initial €4 million in emergency aid, in order to assist displaced Ethiopian refugees who had fled to Sudan. The EU plans on cutting aid to and sanctioning other regions of Ethiopia due to the conflict.
- The African Union (AU) appealed for cessation of hostilities and protection of civilians. AU also stated that the European Union and United Nations Security Council should not intervene until an African Union envoy is sent to Ethiopia.
- Worldwide, humanitarian organisations and the scientific community asked for a rapid ceasefire and delivery of humanitarian aid to the people of Tigray.
- International petitions for humanitarian aid to Tigray have been launched, for instance by concerned scientists (Professors Jan Nyssen, Eloi Ficquet, Wolbert Smidt, Jozef Deckers, Istvan Tarrosy, Paolo Billi, Sil Lanckriet, Kjetil Tronvoll and others), and another one on Avaaz.
Protests by diaspora abroad
Outside Ethiopia, people of Ethiopian Tigrayan diaspora, as well as those of Eritrean opposition members , took to the streets to protest against the conflict. These protests included:
- On 9 November in Washington D.C. (USA)
- On 12 November in Denver, Colorado (USA)
- On 14 November in The Netherlands
- On 18 November in Las Vegas (USA)
- On 21 November in Stavanger (Norway)
- On 24 November in Louisville (USA)
- On 25 November in South Africa
- On 1 December in Brussels (Belgium), at the headquarters of the European Union
- On 28 December in Denver, Colorado (USA)
- On 3 January in Aurora, Colorado (USA)
- On 8 January in Melbourne (Australia)
- On 8 January in Perth (Australia)
- On 8 January in Portland, Oregon (USA)
- On 8 January in Sioux City, Iowa (USA)
- Mid-January in The Hague (The Netherlands)
- On 22 January in Louisville (USA)
- On 11 February in Headquarters of the United Nations (USA)
- 2020 in East Africa
- 2020 in Eritrea
- 2020 in Ethiopia
- List of civil wars
- List of ongoing armed conflicts
- "Eritrea's Role Questioned as Reports Emerge of Its Involvement in Tigray Conflict | Voice of America – English". www.voanews.com. Retrieved 2 February 2021.
- "Ethiopia's Tigray crisis: US calls for Eritrea troops to withdraw – BBC News". Bbc.com. 27 January 2021. Retrieved 2 February 2021.
- Marks, Simon; Walsh, Declan (28 December 2020). "Refugees Come Under Fire as Old Foes Fight in Concert in Ethiopia". The New York Times. Archived from the original on 28 December 2020. Retrieved 12 January 2021.
- Soudan, François (24 November 2020). "'Abiy Ahmed had to punish those seeking to break up Ethiopia' – Djibouti President". The Africa Report. Retrieved 24 November 2020.
- "Somalia supports Ethiopia's military actions in Tigray days after FM sacked". Garowe Online. Retrieved 29 January 2021.
- ""Eritrean Opposition soldiers Fought on the side of TPLF." Ethiopian PM". Radio Erena (in Tigrinya). 1 December 2020. Retrieved 28 February 2021.
- "Ethiopia says military operation in Tigray region is over, hunt for Tigray leaders begins". Reuters. 28 November 2020. Retrieved 29 November 2020.
- "Ethiopia's Tigray crisis: Army 'takes regional capital of Mekelle'". BBC News. 28 November 2020. Retrieved 28 November 2020.
Mr Abiy said the army was in full control and that this "marks the completion of the [military's] last phase".
- Reuters Staff (29 November 2020). "Tigray forces claim to have shot down Ethiopian plane, taken town" – via www.reuters.com.
- "Ethiopia: 'We are in our homeland, the invaders are attacking us,' says Tigray's Gebremichael". France 24. 15 December 2020.
As fighting continues "in many parts" of Ethiopia's Tigray, according to the United Nations, Tigray's regional president Debretsion Gebremichael told France 24 that the northern region would continue fighting as long as federal "invaders" are on Tigrayan soil. Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed announced military operations in the northern region of Tigray a month ago, saying they targeted the leaders of its ruling party, the Tigray People's Liberation Front (TPLF). Gebremichael believes neighbouring Eritrea is playing a key role in the conflict. "They already have 16 divisions in Tigray. They are fighting on the side of the federal army... They have a united front against us. Wherever you go, they are there."
- "UN: Situation in Ethiopia's Tigray now 'extremely alarming'". AP NEWS. 5 February 2021. Retrieved 18 February 2021.
- "Wieder Luftangriffe der Armee in Tigray" (in German). Deutsche Welle. 9 November 2020. Archived from the original on 19 November 2020. Retrieved 9 November 2020.
- Reuters Staff (13 November 2020). "Factbox: The forces fighting in Ethiopia's Tigray conflict". Reuters. Retrieved 29 December 2020.
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