ADDIS ABABA – Fighting between forces from the rebel region of northern Tigray and central government forces has broken out around the town of Kobo, residents and both sides said on Wednesday, ending a months-long truce.
Both parties blame each other for the outbreak of the fighting.
“Today at 5 am (the TPLF) attacked on the eastern front; coming from Bisober, Zobel and Tekulshe. By taking such action, he effectively broke the ceasefire,” the government communications service said in a statement.
The military command of the Tigrayan armed forces accused the government of violating the ceasefire and said in a statement that it believed the attack from the south was a diversion and that its forces expected a larger attack from West.
Three residents report hearing gunshots since early morning. They also said there had been movements of Ethiopian soldiers, Amhara special forces and Fano volunteer militias over the past two days.
They said they didn’t know who started the fights. According to Reuters information on the movements of the Tigrayan forces could not be immediately obtained. Telephone connections in Tigray have been cut for more than a year.
Ethiopian government spokesman Legesse Tulu, military spokesman Col. Getnet Adane, Amhara regional spokesman Gizachew Muluneh and Prime Minister’s spokeswoman Billene Seyoum did not respond to requests for comment.
Fighting in Africa’s second most populous country has displaced millions, plunged parts of Tigray into famine and killed thousands of civilians.