ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia (HPD) — Ethiopian authorities said Tuesday they had taken control of three towns in Tigray, the restive northern area where fighting has raged since August.
The Government Communications Service said in a statement that it had taken the towns of Shire, in the north of Tigray, and Alamata and Korem in the south.
It adds that the Ethiopian forces “have taken extreme measures” to protect the lives of civilians.
The three towns were taken “without fighting in urban areas,” the statement said, adding that the authorities will coordinate with humanitarian groups in the areas under control of the Ethiopian forces.
Ethiopia is under pressure to start peace talks that were due to take place this month in South Africa but were delayed due to logistical problems.
The Secretary General of the United Nations, Antonio Guterres, denounced on Monday that the situation in northern Ethiopia “is getting out of control”. The UN and the African Union have called for an immediate ceasefire.
Fighting between Tigrean forces and federal troops resumed in August, interrupting a truce that had been in place since March and had allowed the entry of humanitarian assistance. Eritrean forces have intervened in support of the Ethiopians.
Millions of people in northern Ethiopia, including in the Amhara and Afar areas, have been forced from their homes, with tens of thousands believed to have died since the conflict broke out in November 2020.