By John Ikani
Abiy Ahmed, the Prime minister of Ethiopia has appealed to his supporters to use any weapon they can lay hands on to stop an advance by Tigrayan rebel forces.
The Prime Minister issued the appeal on Facebook after the rebels said they’d made further territorial gains in the Amhara region, taking them closer to the Ethiopian capital, Addis Ababa.
According to him, it was the duty of citizens to, “block, destroy and bury” the forces of the TPLF rebels.
A TPLF Spokesman, Getachew Reda, said they had captured Kombolcha city and that their only aim was to break a siege of Tigray.
The Ethiopian Government has denied assertions by the TPLF rebels that they’ve seized Kombolcha and nearby Dessie in the Amhara region.
It came as a spokesman of the rebel Oromo Liberation Army (OLA) also said they had taken Kemise city – about 50km (33 miles) from Kombolcha and 325km from Addis Ababa – and were fighting with government forces.
Communications with the Tigray region are largely blocked and desperately needed aid hasn’t been getting through.
The United Nations estimates that 400,000 people in the region are living in famine-like conditions, a year after the conflict began.