According to an announcement on Thursday, leading members of the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) were killed during an operation carried out by Ethiopian forces.
TPLF spokesperson Sekoture Getachew and Daniel Assefa, former Head of Tigray finance bureau, were among those killed by government forces. Ethiopia’s defense force deployment department also confirmed the arrest of nine other TPLF leaders.
AfricaNews reports that Zeray Asgedom, the Ethiopian Broadcasting Authority’s former head, and Abebe Asgedom were also killed during the operation.
Earlier this week, a senior Ethiopian military official confirmed the presence of security forces from neighboring Eritrea in the deadly conflict in his country’s northern Tigray region.
The Ethiopian government had denied any military presence. Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed, who was awarded the prize for making peace with Eritrea in 2018, went as far as to “guarantee” that Eritrean forces had not entered Tigray, per United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres.
In November, the government issued arrest warrants for more than 60 senior leaders of the TPLF before later announcing that it would offer a reward of around 200,000 euros for information on their location.
Thousands of people are feared to have died in the conflict that pitted Ethiopia’s federal government against the TPLF, with an estimated 50,000 civilians fleeing the region to escape the war.
Communications have been cut off with large parts of Tigray at the govermnent’s behest, which has led to the European Union postponing 90 million euros ($109 million) in budgetary support to Ethiopia over lack of access to the region to deliver humanitarian aid amid the conflict.