As the battle between government forces and Tigray rebels intensifies in the north, threatening to march on Addis Ababa, Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed asked for “sacrifices” to defend the country on Twitter Saturday. His plea came a day after nine rebel factions announced their intention to join arms against the government.
As violence continues in the north between government forces and Tigray rebels who threaten to push into the capital, Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed stated Saturday that Ethiopia must be prepared to “make sacrifices” to rescue the country.
These declarations came a day after the Tigray People’s Liberation Front, which has been battling government forces for more than a year, announced the formation of a coalition of nine rebel organizations from various regions and ethnic groups in Ethiopia.
As stated by the front’s spokesperson, Burhan Gebrechristos, at the signing of this agreement in Washington, this “unified front” intends to “overthrow the dictatorship” of Abi Ahmed.
According to reports, the Tigray Liberation Front claimed credit for seizing two major towns in the Amhara area at the end of last week, where its forces had pushed after retaking Tigray in June.
The Tigray People’s Liberation Front said on Wednesday that it had arrived in the Kimisi area, 325 kilometers north of Addis Ababa, where it had joined the Oromo Liberation Army, an ethnic Oromo military organization.
The government, which proclaimed a state of emergency across the nation on Tuesday, denied the rebels had made substantial progress or posed a danger to the capital, stressing that it would win this “existential war”.
Faced with this escalation, Washington instructed non-essential diplomats at the US embassy in Ethiopia, as well as their family members, to leave the country on Saturday.
The decision was made “due to armed violence, civil upheaval, and anticipated shortages” of essential goods, according to a statement from the US State Department.
Several embassies, including those of the US, Saudi Arabia, Sweden, Norway, and Denmark, have ordered their citizens to leave Ethiopia in recent days.
Thousands of people have been murdered and hundreds of thousands have been displaced as a result of the violence, which has thrown the country’s north into a humanitarian catastrophe.