(Bloomberg) --

Ethiopian forces have advanced against a rebel group in the northern Tigray region, seeking to end an almost yearlong war that’s left more than 5 million in need of aid.

The offensive that begun against Tigray People’s Liberation Front on the weekend comes days after Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed was inaugurated, giving him a five-year mandate to tackle the fallout from the conflict that’s triggered an economic and humanitarian crisis and prompted the U.S. to threaten sanctions.

“Not only are the federal forces reversing the offense launched by TPLF, we will incapacitate them,” the Ethiopian Defense Forces said in a statement on Facebook last night.

The conflict that began in November when Abiy ordered an incursion in retaliation for an attack on an army base has displaced hundreds of thousands of people in Tigray and neighboring, Afar and Amhara regions. Some 5.2 million people are in need of assistance, according to the United Nations. Fuel shortages and medical supplies have been blocked from entering Tigray, according to aid agencies.  

The latest military incursion with the support of Amhara forces is taking place on all fronts, the TPLF said in a statement earlier this week, accusing the federal forces of using heavy artillery, tanks, rockets, drones and fighter jets. The rebels said they will continue to fight until a peaceful path is chosen.

U.S. President Joe Biden in a meeting with his Kenyan counterpart, Uhuru Kenyatta on Oct. 14 reiterated the need for a peaceful resolution to the conflict in Ethiopia. In September, the U.S. government said it didn’t see a military solution to the conflict after Biden signed an executive order authorizing sanctions against those prolonging conflict in northern Ethiopia, adding pressure on parties to end the civil war.

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