Tuesday, November 23, 2021

Ethiopia’s PM Abiy Ahmed vows to lead army ‘from the battlefront’ | Al Jazeera

Ethiopia’s Nobel Peace Prize-winning prime minister has said he will lead his country’s army “from the battlefront” beginning on Tuesday, a dramatic new step as the year-long conflict moves closer to the capital Addis Ababa.

“Starting tomorrow, I will mobilise to the front to lead the defence forces,” Abiy Ahmed said in a statement posted on Twitter late on Monday.

“Those who want to be among the Ethiopian children who will be hailed by history, rise up for your country today. Let’s meet at the battlefront.”

Tens of thousands of people are estimated to have been killed in the war between Ethiopian and allied forces, and fighters from the country’s northern Tigray region, who dominated the national government before Abiy took office. The United States and others have warned that Africa’s second-most populous country could fracture and destabilise the rest of the region.

The statement by the 45-year-old prime minister, a former soldier, did not say where exactly he will go Tuesday. His spokeswoman, Billene Seyoum, did not respond to a request for comment from the Associated Press news agency.

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