Ethiopia Urges Civilians to Join Fight Against Tigray Rebels

Ethiopia has called on “all able-bodied Ethiopians of age” to join the armed forces as the nine-month conflict in Tigray has spread in recent weeks to two neighboring regions in the north of the country.

A statement from Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed’s Office emphasized the need for more civilians to join the armed forces, He said “It is now time for all able-bodied Ethiopians to join the defence forces, special forces, and militias and show their patriotism,”

The fighting began last November after the Tigray region forces attacked and killed federal soldiers. It has later seen a dramatic turnaround since late June.

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In late June, Abiy Ahmed declared a cease-fire which was rejected by the rebels. They continued their offensive into the neighboring regions of Amhara in the south and Afar in the east.

Fighting there has displaced an estimated 300,000 people.

The United Nations on Tuesday said it had regained access to two camps housing Eritrean refugees in Tigray. It warned that people living there were facing dire conditions.

UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, said since July 13, violent clashes in the northern region had prevented their staff from reaching the Mai Aini and Adi Harush camps.

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