OREANDA-NEWS. Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed has called on Ethiopians to take up arms and go to fight the rebels of the Tigray People's Liberation Front (TPLF). This was reported by Addis Standard, quoting a statement from the politician.

"Abiy Ahmed urged our people to temporarily put aside casual affairs, organise and march legally using whatever weapons and force they can to stop, reverse and bury the TPLF terrorists who have come to destroy the country. This great nation has not overcome enormous historical challenges by simply standing and looking around or settling for only a few victories. We repelled the attacks by standing together and steadfastly guarding our country,"- it said.

The publication points out that the Ethiopian Prime Minister's statement came after authorities in the Amhara region declared a state of emergency amid clashes with insurgents. In particular, a curfew was imposed throughout the region and all state institutions were suspended.

Tigray is a northern province of Ethiopia bordering Eritrea and Sudan, named after the Tigray people. The majority of its population belongs to the central and southern Amhara peoples.

The province has been in a conflict zone since November 2020. At that time, Ethiopian officials accused the TPLF, which has dominated political life in the country for nearly three decades, of attacking a military base and launched an operation in Tigray with Eritrean support.

In spring 2021, Ethiopian authorities announced that Eritrea was withdrawing troops from Tigray. In June, rebels in Tigray took the region's administrative centre, the town of Mekale, and the Ethiopian government announced an unconditional ceasefire. However, the rebels later said they launched a new offensive and took control of much of the south of the province. By late October, the rebels had already captured the town of Kombolcha in Amhara state, through which three strategic highways in the north-eastern part of the country pass.