This came after Addis Ababa announced that its Prime Minister Abi Ahmed went to the front to lead the government forces in their fight against rebels from the Tigray region in northern Ethiopia.
A US State Department spokesman said: “There is no military solution to the conflict in Ethiopia. Our goal is to support diplomacy as the first, last and only option.”
“We urge all parties to refrain from inflammatory and hostile rhetoric, to exercise restraint, respect human rights, allow humanitarian access and protect civilians,” he added.
The US spokesman continued, “We have seen reports that Prime Minister Abiy is today at the front, and those that quoted high-ranking Ethiopian athletes, parliamentarians, party and regional leaders as saying that they, in turn, will join the Prime Minister on the front lines of the front.”
The US position came in response to the Ethiopian official media’s announcement that Abi Ahmed, the 2019 Nobel Peace Prize winner, went on Tuesday to the front line and is “currently leading the counterattack” to repel the rebels advancing towards the capital.
According to the Ethiopian official media, the statement published by Abiy on Monday, in which he announced his intention to go to the front, “inspired a lot to … join the steadfastness campaign.”
On Wednesday, hundreds of new recruits participated in a ceremony in their honor in the Kolfi district of Addis Ababa. Among those who have pledged to fight is Olympic sprinter Fiesa Lilisa.
Despite mobilizing the population to fight the rebels, the Abiy government insists that reports of the Tigray People’s Liberation Front and its allies making advances on the ground are exaggerated.
The US warning came at a time when the international community’s diplomatic efforts to reach a ceasefire between government forces and the rebels failed.
The fighting in Ethiopia, the second most populous country in Africa, has left thousands dead and put hundreds of thousands at risk of starvation, according to the United Nations.