ADDIS ABABA/NAIROBI (Reuters) – Ethiopian federal forces have taken “full control” of the Tigray region’s capital Mekelle, the military’s chief of staff Birhanu Jula said in a statement posted on the military’s official Facebook page on Saturday evening.
Authorities had said earlier that government forces were in the final stages of an offensive in the region and would take care to protect civilians in Mekelle, a city of 500,000 people. There was no immediate comment from the Tigrayan forces in the northern region who have been fighting government troops.
Claims from all sides are difficult to verify since phone and internet links to the region have been down and access has been tightly controlled since fighting began on Nov. 4.
Editing by Frances Kerry