Ethiopia’s Prime Minister Goes To The Front Line To Fight Rebels, According To State Media.
Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed has arrived at the front lines in the northwestern Tigray area, where government forces are fighting rebels, according to state-run media.
The intensifying year-long battle has prompted foreign governments to advise their citizens to flee, amid fears that Tigrayan rebels may march on Addis Ababa, Ethiopia’s capital.
According to Fana Broadcasting Corporate, Abiy, the 2019 Nobel Peace Prize laureate, “is now directing the counter-offensive” and “has been delivering guidance from the battlefield as of yesterday.”
According to the report, Deputy Prime Minister Demeke Mekonnen is in charge of “routine activities.”
It was unclear where Abiy, a former military radio operator who advanced to the rank of lieutenant-colonel, had deployed, and photographs of him in the field were not disseminated by state media.
Requests for information regarding his mission and whereabouts have gone unanswered.
According to UN estimates, violence in the north of Africa’s second most populous country has killed thousands of people and driven hundreds of thousands into famine-like conditions.
Foreign envoys have been urgently attempting to broker a cease-fire, but there have been little signs of progress.
On Tuesday, Jeffrey Feltman, Washington’s special envoy for the Horn of Africa, warned that “nascent progress” may be “outpaced by the two sides’ military buildup.”
The conflict began in November 2020, when Abiy dispatched troops to Tigray in an attempt to destabilize the ruling party, the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF).
He said the move was in response to TPLF raids on federal army installations and promised a quick triumph, but the rebels had retaken most of Tigray, including the capital Mekele, by late June.
Since then, the TPLF has advanced into the neighboring Amhara and Afar areas, claiming control of a town within 220 kilometers (135 miles) from the capital this week.
Fana stated Wednesday that Abiy’s statement on Monday that he would deploy to the front “has spurred many to… join the survival campaign.”
Hundreds of new recruits attended a ceremony honoring them in Addis Ababa’s Kolfe area on Wednesday.
The recruits broke into patriotic songs and chants as officials gathered sheep and oxen into trucks destined for the north.
One of the recruits, 42-year-old motorist Tesfaye Sherefa, told AFP, “I was astonished when I heard” Abiy planned to join soldiers in the field.
“It is to save his country that a leader leaves his chair… and his throne.” His main goal is to save this country, not to survive. The Washington Newsday Brief News is a daily newspaper published in Washington, D.C.