Addis Ababa warned, on Friday, that it may deploy its “full defensive capabilities” after Tigray fighters advanced in neighbouring regions, especially in Amhara.
Ethiopia’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs said the government “is being pushed to mobilize and deploy the full defence capacity of the state if its humanitarian initiatives for a peaceful solution to the conflict remain without similar steps from the opposite party.”
It was not immediately clear what the government’s plans are, although units from different regions have moved towards Tigray in recent weeks to support the army
On Thursday, the Tigrayan People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) fighters captured the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Lalibela in Amhara without a fight.
Lalibela includes churches carved into the rock dating back to the twelfth century and was a prominent tourist destination in the peace period.
TPLF spokesperson, Getachew Reda, said earlier that the TPLF would continue to secure roads in northern Amhara to prevent government forces from regrouping.
Senior US officials called on the TPLF to withdraw, and all parties to stop hostilities and instead focus on dealing with the humanitarian “disaster” in Tigray.
However, Getachew said, “No such move will take place unless the blockade is lifted,” referring to restrictions on humanitarian access.