Abiy calls on Ethiopians to fight Tigrayan forces
August 11, 2021 - Premier Abiy Ahmed has called on “all capable Ethiopians” to join national and regional armed forces to fight Tigrayan fighters as concern grows that the conflict might turn into an all-out war.
Northern Ethiopia has been wracked by violence since November after Abiy, the 2019 Nobel Peace Prize winner, sent troops into Tigray to topple its regional ruling party, the Tigray People's Liberation Front (TPLF), vowing a swift victory.
But nine months later, the TPLF has made advances into the neighbouring Afar and Amhara regions, while aid workers struggle to reach cut-off populations, with 400,000 people facing famine-like conditions in Tigray, according to the UN.
An attack on displaced civilians in the town of Galicoma, on Aug 5, reportedly killed over 200, including 100 children.
Also on the same day, TPLF fighters seized the town of Lalibela, home to 13th Century churches hewn from rock. The place is a holy site for millions of Orthodox Christians.
The World Food Programme says that 400,000 people are on the verge of famine-like conditions in northernmost Tigray.
France’s president, Emmanuel Macron, recently weighed in and called for the “opening of political dialogue between the belligerents, with respect for the integrity and unity of Ethiopia”, amid fears that Africa’s second-most populous country could break up.