Ethiopia’s Prime Minister Urges End to Deadly Somalia War

Photo Ethiopia’s Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed, who has made headlines across the globe with plans to overhaul the country’s fractured politics, staged a dramatic and personal appeal to end the four-decade civil war in…

Ethiopia’s Prime Minister Urges End to Deadly Somalia War

Photo

Ethiopia’s Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed, who has made headlines across the globe with plans to overhaul the country’s fractured politics, staged a dramatic and personal appeal to end the four-decade civil war in northeastern Somalia that has left more than a hundred thousand people dead.

He did not call on his security forces to invade Somalia but said that all people in the region “deserve peace.”

Mr. Abiy has been lionized in his homeland for promoting a new approach to diplomacy and ending decades of political rule marked by violence, corruption and autocracy. In recent weeks, he has rolled back a repressive state, restored multilateral loan agreements and repatriated Ethiopian refugees from Somalia and Eritrea.

“Don’t fight when the cause of your brothers and sisters in their homeland has changed and you will have nothing but shame,” he told the crowd in Addis Ababa. “I therefore solemnly and explicitly call upon my brothers and sisters in Somali territory: there is neither tension nor violence here; neither is there any conflict. If any brother or sister here should pull knives or guns, heed my warning, and then the same day I will personally come here and fire bullets into their houses.”

His plea — which was broadcast live via video link — was aimed at voters in a region where the government has drawn heavy criticism for its failure to bring about political and economic reforms.

“You [fear] death of your own blood,” he said. “You need a solution. You require peace.”

For more on the situation in Ethiopia and Somalia, watch our expanded coverage on page 2

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