Ethiopia says it killed 15 Tigray forces, captured 8

Region’s former president Abay Weldu and former vice president Abraham Tekeste are among those captured, according to state-run TV.

Latest announcement comes after the military said it captured Sebhat Nega, a founding member of the TPLF [File: Tiksa Negeri/Reuters]

Ethiopia’s military has said it killed 15 members of the Tigray region’s former ruling party and captured eight others.

Citing a brigadier-general from Ethiopia’s National Defense Force, the state-run Ethiopian Broadcasting Corporation said on Sunday those captured included the region’s former president Abay Weldu, who was also a former chairman of the region’s ruling party.

Those killed included the region’s former deputy police commissioner, it said.

Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed’s government declared victory in its conflict with the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF), a political party that previously governed the province, on November 28 after it regained control of the region’s capital, Mekelle.

Fighting started after the TPLF allegedly attacked federal military bases at multiple locations in the region, triggering a war that has shaken the Horn of Africa.

Fugitive leaders of the TPLF had promised to continue to fight from the mountains.

The latest announcement about those killed and captured comes after the military said on Friday it arrested Sebhat Nega, a founding member of the TPLF. On Saturday, he was transported to the capital, Addis Ababa.

The captured former TPLF president Abay was president of the region from 2010 to 2018. He was replaced by the group’s current leader Debretsion Gebremichael. Abay was chairman of the party from 2012 to 2017, and was also succeeded by Debretsion in that position.

The region’s former vice president Abraham Tekeste was also captured, state TV reported. Tekeste had also been finance minister in the federal government from 2016 to 2018.

The whereabouts of Debretsion, other members of the party’s central committee, and many high-ranking former military officers remains unknown.

Air strikes and battles since early November in Tigray are believed to have killed thousands of people. Fighting is continuing in some parts and almost 2.3 million people, or nearly half of the population, need aid, according to a United Nations report published last week.

Source: News Agencies