Although the front lines remain apparently unchanged in the north of Ethiopia, with a substantial holding of the truce in place for he last two weeks between the federal units and those of the Tigray’s TDF, during the last week numerous air raids have been reported against targets located in different areas of Tigray.
On January 5, two air raids conducted with the use of armed drones hit some targets in the city of Axum and Inda Aba Guna, and the next day the refugee camp of Mai Aini was hit, near to the regional border with the state of Amhara.
According to humanitarian aid workers in the area affected by the attack, an air raid conducted with the use of armed drones caused 56 victims on January 7 in a refugee camp in northern Tigray, in addition to an unspecified number of wounded. The attack would have been conducted against a camp on the outskirts of the town of Dedebit, in the north-west of Tigray, hitting a school building where many displaced persons from the areas affected by the fighting have found refuge in recent months.
There is currently no official confirmation of the attacks and victims, although a large number of images have circulated through the social media documenting the effect of the various airstrikes conducted by the federal forces.
When questioned on the matter, neither the spokesman of the federal government, Legesse Tulu, nor that of the armed forces, Col. Getnet Adane, responded to international press inquiries, while some press agencies reported a formal refusal received from the spokeswoman of the Prime Minister, Billene Seyoum.
The evolution of the Ethiopian crisis thus seems to be outlined by the appearance of a substantial maintenance of the truce in place since the end of December, although military operations are constantly conducted mainly by the federal army with the intent to weaken the defensive capabilities of Tigray.
From the end of December until today, despite the general context of a truce on the ground, the federal armed forces have carried out numerous air raids against targets located deep into the territory of Tigray. In particular, radar installations connected to Tigray’s air defense network, radio and telephone installations and some unspecified targets have been hit, and on several occasions civilian casualties have been reported.
Regarding the aerial bombardment of January 7 in Dedebit, which, if confirmed in size, would be a real massacre, some local sources consider plausible the possibility of a mistake, with the intent to hit a neighboring target or – even worse – having incorrect information in the acquisition of targets on the ground.
The forces of the Oromia Liberation Army (OLA) finally circulated in early January a video showing a joint training exercise with the militias of the Gambella Liberation Front. According to some local sources this would be a manifestation of the desire to disassociate from the Tigray forces with respect to the de facto truce with the federal army, demonstrating on the contrary the continuity of their training program in order to resume military activities against the forces of the central government.