By Faith Nyasuguta
All eligible Ethiopian civilians have been called upon by the incumbent Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed to join the government troops as violence intensifies in multiple regions.
“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,” Abiy said.
The statement comes barely two months after he declared a unilateral ceasefire against rebels of Tigray.
Last November, the prime minister sent the federal army in Ethiopia’s Tigray area to oust the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF).
For about three decades until 2018, TPLF, the regional ruling party, dominated national politics.
According to the PM who doubles as the 2019 Nobel Peace Prize winner, the directive came as a response to TPLF attacks on federal army camps,
Despite Abiy vowing a swift victory, the conflict took a stunning turn in June when Tigrayan forces recaptured Mekelle, the regional capital, pushing the Ethiopian army to withdraw.
The PM also announced a unilateral truce indicating that it would facilitate humanitarian access to the area where over 400,000 people are facing famine-like conditions, according to the UN.
Since the announcement, the TPLF has moved both east and south into neighboring Afar and the Amhara region.
Last week, the forces captured the Amhara town of Lalibela, a UN agency World Heritage Site as it is home to 12th-century rock-hewn churches.
On Tuesday, it appeared like the state’s patience had run out as via a statement it directed security forces “to halt the destruction of the treasonous and terrorist TPLF organization and the machinations of foreign hands once and for all”.