the government is recruiting new soldiers

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As the rebel coalition approaches Addis Ababa, the government is recruiting new soldiers. Wednesday, November 24, in the suburbs of the capital, about 1,200 young people enlisted in the defense forces.

With our correspondent in Addis Ababa, Noé Rochet-Bodin

In the district of Kolfe, they are 18,000 like Tewodros Tefera to have organized themselves in self-defense militias. “ Life has no meaning without a stable country around you. If I die on the battlefield, it will allow my family and future generations to live in freedom. », He says.

But for now, Tewodros is not going to the front, he is staying behind. However, he could respond to the call of Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed, who announced that he wanted to lead the operations himself from the battlefield. ” We already know the examples of Tewodros, Ménélik and Haïlé Sélassié. It’s the same for Abiy Ahmed. We know that when your leader is on the front line with you, you don’t back down. »

On the Kolfe esplanade, politicians chained the speeches, the local population came to support the young people who went to the front. Manaye Lemesgen, he is 31 years old and leaves for the front Thursday. ” No member of my family knows that I am leaving to serve the army. But I really want to sacrifice my life for Ethiopia’s survival. I am very happy to be able to sacrifice myself », He testifies.

After a few days of training in a locality in the south of Addis Ababa, he will leave for the Amhara region where the Tigrayan rebels continue to advance.

It is because of the advance of the rebels that the Prime Minister decreed general mobilization. There are only about 180 km left between the front line and the outskirts of the capital.

The rebels approach the capital

On Tuesday evening, heavy fighting was still taking place above the town of Debre Sina, 190 km from the capital. The village itself, which lies at the foot of a mountain range, was taken by the rebellion which fought last night for control of the Termaber pass, about ten kilometers further ahead, a pass crossed by a strategic road tunnel called “the tunnel of the Italians”.

A passage all the more strategic, because beyond this tunnel and after this pass at an altitude of 3000 meters begins the plateau leading to the suburbs of Addis Ababa. If this pass is passed, there would only remain, between the front line and the capital, the town of Debre Berhan, at kilometer 130. After which begins the Oromiya region and a countryside punctuated by villages, until the valley where the capital is located.

The situation is therefore critical for the federal forces. Especially since, according to military observers, the Tigrayan rebels also seem to bypass the main front at several points, in the mountains further west. The objective is undoubtedly to make the junction with the pockets of territory held north of Addis Ababa by the Oromo Liberation Army.

► To read also: Ethiopia: facing rebel advance, Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed changes tone

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