International News

Nine Ethiopian Groups to Form Anti-Government Alliance

Nine anti-government factions are set to form an alliance to push for a political transition in Ethiopia, piling more pressure on Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed as rebel forces advance towards the capital.

Several of the groups have armed fighters although it was not clear whether they all do.

Two of them, the Oromo Liberation Army (OLA) and the Agaw Democratic Movement (ADM), confirmed that an announcement on the alliance was genuine.

Called the United Front of Ethiopian Federalist and Confederalist Forces, the alliance also includes the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF), which has been fighting Abiy’s government for a year in a war that has killed thousands of people and forced more than two million more from their homes.

The groups said the front is being formed to reverse the harmful effects of the Abiy Ahmed rule on the peoples of Ethiopia and beyond and in recognition of the great need to collaborate and join forces towards a safe transition.

Asked for a reaction to the development, Abiy’s spokesperson, Billene Seyoum stated that the opening up of the political space three years ago provided ample opportunity for contenders to settle their differences at the ballot box. She however did not refer directly to the new alliance.

African and Western nations have been calling for an immediate ceasefire in Ethiopia after Tigrayan forces from the north said they made advances towards the capital this week.

U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken said on Thursday that the conflict in Ethiopia must come to an end and that peace negotiations should begin immediately without preconditions in pursuit of a ceasefire.

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