Ethiopia's Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed is not rebuffing international calls for calm amid an escalating conflict in the country's restive Tigray region that many fear is sliding toward civil war, his office's spokesperson said on Tuesday.
"There is no rebuffing of anyone by the prime minister. He had acknowledged and given gratitude for the concerns shown. Nevertheless, Ethiopia is a sovereign nation and its government will ultimately make decisions in the long term interest of the country and its people," said Billene Seyoum in an emailed response to a request for comment on a diplomat's account that Abiy "is not listening to anyone".
The conflict, which began last week, has already killed hundreds of people, sources on the government side said on Monday, even as the premier said fears of chaos were unfounded
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