Ethiopia: Tigrayan Forces Reportedly Take Back UN Heritage Site Lalibela

by W. Spencer, The Chicago Times

December 13, 2021

ADDIS ABABA – According to battlefield reports, Tigrayan troops have recovered the Ethiopian town of Lalibela on Sunday.

Lalibela is a town in the Amhara region of Ethiopia, bordering the northern district of Tigray, known for its single-stone churches that have been listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

As Tigrayan forces advanced, Amhara troops, who are allied with the Ethiopian government, began retreating Lalibela on Saturday night, according to Tigrayan intelligence.  Tigrayan forces expect to start patrolling the streets and reestablishing control of the city.

Early in August, Tigrayan forces took control of the town as part of a push into Amhara territory that began in July.  After threatening to march on the city, the tide shifted against the Tigrayans by the end of November.

Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed traveled to the frontlines to command an offensive after the government proclaimed a state of emergency.  The Ethiopian military and Amhara forces regained Lalibela, a religiously significant location, on Dec. 1.