The battles between Ethiopian forces and the Tigray Liberation Front and their allies are approaching from the capital, Addis Ababa, amid calls from the United States and the United Nations to stop the fighting and start negotiations to end the year-old war.
Fighting intensifies in Showa, 230 kilometers from Addis Ababa, as government forces regained control of sites in and around the city, according to state television.
The battles have recently moved to Showa Governorate, thus opening a new front in the battles that previously moved from Tigray to the Amhara and Afar regions (northern Ethiopia).
A few days ago, Al-Jazeera correspondent in Ethiopia reported that the pace of confrontations increased to control the strategic roads along the fronts of the Amhara and Afar regions, and extended to the borders of Shawa Governorate.
The Special Forces of the Afar region also announced that they had responded to the attacks of the Tigray Front militants on the town of Melle, which overlooks a vital corridor between the port of Djibouti and the capital, Addis Ababa.
Earlier this month, a video clip broadcast by Tigray TV showed fighters of the Tigray People’s Liberation Front and the Oromo Liberation Army marching through the streets of Kamisi, 325 km from Addis Ababa.
In anticipation of the advance of the coalition of armed groups opposed to the government of Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed towards the capital to overthrow the current government, Washington has repeatedly called on American nationals to leave Ethiopia, and said that they should not expect an air bridge to evacuate them, as happened in Afghanistan.
The United States did not rule out that the battles would reach the capital, Addis Ababa.
Negotiations to stop the war
Politically, US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken warned that the war in the Tigray region is putting Ethiopia on the path of destruction, which may be reflected in East African countries.
In an interview with CNN, Blinken called on Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed to take responsibility, end the violence and start negotiations as soon as possible.
The US Secretary stressed that there is no military solution to the conflict in Ethiopia.
For his part, the Secretary-General of the United Nations, Antonio Guterres, called on the two sides of the fighting in Ethiopia to stop the fighting and start comprehensive negotiations to resolve the crisis.
Simultaneously, the United Nations announced the release of a number of its employees who were detained in Ethiopia, while others are still being held.
This comes at a time when the 15 members of the UN Security Council failed to agree on the adoption of a declaration calling for a ceasefire in Ethiopia’s Tigray region.
Meanwhile, a diplomatic source revealed that the African and American envoys are seeking to hold a meeting with the Ethiopian Prime Minister to discuss an African-American roadmap to end the conflict.
Sources told Al Jazeera that the government and the Tigray Front had agreed to an American proposal to allow the delivery of aid to civilians in combat zones.
Abi Ahmed’s government had set conditions for possible talks with the opposition factions, including a cessation of attacks, the withdrawal of the Tigray Front from the neighboring Amhara and Afar regions, and recognition of the government’s legitimacy.
For its part, the Tigray People’s Liberation Front is demanding that aid be allowed into the region from which the conflict erupted last year.
International calls to stop the fighting in Ethiopia come amid fears that the current war will lead to the fragmentation of the country, which includes several ethnic components, including the Oromo, the Amhara and the Tigray.