Conflict in Ethiopia’s Tigray Region May Affect Entire Horn of Africa – Egyptian Expert

CAIRO, November 16- The conflict between the Ethiopian federal government and the rebels of the Tigray People’s Liberation Front, the ruling party in the northern Tigray region, may extend to the entire Horn of Africa and become protracted, Deputy Editor-in-Chief of the Egyptian Al-Ahram newspaper Asma al-Husseini told Sputnik on Monday.

CAIRO, November 16 (Sputnik) – The conflict between the Ethiopian federal government and the rebels of the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF), the ruling party in the northern Tigray region, may extend to the entire Horn of Africa and become protracted, Deputy Editor-in-Chief of the Egyptian Al-Ahram newspaper Asma al-Husseini told Sputnik on Monday.

Amid the fighting, the TPLF forces have targeted neighboring Eritrea with missiles. TPLF Chairman Debretsion Gebremichael has claimed responsibility for the attack and said that the Eritrean forces were deployed and fighting against the Tigray forces along the border.

According to the expert, the shelling of Asmara, Eritrea’s capital, indicates that the area of the conflict is extending and involves neighboring countries. Another fact that reinforces Eritrea’s fears regarding the TPLF is an existing territorial dispute between the two nations — Eritrea, in accordance with earlier agreements with Ethiopia, is demanding the return of the Badme region, which is currently controlled by the TPLF. However, the Tigray authorities refuse to recognize these agreements.

“If urgent measures are not taken, the entire Horn of Africa region may flare up, all African countries will feel the large-scale consequences of this war,” al-Husseini said, noting that such conflicts are usually aggravated by the racial and tribal affiliation of the parties.

The expert believes that the African Union should be involved in the conflict to save Ethiopia, a large state of great importance due to its geographic location and high population density, and contribute to a dialogue between the government and rebels.

Earlier in November, the Ethiopian government accused the TPLF forces, which are in opposition to the government, of attacking a federal military base and launched an offensive in the northern region. The country’s legislature approved the establishment of a provisional government in Tigray, while Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed Ali said that law enforcement operations in the region were proceeding as planned and that they would cease only when the “criminal junta” is disarmed. A state of emergency was introduced in Tigray for a period of six months.

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