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Ethiopia capital not facing bloodbath’, say rebels

Ethiopia capital not facing bloodbath’, say rebels, the vie

Rebels fighting Ethiopia’s Government have played down reports that they would face a hostile population or cause a “bloodbath” if they advanced into Addis Ababa, even as tens of thousands joined a pro-military rally in the capital on Sunday.

Fighters from the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) and their allies have been locked in a year-long war with the government that has killed thousands and pushed many more into desperate conditions in the vast east African nation.

Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed, winner of the 2019 Nobel Peace Prize, sent troops into Tigray in November last year to topple the TPLF, accusing them of attacking military bases. But the TPLF and their allies have claimed several victories in recent weeks, taking towns some 400 kilometres from the capital, and have not ruled out marching on Addis Ababa.

“The story that the population in Addis is vehemently opposed to us is absolutely overstated,” TPLF spokesman Getachew Reda told AFP in an interview on Saturday night.

 

“Addis is a melting pot. People with all kinds of interests live in Addis. The claim that Addis will turn into a bloodbath if we enter Addis is absolutely ridiculous.”

While the rebels would enter Addis Ababa to overthrow Mr. Abiy, he said taking the capital was not “an objective”.

He also said the TPLF, which dominated Ethiopia’s politics for nearly 30 years until Mr. Abiy came to power in 2018, had no desire to take back power.

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