Ethiopia ceases fire as Tigray former rulers return north

After months of a fighting in a deadly civil war - the former governing party in Ethiopia's Tigray region said on Monday it was back in control of the regional capital Mekelle, after Ethiopian military forces retreated from the city..

The Ethiopian government which ousted Tigray’s leadership late last year declared a ceasefire with immediate effect.

Residents in downtown Mekelle reported seeing rebel troops in the city for the first time since they were driven out by Ethiopian forces in November, and several witnesses described celebration in the streets. A spokesperson for the Tigray People's Liberation Front, or TPLF, told Reuters by phone that the capital of Tigray, Mekelle, is under their control.

U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said he had spoken with Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed and was quote "hopeful that an effective cessation of hostilities will take place.”

Monday's developments followed recent reports of an escalation in fighting between Ethiopian troops and the TPLF outside Mekelle.

Last Tuesday, an air strike killed over 60 people in a town northwest of Mekelle, a medical official told Reuters.

An Ethiopian military spokesman said last week that only combatants, not civilians, had been hit.​ The attack was one of the deadliest reported incidents in months in a region.

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