Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed has said he wants to go to the front himself to lead the soldiers facing the rebels. (Eduardo Soteras / AFP)
The ceasefire now seems a long way off in Ethiopia. Faced with the progression of the fighting towards the capital Addis Ababa, France urged its nationals to leave the country as of Tuesday. “All French nationals are formally called upon to leave the country without delay,” says the French Embassy in Addis Ababa in an email sent to members of the French community .
The embassy, which says it is taking this decision in view of “the evolution of the military situation”, adds plans to facilitate the departure of nationals on commercial flights in booking seats and “if necessary” to charter a charter flight. An embassy official said “voluntary” departures of staff could take place, especially among families. A decision that the UN has already taken. The international organization announced on Tuesday to evacuate the families of its international employees by November 25.
The war between the Ethiopian authorities and the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) supported by the Oromo Liberation Army (OLA), has lasted until now. Now thousands dead and displaced over 2 million people. The conflict began in November 2020, when Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed sent the Federal Army to Tigray in order to remove the authorities in this region, from of the TigrÃ © Liberation Front (TPLF). He accused them of defying his authority and of attacking military bases. But in June, pro-TPLF fighters regained most of the region and continued their offensive in neighboring Amhara and Afar regions, with thus bringing closer to the capital.
The TPLF, which has allied itself with an Oromo rebel group active in the area around the capital, this week claimed to be in Shewa Robit, 220 km northeast of the capital. ?Addis Ababa. According to diplomats, some rebel fighters have reached the town of Debre Sina, closer to about 30 km from the capital.
On Monday evening, Abiy Ahmed said he wanted to go to the front himself to lead the soldiers facing the rebels. “From tomorrow, I will be mobilized on the front to lead the armed forces,” said the Prime Minister in a statement posted on Twitter. “Those who want to be among the Ethiopian children who will be greeted by history, stand up for the country today. Let’s meet at the front. ”
In recent weeks, diplomatic efforts by the international community have intensified in an attempt to secure a ceasefire agreement. US Secretary of State Antony Blinken recently warned of the risks of Ethiopia “imploding” if there is no political solution to the conflict. is found. A diplomatic issue that is moving away with the recent events.