Ethiopian leader, marking year of war, says he will bury his foes “with our blood”

ADDIS ABABA (Reuters) – Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed on Wednesday pledged to bury his government’s enemies “with our blood” as he marked the start of the war in the Tigray region one year ago.

Ahmed was speaking a day after a state of emergency was declared in the country as Tigrayan forces indicated they would advance on the capital.

“The pit which is dug will be very deep, it will be where the enemy is buried, not where Ethiopia disintegrates,” he said in a speech at an event at the military’s headquarters in Addis Ababa.

“We will bury this enemy with our blood and bones and make the glory of Ethiopia high again,” he said.

A moment of silence was observed at the candlelit ceremony to commemorate those killed on Nov, 3, 2020, when forces loyal to the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) – including some soldiers – seized military bases in Tigray. In response, Abiy sent more troops to the northern region.

The conflict has killed thousands of people, forced more than two million more from their homes, and left 400,000 people in Tigray facing famine.

(Reporting by Maggie Fick, Editing by Angus MacSwan)

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