Thousands stage nationwide demonstrations to denounce what they see as outside interference and pressure in internal affairs of the East African nation.
Thousands of people in towns across Ethiopia have staged demonstrations against what they say is interference by outsiders in the country's internal affairs.
The rallies on Saturday included one in the federal capital, Addis Ababa, where many such events have been held in the nearly two years since war broke out in the country's northern region of Tigray.
Some demonstrators displayed banners accusing the US of disrespecting Ethiopia's sovereignty, while others singled out Tigray's fugitive leaders for blame.
The Addis Ababa rally was organised by city authorities.
"We are keen to assure the world that we are always by his side and support the government's call for our sovereignty," said Jantirar Abay, deputy mayor of Addis Ababa, referring to Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed.
"We oppose any threat and interference to the unity of Ethiopia and we ask the interfering countries to stop."
READ MORE: Ethiopia: Tigray peace talks set to be held in South Africa
Huge gathering at Meskel Square, #AddisAbaba protested West’s intervention in Ethiopia’s domestic affairs pic.twitter.com/1Oyl6g5pZM— FBC (Fana Broadcasting Corporate S.C.) (@fanatelevision) October 22, 2022
The demonstrations were staged ahead of the expected start of peace talks next week in South Africa between the warring parties.
The US said on Friday it supports the African Union's efforts to mediate talks to stop fighting in Tigray.
The UN Security Council discussed the conflict in Ethiopia at a closed meeting on Friday but didn't issue a statement because of divisions among its 15 members.
"Ethiopia is ready for the peace negotiations set to be held in South Africa, as the government has been saying it is ready to go anywhere and anytime to peacefully resolve the conflict," Demeke Mekonnen, deputy prime minister and foreign minister, told diplomats in Addis Ababa on Saturday.
The conflict, which began in November 2020, has spread from Tigray into the neighbouring regions of Afar and Amhara.
The war has left millions in urgent need of humanitarian assistance.
On Tuesday, the government announced plans to resume humanitarian aid and services in recently captured areas in the Tigray region after government forces claimed the towns of Shire, one of the main towns in Tigray, Alamata, and Korem, after pushing back the rebels.
READ MORE: Ethiopia PM vows 'peace will prevail' as Tigray rebels agree to talks