Ethiopia’s prime minister has issued an ultimatum to Tigrayan regional forces to surrender or face a military offensive on the state’s capital of Mekele.
The Ethiopian army has been battling local forces in Tigray since conflict broke out on November 4, when Abiy sent the national defense force into the area, after accusing local forces of attacking a military base there.
Hundreds of people have been killed and thousands have fled to Sudan since then.
A blackout of internet and phone communications in the region has made it difficult to confirm a death toll and reports of violence.
Tensions have been building in the region since September 9 when Tigray defiantly held a regional election after Abiy postponed the polls, citing the coronavirus pandemic.