Ethiopia’s PM urges civilians to join army as Tigray conflict spirals

Daily News Egypt
3 Min Read

Ethiopia’s Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed has urged all eligible civilians to join the Ethiopian National Defence Forces (ENDF) as Tigray conflict spirals out of control. 

The country’s is suffering from armed conflict in several regions.

“Now is the right time for all capable Ethiopians who are of age to join the defence forces, special forces and militias and show your patriotism,” the prime minister said in a press release.

In July, Tigray Defence Forces (TDF) started an offensive into the neighbouring state of Afar, saying that they are conducting a preemptive strike against ENDF and Amhara region troops in the area.

The region is of strategic importance because the main road and railway linking Addis Ababa, landlocked Ethiopia’s capital, with the seaport of Djibouti run through it.

TDF also attacked the Amhara region in a bid to force 

In November 2020, war erupted between ENDF and the Tigray ruling party TPLF. In June, Tigray forces took control of Mekele, as the Ethiopian army withdrew after almost eight months of fighting.

The Tigrayan forces say that they do not aim to hold territory in Amhara and Afar and is instead focused on facilitating aid access and preventing pro-government forces from regrouping.

Abiy’s government, meanwhile, has said a unilateral ceasefire it announced in late June was intended to allow aid deliveries, and that the TPLF’s subsequent offensive undermined that effort.

According to the Brooking Institution, Abiy enlisting of militia support will prove to be a loose cannon. Traditionally, anti-insurgent militias require central government reinforcement, lest many such groups succumb to defection pressures or are crushed by potent rebel forces: Afghanistan and Mexico provide many an example.

On Sunday, Sudan recalled its ambassador to Ethiopia for consultations, after Addis Ababa had accused Khartoum of interfering in the Tigray crisis.

According to the Sudanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Sudan has been affected by the conflict in the Ethiopian region of Tigray, which produced many refugees to the neighbouring countries.

The ministry denied Ethiopian accusations of interfering in the Tigray conflict, stressing that Sudanese Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok called on the Ethiopian parties to resolve the Tigray crisis peacefully.

The statement explained that Sudan’s interest in resolving the conflict is part of its commitment to regional peace and stability, and keenness to restore security in Ethiopia.

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