Tigrayan People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) spokesman Getachew Reda said on Monday that the Tigrayan forces fighting the central government in Ethiopia will withdraw from neighboring areas in the north of the country.
To this, he told Reuters, “With our withdrawal, we hope that the international community will do something about the situation in Tigray, as they can no longer use our forces’ invasion of Amhara and Afar as an excuse.”
And official media reported that the Ethiopian army had once again taken control of the town of Lalibela, which is listed on the UNESCO World Heritage List, and showed pictures of the Deputy Prime Minister during his visit to the site.
It was not clear when government forces regained control of the town, which is spiritually important to millions of Ethiopian Orthodox Christians and which has changed hands several times during the conflict with rebel forces from northern Tigray province.
Tigray forces took control of it last August, but government forces turned it back on its heels at the beginning of December, in a continuous military campaign that has forced the rebel forces to withdraw.
In addition, residents said last Sunday that Tigray forces had regained control of the town after the army and its allies withdrew from it.
It is noteworthy that the year-long armed conflict between Tigray forces and the central government has claimed the lives of thousands of civilians and attracted forces from outside the country in the fighting that spread to the neighboring regions of Amhara and Afar, which were invaded by Tigray forces.
It has also plunged 400,000 people into famine in Tigray, with more than 9.4 million in northern Ethiopia currently dependent on food aid, according to the United Nations.