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World Ethiopia’s PM Abiy Ahmed vows to lead army ‘from the battlefront’

04:50  23 november  2021
04:50  23 november  2021 Source:   aljazeera.com

AU envoy warns Ethiopia talks will fail without ceasefire

  AU envoy warns Ethiopia talks will fail without ceasefire Olusegun Obasanjo, who leads international push to end conflict, appeals to warring sides to halt military operations.The former Nigerian president is leading an international push to end a brutal conflict that has cost thousands of lives and displaced more than two million people, with hundreds of thousands facing famine-like conditions.

Ethiopia’s Nobel Peace Prize-winning prime minister has said he will lead his country’s army “from the battlefront” beginning on Tuesday, a dramatic new step as the year-long conflict moves closer to the capital Addis Ababa.

Ethiopia's Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed issued a battle call on Monday night, as Tigray fighters appeared to close in on the capital [Stringer/EPA] © Provided by Al Jazeera Ethiopia's Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed issued a battle call on Monday night, as Tigray fighters appeared to close in on the capital [Stringer/EPA]

“Starting tomorrow, I will mobilise to the front to lead the defence forces,” Abiy Ahmed said in a statement posted on Twitter late on Monday.

“Those who want to be among the Ethiopian children who will be hailed by history, rise up for your country today. Let’s meet at the battlefront.”

Mass arrests and ethnic profiling haunt Ethiopia

  Mass arrests and ethnic profiling haunt Ethiopia As rebel forces advance towards the capital, at least 1,000 ethnic Tigrayans have been detained.Professors Assefa Fissiha and Mehari Redeai both teach law at Addis Ababa University.

Tens of thousands of people are estimated to have been killed in the war between Ethiopian and allied forces, and fighters from the country’s northern Tigray region, who dominated the national government before Abiy took office. The United States and others have warned that Africa’s second-most populous country could fracture and destabilise the rest of the region.

The statement by the 45-year-old prime minister, a former soldier, did not say where exactly he will go Tuesday. His spokeswoman, Billene Seyoum, did not respond to a request for comment from the Associated Press news agency.

Abiy’s comments came as the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) rebel group continued to press towards Addis Ababa, claiming control of the town of Shewa Robit, just 220 kilometres (136 miles) northeast of the capital by road.

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  France, Germany latest countries to urge nationals leave Ethiopia Ethiopian PM says he is heading to front line to lead troops against Tigrayan forces as hopes for peaceful solution dim.Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed late on Monday announced he would head to the front line on Tuesday to lead his soldiers, declaring: “We are now in the final stages of saving Ethiopia.

It also followed a meeting of the ruling Prosperity Party’s executive committee to discuss the war.

Defence Minister Abraham Belay told state-affiliated media after the meeting that security forces would embark on a “different action” without providing details.

“We can’t continue like this, that means there will be change,” Belay said.

“What happened and is happening to our people, the abuses being meted out by this destructive, terrorist, robber group, can’t continue.”

The spokesman for the Tigray forces Getachew Reda tweeted that “our forces won’t relent on their inexorable advance towards bringing (Abiy’s) chokehold on our people to an end.”

The Tigray forces say they are pressuring Ethiopia’s government to lift a months-long blockade of the Tigray region of some six million people, but they also want Abiy out of power.

The prime minister’s statement also claimed that western countries were trying to defeat Ethiopia, the latest pushback against what his government has described as meddling by the international community. Envoys from the African Union and the United States have continued diplomatic efforts in pursuit of a ceasefire to the fighting and talks without preconditions on a political solution.

Ethiopia’s PM has gone to the battlefront: State-affiliated media

  Ethiopia’s PM has gone to the battlefront: State-affiliated media Abiy Ahmed on Tuesday vowed to lead ‘from the battlefront’ after Tigray rebels threatened to march on Addis Ababa.Deputy Prime Minister Demeke Mekonnen Hassen will take charge of routine government business in Abiy’s absence, Fana news outlet said on Wednesday.

Shortly after Abiy’s announcement, a senior State Department official told reporters that the US still believes “a small window of opportunity exists” in mediation efforts.

In the space of a year, Abiy’s government has gone from describing the Tigray conflict as a “law enforcement operation” to an “existential war”. With Ethiopia’s military reportedly weakened in recent months, and with its retreat from Tigray in June, ethnic-based regional forces have been intensifying their campaign, and Abiy’s government has called on all able citizens to join the fight. Earlier this month, the government declared a six-month state of emergency.

Abiy’s announcement brought shock from the man who nominated him for the Nobel, Awol Allo, a senior lecturer in law at Keele University in Britain. “The announcement is replete with languages of martyrdom and sacrifice,” he said in a tweet. “This is so extraordinary and unprecedented, shows how desperate the situation is.”

Abiy was awarded the Nobel for making peace with neighbouring Eritrea, on whose border he fought while stationed in the Tigray region.

The terms of that peace deal have never been made public.

Ethiopia PM claims war gains, urges rebels to 'surrender' .
Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed on Tuesday urged Tigrayan rebels to surrender, claiming government forces were nearing victory just one week after he vowed to lead military operations at the front. "The youth of Tigray is perishing like leaves. Knowing it is defeated, it is being led by one who does not have a clear vision or plan," Abiy, winner of the 2019 Nobel Peace Prize, said in comments aired on state media. "It should surrender today"The youth of Tigray is perishing like leaves. Knowing it is defeated, it is being led by one who does not have a clear vision or plan," Abiy, winner of the 2019 Nobel Peace Prize, said in comments aired on state media.

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