By Our Reporter
Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed says foreign forces have fought alongside Tigrayan rebels in recent battles in strategically important areas in Amhara region.
He was speaking to senior government officials in a televised address – the first since the reported capture of Dessie and Kombolcha cities.
He said “fighters who are not Ethiopian have taken part” in the recent battles around the two cities.
“There were white and black people who fought along the TPLF [Tigrayan People’s Liberation Front] and died,” he said, without being specific or presenting any evidence.
The TPLF has dismissed the allegations.
Mr Abiy said government’s calls to arms from a few months ago had not been met with proper organisation despite the massive number of youths who had joined.
“Battles can go wrong for different reasons but in the end the country will win the war,” Mr Abiy said, indicating the continuation of the fighting,
He accused the Tigrayan rebels of wanting to return to power to implement a policy in which members of one group are treated as “first-class citizens”.
He also repeated an earlier statement from the government that rebel forces had killed more than 100 civilians in Kombolcha, which the Tigrayan forces have denied.