His efforts earned him the 2019 Nobel Peace Prize. At 44, Mr. Abiy is among the youngest and one of the most closely watched leaders in Africa. A state of emergencyin the region was declared for the next 6 months following this attack. Flags representing the Tigray region of Ethiopia lining a wall in the Tigrayan city of Mekele. On 4 November 2020, the Ethiopian National Defense Force launched a military operation against Tigray People's Liberation Front in the Tigray Region. Ethiopia: War in Tigray still a tricky prospect Gwynne Dyer Independent journalist. Mr. Abiy said in a televised speech later that day that many federal troops had been “martyred” and wounded in the fighting. The violence could draw in neighboring Eritrea, which is allied with Ethiopia’s federal government and has a long-established resentment toward the T.P.L.F. But over the past year, Mr. Abiy has come under criticism as his government detained opposition leaders, and security officers were accused of killing hundreds of people following unrest involving different ethnic groups. The operation was launched after Abiy Ahmed, the Prime Minister of Ethiopia, declared that the Tigray People's Liberation Front had attacked a military base, although the Tigrayan state authorities have denied launching the attack, according to a Tigrayan state official. Ethiopia – Tigray: Ethiopians fear a full-fledged war ‘like the old days’ Earlier this week, the UN announced that an agreement was reached with the Ethiopian Government to allow “unimpeded, sustained and secure access” for humanitarian supplies to reach those in need across areas now under its control in Tigray. The conflict comes as Ethiopia, Africa’s second-most populous nation, faces mounting economic and social challenges amid a volatile democratic transition. Africa Civilians at risk in Ethiopia's Tigray war. Another US-based Ethiopia analyst, Alex De Waal, said the Abiy-Afwerki peace deal now looks more like a "security pact" to defeat the TPLF in Tigray. Ethiopia: War in Tigray Posted on December 4, 2020 by The Zimbabwe Independent in Opinion “LOVE always wins. That would mean secession, in the end, for they can never win power back in Addis Ababa. [email protected]. Why did Ethiopia’s prime minister launch a military offensive in Tigray? Anti-government protests propelled Mr. Abiy into the prime minister’s office in 2018. Because of the communication blackout imposed by the central government, reports from the region are sparse. ove always wins. But with communications shut off and access blocked, there was no way to independently confirm the government’s claim of control. But analysts and aid workers say that hundreds of people have died in the fighting since the offensive began, and tens of thousands have been displaced. But the organizations say that they have been prevented from helping. Ethiopia Broadcasting Coporation, via Reuters. Africa 06.11.2020. 16. The United Nations and aid agencies are pressing for safe access to Tigray, which is home to more than 5 million people and where 600,000 relied on food aid even before the war. A​id groups have appealed to the Ethiopian government to secure access for them to the Tigray region so they can replenish supplies for people stranded by the fighting. When Ethiopia’s army shelled Humera, a small agricultural city in Tigray, in mid-November, 54-year-old Gush Tela rushed his wife and three children to safety in a nearby town. Ethiopia won its armed battle for Tigray, but it hasn’t won the political war just yet REUTERS/Tiksa Negeri Ethiopia’s prime minister Abiy Ahmed Nov. 30, 2020. A long-simmering feud between the federal government and the powerful faction in control of Tigray has been barreling toward violent confrontation for months. FILE - Sudanese military officers guard Ethiopians who fled war in Tigray region at the Fashaga camp on the Sudan-Ethiopia border, Nov. 20, 2020. The following afternoon, Gen. Birhanu Jula, the deputy chief of the Ethiopian National Defense Force, said there were “injured soldiers on both sides.”. There are fears the conflict may escalate into civil war. What has Mr. Abiy done since coming to power? Fighting between Ethiopian government forces and rebellious northern leaders could spiral out of control and war crimes may have been committed, the United Nations said on … Ethiopia: What We Know About the War in the Tigray Region Conflict in the north of Africa’s second-most-populous nation is spreading across borders, threatening stability in a … Somalia disowns "own" statement on Ethiopian war in Tigray region. Mr. Abiy said the government’s offensive on Nov. 4 was in response to an attack by the Tigray People’s Liberation Front on a military base in Tigray early that morning. Relief agencies in Ethiopia prepared convoys on Thursday to truck aid into the Tigray region, where a month of war is feared to have killed thousands … And analysts have warned that even if the government controls the region’s cities, its military could still face a long and brutal guerrilla war. Ethiopia's hidden war in Tigray threatens return to ethnic violence and instability. Besides battling the pandemic and working to bolster a debt-laden economy, he is confronting disaffection within his own Oromo ethnic community, many of whom say they do not see much progress despite his promises. Even before the fighting​, ​Tigray​ was home to as many as 200,000 refugees and displaced people, according to United Nations agencies. But the coalition controlled all levers of power and repressed almost all political opposition. Elec… ​Five thousand people crossed the Ethiopian border to Sudan ​just on ​​Nov. What led the prime minister, Abiy Ahmed, to initiate a military campaign against the Tigray region of Ethiopia, and what are the likely consequences for the country and the Horn of Africa? Mr. Abiy’s government has also resorted to old tactics by shutting down the internet and arresting journalists. But Tigray has openly resisted, and other regions and ethnic groups are uneasy with Mr. Abiy’s centralization push. Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed, who last year won the Nobel Peace Prize, partly for making peace with Eritrea, ordered the start of a military offensive against Tigray on Nov. 4 after accusing the region’s ruling party of attacking a government defense post and trying to steal artillery and military equipment. Africa 29.11.2020. Ethiopia’s civil war in Tigray: What you need to know about who’s fighting whom and the toll it’s taken so far. Sky News reports from a refugee camp last used during Ethiopia's famine in … ​. How is this conflict affecting Ethiopia and its neighbors? But with its brewing civil war spilling into Eritrea, refugees streaming into Sudan, and Ethiopia’s peacekeeping mission to Somalia now under strain because of its domestic turmoil, analysts worry that Ethiopia could destabilize the region. "Eritrea had a major role in the war. Ethiopian farmer Gebrahid Welderfael said he last saw his wife and 18-year-old daughter in the sewer in his village in the Tigray region where the … Now, with the conflict intensifying, international aid groups say that tens of thousands more people are fleeing. The son of a Muslim father and a Christian mother, he has freed political prisoners, welcomed back exiled opposition groups, helped end hostilities with neighboring Eritrea and played a role in mediating regional conflicts inside and between nations, including Sudan, South Sudan, Djibouti, Kenya and Somalia. Simon Marks contributed reporting from Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, and Eric Nagourney from New York. The already tense relationship between the two sides had been worsening in recent months. Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed of Ethiopia has come under criticism for repressive tactics against opposition leaders. Many Oromo have also criticized his government’s crackdown on them following the ethnic violence that resulted from the killing in June of a prominent Oromo singer, Hachalu Hundessa. Tigray has a paramilitary force and a local militia thought to number about 250,000, according to the International Crisis Group. Michael Tewelde/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images. After fighting the military dictatorship that ruled Ethiopia in the 1970s and 1980s, the Tigray People’s Liberation Front, or T.P.L.F., emerged as the leader of the coalition that took power in the country in 1991. The region has experienced rising tensions with the federal government. Here’s a look at why Tigray became a flash point in Ethiopia, and what the situation there means for the broader region. Tigray, the northernmost region of Ethiopia, is home to the Tigrayan people who make up an estimated 6 percent of the country’s population of more than 110 million. On Nov. 28, the government claimed it had gained control of Tigray’s capital after a day of artillery strikes, and Mr. Abiy said “we have completed and ceased the military operations” in the region. A large number of civilians have been brutally killed in Ethiopia's Tigray region amid fighting between the local and federal governments, said Amnesty International on Thursday. Since coming to power two years ago, he has reshaped Ethiopia’s political and economic trajectory. Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed ordered a government offensive after accusing the Tigray People's Liberation Front of attacking Ethiopia's military. Soon after, members of the Tigray ethnic group were purged from positions of power and arrested in corruption and security-related crackdowns — opening a deep chasm between the Tigray region, governed by the T.P.L.F., and the federal government. The coalition, known as the Ethiopian People’s Revolutionary Democratic Front, consisted of four main political parties, largely split along ethnic and geographic lines, and it backed a federalist approach that gave significant power to Ethiopia’s regions. In Summary . Jawar Mohammed, the prime minister’s biggest challenger, who hails from the same Oromo community, is currently in prison and charged with terrorism. Eduardo Soteras/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images. There are reports that there were 20 brigades of Eritrean troops in Tigray. Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed of Ethiopia ordered a military offensive against the government of the country’s northern Tigray region, he said in a national address this month. The risk is that if the war goes on long enough, other major ethnic groups may break away from Ethiopia as well. Ethiopia's military conflict with its independence-minded Tigray region has raised fears of civil war in Africa’s second most populous nation. Meles Zenawi, a Tigrayan, led Ethiopia from 1991 until his death in 2012, during which time Ethiopia became a stable nation in a turbulent region and experienced significant economic growth. Ethiopia has been careening toward civil war since early November when its military stepped up hostilities against the ruling faction in the northern region of Tigray… Mr. Abiy is also engaged in a high-profile standoff with Egypt over a hydroelectric dam that Ethiopia is building on the Nile, which will be the largest in Africa when completed. Ethiopia: War in Tigray. The rush to war has exacerbated ethnic divisions so badly that it has prompted warnings of potential ethnic cleansing and even genocide. Killing others is a defeat,” said Ethiopia’s Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed in June 2018, shortly after surviving a grenade attack at a rally in Meskel Square in the capital, Addis Ababa. Mr. Abiy’s government was already facing serious challenges on multiple fronts. Ever since the war in Tigray started, he has been consumed by worry that the conflict might turn into a full-fledged war like in the old days. Despite its small numbers, the Tigrayan ethnic group has for almost three decades enjoyed disproportionate power and influence in government affairs. A parade marking the 45th anniversary of the establishment of the Tigray People’s Liberation Front, in Mekelle, in February. How was he to know that just 30 months after saying that he would have to stop loving and start killing? Killing others is a defeat,” Ethiopia’s Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed (pictured) said in June 2018, shortly after surviving a grenade attack at a rally in Meskel Square in the capital, Addis Ababa. Tigray officials immediately closed their airspace, restricted road movement in the region, and declared that soldiers from the Northern Command of the Ethiopian military had defected and sided with the Tigray people. Tigray’s battle-hardened, powerful military also took the lead in Ethiopia’s war against neighbouring Eritrea that raged from 1998 to 2000 over disputed border territory. On Nov. 13, Tigray launched rockets at two airports in neighboring Amhara Province, and on the following day said it had fired a volley of rockets at the main airport in neighboring Eritrea, which Tigray accuses of siding with Mr. Abiy. Until recently Ethiopia, a close American military ally, was seen as the strategic linchpin of the volatile Horn of Africa. Mr. Abiy is also confronting challenges from his own Oromo ethnic community. … ordered the start of a military offensive, claimed it had gained control of Tigray’s capital after a day of artillery strikes, shut down internet and phone communications, declared a six-month state of emergency in Tigray, repressed almost all political opposition, propelled Mr. Abiy into the prime minister’s office, arrested in corruption and security-related crackdowns, and tens of thousands have been displaced, following the ethnic violence that resulted from the killing in June of a prominent Oromo singer, Hachalu Hundessa, helped end hostilities with neighboring Eritrea, which will be the largest in Africa when completed. Destroyed buildings from a demonstration after the killing of Hachalu Hundessa, a prominent Oromo singer. Comments Off Share Article . The Nobel Peace Prize committee on Nov. 17 issued a rare — if tacit — rebuke of one of its honorees. 09:53 Ethiopian troops capture Tigray regional capital, Mekelle from TPLF. Ethiopia has been careening toward civil war since early November when its military stepped up hostilities against the ruling faction in the northern region of Tigray, gathering troops from across the country as its leaders ignored international pleas to step back from the brink. ... but she was born and raised in Tigray, the northernmost region of Ethiopia, where a deadly conflict broke out last month between federal troops and rebellious regional forces. “The Norwegian Nobel Committee follows the developments in Ethiopia closely, and is deeply concerned,” it said in a statement. Following the announcement of the offensive, Mr. Abiy’s cabinet declared a six-month state of emergency in Tigray. So far, more than 27,000 people fleeing the violence in Tigray have arrived in Sudan in all, ​according to ​the U.N. Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs​. Credit: AP … 20:00 AP Explains: Why Ethiopia Is Suddenly On Brink Of Civil War. published : 2 Dec 2020 at 04:00. newspaper section: Oped. Somalia 19.11.2020. As part of his vision for a more unified Ethiopia, Mr. Abiy last year launched the Prosperity Party, which has brought together members of the former ruling coalition — with the exception of the Tigray — along with previously excluded ethnic groups. Mr. Abiy has said that he wants to unify the country by increasing the federal government’s power and minimizing the autonomy of regional governments. Ethiopian lawmakers voted to cut funding to the region in October, a move that incensed Tigray leaders. It was impossible to verify his account because that morning the government of Ethiopia shut down internet and phone communications in the Tigray region, according to the digital rights group Access Now. That would mean secession, in the end, for they can never win power back in Addis Ababa. The risk is that if the war … He was forced, he says, to postpone elections because of the impact of COVID-19 on Ethiopia, but then he accused the Tigray People’s Liberation Front of waging an internal war. Tigray defied the federal government by deciding to hold parliamentary elections in September, even though general elections were postponed because of the coronavirus pandemic. Ethiopia's Tigray crisis: Thousands flee civil war fought in the shadows that could tear country apart. Federal forces now control the northwestern part of Tigray. The Ethiopian military gathered on a road in an area near the border of the Tigray and Amhara regions of Ethiopia earlier this month. “I believed peace and stability was becoming possible for Ethiopia where dialogue and peaceful co-existence was to have been a solution. Rebuke of one of its honorees and wounded in the shadows that tear! 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