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Abiy Ahmed announces to « mobilize on the front » to lead the war against the rebels

On Monday, November 22, the Ethiopian Prime Minister, Abiy Ahmed, said he wanted to go to the front to lead the soldiers facing the rebels, as the conflict draws closer to Addis Ababa. Launched on November 4, 2020, the war between the Ethiopian authorities and the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF), supported by the Oromo Liberation Army (OLA), has so far claimed thousands of lives and displaced more of 2 million people.

« From tomorrow [mardi], I will be mobilized on the front to lead the armed forces ”Abiy Ahmed said in a statement posted on Twitter: “Those who want to be among the Ethiopian children who will be greeted by history, stand up for the country today. Let’s meet at the front. «  The prime minister’s statements come as the TPLF claims to be advancing towards the capital, claiming control of Shewa Robit, a town about 220 km by road northeast of Addis Ababa. Authorities did not respond to a request for comment on the claim.

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Abiy Ahmed’s statements come after a meeting on Monday of the executive committee of the ruling Prosperity Party on the ongoing conflict. At the end of this meeting, the Minister of Defense, Abraham Belay, declared that the security forces would be engaged. « In a different action », without further details. « We can’t go on like this, which means there is going to be change, he said. What has happened and what is happening to our people, the abuses inflicted by this destructive, terrorist and thief group cannot continue. « 

Emergency state

On November 2, the government declared a state of emergency throughout the country and called on the inhabitants of Addis Ababa to organize and prepare to defend the capital, the conflict in the northern region of Tigray extending to the south and surrounding areas. However, the authorities believe that the rebels’ advances and threats to Addis Ababa are exaggerated.

Read also Ethiopia: Tigrayans targeted by wave of arrests in Addis Ababa

In November 2020, Abiy Ahmed sent the federal army to dismiss the authorities of the Tigray region, from the TPLF, who challenged his authority and whom he accused of having attacked military bases. Nobel Peace Prize 2019, he proclaimed victory on November 28, 2020, after the capture of the regional capital, Makalé, by the Ethiopian army. But in June, pro-TPLF fighters took over most of the region and continued their offensive in neighboring Amhara and Afar regions.

The African Union (AU) envoy for the Horn of Africa, former Nigerian President Olusegun Obasanjo, and his American counterpart, Jeffrey Feltman, are currently engaged in diplomatic efforts to try to obtain a ceasefire. -fire.

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