The Ethiopian Tigray People's Liberation Front said that the raids launched by the government forces and their allies on the forces of the Tigray People's Liberation Front are intensifying in the two northern regions of the country, noting that a large number of casualties have fallen.

Relief sources said that fighting resumed in the Afar region after a month of calm.

Getachew Reda, a spokesman for the Tigray People's Liberation Front, told Reuters that the Ethiopian army and its allies from the Amhara region are fighting the forces of the front in several areas of Amhara and Afar regions, on the border with the northern region of Tigray.

The Ethiopian authorities have not acknowledged a new attack, which the Tigray People's Liberation Front says began last week with air strikes, days after Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed was sworn in for a new five-year term.

The spokesman added that the number of victims of the fighting is very high, noting that there were clashes near the city of Waldia in the Amhara region, and fighting resumed in the Afar region, and in the Haro and Shifra regions near the Amhara border.

Afar Province

The French Press Agency quoted relief and Tigray Liberation Front sources as saying that fighting resumed in the Afar region after a month of calm, after a new attack by the federal government forces.

The relief sources added that the Tigray Liberation Front killed dozens of civilians using heavy weapons, but the front's spokesman denied the matter.

Reuters said it was not possible to independently verify the situation on the ground, or confirm the numbers of dead and wounded, because the area is closed to journalists and many phone lines are not working.

Thousands of civilians have been killed and millions displaced due to the fighting since the outbreak of war in the Tigray region bordering with Sudan, and the forces of the Front were forced to retreat initially before the government forces at the end of 2020, but they regained most of the territory’s lands last July, and advanced towards Amhara and Afar, which led to the displacement of hundreds of thousands of people.

The fighting has raised fears it could further turmoil in the Horn of Africa nation and spread famine in the Tigray region.

The fighting had already drawn in Ethiopia's neighbor Eritrea, which sent troops across the border to support the Ethiopian army, when fighting broke out in November 2020.

Aid workers told Reuters - citing witnesses - that Eritrean fighters are still inside Ethiopia and are participating in the fighting.

The US State Department said on Tuesday it was considering using economic sanctions to punish the parties responsible for the violence.

IGAD meeting

In a related context, the Sudanese Cabinet announced that its President, Abdullah Hamdok, who chairs the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD), participated in a virtual meeting of the authority that discussed the conflict efforts in Ethiopia.

Hamdok has held the presidency of IGAD since November 29, 2019.

On July 6, the Sudanese government put forward an initiative to calm the situation inside Ethiopia. The initiative includes working with all Ethiopian parties in order to reach a consensus between them that would strengthen the unity of Addis Ababa, according to the vision decided by the Ethiopians.

The initiative also includes Sudan's endeavor to urge all Ethiopian parties to stop the fighting, sit at the negotiating table, and facilitate humanitarian access to all those in need.

Keywords: allies, forces, government forces, amhara, fighting, army, regions, reuters, ethiopia, government, number, attack, afar, raids, country