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Ethiopian Olympic gold medallist Haile Gebrselassie to join struggle, ready to pay ‘final worth’

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ADDIS ABABA, Nov 24 (Reuters) – Ethiopian Olympic gold medallist and nationwide hero Haile Gebrselassie pledged on Wednesday to join the struggle in opposition to rebellious forces in his nation, after the prime minister mentioned he had gone to direct the struggle from the entrance strains.

The 48-year-old retired champion, who set 27 lengthy distance operating data, informed Reuters that he felt compelled to join up as a result of Ethiopia’s existence was beneath risk.

Haile, his lithe, athletic body wearing enterprise apparel, mentioned he believed sport was about “peace and love”. But he defended his resolution to join the struggle in opposition to rebellious Tigrayan forces and their allies, who final month threatened to march on the capital Addis Ababa.

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“What would you do when the existence of a country is at stake? You just put down everything. Alas, nothing will bind you. I am sorry!”

The year-long battle has killed 1000’s of individuals, pressured greater than 2 million extra from their houses and left 400,000 folks in Tigray going through famine. It escalated sharply after the risk by rebellious forces to march on the capital, main to worldwide efforts to broke a ceasefire.

On Wednesday, state-affiliated media reported that Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed had gone to direct the struggle from the entrance strains. learn extra

Haile forged the battle as a battle through which the risk to Ethiopia was a risk to all of Africa.

“Ethiopia is a country that contributed a lot to Africa and the entire continent,” he mentioned. “Yes, it is an exemplary country. Kneeling Ethiopia is indirectly kneeling the rest. This is impossible.”

In an interview in his workplace within the capital, the place he runs greater than a dozen firms engaged in hospitality, actual property, agriculture and schooling, Haile spoke of the position he was keen to play within the struggle.

“You expect me to say until death? Yes, that is the ultimate price in a war,” he mentioned. “There is no way that I can sit here due to fear because it will come to my door. It will come to my house. We wouldn’t know when it comes. We wouldn’t know who will do what.”

(This story was refiled to right spelling of Gebrselassie in headline and first paragraph)

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Reporting by Addis Ababa newsroom; Writing by Maggie Fick; Editing by Alex Richardson

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