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Ethiopia threatens to seize airports in rebel-held Tigray

Ethiopia may seize airports and other key infrastructure in the rebel-controlled north of the country, the government said, casting doubts to its early statement saying it wanted a negotiated solution.

“It is … imperative that the government of Ethiopia assumes immediate control of all airports, other federal facilities, and installations in the region,” AlJazeera quotes the government communication service as saying on Monday.

The statement by Addis Ababa went on to say that while pursuing these objectives, the government was committed to a peaceful resolution of the conflict through African Union-led peace talks.

Addis Ababa did not address African Union appeals for a ceasefire, pledging instead to carry out “defensive measures”.

“These measures are necessitated not only by the repeated attacks of the TPLF [Tigray People’s Liberation Front] but also by its active collusion with these hostile foreign powers,” the statement said.

Multiple media reports also said Ethiopian government forces and their allies on Monday captured Shire, one of the biggest cities in the northern region of Tigray.

The Ethiopian government and its allies, neighboring Eritrea’s army, have been fighting Tigray forces on and off since late 2020. The conflict has killed thousands of civilians, uprooted millions and left hundreds of thousands said to be facing famine.

 

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