UN chief calls for immediate end to fighting in Ethiopia

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The call comes with Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed who is reportedly on the frontline and people coming to join the army.

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UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has called for an immediate end to fighting in Ethiopia, as the United States warned that there was “no military solution” to the African nation’s civil war.

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The calls came after Ethiopian media reported that the country’s prime minister and Nobel Peace Prize laureate Abiy Ahmed was at the forefront of “giving leadership from the battlefield” amid a years-long crisis. High-profile Ethiopian athletes, including Olympic gold medalist and national hero Hailey Gebrselassie, MPs, party and regional leaders, have also pledged to join Ethiopian forces battling rebels in the northern Tigre region, including men from Addis Ababa are.

Speaking in Colombia, Guterres called for an “unconditional and immediate ceasefire”.

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In November 2020, war broke out between Ethiopian federal troops and the Tigre People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) in the country’s Tigre region. In July, conflict spread to two neighboring regions in northern Ethiopia, and rebels are moving toward the capital, Addis Ababa.

Hale, now 48 more retired, said he was forced to join because Ethiopia’s very existence was in danger.

“What will you do when the survival of a country is at stake? You just put everything down,” he told Reuters news agency. “Alas, nothing binds you. I’m sorry!”

“There is no military solution to the conflict in Ethiopia,” a US State Department spokesman said in a statement, adding that diplomacy was “the first, last and only option”.

The statement added that all sides “must refrain from provocative and war-related rhetoric, exercise restraint, respect human rights, allow humanitarian access and protect civilians”.

Ethiopia’s Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed’s promise to lead the front lines of his country’s brutal years-long war has spurred recruitment for the beleaguered armed forces, with officers in Addis Ababa’s Kolph district honoring 1,200 recruits. A function has been organized for Army [Amanuel Sileshi/AFP]

Thousands have been killed and more than two million people have been forcibly evicted from their homes since the start of the conflict and 400,000 are facing famine in Tigre.

Washington’s remarks came a day after the US special envoy for the Horn of Africa reported “nascent progress” towards a diplomatic settlement between the government and the Tigrayan rebels, but warned it would be “dangerous developments” on the ground. There is a danger of eclipse.

The envoy, Jeffrey Feltman, had just returned from Addis Ababa, where he was giving Dalal a push for a ceasefire.

It was unclear where Abiy was actually stationed, and state media did not broadcast images of him on the field.

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