Rockets hit Eritrea’s capital outskirts


Local media and diplomats say that rockets have been fired from Ethiopia’s connective Tigray region across the border in the capital Eritrea.

The sound of explosions was heard in Asmara as several rockets landed on the outskirts of the city, but no immediate injuries were reported.

Tigre’s ruling party, which was in conflict with the federal government of Ethiopia, threatened the attack.

The party’s army first launched rockets in another area of ​​Ethiopia.

The Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) said it targeted two sites in the Amhara region on Friday and warned of further attacks.

Tensions between the TPLF and the federal government increased in the past month.

Eritrea fought a bloody war with Ethiopia two decades ago with the final peace agreed only in 2018.

According to the United Nations, Sudan has also been affected by fighting on Tigray with at least 17,000 civilians crossing the border with Ethiopia.

What happened in Eritrea?

On Saturday night, the residents of Asmara reported a loud explosion.

An anonymous diplomat told news agency AFP, “The reports we are getting indicate that several rockets hit near the airport.”

Semi-official of eritrea Tesfa News website tweeted that two rockets fired from TPLF’s occupied area in Tigray missed the airport And landed on the outskirts of the city.

A TPLF spokesman had earlier threatened missile attacks against Eritrea, accusing him of crossing his army into Ethiopia.

The Eritrean government has denied any role in the conflict, but the BBC’s regional editor for Africa, Will Ross, says reports of fighting along the border, and soldiers being treated in Eritrean hospitals, suggest the opposite is true is.

Analysis: Two men with a common enemy

By Will Ross, Regional Editor for BBC Africa

The conflict has become more serious as missiles are fired into Eritrea and are likely to be harder to stop. The result can now lead to instability across the region.

But many people familiar with the recent political developments had predicted that he was in trouble when Ethiopian Prime Minister Abi Ahmad became a strong ally of the authoritarian leader of Eritrea, Isis Afwerki.

Now two people have a common enemy – the Tiplane politicians of the TPLF who dominated the political landscape of Ethiopia for years, when Ethiopia and Eritrea fought a border war that killed tens of thousands of people.

International calls for dialogue have so far been ignored and thousands of civilian refugees continue fighting in Sudan.

What do we know about Amhara attacks?

The Ethiopian government’s emergency task force said rockets were fired towards Bahir Dar and Gondar cities of Amhara state late Friday.

A rocket hit the airport in Gondar and partially damaged it, while the others were simultaneously landed in Bahir Dar outside the airport, an official told the Reuters news agency.

Details on the casualties were not immediately clear. Both airports are used by military and civil aircraft.

Amhara soldiers are fighting with their Confederate counterparts against the Tigray fighters.

Map

The TPLF said the rocket attack was a retaliation for the recent airstrikes carried out by Mr. Abi’s army.

“Until the attacks on Tigray’s people stop, the attacks will intensify,” spokesman Getache Reda said in a Facebook post. Later speaking on Tigray TV, the spokesman warned of further attacks.

The Prime Minister of Ethiopia has predicted a swift military victory in Tigray, but he may have underestimated his enemy, our regional editor says.

He said that the Tigrayan soldiers are experienced and know the hilly terrain well. It is feared that a drawn-out regional conflict will have catastrophic consequences for citizens in the wider Horn of Ethiopia and Africa.

How bad is violence?

Hundreds of people have died in Ethiopia since the fighting began, with news of a civilian massacre coming to light this week.

The human rights group Amnesty International said it has confirmed that “scores, and likely hundreds, of people were killed by stabbing” in the city of Mai-Kadra (May Cadera) on Monday.

It said that it verified the digital photographs and videos of dead bodies scattered throughout the city or being carried on stretchers.

Prime Minister Abi Ahmed has accused Tigray leaders of being loyal to the mass killings, while the TPLF has denied involvement in it. Ethiopia’s Human Rights Commission said it would send a team to investigate.

What is life in Tigray?

BBC Tigrinya, by Hana Zeretsian

Communication is difficult at the moment as Internet and mobile phone services have been cut.

There are already reports of flour and fuel shortages – and, worst of all, water, which was already rationed.

In Mekele, which has a population of between 400,000 and 500,000, households received piped water once a week, but supply was cut off.

Families used to buy water from vendors but due to disconnection, they could no longer call to order.

On Thursday, it was reported that the power generating dam was damaged in an airstrike, which cut off the power supply in the area.

I am concerned about the safety of my family, especially my 11-year-old brother who suffers from cerebral palsy and epilepsy.

I am extremely worried about whether she will be able to take her medicine.

As he cannot speak, I used to watch him during the video call but now it is not possible.

Why are the government and TPLF fighting?

The TPLF dominated the military and political life of Ethiopia for decades before Mr. Abi took office in 2018 and pushed through major reforms.

Last year, Mr. Abi dissolved the ruling coalition, which was made up of several ethnic-based regional parties, and merged them into a single, national party, which the TPLF refused to join.

The feud escalated in September, when Tigray held a regional election, with a nationwide ban on all elections imposed due to the coronovirus epidemic. Mr. Abi responded by calling the vote illegal.

Tigray’s administration sees Mr. Abi’s reforms as an attempt to give more power to his central government and to weaken regional states.

It also explains what it calls the Prime Minister’s “unshaken” friendship with Eritrean President Isis Afwerki.

Mr. Abi won the Nobel Prize for Peace in 2019 for his efforts to bring peace with Eritrea.

The Prime Minister believes that TPLF officials are reducing their authority.

Mr. Abi ordered a military campaign against the TPLF because he said that its fighters had crossed the “last red line”. He called the action “traitorous”, accusing him of attacking a military camp hosting federal troops on 4 November. The TPLF has denied attacking the camp.

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