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Ethiopia says Abiy at battlefront to take charge, handing duties to deputy

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Ethiopia’s government said Wednesday that Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed has gone to the battlefront to take charge in the country’s yearlong war and left the daily work of running the country to his deputy.

Government spokesman Legesse Tulu told reporters that the prime minister arrived at the front on Tuesday, but he didn’t give details on the location.

Deputy Prime Minister Demeke Mekonnen is handling day-to-day government activities, Legesse said.

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The war in Africa’s second most populous nation has killed an estimated tens-of-thousands-of-people, and countries including France, Germany and Turkey have told their citizens to leave immediately as rival fighters from Ethiopia’s northern Tigray region advance on the capital, Addis Ababa.

A US envoy on Tuesday told reporters he fears that “nascent” progress in mediation efforts with the warring sides could be outpaced by the “alarming” military developments.

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