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Ethiopian PM defends troop deployment to Tigray

ETHIOPIAN Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed defended deploying the army to the well-armed Tigray region yesterday, accusing the area’s leaders of “criminal hubris and intransigence.”

Mr Abiy said that the military had “clear, limited and achievable objectives — to restore the rule of law and the constitutional order,” as Ethiopia lurches towards civil war.

The civil aviation authorities announced that Tigray’s airports were “closed for any services,” while in Sudan the acting governor of Kassla province said its border with Ethiopia was being closed.

The Tigray People’s Liberation Front, which dominated Ethiopia’s government until 2018, is accused of launching an attack on a military base near its regional capital Mekele.

The TPLF counters that the Ethiopian air force has been bombing the city. Regional president Debretsion Gebremichael says that the region is “in a position to defend ourselves” and “ready to be martyrs” in the face of a central government assault.

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