According to government sources, rocket fire attributed to the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) hit the airports of Gondar and Baher Dar in the Amhara region during the night of 13-14 November. According to unconfirmed reports, gunfire exchanges also followed the blasts.
While confirming damage, the Ethiopian government has not communicated any death toll following the incidents. A medical source in Gondar reported 2 soldiers killed and 15 others injured. However, no information has been disclosed about the attack on Baher Dar.
A TPLF spokesman said the airports were legitimate targets as Ethiopian army fighter planes were stationed there.
These new incidents confirm the TPLF’s operational capabilities and the fears that the conflict in Tigray could spill over into neighbouring regions (see our previous alerts), amid a possible upsurge in inter-ethnic tensions between Ahmara and Tigrayans. An intensification of hostilities in Tigray is also expected in the short term as a result of these incidents.
Moreover, according to information relayed by the NGO Amnesty International on 12 November, a massacre of civilians perpetrated by forces loyal to the TPLF allegedly took place on 9 November in the village of Mai-Kadra (Tigray region). The United Nations (UN) condemned a « possible war crime » and called for full « humanitarian » access to the Tigray region. As a reminder, nearly 11,000 Ethiopians have crossed the border into Sudan to flee the clashes, according to Sudanese government sources.
On 12 November, Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed had also welcomed the « liberation » of Western Tigray and the regional capital Mekele (east of the region). For its part, media close to the TPLF said it had captured 10,000 Ethiopian soldiers and liberated several cities in the hands of the government. Verification of this information is difficult because of the communications blackout in the region.