Ethiopian PM Abiy Ahmed vows to lead troops in war against rebels

‘Let’s meet at the front’: Abiy Ahmed has issued a rallying cry to Ethiopians in the year-long battle with TPLF rebels. Photograph: Presidential Press Service/Reuters

MOGADISHU, Somalia - Embattled Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed now says he will lead the Ethiopian National Defense Forces [ENDF] from the frontline in the fight against Tigray Defense Forces [TDF] as the conflict in the Horn of Africa nation escalates.

The PM, who has been battling to contain the re-energized TDF, said he will be leading from the frontline starting today [Tuesday]. The one-year-old conflict has left thousands of people dead and millions displaced.

“It’s time to lead the country through sacrifice. I will join the front to lead the defense forces tomorrow.” Calling on Ethiopians the PM said, “Those of you who aspire to be remembered in history, rise up for your country. Meet me at the front.”

PM Abiy assured that the administrative vacuum will be filled by federal and regional officials who will work harder than ever to their fullest capacity to carry out administrative and development activities. Initially, he had asked Ethiopians to join the fight against TDF.

The PM blamed "internal and external" enemies of Ethiopia but did not disclose any identity. For some time now, he has been accusing unnamed foreign nations of triggering the crisis in the Horn of Africa nation.

“Ethiopia’s plan was to move forward together without abandoning anyone,” the PM said adding, “ That is why we focused our foreign policy on our neighbors.” He continued, “This struggle is the struggle of all black people.

"The campaign against Ethiopia is a conspiracy to undermine the history, culture, identity, and dignity of black people and humiliate them by subduing their symbol of freedom, Ethiopia.” He further called on all black people to stand by Ethiopia in a spirit of pan-Africanism.

“There is no time left to criticize from afar”, the PM said, adding, “Let us do what must be done ourselves. We are all that Ethiopia has.” He concluded his message by reiterating his commitment, “The name Ethiopia is the name of winners, it is a symbol of freedom. I have no doubt that my generation will pay the price in its name and write its victory in gold.

The country has been battling with TDF for a year despite calls by the international community to deescalate the crisis. TDF has been pushing further southwards and even threatened to capture Addis Ababa, the capital of the country.


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