New alliance wants to oust Ethiopia’s PM by talks or force

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A newly-formed alliance of Ethiopian opposition factions has set a goal of bringing down Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed by force or negotiation.

The alliance plans to follow up forming a transitional government.

The current government, already embroiled in a year-long war against northern forces, dismissed the creation of the alliance as a stunt and accused some of past ethnic violence.

The alliance was announced by faction leaders in Washington in spite of the calls African and Western leaders for a national ceasefire, as federal troops battle the northern-based Tigray People’ Liberation Front (TPLF) and its allies.

the rebels threatening to move on the capital Addis Ababa, the Ethiopian army on Friday called on former personnel to rejoin the military to fight them, state media said.

The U.N. Security Council on Friday called for an end to the fighting in Ethiopia and for talks on a lasting ceasefire as the 15-member body expressed deep concern in a rare statement about the expansion and intensification of military clashes.

The council also “called for refraining from inflammatory hate speech and incitement to violence and divisiveness.”

The U.S. advised its citizens to leave Ethiopia as soon as possible, the U.S. Embassy, in a statement, saying: “The security environment in Ethiopia is very fluid.”

The war, which has killed thousands of people and forced more than two million from their homes, has intensified in recent weeks.

Announcing the formation of the Front of Ethiopian Federalist and Confederalist Forces at an event in Washington, the alliance said it was setting up a command to coordinate military and political efforts.

“The next step will be to organise ourselves and totally dismantle the existing government, either by force or by negotiation … then insert a transitional government,” said Mahamud Ugas Muhumed, of the Somali State Resistance, of nine member groups, all of whom have armed units.

The pact expands an existing agreement between the TPLF and the Oromo Liberation Army (OLA), organisers said.

“We’re trying to bring an end to this terrible situation in Ethiopia, which is created single-handedly by the Abiy government,” said Berhane Gebrekristos, a TPLF leader and former Ethiopian ambassador to the States.