Ethiopia rebels, opposition form political body against PM Abiy

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Ethiopian rebel and opposition groups are forging a political alliance against Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed, according to a spokesman for the Oromo Liberation Army.

A signing ceremony will be held in Washington DC in the coming days to mark the formation of the group that will work toward establishing a transitional government should his administration fall, OLA spokesman Odaa Tarbii said by phone on Thursday.

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The so-called United Front of Ethiopian Federalist Forces will combine at least nine entities including the Tigray People’s Liberation Front, which has been at war with Abiy’s government for the past year, he said.

“There is this misconception that we are okay to let the country slip into chaos, he said. “We still take responsibility for the stability of the country.

Other members of the front include the Afar Revolutionary Democratic Unity Front, the Gambella Peoples Liberation Army and the Somali State Resistance, Tarbii said.

The new group also wants to establish a new government that would allow Ethiopia to recognize the powers and rights of its various regions, according to Yohanees Abraha, a representative for the alliance.

“The ultimate goal is to remove the current government and we have outlined how we achieve this, Yohanees said by phone.

Billene Seyoum, a spokesperson for Abiy, did not reply to questions about the group’s formation.

The US special envoy for the Horn of Africa, Jeffrey Feltman, arrived in Ethiopia on Thursday to attempt to de-escalate a civil conflict after Tigray fighters captured several key towns on a main route into the capital city.

Feltman’s arrival comes shortly after the government declared a state of emergency and urged residents of Addis Ababa to arm themselves.

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