Ethiopia on Friday offered a reward in exchange for information that could help locate leaders of the Tigray region’s ruling party, who have been the target of a major military offensive.
Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed, last year’s Nobel Peace Prize winner, announced the military campaign against the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) on November 4, saying it came in response to TPLF-orchestrated attacks on federal army camps.
Abiy declared victory after federal forces took the regional capital Mekele in late November, but the UN says clashes persist in the region and TPLF leaders remain on the run.
The military will pay 10 million Ethiopian birr (roughly $250,000 / 205,000 euros) to “any person who knows the exact location of the TPLF junta leadership”, the Ethiopian Broadcasting Corporation quoted Lieutenant General Asrat Denero, head of the military’s community information department, as saying Friday.
Asrat also provided a hotline where citizens could give tips.
Two days after Mekele fell, Abiy told lawmakers that federal forces were monitoring TPLF leaders closely from “the situation room” and would apprehend them soon.
He said TPLF leaders had fled west of the city, though Debretsion Gebremichael, president of Tigray when the conflict started, told AFP at the time that Abiy had the location wrong.
Debretsion and other TPLF leaders have been unreachable for nearly two weeks.
On November 13 federal police announced arrest warrants for Debretsion and 63 other TPLF leaders.
It was not immediately clear Friday if the reward offer applied to all of them.
The fighting in Tigray has left thousands dead, according to the International Crisis Group (ICG) think tank, and sent tens of thousands of refugees streaming across the border into Sudan.
The UN has been lobbying – so far unsuccessfully – for unfettered access to the region to provide humanitarian assistance.
On Thursday it announced a $35.6 million emergency aid package for civilians caught up in the conflict.
Sudan’s PM visits Ethiopia, as Tigray refugees top 50,000Sudanese Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok on Sunday arrived in Ethiopia, his office said, amid a growing refugee crisis that has seen more than 50,000 ... World News
First foreign aid convoy reaches Ethiopia’s conflict-torn Tigray regionA first international aid convoy arrived Saturday in the capital of Ethiopia’s Tigray region since fighting broke out more than a month ago, the ... World News
Ethiopia returning Eritrean refugees to Tigray camps, provoking UN concernsEthiopia’s government said on Friday it was returning Eritrean refugees to camps they had fled in Tigray, a move that provoked alarm from the United ... Africa
International aid group says staffer killed in Ethiopia’s Tigray region conflictAn international aid group said on Friday that a staff member has been killed in Ethiopia’s conflict in its Tigray region.The International Rescue ... World News