Noah Pitcher is a global politics correspondent for Today News Africa covering the U.S. government, United Nations, African Union, and other actors involved in international developments, political controversies, and humanitarian issues.
Tigrayan forces have reportedly regained control of the regional capital of Mekelle as Ethiopian appointed interim government officials have fled and Eritrean soldiers continue to pull out.
“We are 100% in control of Mekelle,” said Getachew Reda, spokesman for the Tigray People’s Liberation Front on Tuesday.
Getachew said in a Twitter post Sunday that Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed “has essentially lost the war!”
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Celebrations reportedly rang through the streets Monday as Tigrayan forces re-established control of the city of Mekelle nearly eight months after the devastating conflict began in Tigray.
Shortly after Tigray forces reclaimed control of Mekelle, the Ethiopian government announced an immediate, unilateral cease-fire intended to “enable farmers to till their land, aid groups to operate without any military movement around and engage with remnants who seek peace.”
While Eritrea has not yet publicly acknowledged the cease-fire, reports indicate that Ethiopian-aligned forces and Eritrean troops are in retreat, fleeing from Mekelle and the heavily contested town of Shire.
As Ethiopian and Eritrean led troops are on the run, TPLF spokesman Getachew Reda says that Tigray Forces are still in “hot pursuit.”
The re-establishment of Tigrayan control in the capital city of Mekelle is a monumental development in a conflict that has ravaged an entire region, killed thousands, displaced millions, and put everyone in danger of famine. It could be a massive turning point ushering in the end to what has been a horrific and bloody civil war.