ADDIS ABABA (AFP) – Ethiopia yesterday declared a state of emergency in Tigray after Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed said he ordered a military response to a deadly attack by the ruling party of the restive region on a camp housing federal troops.
A statement from Abiy’s office said the government made the declaration “recognising that illegal and violent activities” in Tigray, a region locked in a long-running dispute with Addis Ababa, were threatening national sovereignty, constitutional order and peace and security.
It followed an announcement by Abiy on social media that the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) “attacked a military camp” in the northern region, and “tried to loot” military assets.
The attack resulted in “many martyrs, injuries and property damage”, Abiy said later in a five-minute address on state television.
“Our defence forces… have been ordered to carry out their mission to save the country. The final point of the red line has been crossed. Force is being used as the last measure to save the people and the country,” he said in an earlier post on Facebook and Twitter.
It was not immediately clear what form the federal military response might take, or what the state of emergency declaration will entail.