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The Ethiopian army is now “out of action”. That’s the opinion of Matt Bryden, director of Sahan Research and former UN investigator, who adds that the current situation of the federal government is “rather desperate”. For him, the Tigrayan rebellion took advantage both of the poor command of the federal forces “purged of its Tigrayan officers before the start of the war”, but also of the equipment which fell into its hands during its push on Mekele.
The Ethiopian federal government has called on the regions to help, in the face of the surge from the Tigrayian forces fighting it. Oromo, Amhara and Afar civilians have been called upon in recent days to defend Ethiopia with arms in hand. This mobilization according to ethnicity raises fears of an even more violent turn in the war and, according to observers, also reveals that the federal forces are no longer able to fight on their own.
Militarily, the goal for the government is now to protect the strategic Djibouti-Addis highway, say the two analysts. Its capture by the Tigrayans “would change everything “, according to Matt Bryden. But for William Davison, it is difficult to see how “less trained and less armed ” militiamen could turn the situation in favor of Abiy Ahmed, after the Tigrayan forces resisted the combined effort of Ethiopia and Eritrea to undo them.