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'It takes two to Tango': Ethiopia calls on Tigray rebels to adhere to ceasefire

Prime Minister of Ethiopia Abiy Ahmed arrives for the Meskel Square inauguration in Addis Ababa on June 13, 2021.   -  
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Ethiopia seems to be downplaying its loss of the Tigrayan capital of Mekele to rebel forces.

On Thursday, its foreign ministry spokesperson, called on rebel forces in the war-hit Tigray region to adhere to a unilateral ceasefire.

Dina Mufti said the ceasefire ‘’needs two to tango’’.

"The cessation of hostilities was taken unilaterally from our side. However, to implement this ceasefire fully, it needs two to tango. The other side has to react appropriately to enforce (the ceasefire)", Mufti said.

East Africa’s largest nation declared the ceasefire earlier this week, amid doubts about whether fighting would actually stop between the Federal government and rebel forces in Tigray.

Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed said the city of Mekele, captured by Ethiopian forces in November but seized by rebels in a stunning turnaround this week, had "lost its centre of gravity" during eight months of war in Tigray.

Last November, Abiy sent troops into Tigray to oust the northern region's former ruling party, the Tigray People's Liberation Front (TPLF).

The Prime Minister said the move was in response to attacks by TPLF on federal army camps, and promised a swift victory.

On Monday, the army suffered a dramatic reversal when rebels known as the Tigray Defence Forces (TDF) captured Mekele, just almost a week after launching a major counter-offensive.

The TDF has since built on its gains and, according to the International Crisis Group (ICG) think tank, now controls most of Tigray.

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