Rebels in the northern region of Tigray, Ethiopia, regained the capital Mek’ele, held street celebrations and fled officials.
Residents reported a scene of fireworks and the joy of waving thousands of flags.
The government, which occupied Mek’ele in November after Tigrayan rebels refused political reform and occupied a military base, now calls the area a “humanitarian ceasefire.”
Thousands were killed in the fighting and 350,000 were driven into famine.
More than 2 million people have been evacuated.
There were recent reports of new battles between Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) fighters and government forces outside Mek’ele.
However, Monday’s rapid attack led to an unexpected recapture of the city by rebels. This can be a turning point in fierce conflict.
A statement issued by a government called the Tigray Nation-State Government praised Mek’ele for “a brilliant victory,” stating that it was “currently under full control of the Wehrmacht.”
It requires people and rebels to “be vigilant, relentless and constantly vigilant until Tigray is completely free from all invading forces.”
Rebel spokesman Getachu Leda told CNN that he had little willingness to ceasefire.
He said Tuesday that TPLF fighters were chasing government troops south and east of Mek’ele.
Since 1994, Ethiopia has been divided into states, which is now 10.They are defined by the Constitution on ethnic grounds and are described as mostly autonomous, but there is a central authority.
In 2018, following anti-government protests, Abiy Ahmed became prime minister and introduced reforms
A powerful politician in Tigray, the northernmost state of Ethiopia, has accused Mr Abby of trying to increase federal power.
Relations deteriorated, and Ethiopian troops moved in November with the support of Eritrean troops after the government accused Tigrayan rebels of attacking military bases.
Mr Abby declared the conflict to end in late November, but fighting continued and increased prior to the June 21 national elections.
Federal officials told Agence France-Presse that Mek’ele’s interim government had decided to leave on Monday after the rebels closed “on every side”, “everyone left. The last one was in the afternoon. I’m gone … the area isn’t. ” There is a government. “
But the locals are celebrating. “Everyone is out of the house. Everyone is excited and listening to music on the street,” said one witness quoted by AFP.
UNICEF of the United Nations Children’s Fund said Ethiopian government forces entered Mek’ele’s office on Monday and destroyed satellite equipment. “We are not targets and should never be targets,” he said.
The Ethiopian government said it was calling for a military ceasefire for humanitarian reasons. It pointed out the need for aid workers to gain access, for farmers to get help during the planting season, and for the return of internally displaced persons.
UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said he had previously spoken to Ethiopia’s Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed. “It is imperative to protect civilians, reach those in need of humanitarian assistance, and find political solutions,” he said in a statement.
The United Kingdom, the United States and Ireland have called for an urgent UN Security Council meeting.
All sides of the conflict have been accused of committing mass slaughter and human rights abuses.
The status of Eritrean troops migrating to Tigray to support Ethiopian troops is unknown, but one resident of the town of Shire said the Eritreans appear to be moving north towards the border, Reuters. Told to.
Earlier this month, the United Nations explained the famine situation in northern Ethiopia. The United Nations World Food Program (WFP), Food and Agriculture Organization, and UNICEF are all calling for urgent action.
However, the Ethiopian government has denied that the country has famine.
Ethiopia is still waiting for the outcome of the June 21st parliamentary elections. They are expected to support Mr. Abby, as it has been boycotted by some opposition groups and not held in some areas, including Tigray.