Ethiopia PM says there is ‘sacrifice to pay’ as Tigray forces advance on Addis Ababa
Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed said on Saturday there was a “sacrifice to pay” to save the country in a letter to the public, as Tigrayan fighters threatened to advance an assault on the capital Addis Ababa.
“There is a sacrifice to pay. But the sacrifice will save Ethiopia… This is a challenging time when heroes are born,” he said in a post on Facebook.
The government’s communication service also posted on social media to rally support for Abiy against the Tigrayan forces. It said on Twitter: “For us, Ethiopians, dying for our sovereignty, unity and identity, is an honor. There is no Ethiopianism without sacrifice.”
The Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) formed an alliance with eight other anti-government factions to oust Abiy’s government, the latest development in a year-long war that has claimed the lives of thousands and displaced more than two million people.
Tigrayan and allied forces have threatened to march on Addis Ababa.
The Ethiopian government has declared a state of emergency and its army is preparing for a confrontation and has asked retired military personnel to rejoin the army to fight the Tigrayan forces.
The international community has renewed calls for a ceasefire. US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said on Thursday: “We call on the Government of Ethiopia to halt its military campaign, including air strikes in population centers in Tigray and mobilization of ethnic militias.”
The UN Security Council called on Friday for a ceasefire and end to the hostilities in Ethiopia, and expressed “deep concern” about the expansion of military clashes.