The Ethiopian government’s communication service announced this afternoon that the Ethiopian National Defence Forces (ENDF) has taken control of the towns of Shire, Alamata, and Korem.

The statement also disclosed that there was no urban warfare with the Tigrean forces as the national army advanced to the areas.   

The government said to be prepared to coordinate with the relevant humanitarian agencies to bring in humanitarian assistance to the areas under its control via the Shire Airport. 

“The Ethiopian government is ready to coordinate with humanitarian service providers to avail aid, transporting it through the North Gondar route [a zone neighboring Tigray] to Shire and Dessie-Woldia-Kobo route (another zone bordering Tigray) to Alamata.” 

Apart from the preparations to provide humanitarian aid to the areas affected by the war, it is also indicated that technical assessments will be carried out to restore basic services. 

Tigray region stayed under a blockade for more than a year now, after the war in Tigray broke out in November 2020 between the Ethiopian government and Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF).

The Ethiopian government announced yesterday that it is obliged to take defensive measures against TPLF taking immediate control of all airports, other federal facilities, and installations in the region.

The third round of conflict erupted on August 24 after both the federal government and TPLF accused each other of breaching the humanitarian truce that had lasted for five months.   

Following a string of events and escalation of military offensives on both sides, the Chairperson of the African Union (AU) Musa Faki Mahamat called for an “immediate, unconditional ceasefire” three days ago saying he was very concerned with the fighting in Tigray. 

Antonio Guterres, Secretary General of the United Nations, also stressed today the urgency of resuming peace talks. 

“Violence and destruction have reached alarming levels in Ethiopia… The UN is ready to support the Africa Union in every possible way to end this nightmare for the Ethiopian people,” he said in a tweet.

The Security Advisor to the Prime Minister, Ambassador Redwan Hussien, seemed to respond to Guterres’ statement when he tweeted this afternoon defying the Secretary’s concern.

“…just for the record, the conflict isn’t spiraling as opposed to some who would like to paint it. It was spiraling when being expanded to other regions. Now, it’s just being extinguished & degenerating. Aid & services to follow soon!” 

TPLF’s body which calls itself “The Tigray Central Command,” wrote on the Facebook account of Tigray Communications Affairs Bureau last night saying, “Gaining and losing grounds in battles exist and areas including Shire town are now under the control of the invading forces”. 

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