By Theodore Jones –
Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed reportedly entered the front lines of the battle on Wednesday, where government forces are battling Tigray area rebels, sparking US-led international calls for a diplomatic solution and an urgent ceasefire.
Thousands of people have been killed and hundreds of thousands have been thrown into famine-like conditions as a result of violence in the north of Africa’s second-most populated country.
Because of the increasing conflict and fears that Tigrayan rebels could march on Addis Ababa, foreign governments have advised their people to flee.
Abiy, the Nobel Peace Prize laureate for 2019, “is now directing the counter-offensive” and “has been providing leadership from the battlefied.”
Abiy, winner of the 2019 Nobel Peace Prize, “is now leading the counter-offensive” and “has been giving leadership from the battlefield as of yesterday,” Fana Broadcasting Corporate reported.
It was not clear where Abiy, a former radio operator in the military who rose to lieutenant-colonel, had deployed.
State media did not broadcast images of him in the field, and officials have not responded to requests for details about his whereabouts.
Addressing reports of Abiy at the front, the US State Department late Wednesday warned “there is no military solution” to Ethiopia’s civil war.
“We urge all parties to refrain from inflammatory and bellicose rhetoric, to use restraint, respect human rights, allow humanitarian access, and protect civilians,” a State Department spokesperson said.