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Tigray: Oromo forces pose greater threat to Ethiopia's federal gov't

Ethiopian National Defence Forces (ENDF) soldiers train in the field of Dabat, 70 kilometers Northeast of the city of Gondar, Ethiopia, on September 15, 2021.   -  
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Ethiopia is now at crossroads with two forces, the Tigray People's Liberation Front (TPLF) and the Oromo Liberation Army (OLA) waging an endless war with the federal government led by Abiy Ahmed.

"The war has escalated especially out of the Tigray region and is now becoming a national concern. This is after the federal government issued a state of emergency," said William Davison, a senior analyst with the International Crisis Group.

"I think the key thing to understand now is that actually, the war is outside of the Tigray region primarily. Since July, the Tigray forces have been on the offensive into the Amhara region, and indeed they've been making significant gains. So this state of emergency that's been enacted, it's a national state of emergency, and it's really in response to the fact that since July, those two forces have been on the offensive and now are really in a position to seriously threaten the federal government," Davison said.

Meanwhile, Ethiopia's Prime minister has made it clear that he's not backing down. He has thus called for civilians to join the army in defending their homes against the Tigrayan and Romo forces.

"What we've seen so far is a doubling down in terms of positions and all-out mobilization by Prime Minister Abiy and his allies in trying to stem this advancement of the Tigray forces," said Davison.

The TPLF, which has been fighting Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed's government for a year, has claimed significant territorial gains in recent days, along with its ally the Oromo Liberation Army.

"They are also allied with an Oromo nationalist rebel group and that is a very dangerous situation. So what the international community is doing is the right thing, which is imploring all partners to take steps to try to turn this into some form of negotiation. But really, at this stage, that means significant federal concessions in the face of this advancement by the Tigray forces. So far, the federal leadership has not made any concession at all," Davison said.

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