Ethiopia declares state of emergency as Tigray forces gain territory

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Ethiopia declares state of emergency as Tigray forces gain territory

ADDIS ABABA – Ethiopia declared a state of emergency, state media reported, just hours after the Tigray Defense Forces [TDF] captured most of the strategic cities of neighboring Amhara, making it difficult for the Federal Army to make significant inroads.

For the past year, soldiers from Tigray, a faction affiliated with the Popular Front for the Liberation of Tigray [TPLF], were embroiled in a quarrel over the country’s internal politics, degenerating into a full-fledged war. Thousands of people have died and others displaced according to the United Nations.

According to Fana Broadcasting Cooperation, the cabinet on Tuesday declared a national emergency, with the current crisis in the country listed in the cabinet. The emergency comes weeks after TDF refused to agree to a ceasefire on unresolved issues.

Gedewon Temotiwos, who is Justice Minister and government spokesperson Legese Tulu, issued a statement on behalf of Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed, who has often criticized TDF for the current offensive in northern Ethiopia.

In fact, Sudan had almost negotiated talks between Addis Ababa and the former authorities in Mekelle, but the government’s decision to evoke the final offensive almost thwarted all efforts to fight for the truce.

The state of emergency aims to protect civilians from the atrocities committed by the TDF Group in several regions of the country. The House of Peoples’ Representatives is expected to approve the state of emergency within 24 hours, calling the holding “terrorists”.

It should be recalled that Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed spoke with senior government officials on Monday about current affairs in the country, state media added in a brief statement on Tuesday evening.

Earlier, authorities in Addis Ababa urged residents to prepare to defend their neighborhoods after Tigray forces who have been fighting the central government for a year said they could advance in the capital. All gun owners have been asked to register with the government.

TDF had seized the town of Kombolcha, even as the Ethiopian National Defense Forces [ENDF] had a hard time getting in. TDF had accused Addis Ababa of “spreading rumors” adding that the federal army had already given up. The outfit also denied using foreign fighters in the war.

In addition, the Somali regional state in Ethiopia has held an emergency meeting as Tigray forces advance in Amhara. He said the future of the region is in the hands of the Somali people. It is not known what he means by “Somali people” because his state is a member of the Ethiopian federal states.

Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed won the Nobel Peace Prize in 2019, but his reign has been quite chaotic, with several wars being fought on different fronts. The international community called for talks but TDF, through its spokesperson Getachew Reda, rejected the decision.

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