During the last week, in Ethiopia, the Tigrinya forces of the TDF have repeatedly tried to push into Afar territory, with the aim of conquering the city of Mile, which is a key junction for supplies to Addis Ababa.
The TDF forces tried to break through the front along the route of the regional road B11, but they met a strong resistance from the federal forces and the regional militias of Afar. There seems to be no particular progress along this line of the front, while the TDF is still in full control of the town of Kasa Gisa, along the border between the states of Amhara and Afar, which the federal forces have tried repeatedly to regain, without success.
On November 12, a Mil Mi-35 attack helicopter of the federal army was shot down near Kasa Gita while engaged in an operation against TDF units on the ground. The helicopter crashed to the ground shortly thereafter and there were reportedly no survivors among the crew members.
The persistence of TDF and OLA attacks in the direction of the city of Mile, seem to confirm the intention of the anti-government forces to avoid direct confrontation in the capital Addis Ababa, forcing it to surrender through the atrophy of supplies along the main routes of road transport. The city of Mile, in particular, represents a vital junction, being the point of connection of the lines of communication and goods traffic in the direction of Djibouti. Its conquest would leave only the southern route of the railroad that – via Dire Dawa – reaches the port terminal of Doraleh, in Djibouti.
More stable seems to be the situation along the southern side of the line of intervention of the TDF and OLA forces.
Tigrinya forces and the Oromo’s OLA control the town of Kemise along the A2 highway, while OLA forces seem to have firmly taken control of a large border area between the Amhara and Afar regions, between Ataye and Jewaha, with the presumable intent on the one hand to extend the scope of control over the highway in the direction of Addis Ababa, and on the other hand to take control of the town of Shewa Robit, which is one of the few regional junctions between the A1 and A2 highways in the direction of the Afar region.
According to what has been declared by OLA forces, the ability to control the territory north-west of the capital has been greatly expanded, where dozens of villages and small settlements have been occupied by the rebel forces of Oromia in a gradual encirclement of the capital, reaching up to about 20 km from the western outskirts of Addis Ababa.
The A3 highway, which connects Addis Ababa to Bahir Dar and then Gondar, is still under federal control, although according to OLA, the last 50 km before the regional border between Oromia and Amhara are now surrounded, between the towns of Golje Giyorgis and Gebre Guracha. Clashes of a certain intensity were recorded on November 8 in the district of Hidabu Abote, and this would suggest an imminent attempt by the OLA forces to pincer their way to permanently occupy the regional border of the A3, isolating both the Amhara region and the supplies to the capital.
In this context, the administration of the regional state of Amhara announced the completion of a new training course for its military forces in the city of Humera. The young people who have completed the military training course, according to the local authorities, will be immediately deployed against the TDF and OLA forces in the region, in what seems to be a sort of new offensive planned with the federal forces.
In a climate of increasing ethnic conflict, however, on November 9 were arrested in Addis Ababa about twelve employees of the United Nations, all ethnic Tigrinya, on charges of being involved in espionage and aiding and abetting the forces of the TPLF. The arrest is part of the more general campaign to detain ethnic Tigrinya nationals still present in the capital and the Oromia and Amhara regions through profiling conducted by federal and local security forces.