Ethiopia armed group says it has alliance with Tigray forces

The leader of an armed group that Ethiopia’s government designates a terrorist organisation says his group has struck a military alliance with the Tigray forces now pressing towards the capital.

Wednesday’s development came as the conflict that erupted in the Tigray region last year spreads into other parts of Africa’s second-most populous country.

“The only solution now is overthrowing this government militarily, speaking the language they want to be spoken to,” Oromo Liberation Army leader Kumsa Diriba, also known as Jaal Marroo, told The Associated Press in an interview on Wednesday.

He said the agreement, proposed by the Tigray forces, was reached weeks ago.

“We have agreed on a level of understanding to cooperate against the same enemy, especially in military cooperation,” he said. “It is under way.”

They share battlefield information and fight in parallel, he said, and while they are not fighting side by side, “there is a possibility it might happen.”

Talks are under way on a political alliance as well, he said, and asserted that other groups in Ethiopia are involved in similar discussions, “There’s going to be a grand coalition against [Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed’s] regime.”

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