News: Amid recent confrontations in Raya Alamata district, civilians and local administrators flee to Kobo town in Amhara region

According to residents, internally displaced persons (IDPs) of Tigrayan origin who were previously displaced from Alamata town, have started to return to their homeland (Photo: Tigray Heritage)

Addis Abeba – Following the recent violent clashes in Raya Alamata district, situated in the South Tigray Zone, a significant number of civilians, estimated to be between 3,000 and 5,000 individuals, as well as administrative officials have sought refuge in Kobo town.

According to local residents, many of the displaced individuals have found shelter at Ewket Chora Primary and Secondary School in Kobo town, located within the North Wollo Zone of the Amhara region, while others were seen returning to their homes this morning.

The residents also indicate that there have been reports of certain individuals initiating the process of returning to their homes as of this morning.

In an interview with Addis Standard, residents of Kobo town emphasized that the majority of the displaced individuals from the Raya Alamata area are primarily speakers of the Amharic language.

A resident of Kobo town recounted her experience, stating that she had provided shelter to five individuals from Alamata town in her home.

She noted that the displaced individuals reached out to their families in Alamata today and were informed that the situation had stabilized, leading them to make preparations for their return.

A senior figure from Kobo town informed Addis Standard that commanders of the Ethiopian National Defense Force (ENDF) had directed armed militia members, upon their arrival in the area, to disarm and return home for the purpose of negotiation. However, the elder involved in this consultation revealed that the militias were unwilling to disarm as long as the opposing faction remained armed, resulting in an impasse in the disarmament process.

The residents of Alamata and Korem towns have confirmed that the ENDF has assumed control over both municipalities.

Additionally, they have revealed that certain local administrators who had previously evacuated the towns have since returned. Moreover, residents disclosed that internally displaced persons (IDPs) of Tigrayan origin, who were previously displaced from the area, have also commenced their return.

The cause of the violence remains contested, as local officials and residents offer divergent narratives. Mola Derbeu, the administrator of Raya Alamata district, and Hailu Abera, the mayor of Alamata town, informed the BBC that the conflict was instigated by “TPLF forces” on Saturday evening in the Addis Berhan neighborhood, with gunfire persisting until Monday morning.

Conversely, Haftu Kiros, the administrator of the Southern Tigray Zone, asserted that IDPs from Raya marched from Mahoni and Maichiu towns to regions adjacent to ENDF checkpoints, advocating for the enforcement of the Pretoria Peace Agreement.

Haftu alleged that militants congregated from the Tao area and advanced towards Tigray militia positions, resulting in a confrontation with exchanged gunfire.

Getachew Reda, the president of the interim administration of Tigray, took to social media to comment on the situation, rejecting assertions of a conflict between the federal government and the interim administration, or between the Tigray and Amhara regions.

Getachew alleged that “diehard enemies of the Pretoria agreement are attempting to disrupt the cooperative efforts being made continuously by both parties to the Pretoria agreement to ensure its success.”

In response to recent events, the National Movement of Amhara (NaMA) issued a statement yesterday alleging that the “TPLF, which is the eternal enemy of the people of Ethiopia,” has “invaded our people for the fourth time.”

The statement urged both the federal and Amhara regional governments to “immediately cease the assault on our populace.”

The opposition political party asserted that the “TPLF cannot exist without war” and has been “actively endeavoring to transform our nation into a battleground by supplying insurgents in all regions of Ethiopia.”

NaMA exhorted the Amhara people to “draw lessons from past devastation and resist the incursion of this historical adversary by aligning with the ENDF.” AS

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