The Ethiopian government on Thursday announced that secondary schools will be closed across the country to help support the ongoing national call amid military operations against the rebel forces.
The Ethiopian Ministry of Education announced that all secondary schools throughout the East African country will be closed for a one-week period to help in harvesting plantations of those who are on the frontline in the fight against the rebel fighters, state-affiliated Fana Broadcasting Corporate (FBC) quoted ministry officials as saying.
The latest move came as the Ethiopian National Defense Force (ENDF) supported by regional allies and the popular movement intensified its military operations against the rebel Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF).
Over the past few days, the ENDF jointly with regional forces and militia fighters has claimed control of strategic cities and towns across Amhara and Afar regions, bordering the Tigray region.
Since the Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed joined frontline combat last week, ENDF and its affiliate forces have shown strong mobilization against rebel forces amid the expanding conflict in the northern part of Ethiopia.
Last week, Ahmed had called on “all patriotic Ethiopians” to join him in frontline combat against forces loyal to the TPLF.
“The time necessitates leading the nation through martyrdom. To this end, I will march to the battlefield from tomorrow onwards to lead our defense forces,” Ahmed had said in his call to the nation.
The conflict, which erupted on Nov. 4 last year in Ethiopia’s northernmost Tigray region between TPLF, which used to rule the Tigray region, and the federal government, has over the past months spread across neighboring Amhara and Afar regions.
Last month, the Ethiopian House of People’s Representatives ratified a six-month state of emergency rule to contain the rebel group’s advancement and to ensure the country’s peace and security.