As Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed appealed for citizens to take up arms, two different groups fighting Ethiopia’s central government announced that they had seized control of towns in the turbulent northern regions of the country.
The Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF), the main rebel group fighting in the region, claimed it had captured the town of Kombolcha on the main road, which links landlocked Ethiopia to the port in Djibouti.
In addition, another group called the Oromo Liberation Army (OLA) also claimed they defeated government forces in Kemise, located in the Amhara region.
Following the statement of the TPLF, Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed urged citizens to join the fight against the rebel group, saying: “Our people should march…with any weapon and resources they have to defend, repulse and bury the terrorist TPLF,” in a Facebook post on Sunday evening.
Nearly a year ago, the conflict between federal troops and the TPLF emerged, which dominated Ethiopian politics for nearly three decades before Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed was appointed in 2018. Since then, the conflict has killed thousands of civilians and displaced more than two million people.
Initially, the TPLF was pushed back and most of the Tigray region was recaptured in July. However, the TPLF then pushed into the neighboring Amhara and Afar regions, displacing hundreds of thousands more civilians.