Tigray War

The Tigray War is an ongoing civil war that began around midnight on 3 November 2020[39] in the Tigray Region of Ethiopia.[40][41] The Special Forces of the Tigray Regional government are fighting the Ethiopian National Defense Force (ENDF), the latter being aided by the Ethiopian Federal Police, regional police, and gendarmerie forces of the neighbouring Amhara and Afar Regions with the involvement of the Eritrean Defence Forces (EDF).[27][42][43] The Tigrayan Special Forces received reinforcements from defecting ENDF soldiers and civilian volunteers; they were integrated into the Tigray Defense Forces (TDF).[44] All sides, particularly the ENDF, EDF, and TDF have committed war crimes during the conflict.[45][46][47] Due to the onset of the war, a deep humanitarian crisis has developed.[48]

Tigray War
(Tigrinya: ውግእ ትግራይ)
Part of Ethiopian civil conflict (2018–present)

Territorial control as of September 2021[lower-alpha 1]
(For a more detailed, up-to-date, interactive map, see here).
Pro-federal government troops
  Ethiopian federal government and regional allies
  Amhara Region Special Force and Amhara millitas

Anti-federal government rebels

Date3 November 2020 – present
(10 months, 2 weeks and 5 days)
Location
Status

Ongoing

Belligerents

 Ethiopia

 Eritrea[10][11]

Support:
 Djibouti[12]
 Somalia[13]

 Tigray

Commanders and leaders
Abiy Ahmed
(Prime Minister of Ethiopia, chairman of Prosperity Party)
Sahle-Work Zewde
(President of Ethiopia)
Birhanu Jula
(ENDF Chief of Staff)
Kenea Yadeta
(Minister of Defense)
Tiruneh Temesgen
(Chief Administrator of Amhara Region, early November 2020)
Agegnehu Teshager
(Chief Administrator of Amhara Region, late November 2020; regional chairman of Prosperity Party)
Awol Arba
(Chief Administrator of Afar Region)
Isaias Afewerki
(President of Eritrea)
Filipos Woldeyohannes
(Chief of the Defence Staff)
Sebhat Ephrem
(General of Eritrean Defense Forces)[citation needed]
Debretsion Gebremichael
(President of Tigray Region, Chairman of TPLF)
Fetlework Gebregziabher
(Vice President of Tigray Region, Deputy Chair of TPLF)
Getachew Reda
(Tigray government spokesperson)
Gen. Tsadkan Gebretensae
(Commander of the Tigray Defense Forces)[23][24]
Gen. Tadesse Werede Tesfay
(Commander of the Tigray Defense Forces)
Kumsa Diriba
a.k.a Jaal Marroo
(Commander of Oromo Liberation Army)[17]
Units involved
Ethiopian National Defense Force Ethiopian Federal Police
Amhara Region Special Force
Amhara Region Police Force
Afar Region Special Forces
Afar Region Police Force
Eritrean Defence Forces[11]
Strength
140,000[26]
43,000[27][28]
10,000
100,000 - 250,000 (est., Nov 2020)[29][30][31]
Casualties and losses
3,073 killed; 4,473 injured (The rebel forces claim)[32]
2 Mig-23 lost[33][34]
1 Mi-35 lost[35][36]
1 C-130 lost[37]
Unknown
5,600 killed; 2,300 injured; 2,000 captured (Ethiopian military claim)[38]
Casualties of the Tigray War

In 2019, to distance the country from ethnic federalism and ethnic nationalist politics, prime minister Abiy Ahmed merged the ethnic and region-based constituent parties of the Ethiopian People's Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF) coalition and several opposition parties into his new Prosperity Party. The Tigray People's Liberation Front (TPLF), a politically powerful entity that had dominated Ethiopian politics for 27 years as a repressive regime through a one-party dominant system,[49] refused to join the new party. The TPLF then alleged that Abiy Ahmed became an illegitimate ruler because the general elections scheduled for 29 August 2020 were postponed to 2021 due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. The TPLF, led by its chairman Debretsion Gebremichael, went ahead with regional elections in Tigray in September 2020 in defiance of the federal government, which then declared the Tigray election illegal.[50]

After a long build-up of Eritrean and Amhara forces on Tigray's borders, the actual fighting between Tigray forces and the Ethiopia-Eritrea-Amhara alliance began on 3 November 2020, with attacks on the federal Northern Command bases and headquarters of the ENDF in the Tigray Region by Tigray security forces. Counterattacks by the ENDF in Tigray were described as a police action by federal authorities.[51][41][52] Federal forces captured Mekelle, the capital of the Tigray Region, on 28 November, after which Prime Minister Abiy declared the Tigray operation "over".[53][54] The Tigray government stated in late November that it would continue fighting until the "invaders" are out,[27][55][56] and on 28 June 2021 the Tigray Defense Forces retook Mekelle.[57]

Mass extrajudicial killings of civilians took place during November and December 2020 in and around Adigrat,[58] Hagere Selam,[58] in the Hitsats refugee camp,[59] and in Humera,[60] Mai Kadra[47][61] Debre Abbay,[62][63][64] and Axum.[65] At least 10,000 people have died, and war rape has become a "daily" occurrence, with girls as young as 8, and women as old as 72, raped, often in front of their families.[66][67]