Thousands of Ethiopians flocked to a stadium in the capital, Addis Ababa, to demonstrate support for new military recruits as the country’s year-long conflict intensifies.
In her address to the people, Addis Ababa mayor Adanech Abebe said, “There is no victory without sacrifice.” “At this important juncture, we are not allowed to be become tired.”
The event happen as Ethiopia’s government responded to international warnings about hate speech by comparing rival Tigray forces to “a rat that strays far from its hole” and declaring that the country is on the verge of “burying the evil forces.”
Since November 2020, a war that has killed thousands of people and uprooted millions has threatened to swallow Addis Ababa.
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In recent days, Tigray forces seized key cities and allied with another armed group, prompting the government of Africa’s second-most populous country to declare a national emergency with broad detention powers.
Similarly, Ethiopia’s parliament ratified the country’s state of emergency by an overwhelming majority on Thursday, as rival Tigray forces threaten to advance on the capital as the country’s year-long war escalates.
The Ethiopian government declared an emergency on Tuesday, the clearest sign of concern yet from Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed.
Abiy allowed soldiers from neighboring Eritrea to enter the Tigray region a year ago this week, alongside Ethiopian soldiers.
The government can impose a curfew, order residents to engage in military training, disrupt transportation and travel, suspend media licenses, and detain anyone suspected of having ties to a so-called terrorist group indefinitely.
According to one Ethiopian lawmaker, Tigray soldiers are conducting horrible crimes.
“I don’t believe Satan is comparable to them,” he stated. “They are at odds with creation and the creator.”
Because of the state of emergency’s extensive detention powers, ethnic Tigrayans in the capital have said they are hiding in their houses as police conduct house-to-house searches and stop people on the streets to verify identity cards, which everyone must have.
Abiy called on all citizens to fight the approaching Tigray army this week, warning them to be wary of those who “work for the enemy and live among us.”
Tigray forces say they are pressuring Ethiopia’s government to lift a deadly months-long siege on their six-million-strong area, which has been cut off after basic services and denied humanitarian food and medical aid.
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