Ethiopia army vows to 'eliminate' Tigray forces

Ethiopia's military is planning to enter Tigray's capital Mekelle and "eliminate" rebellious forces.

That was the message from General Abebaw Tadesse late on Friday (January 21), in an interview with state-affiliated broadcaster FANA.

"Mekelle and Tigray are Ethiopian territory. No one will stop us. We will go in and eliminate the enemy. There should not be any confusion about this. The Ethiopian people should not perceive as if the war is over. It is not over."

The Horn of Africa country has been in the grip of conflict for over a year.

The federal military and its allies have been battling forces loyal to the Tigray People's Liberation Front, the political party that controls the northern region.

Recently there has been an uneasy stalemate between the two sides, punctuated by sporadic fighting.

TPLF forces control most of Tigray but are surrounded by hostile forces who are allied with the federal military.

Abebaw said Ethiopia would not be able to enjoy peace until the enemy is eliminated.

His comments come despite diplomatic efforts to end the violence.

This week two top U.S. diplomats flew into Addis Ababa to push for a ceasefire.

They're trying to build on tentative signs of a thaw in relations between the warring parties.

The TPLF's spokesman could not be reached to respond to the military official's comments.

Spokespeople for the Ethiopian government and Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed did not immediately respond to requests for comment.