Royal Oak Tribune

Near civil war, PM sends army into defiant region


ADDIS ABABA, ETHIOPIA » Ethiopia approached civil war on Wednesday as its Nobel Peace Prize-winning prime minister ordered the military to confront the country’s well-armed Tigray regional government, accusing it of a deadly attack on a military base and declaring “the last red line has been crossed” after months of alleged provocatio­ns.

Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed’s move against the Tigray People’s Liberation Front, in one of Africa’s most populous and powerful countries, sent a shock wave through the long-turbulent Horn of Africa region. Ethiopia’s neighbors include Somalia and Sudan, and the prospect of spreading instabilit­y sent a chill down observers’ spines.

Signaling the gravity of the threat, the United States in the midst of its election drama issued a statement urging “an immediate de-escalation.” The United Nations expressed “alarm” and made a similar plea.

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