HomeWORLD NEWSTigrayan fighters advance to takeover Ethiopian government, rebel groups join

Tigrayan fighters advance to takeover Ethiopian government, rebel groups join

This year’s wave of overthrow of elected governments is continuing with latest developments in Ethiopia.

Although there have been coups in three other nations in the last 15 months, the current plot in Ethiopia is not being executed by the military but militants.

In October, weeks after an initial coup attempt in Sudan, the armed forces seized reins of power. General Abdel Fattah al-Burhan announced the scrapping of civil authority.

The takeover happened after elite soldiers in Guinea, headed by Col Mamady Doumbouya, overthrew President Alpha Conde in September. Ousted Conde formed, trained and armed them.

In Mali, the military removed President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita in August 2020. Mutineers were led by Colonel Assimi Goita, leader of National Committee for the Salvation of the People (CNSP).

Now, the East African nation, whose Ethiopian Airlines is a pride of the continent and arguably the biggest, is currently under siege.

Rebel groups, nine of them fighting the government, have declared that they will “collaborate and join forces”.

They already picked a name: United Front of Ethiopian Federalist and Confederalist Forces.

A joint statement on Friday made the pact public, as anxiety heightens over the advancement of Tigrayan fighters towards Addis Ababa, the capital.

The Hindu reports that an alliance, due to be signed in Washington, has on board the Oromo Liberation Army (OLA) and the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF).

The coalition explained they want to form a united front “to reverse the harmful effects of the Abiy Ahmed rule on the peoples of Ethiopia”.

TPLF is a left-wing ethnic nationalist paramilitary group. The leading political opposition and former ruling party of Ethiopia, was established in1975.

The party has been locked in a year-long war against Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed’s government.

On Wednesday, TPLF said its men had reached Kemissie in Amhara region, 325km inward Addis Ababa and were running “joint operations” with the OLA.

The government officially designated TPLF and OLA terrorist organizations in May. Both are popular and the identities of other seven are concealed.

The Ethiopian capital could fall in a matter of weeks as the county enters the third day of a state of emergency, calling on the people to pick up arms.

On Friday, the Defence Ministry commenced moves to boost the strength of armed forces, urging veterans to re-enlist after two towns fell to rebels.

In July, hundreds of government soldiers captured by Tigray Defense Forces during a battle were marched into Mekelle, the capital of Ethiopia’s northern Tigray region.

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