By Ebi Kesiena
Ethiopian military officers and soldiers have commemorated the first anniversary of the launch of a Government offensive in the region of Tigray, when Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed ordered a response to what he called a “traitorous” attack on Federal Army camps.
Earlier, Abiy had urged citizens to back the war effort and accused the rebels of trying to turn Ethiopia into Libya and Syria, as anxious residents of the capital voiced support for the Government’s measures.
According to Abiy, the country has always been tested over the years when many forces from inside and outside were testing to divide, destroy and impoverish her.
He also called upon all citizens to unite against the Tigrayan forces
“Until Ethiopia is free and peaceful, this is the time every citizen has to say, ‘I’m an Ethiopian soldier’, to condemn this mischievous plan while standing next to the Ethiopian National Defence Forces to humiliate the enemy,” he said
The Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF), which has been fighting Prime Minister Ahmed’s government for a year, has claimed significant territorial gains in recent days, along with its ally the Oromo Liberation Army (OLA).
As fighting has dragged on, reports of massacres, mass rapes and a starvation crisis have emerged, with the UN Rights Chief on Wednesday denouncing extreme brutality after a joint UN-Ethiopian report warned of possible “crimes against humanity” by all sides.
In Washington, the US State Department said it was sending Jeffrey Feltman, Special Envoy for the Horn of Africa, to the country this week.