The situation in northern Ethiopia is deteriorating day by day. On Tuesday, November 2, clashes erupted between pro-government forces and Tigrian rebels a few hundred kilometers north of Addis Ababa, where officials in the Ethiopian capital called on the people to organize and prepare to defend their rights.
The Ethiopian government has declared a state of emergency across the country, state media reported on Tuesday. The Tigris rebels, who have been in conflict with pro-government forces for a year, said they had captured two strategic cities this weekend. The Tigre People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) was responsible for capturing Tessie and Kombolza, located at a strategic crossroads 400 kilometers from Addis Ababa, and did not rule out marching towards the capital.
The government denied that it had lost control of these cities. If confirmed, this decision would mark a new turning point in the year-long conflict. “The purpose of the state of emergency is to protect the public against the atrocities perpetrated by the terrorist group TPLF in many parts of the country.”, Fana Broadcasting Corporate, a state media report.
Communication has been cut off in much of northern Ethiopia and access to journalists has been restricted, making it difficult to independently check ground conditions. But in Addis Ababa, authorities are ready to help five million residents register their guns within two days and defend the city. “All residents must organize themselves into blocks and neighborhoods in coordination with security forces to maintain peace and security in their area.”Said Kenya Yadota, head of the capital’s peace and security department.
“Young people from the city will be assigned to work with the security forces (…) Near them “, He added, citing state media. Mr. Kenya insisted on it “All Departments of Community” Participate in the awareness effort, including home and hotel owners who have verified copies of ID cards of tenants and visitors. He also demanded that it be stopped “Fake news” On social networks.
Washington is putting pressure on its historic ally
The move follows calls for unity by Prime Minister Abi Ahmed, who said victory was possible “At full speed” The country opposed the rebels. In a speech on Monday, he said foreigners are fighting alongside the TPLF, without further details. Only Eritrean troops supporting the Ethiopian military offensive in Tigris have so far confirmed the presence of foreigners on the battlefield.
The international community has expressed concern over the recent rise in fighting and has renewed its calls for an immediate ceasefire and peace talks. The conflict in Decree, which erupted in November 2020, has seen a dramatic turn in recent months. Abi Ahmed declared victory on November 28 after sending troops to remove disgruntled local officials from the TPLF. But in June, pro-TPLF militants recaptured much of the region, forcing government troops to withdraw en masse. They continued their offensive in neighboring Amhara and Afar, and now appear to be threatening the capital, Addis Ababa.
US President Joe Biden on Tuesday announced the cancellation of key trade benefits for Ethiopia, stepping up pressure on its historic ally over human rights abuses carried out as part of a military campaign around the region of Tigris. At the same time, US Ambassador Tigray called on the rebels not to march on the capital, Addis Ababa. “We oppose any movement of the TPLF towards Addis Ababa or any action aimed at besieging Addis Ababa.”, Underlining Jeffrey Feldman, Ambassador to the Horn of Africa, during a speech at the American Institute for Peace.
The United States has been one of the strongest critics of the Ethiopian prime minister’s war on northern Ethiopia. US Secretary of State Anthony Blingen has condemned the attack “Ethnic cleansing” Marked by massacres and mass rapes during this conflict.