Ethiopian Government Shuts Down Schools For A Week To Support War Effort

Ethiopian authorities have closed all secondary schools in the country so that students can help in harvesting crop fields for those on the frontline of the civil war, reported Africa News.

The education ministry confirmed that the closure will last for one week.

 On Monday, the Ethiopian government said more than 2 million children were already out of school due to the war, which began in the northern region of Tigray last year. The fighting has also destroyed hundreds of schools.

The ministry said that the authorities will start working to restore the schools destroyed in the war.

Thousands of people have come forward to join the country’s armed forces to defeat a rebel uprising in the north and center of the country. Last week, Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed joined the army at the frontline to oversee operations against the rebel forces.

Notably, September to February is the crop harvesting season in Ethiopia. But, war has disrupted agriculture and farming in the troubled regions of Tigray and other neighboring regions, prompting warnings of serious food shortages.

In November, the government announced a six-month state of emergency to stop the Tigrayan rebel advancement towards Addis Ababa. The army has recaptured several key towns and cities across Amhara and Afar regions from the rebel forces.

On Wednesday state forces announced they had recaptured the historic town of Lalibela, the site of UN World Heritage site which had been occupied by rebels for months.

Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy has called on Tigrayan rebel forces to surrender.

In an interview with the BBC, an Ethiopian army commander said the country’s defense forces would not relent in their advances after recent gains.

“I cannot say we will pause once we reach Mekelle [Tigray’s capital] or other places, rather we will recapture areas at the hands of Woyane [the Tigray People’s Liberation Front]. We will follow and get rid of them,” Lt-Gen Bacha Debele said.

Caroline Finnegan

A professionnal journalist for the past ten years, I cover global news and economic affairs for The Chief Observer.

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