News Brief
Photo by Erik Valestrand/Getty Images

OSLO, NORWAY - DECEMBER 10: Ethiopia's Prime Minister and Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Abiy Ahmed Ali speaks on stage after being awarded with the Nobel Peace Prize during the Nobel Peace Prize ceremony 2019 at Oslo City Town Hall on December 10, 2019 in Oslo, Norway. The Prime Minister of Ethiopia, Abiy Ahmed, has been jointly awarded the 2019 Nobel Peace Prize in recognition for his efforts to achieve peace and international cooperation, and in particular for his decisive initiative to resolve the border conflict with neighbouring Eritrea.

Ethiopian Prime Minister Gives Tigray 72 Hours to Surrender Amidst Rising Attacks

Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed has given Tigray militants 72 hours to surrender as Ethiopian army advances on the region.

According to The Guardian, Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed has reportedly given Tigray militants 72 hours to surrender. This comes after weeks of violent attacks in the region. Ahmed declared a state of emergency three weeks ago when Tigrayan forces allegedly looted an Ethiopian army base in Mekelle. The Tigray People's Liberation Front (TPLF) have reportedly killed hundreds and displaced thousands, affecting neighbouring countries Eritrea and Sudan. Ahmed issued a call for surrender on Sunday evening, this according to VoA News.


READ: The Army Has Been Deployed in Ethiopia Amid Deadly Protests

Ahmed, released a statement on Sunday directed at the TPLF. Part of the statement reads: "Your journey of destruction is coming to an end, and we urge you to surrender peacefully within the next 72 hours, recognising you are at a point of no return. Take this last opportunity."

The Ethiopian army has reportedly fired airstrikes into the region with Tigray attacked with missiles in Amhara. Furthermore, the TPLF has fired missiles into neighbouring country Eritrea for reportedly supporting Ahmed's call for the TPLF to submit themselves to the Ethiopian government. The Guardian reports that over 36 000 Ethiopians have since fled to Sudan in the wake of these attacks. The United Nations (UN) reports that they expect 200 000 refugees should the regional war continue.

Head of the African Union and South African President, Cyril Ramaphosa, reportedly gathered three former presidents to mediate between the TPLF and Ahmed's government. However, the Ethiopian government rejected the intervention claiming that the conflict is an internal "law enforcement" mission. The Ethiopian government instead called for Tigrayans to put pressure on TPLF to end the regional war.

Reports on the Tigray crisis have been difficult due to intermittent internet shutdowns allegedly caused by the Ethiopian government. Additionally, Ahmed reportedly cut government funds to Tigray after the TPLF held elections despite the Prime Minister's postponement. This a contributing factor for the alleged conflict. Tigray regional forces show no signs of surrendering despite reports of retreat following the Ethiopian's army advancement. Communication and transport services have been severely hampered since the regional attacks started.

The full statement was also released on Twitter via the Prime Minister's account.

Interview

Interview: Terri Is Stepping Out of the Shadows

We talk to the Wizkid-signed artist about the story behind the massive hit "Soco" and his latest Afro Series EP.

Certain afrobeats songs have made in-roads in international markets and paved the way for the genre's ceaselessly-rising widespread recognition. Among these history-defining songs were D'banj's "Oliver Twist," Tekno's "Pana," Davido's "If" & "Fall," Runtown's "Mad Over You," and of course, Wizkid's "Soco." Wizkid released "Soco" under his label imprint, Starboy Entertainment in March 2018, and the song spread like wildfire across Africa and beyond. "Soco" was an Afro-pop wonder delivered at a time when the 'afrobeats to the world' movement was gathering steam, further cementing its electric nature. The Northboi-produced song was co-signed by celebrities across the world like Rihanna, Cardi B, and Paul Pogba and has accrued well over a hundred million streams across streaming platforms worldwide.

"Soco" was not only a trailblazer amongst mid-2010s afrobeats records, it was also the introduction of the first Wizkid-signed artist, Terri. Just weeks before "Soco" was released, Terri was discovered by Wizkid's longtime producer, Mutay, who saw him covering the song "Oshe" on social media.

Before "Soco," Terri Akewe was well on his way to fame. At fifteen, he had performed at street carnivals in his neighbourhood and, one time, was carried all the way home by neighbours after winning a Coca-Cola sponsored singing competition. Before his life-changing meeting with Wizkid, Terri had a seven-track EP ready for release, as well as a viral song titled "Voices." "One time I was on set with the video director T.G Omori, he told me that 'Voices' was the first time he heard of me" Terri tells me as we settle on a plush couch at his home in Lagos.

Regardless of Terri's initial career trajectory; signing to a label headed by afrobeats' biggest superstar was bound to accelerate his musical journey, and at the same time, cast a huge shadow of expectation on his career, especially given a debut as spectacular as "Soco." With his latest EP, Afro Series, powered by the sensational single "Ojoro," one thing is clear: Terri is stepping out of the shadows into his own spotlight and he is doing it on his own terms.

This interview has been edited and condensed for clarity.

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