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Ethiopia’s PM vows to join the battlefield

People attend a rally supporting the Ethiopian National Defense Force in Addis Ababa this month. Photo by Associated Press

Ethiopia’s PM vows to join the battlefield

Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed said that beginning Tuesday he would lead his country’s army battling Tigray rebels “from the battlefront.” The statement by Abiy, a former soldier and 2019 Nobel Prize winner, did not mention where exactly he would go, but he encouraged others who want to be “hailed by history” to join him in the fight. Tens of thousands of people have died since the war between the federal government and the rebel troops from the northern Tigray region began last November.

What’s the latest on the war? The Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) has claimed control of the town of Shewa Robit, some 136 miles northeast of Ethiopia’s capital city of Addis Ababa. Abiy had declared a state of emergency earlier this month when the Tigray forces began advancing closer to the capital. TPLF spokesman Getachew Reda responded to Abiy’s statement saying the forces won’t relent. Shortly after Abiy’s announcement, a U.S. State Department official said the United States still believes “a small window of opportunity exists” as efforts to conclude a peace deal continue.

Dig deeper: Read my WORLD Magazine report on the civilian and regional impact of the war.

Onize Ohikere

Onize is WORLD’s Africa reporter. She is a World Journalism Institute graduate and earned a journalism degree from Minnesota State University–Moorhead. Onize resides in Abuja, Nigeria.



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