The war in Ethiopia has been going on for over a year. Government forces are fighting the Tigra People’s Liberation Front, which is on the offensive and approaching the country’s capital, Addis Ababa. The country’s prime minister, Abiy Ahmed Ali, announced that he would lead and lead the troops at the front.
Ahmed announced this decision on his Twitter account. “I will go to the frontline to personally lead the defense forces. Those of you who want to be sons of Ethiopia, who will be glorified in history – rise for your country today, let’s meet at the front!” – he wrote. He added that it was the final fight to save Ethiopia from internal and external enemies.
Abiy Ahmed made the move after the Tigra People’s Liberation Front announced that it had captured two more cities, including Shewa Robit – 220 kilometers closer to the nation’s capital, which is controlled by government forces.
While the prime minister is at the front, his duties will be taken over by individual ministers and politicians.
Abiy Ahmed is the winner of the 2019 Nobel Peace Prize, which he received for ending the 20-year conflict between Ethiopia and Eritrea. Less than a year later, it was he who personally made the decision to attack Tigraj, which, according to international organizations, may bear the hallmarks of genocide.. The fighting resulted in the death of thousands of people and forced over 2 million people to flee. The exact scale of these activities is unknown, because the Internet has been switched off in Tigray for over a year, and other forms of communication are very difficult.
The conflict began in November 2020, but to understand its genesis, you have to go back to 1991 and the end of the Ethiopian civil war – that’s when power took over The Ethiopian People’s Revolutionary Democratic Front, which was a coalition of smaller groups. In it, the most important role was played by politicians from the northern region of Tigray, and more precisely from the Tigray People’s Liberation Front. Many Tigrays have formed the political elite of Ethiopia over the past several decades.
Everything changed in 2018, when Abiy Ahmed Ali took over as prime minister, who is a member of an alliance of major parties but comes from the Orom tribe from the south of the country. After his reign began, the Tigras quickly began to lose importance in the administration, and the prime minister himself distanced himself from the achievements of his predecessors. In addition, a new coalition was created, which the Tigras did not join, which put them outside the government.
The conflict in the state authorities was reflected in the Tigray region. Its authorities decided to hold a referendum in September 2020, despite opposition from central authorities, which canceled voting across the country due to the coronavirus pandemic. This, in turn, sparked a harsh reaction from the prime minister and the government administration, which ended with the recognition of the Tigra People’s Liberation Front as a terrorist organization. An attack by government forces began in November, but recently Tigrays have started to gain the advantage as they approach the capital of the country.