The pressure on Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed intensified considerably over the past 24 hours following reports that rebel forces from the northern Tigray region are gaining ground and even apparently considering marching towards the capital Addis Ababa. In response, the PM declared a state of emergency and the government told residents to register their arms with local authorities in preparation to defend their neighborhoods from the advancing Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF).
At the same time, the Prime Minister is facing growing international isolation following the United States’s decision on Tuesday to suspend duty-free access to the American market. U.S. Trade Representative Katherine Tai made the announcement on Tuesday on behalf of President Joe Biden and said that unless “necessary actions” were taken, free-trade privileges as part of the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) would be revoked in 60 days.
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