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Pope Francis has called for the world to pray for Ethiopia as fighting between federal forces and rebels in Tigray region intensifies.

In a message on Twitter, the Pope invited “everyone to pray for Ethiopia where armed clashes have intensified and are causing a serious humanitarian situation.”

He added that “I appeal to the parties in conflict so that the violence might ceases, life may be safeguarded and the populations can regain.”

On Saturday Ethiopian military forces reportedly started their planned offensive on rebels in the Tigray region.

Reuters reported that the leader of rebellious forces said on Saturday that Ethiopian government forces had began the offensive to capture the regional capital, Mekelle.

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Debretsion Gebremichael, leader of the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) was quoted by Reuters as saying that Mekelle was under “heavy bombardment”.

Reuters said that confirmation was given in a text message from Gebremicheal.

Meanwhile Billene Seyoum, a spokeswoman for the Prime Minister’s office, has said that Ethiopian forces would not “bombard” civilian areas.

Seyoum noted that “the safety of Ethiopians in Mekelle and Tigray region continues as priority for the federal government.”

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Thousands have fled Tigray due to the conflict, resulting in a humanitarian crisis, according to the United Nations.

WHO chief denies supporting Tigray forces in Ethiopia

Source: Africafeeds.com


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