Special forces and militias from a number of Ethiopia's regions are mobilizing to back the federal government's military operations in Tigray, which could lead to the intensification of the conflict in the country.
Regular forces from Amhara, a large region abutting the south of Tigray, have been fighting alongside federal troops ever since Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed launched the military offensive in Tigray last November, DW News reported.
With this, at least six more regions have become a part of the conflict including Oromia, which is Ethiopia's most populous region.
Ethiopia has a federal system, with 10 regional states (and two city administrations), which are largely ethnic-based. Each has its own special forces, plus local militia groups often made up of farmers similar to a home guard unit, DW News reported.
Thousands of people have been killed since fighting broke out in November 2020, and more than 2 million people have been displaced in Ethiopia's northern region.
The conflict between Tigrayans and Ethiopia's ruling party due to leadership issues has brought Ethiopia on the brink of a civil war with widespread violence including sexual exploitation, and ethnic cleansing.
Social media has been abuzz with outrage against the violence as well as prayers for Ethiopians. Many are demanding that violence be halted and aid be given to the population.
Here's what people are saying. Have a look.