Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed of Ethiopia, on Friday, shared a video of himself in what appeared to be a military operation.
The video, which he shared on his social media pages, showed Ahmed with armed military officers, while shooting was heard in the background.
The prime minister had vowed to lead troops in the fight against the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF), a rebel group.
In the video, Ahmed, whose comments were translated to English, said troops were recording success in the military operation.
“What you see behind me is a mountain area that was a stronghold of the enemy until yesterday. Now, we have managed to clear the area fully,” he said, according to the video.
“The morale of the defence forces is really great. The war is being undertaken with great feat. Now we have taken Kasagita. Today, we will take over Chifra and Burqa. We will continue until Ethiopia’s freedom is ensured.
“What we want to see is an Ethiopia that stands on our sacrifices — either to be Ethiopian or to be Ethiopia. We are confident that we will make this happen through victory.
“Our people are beside us. Our brothers in Ethiopia are using all their capacity to make their voices heard. Academics are also making their voices heard. Our role then is to be at the forefront leading the forces and ensuring success.
“You have seen the victory attained in a one-day battle. This will continue with greater victories. The enemy does not have a posture that can compete with us. We will win. And we will transfer a free and prosperous country for our children. That is what we are here to do. And the results are good.”
The development comes days after Haile Gebrselassie and Feyisa Lilesa, renowned Ethiopian athletes, said they are ready to go to the front line in the war against the TPLF.
Earlier in the month, Ethiopia had declared a state of emergency after the TPLF said it had captured several towns and was marching into Addis Ababa, the country’s capital.
The prime minister had also asked residents of the country to arm themselves against the TPLF.
The row between the TPLF — a movement which had dominated Ethiopia’s politics but reportedly lost influence after Ahmed came into power — is said to have begun shortly after the prime minister assumed office in 2018.
The conflict escalated in November 2020 when forces of the TPLF seized military bases in Tigray, a northern region.
Thousands of people are said to have been killed in the crisis, with over two million forced to flee their homes.
Meanwhile, Ahmed, who was sworn in for a second term as prime minister in October 2021, was awarded the Nobel peace prize in 2019.