Thousands Flee Clashes in Raya Alamata, Tigray as TPLF Forces Advance

Violent clashes erupt in Ethiopia's Raya Alamata district, displacing thousands, as Tigray and Amhara regions dispute territorial control, highlighting ongoing tensions in the aftermath of the Tigray conflict.

Trim Correspondents
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Thousands Flee Clashes in Raya Alamata, Tigray as TPLF Forces Advance

Thousands Flee Clashes in Raya Alamata, Tigray as TPLF Forces Advance

Violent clashes have erupted in the disputed Raya Alamata district between the Tigray and Amhara regions of Ethiopia, leading to the displacement of an estimated 3,000 to 5,000 civilians and officials. The area, previously under the control of southern Tigray, has since been seized by Amhara forces.

The Tigray People's Liberation Front (TPLF) launched a military incursion last Friday and took control of areas adjacent to Alamata town, which the TPLF claims as part of Tigray. At least three people were killed in the exchange of fire between the TPLF forces and the local militia. More than 10,000 displaced people from Alamata have already reached the town of Kobo in the Amhara region, with no government arrangements made to receive them.

Both sides have accused the other of initiating the recent fighting. Amhara officials blame TPLF fighters, while the head of Southern Tigray accuses Amhara militiamen. The opposition National Movement of the Amhara (NaMA) has blamed the TPLF for an "invasion." Getachew Reda, the head of Tigray's interim administration, has blamed "diehard enemies" of the recent peace accord for the violence, without providing further details.

The clashes were triggered by a military encroachment by TPLF forces, which were met with a response from local militia, though the TPLF forces were heavily armed and proved to be a stronger force. Hailu Abera, the Alamata Mayor, confirmed that the TPLF fighters have taken control of most of the districts and that the relevant government authorities were notified about the impending attack but it was ignored.

Molla Derebew, the Raya Alamata woreda administrator, was reportedly killed after the TPLF took control of the areas, though local sources suggest he was killed by defense force members. The federal government and the regional government in Amhara region have not yet commented on the developments.

Why this matters: The clashes in Raya Alamata highlight the ongoing tensions and territorial disputes between the Tigray and Amhara regions in the aftermath of the Tigray conflict. The displacement of thousands of civilians adds to the humanitarian crisis in the region and raises concerns about the stability and security of the area.

The Ethiopian federal government has stated that the army will control the disputed areas until a resolution is reached, which raises concerns about further complicating the ongoing conflict in the Amhara region between local militias and the army. The Tigray region's interim administration has accused the federal government of forming "Amhara militia" in some areas of "South Tigray" and "Tselemt" district, and has reached an agreement with the federal government to remove these provisional administrations. However, the federal government has not responded to the administration's claims of betrayal.

Key Takeaways

  • Violent clashes erupted in Raya Alamata between Tigray and Amhara regions.
  • 3,000-5,000 civilians displaced, with over 10,000 reaching Kobo town.
  • Both sides accuse the other of initiating the fighting, with TPLF claiming area as Tigray.
  • Raya Alamata administrator reportedly killed, though details disputed.
  • Clashes highlight ongoing tensions and territorial disputes in aftermath of Tigray conflict.