Ethiopian Prime Minister on Front Line with Army in Afar Region – State Affiliated Television | World news

NAIROBI (Reuters) – Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed is on the front lines with the army fighting Tigray rebel forces in the northeastern Afar region, state affiliate Fana Broadcasting reported on Friday.

Abiy wore military fatigues and spoke to the Afaan Oromo and Amharic language television station, according to the show. Reuters could not independently verify exactly where it was filmed.

“What you see over there is a mountain that was captured by the enemy until yesterday. Now we have been able to capture it completely,” said Abiy, wearing a hat and sunglasses.

“The morale of the army is very exciting,” he said, promising to capture the town of Chifra, on the border between Tigray and Afar, “today”.

“We will not back down until we bury the enemy and secure Ethiopia’s freedom. What we need to see is a self-sufficient Ethiopia, and we will die for it,” Abiy said.

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Abiy announced Monday evening that he was heading to the front lines to lead the fight against rebel forces in the northern Tigray region and their allies.

Tigrayan forces have threatened to enter the capital Addis Ababa or try to cut a corridor connecting landlocked Ethiopia to the region’s largest port.

US special envoy Jeffrey Feltman said this week that Tigrayan forces were able to advance south towards the capital, but the military had repelled several attempts to cut off the transport corridor on the eastern front.

The spread of the year-old conflict in neighboring Afar and Amhara regions means 9.4 million people are in need of food assistance as a direct result of the ongoing conflict, the World Food Program said on Friday. United Nations. More than 80% of those in need are behind the lines of battle, he added.

“The corridors to Tigray had been closed due to recent Tigray offenses on Afar and Amhara, as well as serious disruptions in federal government authorizations. Since mid-July, less than a third of the necessary supplies (…) have entered the region, “the organization said.

(Reporting by Nairobi Newsroom; Editing by Alison Williams, Alex Richardson and Emelia Sithole-Matarise)

Copyright 2021 Thomson Reuters.

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