The Nairobi-Nobel Peace Prize in Kenya has aroused critics’ anger at the 2019 award given to the Prime Minister of Ethiopia as a terrible mistake since Abiy Ahmed participated in the war a year ago. ..
But this week, Abby went one step further when he declared he was heading to the front to lead an army in an attempt to stop the rebels advancing in the capital.
By Thursday, there were no signs of Mr. Abbey delegating the day-to-day operations of Ethiopia, Africa’s second most populous country, on his behalf. His office refused to say where he was. However, with the expulsion of 2 million Ethiopians and at least 400,000 in a famine-like situation, there is now a growing sense of urgency for a war that could ruin the country.
Foreigners are leaving in a fuss, and US-led diplomatic scrambling to mediate peace is at a standstill. Tigrinya rebels, who started their march in Addis Ababa from northern Ethiopia in July, say they are now 120 miles away from the capital.
Two U.S. military officials said they were in case U.S. citizens needed to be evacuated amid growing concerns that the capital airport, one of Africa’s busiest airports, would soon be closed. , Confirmed reports that a C-17 military freighter was placed in adjacent Djibouti.
Officials emphasized that it is unlikely to happen on Thanksgiving holiday weekends. But beyond that, few were willing to predict what would happen next.
Although his army suffers from a series of humiliating defeats, Mr Abby maintains deep public support. His rebellion was publicly endorsed Wednesday by Ethiopian national hero Haile Gebrselassie, a two-time Olympic gold medalist. He also announced that he would be on the front line.
Gebrselaisse is 48 years old. However, many young Ethiopians support Abiy’s campaign, offering to defend Addis Ababa or participate in combat in the north, even if he has never fired a weapon.
“I’m following the Prime Minister,” said a taxi driver who joined a newly formed vigilant group wandering the streets of Addis Ababa at night, armed with sticks, and searching for suspected rebels. Shintaiev Murgeta, 28, said.
Sintayehu blamed his cousin’s death during a political protest in 2016 for the Tigray People’s Liberation Front, which ruled Ethiopia for 27 years until 2018 and now controls rebels approaching the capital.
“They have the blood of my cousin in their hands,” he said. “I don’t want you to come back again.”
The militant stance reflects an unpleasant turn just two years ago when Mr. Abby took the stage in Oslo, the Norwegian capital, and won the Nobel Peace Prize. “War is the epitome of hell,” Abby said then.
But last year, references to the suffering of hell in Ethiopia focused primarily on Tigray. Tigray is the northern region where Mr. Abby’s army and its allies from the Amharic region adjacent to Eritrea faced allegations of genocide, sexual violence and ethnic cleansing.
The Tigrinyas, albeit on a small scale, also face allegations of abuse.
The Biden administration is leading diplomatic efforts to stop the fight and prevent the collapse of major US security partners in the Horn of Africa. Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken, who visited Kenya last week, discussed the crisis with President Uhuru Kenyatta.
However, the Tigrayans continue to push south, claiming to be outside Debresina, an important town on a high ridge about 120 miles by road from Addis Ababa this week.
The Ethiopian government has swayed between plundering foreign media by overestimating its losses and providing dramatic gestures that appear to indicate vulnerability as well as strength.
Before heading to the battlefield this week, Mr. Abbey was in a time of “need martyrdom.”
On Wednesday, his government expelled four of Ireland’s six Irish diplomats over Ireland’s candid criticism of Mr. Abby’s actions. They have joined the list of foreign journalists, aid workers and UN officials expelled from Ethiopia since the summer when the war began to change.
Security forces have arrested thousands of people, many of whom are engaged in a fierce summarization of Tigrayans packed in temporary detention centers.
At daily recruitment ceremonies, older Ethiopians enthusiastically listen to a speech blaming the Tigrinya “junta” called TPLF, as young men and women volunteer to be at the forefront.
“I don’t want to see him regain power,” said Tirafun Mamo, a 32-year-old parking clerk who leads a group of 30 vigilants in the city’s Bole district. Waiting to be called for the war.
The deep-seated fear of Tigrinya rule supports some of Mr. Abby’s support. The TPLF brought economic growth to Ethiopia during 27 years of political domination, but fraudulently conducted elections, imprisoned and tortured critics, and suffocated free press.
However, analysts say Abby is also participating in a collaborative campaign blaming the Tigrinyas. This warns that UN officials may fall into ethnic or genocide violence.
“Why do I sit down and wait for terrorists to bring my city?” Said Dereje Tegenu, a 42-year-old security guard and member of Addis Ababa’s vigilantism. “I’m going to fight them.”
Ethnic fault lines are the clearest among the Oromo, who make up about one-third of Ethiopia’s 110 million people. Abby, whose father is an Oromo, took power in 2018 on a wave of street protests led by an angry young Oromo, but many of the movements now say he betrayed their cause. There is.
In particular, some have armed him through the Oromo Liberation Army, who joined the Tigrayans during the Addis march.
In a telephone interview, Oromo group leader Jaal Marroo dismissed Mr. Abby’s pledge to combat as a “joke” and predicted that the country was “heading for a turmoil.”
“The government is dissatisfied with using human-wave tactics to use the final card and mobilizing ethnic groups,” he said.
Oromo political prisoners say their lives are at stake. Two prominent Oromo leaders, Jawarmohammed and Bekeregerva, who were imprisoned last year, said this week through their families that they were afraid that prison guards were trying to kill them.
This week, France and Germany joined the list of Western countries, urging citizens to leave Ethiopia as soon as possible while regular flights were still in service. The US embassy has ordered all non-critical personnel to leave and warned this week of the possibility of an unspecified “terrorist attack” in Ethiopia.
At a press conference on Thursday, a spokesman for the Ethiopian government accused the US warning of “false information.”
The report was provided by Eric Schmidt Reporter for the New York Times in Addis Ababa, San Francisco and Ethiopia.