Tigray, other groups form alliance against Ethiopia’s leader



Ethiopia’s Tigray forces on Friday joined with other armed and opposition groups around the country in an alliance against Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed to seek a political transition after a year of devastating war, and they left the possibility open for his exit by force.
“There is no limit for us,” Berhane Gebrechristos, a former foreign minister and Tigray official, told reporters in Washington. “Definitely we will have a change in Ethiopia before Ethiopia implodes.”

The opposition alliance was announced hours before the U.N. Security Council for the first time called for an end to the intensifying and expanding conflict in Ethiopia and for unhindered access for humanitarian aid to tackle the world’s worst hunger crisis in a decade in the war-torn Tigray region.

The press statement approved by all 15 members of the U.N.’s most powerful body called on all parties to refrain “from inflammatory hate speech and incitement to violence and divisiveness.” Council members further called on the parties “to put an end to hostilities and to negotiate a lasting cease-fire, and for the creation of conditions for the start of an inclusive Ethiopian national dialogue to resolve the crisis and create the foundation for peace and stability throughout the country.“

The newly announced alliance includes the Tigray forces who are fighting Ethiopian and allied forces, as well as the Oromo Liberation Army fighting alongside Tigray forces and seven other groups. The Tigray fighters are approaching the capital, Addis Ababa, according to the State Department, and Ethiopia on Friday called on military veterans to join what it now calls an “existential war.”

The U.S. Embassy is urging citizens to leave Ethiopia “as soon as possible.”

The opposition alliance formed as U.S. special envoy Jeffrey Feltman met with the prime minister amid calls for an immediate cease-fire and talks to end the war that has killed thousands of people since November 2020. The two held “constructive discussions,” the prime minister’s spokeswoman, Billene Seyoum, told The Associated Press. The prime minister also met with U.N. humanitarian chief Martin Griffiths about the rapidly growing crisis.

Secretary of State Antony Blinken in a statement called on the Tigray and Oromo Liberation Army forces to “immediately stop the current advance towards Addis Ababa.” He also urged Ethiopia’s government to halt its military campaign, including airstrikes in Tigray, and the mobilization of ethnic militias.

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