Faced with the advance of the rebels, Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed changes his tone

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With the Tigrayan and Oromo coalition of rebels less than 200 km from the Ethiopian capital, Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed has announced that he will go to the front in person to lead the defense of the capital.

It was after a meeting of the executive committee of his party, the Prosperity Party, that the Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed let him know that as of this Tuesday, November 23 I would be personally ” mobilized at the front to lead the armed forces ». « Those who want to be part of the children of Ethiopia Hailed by history, defend your country today! », he said.

After declaring a state of emergency on November 2, former soldier Abiy Ahmed has chosen to make a very nationalist speech, recalling the warrior oaths of former Ethiopian emperors. And this, as the Oromo-Tigrayan coalition rebels, having vowed to remove him, He said to move on to Addis Ababa and in particular having taken the town of Shewa Robit, 200 kilometers from the capital. And now they would be near the Debre Sina pass, about 190 kilometers north of the Ethiopian capital.

For his part, Ethiopian Defense Minister Abraham Belay also said that the armed forces would now be compromised. ” in a different action », But without further details. ” We can’t go on like this He simply said.

Also read: UN report on the conflict in Tigray: “The team cannot conclude a genocide”

French citizens called to leave the country “without delay”

Since Abiy Ahmed’s remarks, the situation has become even more tense. After the United Kingdom and the United States, it is France’s turn to summon its nationals this Tuesday to ” formally »Leaving Ethiopia« without delay “And this, says the embassy, ​​in view of” the evolution of the military situation “It is planned to facilitate the departure of the French on commercial flights by reserving seats and” if required », To charter a charter flight. The UN has also decided to evacuate the families of its international staff ” within 72 hours ».

Therefore, the recent mediation attempts by the African Union and the United States are, for the moment, a failure. The US envoy for Ethiopia acknowledged Tuesday that ” incipient progress “With a view to a diplomatic resolution of the conflict, but warned that” climbing The military risked rendering them useless. ” What worries us is that the alarming developments on the ground are advancing faster than this fragile progress. Jeffrey Feltman told reporters after returning from a new mission in Addis Ababa.

“Guns never solved problems »

The presidents of South Africa and Kenya may also have asked the belligerents for a ceasefire on Tuesday. ” negotiated, immediate and indefinite ». « In regional security, we must continue to work together to silence the guns and promote a greater sense of democracy on our continent. We encourage our brothers in Ethiopia to work together, to lay down their arms and to realize that the best way to solve their problems is through dialogue. We must find a solution to disputes, weapons never solved problems “Said President Uhuru Kenyatta on a three-day visit.

According to a Western diplomat stationed in the Ethiopian capital, talks in recent days have failed. Neither side really gives the impression of really wanting to cease hostilities, hence the acceleration of military operations in recent days.

Vince Fernandez

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