Ethiopian Olympic legend Haile Gebrselassie has announced plans to go tot eh battle front, just a day after Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed announced he was joining the fight against rebel forces from the northern region of Tigray.
Feyisa Lilesa, who became famous for his protest at the 2016 Rio Olympics for crossing his wrists over his head – a sign showing anger against how the government was treating the Oromo people.
Several high-profile Ethiopians have made similar announcement as fighting intensifies and rebels saying they are advancing towards the capital Addis Ababa.
This comes as photographs emerged online of Ahmed heading out to war dressed in military gear in a convoy surrounded by special forces.
It’s not clear if the prime minister has already joined the fighting. Mediations led by African Union’s envoy, Olusegun Obasanjo, have yielded little progress.
On Tuesday, US envoy to the region, Jeffrey Feltman, warned that tentative diplomatic progress towards ending the conflict was being jeopardised by alarming developments on the ground.
The conflict, which has taken a year, has led to a humanitarian crisis, with thousands of people killed, million displaced and hundreds of thousands facing famine like conditions. Several countries have asked their nationals to leave the country immediately.