The clip comes as the government issued a new order trying to restrict media reporting of the war, barring the sharing of non-official information on “military-related movements, battlefront results and situations.”
In the video, Ahmed walks with military soldiers while wearing military fatigues. On a taped statement in the video, he made claims about having eliminated enemy strongholds and claimed the fight would continue "until Ethiopia's freedom is assured".
Ethiopia’s government this month announced a state of emergency as fighters from the country’s northern Tigray province, in coordination with fighters with the Oromo Liberation Army, neared the city, Addis Ababa. The United States and other governments have been advising its nationals to leave quickly.
Tens of thousands of people have been slain in the battle that began in November 2020 between Ethiopian soldiers and the Tigray forces that had long ruled the national government before Ahmed assumed power in 2018.
In his latest attempt to mobilize all able Ethiopians to fight what he now terms a “existential war,” the 45-year-old prime minister this week declared that he would go to the battlefront to oversee the army, a bold step two years after collecting the Nobel Peace Prize.
Mediation efforts by the U.S. and African Union in pursuit of a cease-fire and discussions have made no visible headway.
The war in which witnesses have detailed gang-rapes, mass expulsions and purposeful famine has seen atrocities committed by all sides, while Ethiopian forces and their allies from neighboring Eritrea have been responsible for most of the violations.
The war has caused a tremendous humanitarian crisis in Africa’s second-most populous country, with approximately 6 million people in the Tigray region under a months-long government blockade.
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