Friday, December 03, 2021

Ethiopia PM says will lead army ‘from battlefront’

NAIROBI, Kenya — Ethiopia’s Nobel Peace Prize-winning prime minister says he will lead his country’s army “from the battlefront” beginning Tuesday, a dramatic new step in a devastating yearlong war.

“This is a time when leading a country with martyrdom is needed,” Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed said in a statement posted on social media Monday night.

With rival Tigray forces moving closer to the capital of Addis Ababa, his government declared a state of emergency earlier this month.

An estimated tens of thousands of people have been killed in the war between Ethiopian and allied forces and fighters from the country’s northern Tigray region, who long 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 destabilize the Horn of Africa.

The U.S. military was closely monitoring the situation in Ethiopia, an official told CBS News on Monday, while “conducting prudent planning,” but there has been no indication that American forces are preparing for a mass-evacuation akin to what happened in Kabul following the Taliban’s takeover of Afghanistan.

The State Department has, however, made it very clear that any U.S. citizens still in Ethiopia should leave without delay. (AP)


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