Olympic champion Haile Gebrselassie goes to homeland Ethiopia

©  REUTERS

Multiple Olympic champion Haile Gebrselassie (48) has indicated in the Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa that he will join the army to defend his country against advancing rebels. That reports Reuters news agency.

Wim ConingsSource: Reuters

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The conflict in Ethiopia has been going on for a year and has already claimed the lives of thousands. An estimated two million people have had to flee their homes. Things have escalated after the rebels announced they would advance towards the capital. On Monday, Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed announced that he himself will move to the front line to lead the defence.

That example is now followed by Gebrselassie. “What do you do when the very existence of your country is at stake? Sorry, but then you just drop everything,” said the four-time world champion in the 10,000 meters, who currently leads a dozen companies from the Ethiopian capital. “Would I like to play a part until I die? Yes, that’s the ultimate prize in a war. I can by no means sit here in terror, for the war will come to me. To my door, to my house. Then we wouldn’t know when it will come and who will do what.”

The rebel group Tigray People’s Liberation Front currently controls northern Ethiopia and is demanding the resignation of Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed. Since May this year, the Ethiopian parliament has declared the former political party a terrorist group. According to Amnesty International, the TPLF has committed several crimes against humanity in recent months.

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