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Ethiopian military shoots down plane headed to Tigray

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The Ethiopian military on Wednesday, announced that it shot down a plane loaded with weapons “destined for the Tigray rebels,” which had “violated the Ethiopian airspace” after flying over Sudan.

The statement which was conveyed by the official Ethiopian News Agency (ENA), citing a senior army officer, General Tesfaye Ayalew, said “the plane that violated our airspace from Sudan and which aimed to supply weapons to the terrorist group was shot down by our air force.”

Though General Ayalew did not specify the origin of the aircraft or the date on which it was shot down, firece fighting however, resumed on Wednesday in border areas of the Tigray region, with Tigrayan rebels and the federal government blaming each other for breaking a truce that had lasted for five-month.

While the Tigrayan rebel authorities accused the Ethiopian army of launching a “large-scale offensive” against their positions, the Ethiopian government have also accused the rebels of having “broken” the truce.

In a broadcast late Wednesday, a spokesman for the rebel authorities in Tigray, Getachew Reda, said the Ethiopian Federal Forces “launched an offensive early this (Wednesday) morning around 05:00 (02:00 GMT), we are defending our positions.”

But the Ethiopian government, in a counter statement, said the rebels had disregarded their numerous peace offers by launching fresh attacks.

“Disregarding the numerous peace offers made by the Ethiopian government, the Tigray rebel forces launched an attack today at 05:00” (02:00 GMT) and broke the truce.

“Our valiant defense forces and all our security forces are responding victoriously and in a coordinated manner to this attack,” the government said.

Metro

Despite denials, new satellite images reveal Eritrea Army build-up near Tigray

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Despite Eritrea denying that its army is not involved in launching assaults on Ethiopia’s northern Tigray region, new satellite images have shown its military building up near the troubled region in preparation for what many say will be a large-scale offensive.

Last week, the Tigray forces had accused Eritrea of launching a full-scale offensive along its border after a break down of a five-month truce between its forces and the Ethiopian government which saw an escalation of fighting that renewed in August.

But while the Eritrean government denied that its military was building up offensive against Tigray, satellite imagery provided by Maxar Technologies on Thursday shows battle tanks, self-propelled howitzers, and an M-46 field gun battery in the Eritrean town of Serha, near the border.

Other satellite imagery captured and shared by Maxar shows military mobilization in the Tigray town of Sheraro.

Since conflicts broke out between Ethiopia and the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF), Eritrea has secretly fought alongside Ethiopia against the Tigrayan forces while rejecting allegations that its soldiers committed some of the worst atrocities in the conflict that began in late 2020.

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Finally, trial of Rwanda Genocide alleged mastermind, Félicien Kabuga, resumes at UN tribunal

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The trial of one of the alleged masterminds and financiers of the 1994 Rwandan genocide, Félicien Kabuga has gone has begun at a United Nations Tribunal in the Hague.

Judges at the tribunal revealed on Thursday morning that the hearing will proceed although Kabuga was not attending the opening of the three counts of genocide in Rwanda.

Mr. Félicien Kabuga is accused of aiding and abetting hit squads in the slaughter of about 800,000 persons from the Tutsis ethnic in just 100 days, and of using a radio station to incite hatred against them.

Prosecutors argue that Kabuga is behind the most powerful weapon in the genocide’s execution – a radio station used to mobilize one ethnic group, Hutus, to take up arms against another, Tutsis.

The radio station is alleged to have broadcast hateful messages, describing Tutsis as “cockroaches”.

There has been the prosecution of some of the perpetrators of the 1994 genocide in the East African country. In 2011, two key organizers of the Rwandan genocide in 1994 were sentenced to life in prison by the United Nations tribunal dealing with war crimes in the country.

Africa’s rich ethnic diversity is not void of clashes such as the Rwanda genocide. An ethnicity is a group of people who share an identity marked by a characteristic such as a language, culture, leadership, or inhabited territory.

Other African countries like Nigeria, South Africa, Sierra Leone, Ivory Coast, Liberia, and the Democratic Republic of Congo have all had and still share ethnic conflict.

Observers have argued that the administrative and structural divisions that came with colonialism account for part of the remote cause for inter-ethnic clashes in the continent as the post-colonial structures which many African societies continued after independence pitch the ethnics against each other, thus creating a rife atmosphere for conflict.

Beyond colonialism, however, the lack of the political will to maintain previous peace agreements, and to a large extent ineffective conflict management also contribute to the disturbing cases of ethnic clashes in Africa.

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