Reward offered for location of Tigray leaders

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Ethiopia is offering a 10 million birr ($260,000) reward for information on the location of fugitive leaders of the rebellious force in the northern region of Tigray, government said.

The reward to help capture leaders of the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) was announced on state-run broadcaster EBC and later tweeted by government’s taskforce on the Tigray crisis.

TPLF leaders, believed to be hiding in the mountains since the region’s capital was captured by federal forces on November 28, are fighting back. Reuters has not been able to reach them for comment for more than a week.

Thousands are believed killed and nearly a million fled their homes during air strikes and ground battles in Tigray last month.

The conflict raised concerns among Ethiopia’s international allies about the possible destabilisation of Africa’s second most populous nation.

The European Union postponed nearly 90 million euros in budget support payments to Ethiopia due to concerns over the crisis, according to an internal EU document seen by Reuters.

Ethiopia, home to African Union headquarters, is a diplomatic heavyweight in a volatile region and its troops are valued for service in peacekeeping missions in Somalia and South Sudan.

Federal troops seized Tigray’s capital Mekelle on November 28 and control major towns in the region. Some power and telephone links were restored this week in Mekelle after a virtual communications blackout since the federal offensive started on November 4.