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Witnesses Say Rebels Have Recaptured The Historic Town of Lalibela in Ethiopia’s

Witnesses Say Rebels Have Recaptured The Historic Town of Lalibela in Ethiopia’s

Witnesses say rebels have recaptured the historic town of Lalibela in Ethiopia’s northern Tigris region. No shots were fired during the resumption of occupation of the UN-declared World Heritage Site, according to the BBC. The ancient stone-carved church town of Lalibela was captured by Tigers last August. However, 11 days ago, the central government forces took control of the city.

The central forces have recently made progress in the almost year-long civil war. However, the humanitarian crisis has begun. The United Nations says large numbers of people are starving in northern Ethiopia. About 9 million people in the Tiger, Amhara and Afar regions need emergency food supplies.

An eyewitness told the British news agency Reuters that local government forces began leaving Lalibela on Saturday night (December 11) local time. “The last batch left this morning (Sunday),” he said. We heard gunshots in the distance last night, but there were no reports of gunfire in the city when Tigers recaptured Lalibela. ”

The Tiger People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) said in a statement that it had launched a large-scale offensive. The town of Gasena, near Lalibela, was also attacked. TPLF spokesman Getacheo Reda wrote in a tweet, “Our forces are doing very, very, very well!”

The government has not yet commented. However, a tweet from Prime Minister Abi Ahmed’s office on Saturday said the prime minister had returned to the front lines and that government forces had recaptured several strategic towns in the direction of Meckelle, the capital of the Tigris region.

Last week, residents of Lalibela told the French news agency AFP that Tigers had shown respect for the holy sites as they held the city under control from August to November, but made life difficult for residents. The rebels demanded food and mobile phones, AFP reported. They also looted medical equipment stores.Rebels from Ethiopia’s northern Tigray region have retaken the historic town of Lalibela, witnesses have said.

There was reportedly no exchange of fire as the town, a UN World Heritage site, swapped hands.

Lalibela, home to ancient rock-hewn churches, had been captured by Tigrayan forces in August, but they lost control to the federal government 11 days ago. Federal forces had recently made gains in the year-long civil war, which has sparked a humanitarian crisis. Northern Ethiopia is facing mass starvation with more than nine million people in need of critical food supplies in the Tigray, Amhara and Afar regions, the UN says. An eyewitness said on Sunday that many residents had fled the city. Because they fear the Tigers might retaliate. There are 11 monolithic churches in Lalibela. These were built in the 12th and 13th centuries. In 1986, UNESCO declared them a World Heritage Site.

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