Ethiopian personalities such as athletes Haile Gebrselassie and Feyisa Lilesa have been in favor of doing everything possible to help their country, including going to the war front in the northern region of Tigray.
The appeal made by the Prime Minister of Ethiopia, Abiy ahmed, who urged “all citizens” to defend their country, has warmed the spirits of Ethiopian personalities such as the legendary ex-athlete Haile Gebrselassie, two-time Olympic 10,000-meter champion, who on Tuesday assured state media that he will do everything he can to help his country, “including going to fight.”
The athlete Feyisa Lilesa, a silver medalist in the 2016 Rio Olympics marathon, he also declared himself a supporter of going to the battlefield.
The Prime Minister of Ethiopia, Abiy ahmed, has marched to the front to lead the Ethiopian Army in the war against the rebels in this region, the Government spokesman reported this Wednesday, Legesse Tulu.
“The movement of the prime minister to the front is a clear and exemplary decision of a true leader. There is nothing more Ethiopian. Ethiopians should follow the prime minister and march to save the country,” Legesse told a news conference in Addis Ababa .
Demeke Mekonnen Hassen, Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister, will deal with routine government affairs during Abiy’s absence from the capital, the spokesman said.
“Other senior government officials have also accepted the prime minister’s call and will go to the war fronts. Leaders who remain will focus on their regular work and Demeke Mekonnen, Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister, will coordinate this, “Legesse explained.
The president, winner of the Nobel Peace Prize in 2019, promised last Monday that, starting Tuesday, he would fight on the battlefield against the rebels from Tigria because right now the country “needs to sacrifice itself.”
The president urged “all citizens” to defend the country and “confront the enemy” on the battlefield.
“It is a struggle that determines whether we live or not. But we will definitely win. It is unthinkable that Ethiopia will be defeated, “Abiy added.
Abiy launched his harangue after the forces of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Tigray (FPLT) conquered the city of Tigray last weekend. Shewa Robit, in the neighboring region of Amhara, about 220 kilometers from Addis Ababa, headquarters of the African Union (AU), among other international organizations.
War broke out on November 4, 2020, when Abiy ordered an offensive against the FPLT, the party that then ruled the region, in retaliation for an attack on a federal military base and after an escalation of political tensions.
By now, according to the UN, thousands of people have died and some two million have been internally displaced in Tigray, whose rebels have spread the conflict to neighboring regions of Amhara and Afar.
The FPLT, which dominated the Ethiopian government before Abiy came to power in 2018, has also formed an alliance with other insurgent groups, such as the Oromo Liberation Army (OLA), active in the Oromia region around Addis Ababa. .
The fear that the rebels could take the capital of the second most populous country in Africa (more than 110 million inhabitants) has prompted the diplomatic efforts of the international community to achieve a cessation of hostilities and a negotiated solution.
The AU Special Envoy for the Horn of Africa, Former Nigerian President Olusegun Obasanjohas recently met with the leaders of both sides without these conversations having yielded any fruit for the time being.
US Secretary of State Antony Blinken warned last week in Nairobi that the war threatens the security of the Horn of Africa, and urged the parties to the conflict to return to the “political process” to resolve the dispute.
The UN announced on Tuesday that it will remove the relatives or relatives of its staff from Ethiopia given the insecurity that exists in the country, and countries such as the United States, the United Kingdom, Germany or France have recommended their nationals to leave Ethiopia.
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Gebrselassie, ready to lead the Tigray war