Abiy Ahmed on Tuesday vowed to lead his country’s army ‘from the battle front’ after Tigray rebels threatened to march on Addis Ababa.
Ethiopia’s Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed has directed the war effort from the front lines, state-affiliated media reported.
Deputy Prime Minister Demeke Mekonnen Hassen will take control of routine government business in Abiy’s absence, the Fana news article said on Wednesday.
Government spokesman Legesse Tulu outlined the transfer of some routine duties in a news conference, the Fana report said.
The development comes a day after Ethiopia’s Nobel Prize-winning prime minister said he would lead his country’s army “from the battle front” into a dramatic new step as the year-long conflict moves closer to the capital, Addis Ababa.
Tens of thousands of people have been killed and hundreds of thousands plunged into starvation since November last year when the prime minister launched a military offensive against the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF), which had dominated the central government for decades before Abiy. assumed office in 2018.
The Tigrayan forces continued to push towards Addis Ababa, claiming control of the town of Shewa Robit, just 220 km (136 miles) northeast of the capital by road.
Much of northern Ethiopia is under a communications eclipse and access for journalists is restricted, making the battlefield claims difficult to confirm.
More details follow…