Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed Urges Civilians to Join Armed Forces as War Rages

Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed has called on eligible civilians to join the army in the fight against the rebels in the Tigray region.

“Now is the right time for all capable Ethiopians who are of age to join the Defense Forces, Special Forces, and militias and show your patriotism,” Ahmed said in a statement on Aug. 10.

“Every Ethiopian must work closely with the security forces in being the eyes and ears of the country in order to track down and expose spies and agents” of the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF), Ahmed further stated.

The statement came less than two months after Ahmed declared a unilateral ceasefire and ordered the federal army to withdraw on the day the rebels took control of the regional capital Mekele in June.

Tigrayan forces have dismissed the ceasefire and argued that the government should agree to their conditions of a truce.

The civil war broke out in November when Ahmed, a Nobel Peace Prize winner, launched a military offensive against the TPLF, which the government has designated as a terrorist organization.

The conflict has triggered a deepening humanitarian crisis in the region, leaving 400,000 people to face famine-like conditions, according to the United Nations.

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