A fresh military engagement broke out in northern Ethiopia along the borders of the Tigray region as the Tigray People Liberation Front (TPLF) and the Ethiopian government alleged instigation of an attack from either side. 

A report of fresh fighting appeared first today from a statement of Tigray Army’s Military Command claiming that the Ethiopian allied forces including Amhara Special force divisions, Wollo fano, and militia, with the participation of the Ethiopian National Defense Forces, began an extensive offensive on the Southern front starting at 5 am on August 24, in the direction of Chobe Ber, Janora, Gubagala, Yalow, Alamata, Bala and Biso Ber.

The Ethiopian government however said the TPLF forces themselves provoked an attack at the same hour cited by the Tigray Army Military Command and has begun implementing defensive measures following the incident.

Following the reports of the fresh attack, the Ethiopian National Defence Forces (ENDF) disclosed that an airplane that is believed to carry weapons to the rebels was hit down by the airforce while intruding the Ethiopian airspace on Aug 23 at 10:00 pm (EAT). 

It is not mentioned to whom the plane belongs except being referred to as “an airplane believed to be the property of historical enemies which are long been interested and working in weakening of Ethiopia and are supporting the TPLF”. 

The news of a shot-down plane is received by the Tigray forces as a “blatant lie” denying any plane’s entrance to Tigray.  “The aim is to present Tigray’s campaign of self-defense as an external project, not a struggle for survival. . . If history is any guide, the Abiy regime is laying the groundwork for aerial assaults on Tigray”.  

Last week, the TPLF accused the government of opening an organized attack and bombardment at Western Tigray and that its forces didn’t respond. Getachew Reda, Advisor to the President of Tigray said then that the humanitarian truce cease-fire is technically breached. 

The Ethiopian government dismissed the accusation saying it is a tactical move from the rebels to shun the process of peace talks. 

TPLF asserted that yesterday’s alleged offensive on the Southern front is designed as an auxiliary attack to enable the occupation of Southern Tigray and that the primary offensive is one that starts from Western Tigray and Western Gondar. 

Since the Ethiopian government declared a humanitarian truce on March 24 which is also accepted by the TPLF, efforts of peace talks have been undergoing though didn’t materialize due to a number of discrepancies between the belligerents. 

While the Ethiopian government accuses the rebels of disseminating propaganda and false narration as an accompaniment to their war preparation aiming at “rousing their international allies from their slumber”, TPLF says the government is intensifying the deadly assault to finish off the already weakened people of Tigray.

Both the government and TPLF are blaming each other for preparations for war, vowing their readiness to repel the attacks from the other’s side, and are calling the people to stand by their side.

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