Ethiopians joining army out of free will as they see enormous threat to nation: Diplomat
Hundreds of thousands of Ethiopians have volunteered for military service following a national call to defend the country from the rebel Tigray People's Liberation Front (TPLF), Ethiopian Ambassador to the United States Fitsum Arega told Sputnik.
- United States
Washington [US], November 13 (ANI/Sputnik): Hundreds of thousands of Ethiopians have volunteered for military service following a national call to defend the country from the rebel Tigray People's Liberation Front (TPLF), Ethiopian Ambassador to the United States Fitsum Arega told Sputnik. "Ethiopia has no conscription system. The hundreds of thousands who joined the defence forces are all volunteers. Truth be told, the number of volunteers on the waiting list exceeds the number of those who have joined. This is a massive response by Ethiopians from all corners of the country," Arega said.
In early November, the Ethiopian parliament declared a six-month state of emergency nationwide as TPLF rebels threatened to advance upon the capital of Addis Ababa. The declaration allows the government to arrest anyone suspected of cooperating with terrorists. The TPLF has been designated as a terrorist group by the Ethiopian government. "The TPLF and allied terrorists infiltrate villages and towns and massacred innocent civilians, plunder their properties and kill their cattle. Ethiopians, young and old, men and women and everyone is outraged by the crimes of the terrorists and are determined to defeat and bring them to justice," Arega said. "These terrorists pose an existential threat to all Ethiopians. That is why there is a huge response to join the defence forces."
Northern Ethiopia has been engulfed by an internal conflict since November of last year when the central government accused the TPLF of attacking a military base and launched a counter operation in the Tigray region. Hostilities have since been going on, despite a unilateral ceasefire announced by the government in June. (ANI/Sputnik)
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