Ethiopia urges former soldiers to join war against rebels

FILE - In this Sunday, Feb. 9, 2020, file photo, Ethiopia's Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed, center, arrives for the opening session of the 33rd African Union (AU) Summit at the AU headquarters in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. Ethiopia's prime minister on Wednesday, Nov. 4, 2020 ordered the military to confront the Tigray regional government after he said it attacked a military base overnight, citing months of "provocation and incitement" and declaring that "the last red line has been crossed." (AP Photo, File)

Ethiopia’s military has called on former soldiers to re-join the army, as it battles to hold off a rebel advance.

The appeal comes as rebel forces, spearheaded by the Tigray People’s Liberation Front, make advances towards the capital, Addis Ababa.

The United States embassy has told all United States citizens to leave Ethiopia as soon as possible amid a very fluid security situation.

Hours earlier, nine anti-government groups forged an alliance to dismantle Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed’s administration.

The government has said it will continue to fight what it calls an existential war.

The conflict has entered its second year, with millions displaced and more than 400 thousand on the brink of famine.