March 26, 2023

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Ethiopia: Nine rebel groups have announced a coalition against the government

# In other countries : Nine Ethiopian rebel groups, including those in the Tigre region threatening to march on the capital Addis Ababa, announced on Friday that they would form a coalition against the government of Prime Minister Abi Ahmed as the war intensifies again.

This “United Front of Ethiopian Federalist and Confederate Forces” brings the Tigre People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) to the forefront of a year of conflict, with the Oromo Liberation Army (OLA), the Oromo ethnic armed group already forming an alliance with the TPLF with little or no uncertainty. Seven movements.

These are ethnic groups (Agave, Command, Sidama) or groups from different parts of Ethiopia (Campella, Afar, Somalia and the Peninsula).

“The United Front was formed in response to the many crises facing the country” and “to reverse the detrimental effects of Abi Ahmed’s power on the people of Ethiopia and elsewhere,” the group said in a statement.

They also believe that in the subtle threat against Abi Ahmed in Ethiopia, it is “necessary” to “work together and move towards a change”.

>>> Read more: Ethiopia: US ambassador sent by insurgents to march on capital

The federal government has been waging a year-long war against TPLF rebels in the north of the country, which has advanced beyond their territory in recent months.

The latter said on Wednesday that they had reached the neighboring region of Amhara and a place called Kemissi, 325 kilometers north of the capital. They joined OLA fighters there.

The Ethiopian government said on Thursday that it was denying any rebel progress and would not back down from this “battle for survival”.

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Both camps are deaf to calls from the United States and the international community for a ceasefire and talks.

The impact of the conflict on this rebel alliance remains uncertain.

>>> Read more: Ethiopia: Capture of Addis Ababa, according to Oromo rebels, “months, even weeks”

“If they are serious about taking up arms against the government, it is a real problem,” ambassador Abi Ahmed, who is well versed in security matters, told AFP.

But he admitted, “I don’t know the majority (groups), how many people they have, what resources they have.”

Triggered in November 2020, the conflict in Tigray has seen a dramatic turn in recent months.

Abi Ahmed announced the victory on November 28, 2019, after sending troops to the region to remove disgruntled officers from the TPLF, which he has accused of attacking federal military bases.

But in June, separatist militants of the TPLF captured most of the region. The government then withdrew its troops and declared a unilateral ceasefire on June 28, but the rebels continued their offensive in Afar and Amhara.