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Ethiopian Premier returns to office after two weeks of leading troops on battlefronts

Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed on October 04, 2021 in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia [Jemal Countess/Getty Images]
Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed on October 04, 2021 in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia [Jemal Countess/Getty Images]

Ethiopia's Prime Minister, Abiy Ahmed, on Wednesday, returned to his office in Addis Ababa after personally leading the country's armed forces on battlegrounds during the past two weeks, Anadolu News Agency reports.

"PM @AbiyAhmedAli momentarily back to the office following successful completion of the first phase of 'Operation for National Unity in Diversity'," the Prime Minister's office tweeted.

A raging war broke out last year in Ethiopia between the government and forces of the Tigray People's Liberation Front, which has left thousands dead, and many more displaced.

Abiy ordered the military offensive against Tigrayan forces on 4 November 2020, after accusing them of attacking a military base.

Fighters from the TPLF had advanced to within 200 kilometres (124 miles) of Addis Ababa. But since the Prime Minister's deployment, according to government claims, many strategic areas and major towns have been liberated. It includes the entire Afar regional state, where the TPLF made incursions in a bid to cut off Ethiopia's main arterial road to Djibouti, through which the majority of the Horn of Africa nation's import-export passes.

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Other liberated areas in the Amhara regional state include the UNESCO-registered world heritage town of Lalibella, Gashena, Showa Robit, Debre Sina, Kemissie, Dessie and Kombolcha, among others.

The TPLF, which governed the country for nearly three decades before being deposed in 2018, however, termed the development a strategic retreat.

"We left North Shoa, Kombolcha, and Dessie as part of our plan," a TPLF spokesperson said on Twitter. "… Things are going according to our plan. The rest is just circus …"

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