Ethiopian prime minister says he will lead soldiers against rebels from front lines

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The prime minister of Ethiopia on Monday said he would mobilize the military and lead soldiers on the front lines against rebels advancing toward the capital.

Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed announced the news through a Twitter post, writing that “this is a time when leading a country with martyrdom is needed,” according to The Associated Press.

“Let’s meet at the battlefront,” said Ahmed, who reportedly held an executive meeting earlier in the day, where his defense minister announced that security forces were also preparing for “special measures and tactics.”

Ethiopia has been embroiled in a civil war for more than a year that has killed tens of thousands of people and left millions displaced from their homes. Most of the fighting has taken place inside of the province Tigray in northern Ethiopia, where the Ethiopian military and neighboring ally Eritrea have been accused of human rights violations.

In June, however, government forces withdrew from Tigray. In early November, two opposition groups, the Tigray People’s Liberation Front and the Oromo Liberation Army, began moving toward the capital of Ethiopia, Addis Ababa. The rebels are pushing for the ouster of Ahmed and the lifting of a blockade on the Tigray region.

Ahmed won the Nobel Peace Prize in 2019 for negotiating a peace deal with Eritrea but has since been criticized for his involvement in the ongoing civil war.

Tags Abiy Ahmed Civil War Eritrea Eritrean–Ethiopian War Ethiopia oposition rebels Tigray People's Liberation Front War
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