Abiy Ahmed, the Ethiopian Prime Minister, has to give Tigrayan forces a 72-hour ultimatum to surrender.
The Prime Minister on Sunday announced that security forces were now “in the third and final phase” of the military operation.
“We urge you to surrender peacefully within the next 72 hours, recognizing that you are at a point of no return,” he warned.
Abiy Ahmed urged the Mekelle people to help defeat the TPLF, Tigray People’s liberation front, by “standing in solidarity with the national defense.”
According to his speech, “since October, soldiers have been at war with the regional government of Tigray.”
The battle erupted after Tigray’s unilateral decision to elect a regional administration.
Tigray People’s liberation front leaders and members have vowed not to backtrack.
In a statement, they declared that “the people of Tigray will never kneel to actions of aggressors.”
They accused federal forces of killing innocent civilians, an allegation the government has denied.
The UN has warned of full-scale humanitarian crisis.
Hundreds have been killed, and more than 30,000 refugees have crossed to Sudan.
More are fleeing through the Hamdayet border in Kassala State, the Lugdi in Gedaref State, and another at the Aderafi border.