After a five-month humanitarian truce was broken last week, fighting has begun in northern Ethiopia’s Amhara region, which borders Tigray.

Tigrayan army captured the Amhara town of Kobo on Saturday after moving south to the border. The army had previously stated that it was withdrawing from the town to avoid a large number of casualties.

According to residents of adjacent towns and villages who spoke with the BBC, combat has persisted in the nearby mountain ranges, and the situation remains tense. In the meantime, Woldia and Dessie, two large Amhara cities nearby, are under partial nighttime curfews.

What’s been happening
An airstike on the Tigrayan region stuck a Kindergarten and killed seven people with more people injured. The attack on Friday is the latest highpoint in a battle that has engulfed neighbouring regions and caused a terrible humanitarian catastrophe after a months-long ceasefire was breached this week.

Ethiopia’s air force carried out the operation two days after violence started on Tigray’s southeastern border.

What you should know

  • Fighting erupted in Ethiopia’s Tigray area in November 2020, resulting in what the UN has termed as a de facto assistance blockade. There have also been real claims of ethnic cleansing and the government employing famine as a weapon of war.
  • While the two sides agreed to a truce in March 2022, fighting flared in the region on Wednesday between government forces and the Tigray People’s Liberation Front due to allegations of a breach
  • The Tigrayan border with neighboring Eritrea may potentially see the return of serious warfare. Getachew Reda, a senior Tigrayan official, alleged that members of the Ethiopian army’s eastern command crossed borders to join forces with Eritrean friends.
  • Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed, who has not publicly spoken since the violence resumed, has travelled to Algeria on official business.
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