Ethiopia’s Nobel Peace Prize-winning leader says he will lead troops on frontline against rebels

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“From tomorrow, I will personally go to the war front to lead the defense forces,” he wrote in a statement on Twitter late Monday, calling on civilians to “lead the nation with a sacrifice” and join them. requested. “Those of you who aim to become one of the children of Ethiopia who will be celebrated in history, rise up for your country today, let’s meet on the frontlines of the war.”

“Past and present, each of us’s needs and lives are down [the needs of] Ethiopia,” said Abi. “We would rather die to save Ethiopia than to save Ethiopia.”

Abi referred to the push as “the final battle to save Ethiopia” from “enemies internal and external”, who he claims are “ready to build their strength on Ethiopia’s weakness.”

The statement came after the Tigreyan People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) – Tigre’s former ruling party – claimed that its fighters had captured two cities while marching towards the capital, Addis Ababa, a year after the conflict began in the north. more than once. Country.

One of the TPLF’s claims was captured on Saturday, involving Sheva Robit, about 220 km (136 mi) northeast of Addis Ababa. CNN could not reach the federal government for comment on the claim.

TPLF spokesman Getachev Reda responded to Abiy’s statement in a tweet, warning that “our forces will not rely on their drastic progress toward strangling our people.”

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While the prime minister is on the battlefield, his duties and those of other administrators involved in the fighting will be performed by federal and regional officials who “will work to the best of their ability” to oversee the country’s development and administration.

“Ethiopia is the name of the conquerors,” Abiy concluded his statement, “I never doubt that my generation will pay the price in its name as a symbol of freedom.”

when Abi received Nobel Peace Prize in 2019 He was lauded as a regional peacemaker, bringing to an end the 20-year war between Ethiopia and Eritrea. Now, he is presiding over a long civil war with the rebels in the Tigre, which is by many accounts identity of genocide,

In November 2020, Abiy ordered a military offensive in the northern Tigre region and promised that the conflict would be resolved quickly. A year later, the fighting has killed thousands, displaced more than two million people from their homes, fueled famine and sparked a wave of atrocities.

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