Amhara to launch offensive against Tigray forces: official

Amhara to launch offensive against Tigray forces in Ethiopia: official
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Amhara region's head of peace and security reportedly said on Friday that 'an offensive will start tomorrow' against Tigray forces who have entered the region, taking a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Tigray rebel forces have taken over town hosting a UNESCO World Heritage Site in Amhara [Eric Lafforgue/Art in All of Us/Corbis]

Ethiopia’s spreading Tigray conflict faces a fresh wave of fighting as an Amhara regional official says Amhara forces will launch an offensive on Saturday against Tigray rebel forces who have entered the region and taken control of a town hosting a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

“This is the time for the Amhara people to crush the terrorist group,” Sema Tiruneh, the Amhara region’s head of peace and security, told the regional state-affiliated Amhara Media Corporation on Friday.

“Preparations have been underway to reverse these moves and an offensive will start tomorrow. Freedom doesn’t come cheap. Everyone should come forward and defend themselves.”

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Separately, Ethiopia’s foreign ministry on Friday warned that the Tigray forces’ incursion into the Amhara and Afar regions in recent weeks “is testing the federal government’s patience and pushing it to change its defensive mood which has been taken for the sake of the unilateral humanitarian cease-fire.”

The incursions have displaced some 300,000 people, it said, accusing the Tigray forces of trying to destabilize Africa’s second most populous country.