Ethiopian authorities claim to have taken control of Tigrayan rebel-held territory,Alamata

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Ethiopia EthiopiaEthiopian army have recovered a city in southern Tigray from Tigrayan fighters, marking the country’s first substantial breakthrough within the war-torn area in months and crushing hopes for peace after a rebel withdrawal.

On Wednesday, the government’s communication agency said that “the valiant Ethiopian Defence Forces and the Amhara region security forces had secured Alamata city after sweeping the enemy army…,” implying that combat will continue. “The Ethiopian National Defense Forces and the Amhara region security forces are moving on Abergele, smashing the fleeing terrorist clique,” the government declared, referring to a Tigray area.

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The Tigray People’s Liberation Front rebel group did not immediately respond to the government’s assertions after it announced its pullout from the Amhara and Afar areas this week and called for a truce. The TPLF’s withdrawal from these areas had boosted expectations for peace negotiations to end the savage 13-month conflict that has killed thousands of people and left hundreds of thousands on the verge of starvation.

Both sides have claimed significant territory advances in recent months, with the rebels claiming to be barely 200 kilometers (125 miles) from Addis Ababa’s capital. According to state media, the government has claimed to have retaken a number of vital cities since Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed — the 2019 Nobel Peace Prize laureate – went to the front last month.

The government denounced the TPLF’s announcement of departure on Monday as a ruse to hide military failures. In the combat zone, communications have been disrupted, and journalists’ access has been limited, making it impossible to verify battlefield statements.

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