How Abiy Ahmed’s Ethiopia-first nationalism led to civil war

Opinion piece | Abiy Ahmed

by Awol K Allo (AlJazeera)

Abiy ahmed news at IGAD summit

Abiy Ahmed News

Earlier this month, a simmering political and ideological conflict between Ethiopia’s federal government and the northern region of Tigray escalated into a deadly civil war that is threatening to destabilise an already fragile and volatile region.

On November 4, Ethiopia’s Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed . . .

. . . announced military attacks against the Tigray region, which borders Eritrea and Sudan, and its governing party, the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF). The prime minister, who positioned himself as a reformer and peacemaker since taking office in 2018, and won the 2019 Nobel Peace Prize for clinching a long-awaited peace deal between his country and Eritrea, declared an all-out war on a regional government as a means to settle an ideological and political difference.

The war in Tigray is a continuation of the violent and widespread repression Abiy began in Oromia, Walaita and Sidama against those who resisted his vision of the future.

After silencing dissent and opposition elsewhere in the country, Abiy and his camp are turning to Tigray, the last frontier in the battle over the character of the Ethiopian state.

Tigray presents a significant challenge to the prime minister’s grandiose vision of “Making Ethiopia Great Again” (MEGA). In addition to being an autonomous region with effective control over its territories, it is a battle-hardened region with highly trained troops and access to much of Ethiopia’s military arsenal.

Although Abiy’s government is scrambling to convince the world that this is a law enforcement operation with limited and achievable objectives, the fierce battles fought over the last few weeks involving fighter jets, tanks, and armoured personnel carriers make it evident that the country is in the midst of what is likely to be an intractable military deadlock that would result in a large number of casualties.

This is likely to be a protracted and destructive war with … FINISH READING ARTICLE

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