Former foreign minister among three senior TPLF officials killed after refusing to surrender, according to the government.
Ethiopia says its forces killed three members of the former ruling party in the conflict-stricken Tigray region, including former Ethiopian foreign minister Seyoum Mesfin.
The three officials of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Tigray (TPLF) were killed after refusing to surrender to the army, the government’s task force for the crisis in Tigray said on Twitter on Wednesday. Five other TPLF members were captured, he added.
Seyoum was Ethiopia’s foreign minister from 1991 to 2010. The other two people killed were former Federal Minister Abay Tsehaye and former chief parliament whip Asmelash Woldeselassie.
Government of Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed declared victory in its conflict with the TPLF, a political party that previously governed the province, on November 28 after regaining control of the region’s capital, Mekelle.
The fighting began after the TPLF reportedly attacked federal military bases in several locations in the region, sparking a war that rocked the Horn of Africa.
Fugitive TPLF leaders had vowed to continue fighting from the mountains of northern Ethiopia, but their whereabouts are still unclear.
The military said last week that it captured Sebhat Nega, a founding member of the TPLF.
On the weekend he said he had killed 15 TPLF members and captured eight more, according to state television.
Among those captured were the region’s former president, Abay Weldu, who was also a former chairman of the region’s ruling party.
Air raids and battles since early November in Tigray have reportedly killed thousands of people. Fighting continues in some areas and more than two million people need help, the United Nations said this week.
The media have not been able to verify the claims on both sides since telephone and internet connections to the Tigray region are down and access to the area is strictly controlled.