NAIROBI (Somaliguardian) – Tigray forces have taken control of the town of Lalibela, a United Nations World Heritage Site and residents are fleeing from their homes as the conflict in Ethiopia’s north continues to widen, triggering fears raised by the international community about the recent developments.
Lalibela, a holy site for millions of Ethiopian Orthodox Christians, is in the North Wollo Zone of the Amhara region in Ethiopia’s north. Clashes have in recent weeks spread from Tigray into two neighboring regions, Amhara and Afar, forcing nearly 250,000 people to flee.
Hundreds of armed men speaking Tigrinya, the language of ethnic Tigrayans, were seen across the streets of the town on Thursday after Amhara forces, who are allied with the Ethiopian federal government withdrew, a resident told Reuters news agency.
Amhara forces “shot dead a friend of mine, he was begging them to stay to protect civilians,” he added.
Ethiopia’s federal government and authorities of Amhara state have not immediately commented on the fall of the historic town.
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