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Ethiopia says it has duty to counter ‘terrorism’

Ethiopia’s government said Monday it is duty bound to counter “acts of terrorism” by Tigray rebels.

The remarks follow a statement earlier in the day by the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) that the government had launched multi-pronged attacks against it.

“The government of Ethiopia has a responsibility to protect its citizens in all parts of the country from any acts of terrorism,” Billene Seyoum, a spokeswoman for Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed, told Anadolu Agency.

“The government of Ethiopia will continue to counter the TPLF’s destruction, violence and killings in the Amhara region and elsewhere,” she said.

There have been reports over the past couple of days that the Ethiopian Defense Forces have intensified attacks against TPLF targets in Amhara.

Following a June 29 unilateral cease-fire declared by the government, TPLF forces advanced to Amhara and Afar states adjoining the country’s northernmost state of Tigray.

The TPLF claims it is an elected party in Tigray while the Ethiopian government has rejected its authority in the state, saying it committed a mutinous act when it attacked Ethiopian army bases stationed in Tigray on Nov. 3 last year.

An armed conflict ensued between Ethiopian government forces and the TPLF, forcing 2 million people to become internally displaced. Tens of thousands also fled to neighboring Sudan.

The latest flareup of the conflict came amid “concerns” being expressed by the UN, US and humanitarian agencies about an impending humanitarian catastrophe in northern Ethiopia.

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