Richmond Times-Dispatch

Ethiopiawa­rns world to stay out of conflict

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NAIROBI, Kenya— Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed is rejecting growing internatio­nal consensus for dialogue and a halt to deadly fighting in the Tigray region as “unwelcome,” saying his country will handle the conflict on its own as a 72hour surrender ultimatum ran out on Wednesday.

The Tigray regional capital, Mekele, remained quiet but tense as sunset approached. But a statement this week from a civil society representa­tive in the region described heavy bombardmen­t of communitie­s elsewhere that had kept many residents from fleeing. It pleaded for a safe corridor to ship in aid as food runs out.

The internatio­nal community should “stand by” until the Ethiopian government asks for assistance, Ahmed’s office said in a statement as government forces were reportedly positioned well outside Mekele with tanks.

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