Ethiopia – As reported by government media, Ethiopia’s cabinet declared a state of emergency on Tuesday after Tigrayan rebels captured two important towns in an apparent push towards the capital. “The state of emergency has been declared in order to protect residents from terrorist TPLF group crimes in several regions of the country,” according to Fana Broadcasting Corporate, which is referring to the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF).
According to Fana, the legislation is anticipated to be ratified by parliamentarians within 24 hours of its introduction. It has recently taken control of two strategically important cities around 400 kilometers (250 miles) south of Addis Ababa, and it has not ruled out an attack on the capital, which has so far been relatively peaceful
. The government has dismissed the TPLF’s claims to territory gains, which, if genuine, would represent a significant strategic achievement. As a result, much of northern Ethiopia is blocked off from the rest of the world, and journalists have only restricted access, making it difficult to independently verify battle allegations. In an earlier press release, residents of Addis Ababa were encouraged to register their firearms and prepare to defend their homes and neighborhoods.
An attack on army installations was cited as the rationale for Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed dispatching troops into Tigray a year ago to imprison and disarm the Tigray People’s Liberation Front. But by late June, the Tigrayan rebels had reassembled and seized control of the bulk of the country, contrary to predictions by the Nobel Peace Prize winner for 2019. After that, they began offensives against the adjacent Afar and Amhara areas of Ethiopia and Somalia.
International concern has grown as the violence has escalated, with Western governments repeating their calls for an early cessation of hostilities and the African Union stepping in to facilitate peace negotiations between the warring parties.