Monday. 04.03.2024

Ethiopian authorities have called on residents of Addis Ababa to mount an armed defence of their residential areas.

Firearms need to be registered with police within the next two days, a senior city official, Kenea Yadeta, said on Tuesday, adding that all parts of Ethiopian society were called upon to cooperate.

In the past few days, the military was forced to withdraw from important cities in the Amhara region, which borders the capital, in the conflict with rebels of the Tigray People's Liberation Front (TPLF).

Together with rebels from the Oromo Liberation Army (OLA), the TPLF was able to gain access to one of the most important highways in the country and is now advancing on Addis Ababa.

A year ago the government launched a military offensive against the TPLF, which had been in power in the northern region of Tigray until then.

Conflict spreading

The TPLF dominated Ethiopia, with its around 115 million inhabitants, for a good 25 years until Abiy Ahmed came to power in 2018 and ousted it.

Leading members of the military defected to the TPLF, which allowed the rebels to achieve great successes within a short amount of time.

Since the beginning of August, the conflict has spread to the neighbouring regions of Afar and Amhara. The clashes have led to a serious humanitarian crisis in the north of the country.

Ethiopian authorities call on Addis residents to take up arms