Ethiopia leader urges citizens to join war against Tigray forces

In this file photo taken on July 02, 2021 captive Ethiopian soldiers walk towards the Mekele Rehabilitation Center in Mekele, the capital of Tigray region, Ethiopia. (YASUYOSHI CHIBA / AFP)

Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed urged citizens across the country to join the fight against rebellious Tigray forces, after the fall of two strategic towns in the northeast of the country.

Fighters loyal to the Tigray People’s Liberation Front seized Kombolcha in the Amhara region, about 250 kilometers (155 miles) northeast of the capital, Addis Ababa, Getachew Reda, a senior TPLF official, said on Sunday. Their advance came a day after reports they took the nearby town of Dessie as the Amhara region’s government announced plans to redirect all spending to support the nation’s federal army.

Fighters loyal to the Tigray People’s Liberation Front seized Kombolcha in the Amhara region, about 250 kilometers (155 miles) northeast of the capital

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“Our people should temporarily set aside their regular activities and join the fight with all of their resources and arms under the legal structure to prevent, reverse and bury the terrorist TPLF,” Nobel-laureate Abiy said in a statement.

The yield on Ethiopia’s $1 billion of Eurobonds jumped 19 basis points to a record 14.54 percent by 9:45 am in London on Monday. The rate on the debt has more than doubled since the conflict began in November 2020.

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken on Monday said he was “alarmed by reports” of the TPLF’s takeover of Dessie and Kombolcha.

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