US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken said on Wednesday that Washington is working with Addis Ababa and the African Union to put pressure on all parties to stop the fighting in Ethiopia, calling on Africans to remain vigilant against what he called the growing threats to democracy.

Blinken urged American nationals to leave Ethiopia, noting that the conflict in Ethiopia threatens not only it, but also its neighbors, and this comes in light of fears that the battles will approach the capital, Addis Ababa.

Fighting continues between the Ethiopian government forces, the Tigray Liberation Front and other allied armed factions in areas of Amhara and Afar regions bordering the Tigray region.

Confrontations and vows

According to Al-Jazeera correspondent, the pace of confrontations increased to control the strategic roads along the fronts of the Amhara and Afar regions, and extended to the borders of "Shawa" governorate.

The Tigray Front recently threatened to advance towards Addis Ababa from its advanced positions, 400 km from the capital, in an effort to topple the Abi Ahmed government, which has ruled the country since 2018.

In return, Abi Ahmed pledged to confront the attack of the Tigray Front and its allies from the Oromia region and other regions, and called on the population to take up arms to defend the capital, amid air strikes targeting the front's sites in Tigray and neighboring regions.

Blinken (left) during a press conference with his Kenyan counterpart on Wednesday (Reuters)

developments and threats

Coinciding with these rapid developments on the ground in Ethiopia, Blinken called on Africans to remain vigilant against the growing threats to democracy, on his first stop in Kenya, where he is supposed to discuss the conflict in neighboring Ethiopia, as part of his tour of the continent.

On his tour, which will continue until Saturday, Blinken will visit 3 countries that are essential to President Joe Biden's African strategy, starting with Kenya, Washington's traditional ally in a region that is witnessing an increasing Chinese presence, and then Nigeria, the continent's largest country in terms of population, and ending with Senegal, which is an example of a stable democracy. On a continent often experienced bloody conflicts.

This trip will also be an opportunity to discuss attempts to reach a peaceful solution to the conflict that Ethiopia has been witnessing for more than a year.

Faced with the recent escalation in the conflict between the federal army and militants in the Tigray region, the United States has doubled down on calls for a cessation of hostilities and talks.

The United States has criticized Ethiopia and imposed sanctions against this long-time ally, condemning human rights violations and obstruction of food deliveries to Tigray, where starvation threatens hundreds of thousands of people.