Fighting in Ethiopia’s northern Tigray region hits the six-month mark next Tuesday.
Here is a timeline of the ongoing crisis in Africa’s second most populous country:
Fighting begins on November 4 2020, with Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed ordering a military response to what he calls a “traitorous” attack on federal army camps in Tigray.
He blames the attack on the regional ruling party, the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF), which dominated national politics for nearly three decades before Abiy took office in 2018.
The TPLF denies responsibility and says the reported attack is a pretext for an “invasion”.
Two days later, with fighting intensifying, Abiy sacks the head of the military, whose top brass includes many battle-hardened Tigrayans.
On November 9 Ethiopia carries out more air strikes in Tigray with Abiy saying the operation will be all over “soon”.
Tens of thousands of refugees flee into neighbouring Sudan as the African Union follows the United Nations in demanding an end to the fighting.
As the refugee flow swells tensions mount between the two countries, part of whose frontier is disputed.
After 10 days’ fighting, the UN warns of possible war crimes in Tigray.
Neighbouring Eritrea — with which Abiy has signed a peace deal in 2018 that helped win him a Nobel prize — is reported to be sending troops into Tigray to help Abiy.
Two weeks later, having rejected peace talks, Abiy says government tanks are advancing on Tigray’s capital Mekele.
The city comes under heavy shelling on November 28 before Abiy announces that military operations in Tigray are “completed”.
In February 2021 Amnesty International says Eritrean soldiers killed “hundreds of civilians” in November in the holy city of Axum in Tigray.
The following month AFP documents another massacre by the troops in Dengolat.
US Secretary of State Antony Blinken later urges Eritrea to withdraw and describes violence in western Tigray as “ethnic cleansing”.
He also calls for special forces…