New recruits join Ethiopia’s military: Fighting intensifies.

Ethiopian Misile Weaponary Equipment.Ethiopian Misile Weaponary Equipment.

New recruits are joining the Ethiopian army to fight alongside government forces to stop advancing rebels.

A number of recruits appeared at a ceremony in the capital Addis Ababa on Tuesday where former army commanders assured them of victory.

Government forces would overcome any foreign or rebel opposition, a former general said.

“We Ethiopians do not compromise,” he said.

“We will drag their dead bodies from our land, just like the Italians,” he added, in a reference to the country’s former colonial masters.

One of the recruits, Million Abraham, said he had nothing to fear from the front line.

“I am not afraid of going,” he said. “Even if I die, it’s not a problem. It’s for my country.”

The ceremony took place as Tigrayan forces continue to push towards the capital.

Many residents have turned to their faith to comfort them, processing through Addis Ababa in traditional religious clothing.

“God will save us,” one man said.

Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed said Monday he would lead “from the battlefield” in a war that’s estimated to have already killed tens of thousands of people.

Amid mounting international concern, a growing number of countries have told their citizens to leave Ethiopia immediately.

The war started in Tigray in November 2020 when TPLF forces attacked federal army camps killing soldiers.

Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed also accused the rebels of blocking humanitarian assistance to Mekelle through the Afar region.

 

The TPLF has denied the accusation and instead blamed the government.

“They are using conflict that is taking place in areas where there is no traffic whatsoever and he is giving all kinds of excuses and pretexts to obstruct food convoys,” Getachew Reda said.

 

Foreign Affairs Minister Redwan Hussein has also accused certain, unspecified, humanitarian organisations of working to arm the TPLF, claiming the government had caught them delivering weapons and equipment to the rebels.

 

Doctors Without Borders (MSF) says public statements casting suspicion on aid organisations’ activities  are jeopardizing the safetyof its staff and patients.

 

The UN says 23 aid workers have been killed in the region since fighting broke out in November last year.

 

The delivery of fuel, which is needed for the movement of aid and water trucks, and the operation of power generators has also been restricted by the government.

 

No fuel truck has entered Tigray since early August and some organisations suspended operations after fuel stocks got depleted in late September.

 

Fuel trucks that had received approval by the government to proceed to Tigray on 14 October were denied transit at a checkpoint in Afar, forcing them to return to Semera.

 

The movement of humanitarian workers has also been affected by the escalating fighting.

Regular flights between Mekelle and the capital Addis Ababa have now resumed after they were suspended on 22 October as the government launched a series of airstrikes against targets in rebel-controlled areas.

 

“The government of Ethiopia has created de facto blockades, making communications, banking, and other vital services needed for aid efforts almost non-existent,” says USAID.

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