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On ‘Rooftop of Africa,’ Ethiopia’s Troops Hunt Fugitive Former Rulers

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Though analysts initially estimated the T.P.L.F. had 250,000 males beneath arms, it shortly turned clear that its power was a lot smaller. Authorities troopers and allied ethnic militias surrounded the T.P.L.F.’s forces by sealing Ethiopia’s borders with Eritrea and Sudan, successfully severing the rebels’ provide strains.

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And the T.P.L.F. acquired an sudden blow when troopers from Eritrea, Ethiopia’s former enemy, crossed into Tigray to battle alongside Mr. Abiy’s forces. In such situations, specialists say, it’s unclear how lengthy the T.P.L.F. can maintain out.

Nonetheless, the scenario is fluid and unpredictable. Border clashes between Ethiopia and Sudan in current weeks, over a patch of disputed farmland, might play to the benefit of the T.P.LF. if Sudan helps the rebels to resupply.

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And the highest navy commanders of the T.P.L.F. stay at giant. Two Western officers and one with the T.P.L.F., who weren’t licensed to talk publicly, recognized Lt. Gen. Tsadkan Gebretensae, a former head of the Ethiopian navy, as a senior insurgent chief.

Common Tsadkan led Ethiopia into fight towards Eritrea through the two nations’ brutal border warfare between 1998 and 2000. In recent times, after retiring from the military, he ran a small brewery. Now 66, he’s again within the battle with the newly fashioned Tigray Protection Forces, battling the Ethiopian military he as soon as commanded.

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One T.P.L.F. stronghold, the Western officers mentioned, is within the Tembien mountains, a cluster of jagged hills and slim winding roads in central Tigray — a part of a highland massif usually referred to as the “rooftop of Africa.”

Kjetil Tronvoll, an professional on the T.P.L.F. at Bjorknes College School in Oslo, mentioned the social gathering’s management has possible dispersed in small teams, to unfold the danger of seize.

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