Ethiopia’s prime minister has given forces in the northern region of Tigray 72 hours to surrender as government troop’s advance on the capital, Mekelle.
Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed told Tigrayan leaders they were at a point of no return”.
The Tigray people’s liberation front (TPLF), which controls the mountainous region, has vowed to keep fighting.
The conflict has reportedly killed hundreds and displaced thousands in recent weeks. The UN has warned it could trigger a humanitarian crisis.
Earlier, the Ethiopian military warned Mekelle’s 500,000 residents that the army would “encircle” the city and attack it with artillery fire.
On Friday, South Africa’s president Cyril Ramaphosa, in his capacity as the African union chairman, announced the appointment of three former presidents to broker talks to end the conflict. Former leaders from Mozambique, Liberia, and south Africa – who are due to arrive in the country in the coming days – would not be able to visit Tigray because of the ongoing military operation.