Ethiopia’s Abiy Ahmed has said he will go to the front line to face the TPLF rebels, in an effort to end the civil unrest that has lasted more than a year. “Starting tomorrow, I will mobilise to the front to lead the defence forces. 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 front”, says the 45-year-old prime minister, who is an ex-combatant himself. This new offensive is in conjunction with denials by the government that the TPLF and the OLA are advancing on the capital. Forces loyal to the TPLF and OLA have been seen in cities about 300kms away from the capital as recently as the last week. Ahmed’s comments and trip seem to be a show of force, in the face of a possibility of peace talks. Conversely, the TPLF spokesperson has dismissed Mr Abiy’s statement, saying “our forces won’t relent on the inexorable advance towards bringing [Abiy’s] chokehold on our people to an end.” If he does this, it will be a blot on the already failing reputation of the recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize in 2018.

South Africa and Kenya have added their voices to call to end the conflict in Ethiopia. At a bilateral state visit by President Uhuru Kenyatta, President Cyril Ramaphosa said the topic of the “grave situation” in Ethiopia was discussed. “We expressed our conviction that there is a scope for dialogue among the warring parties in Ethiopia and that there is an urgent need for all parties to the conflict to commit to an immediate, indefinite, negotiated ceasefire, and an all-inclusive political dialogue.

Exit advisories have been issued by some countries to their citizens, with some outright saying people should make their way out of the country as soon as reasonably possible. Canada has advised its citizens to leave the country, while the USA has issued a possible terror alert, as an advisory of possible instability.

France and Germany have also issued repatriation notices to their citizens. France has instructed them to leave “without delay”, while Germany has called on its citizens to leave on the first available flights. The UN has also announced it is “temporarily relocating” families of international staff stationed in Ethiopia, while the employed staff would remain. “We will continue to monitor the situation as it evolves, keeping in mind the safety of our staff and the need to continue to stand and deliver and to continue operations and support all the people that need our assistance”, says Stephanie Dujarric, spokesperson of the UN Secretary-General.

2018 Nobel Peace Prize Winner Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed Ali of Ethiopia declared that he will be leading the troops in the fight against the TPLF

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