Among them was Alem Bilatte, 54, a retired army officer, who called Tigray forces Ethiopia’s “enemy” and promised to train new recruits or to go on his own. even on the forehead. “My blood is boiling,” he said as he checked in in the capital.
Bekelech Ayalew, 47, a former infantry nurse draped in an Ethiopian flag, said she was ready to treat soldiers on the front lines. “To sacrifice my blood and die for Ethiopia is a privilege,” she said.
As the recruitment drive began, rebel forces continued to advance into western Tigray, an area that the ethnic Amharas have historically claimed and occupied at the start of the conflict. Heavy fighting, including artillery fire, has been reported in the Amhara, Oromia and Afar areas, according to a United Nations internal security document seen by the New York Times.
The dynamics of war also change as the fighting escalates.
This month, the Oromo Liberation Army, designated as a terrorist organization by the Ethiopian government, declared an alliance with Tigrayan forces, raising fears that other dissident groups or regional governments are involved in the fighting.
Mustafa Omer, the president of the eastern region of Somalia, who sent hundreds of troops to join the war on the government side, said he would never negotiate with the TPLF, which he said tortured and killed his brother and makes other members of his family disappear. in his authoritarian, nearly three decades in power.
“They have done a lot of harm and they seek to bring back the same political aims if they win,” Omer said in a telephone interview. “They are a danger to the country.