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New recruits join Ethiopia's military as fighting intensifies

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AP/Copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.


New recruits are joining the Ethiopian army to fight alongside government forces to stop advancing rebels.

A number of recruits appeared at a ceremony in the capital Addis Ababa on Tuesday where former army commanders assured them of victory.

Government forces would overcome any foreign or rebel opposition, a former general said.

"We Ethiopians do not compromise," he said.

"We will drag their dead bodies from our land, just like the Italians," he added, in a reference to the country's former colonial masters.

One of the recruits, Million Abraham, said he had nothing to fear from the front line.

"I am not afraid of going," he said. "Even if I die, it's not a problem. It's for my country."

The ceremony took place as Tigrayan forces continue to push towards the capital.

Many residents have turned to their faith to comfort them, processing through Addis Ababa in traditional religious clothing.

"God will save us," one man said.

Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed said Monday he would lead “from the battlefield” in a war that's estimated to have already killed tens of thousands of people.

Amid mounting international concern, a growing number of countries have told their citizens to leave Ethiopia immediately.

The war started in Tigray in November 2020 when TPLF forces attacked federal army camps killing soldiers.

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