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Where is Ethiopia headed?

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Although there have been significant international and regional efforts to push for an end to the ongoing conflict in Ethiopia between the government and the Tigray Peoples Liberation Front (TPLF), clashes between the warring sides continue to escalate. The fighting which has been going on for more than a year has claimed thousands of lives and displaced almost 2.5 million people. At least "9 million people are in dire need of food assistance due to the ongoing conflict in northern Ethiopia" according to the World Food Program.

Observers fear that, if the situation is not put under control, Africa's second-most-populous country risks sliding into a calamitous civil war, affecting millions beyond the Horn of Africa. The US and several other countries have already warned their citizens to leave Ethiopia. Last week, Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed, went to the frontline to lead the war against the Tigray rebels amid the latter's recent military gains including the capture of Dessie and Kombolcha towns which risks bringing the war to the capital, Addis Ababa. The Ethiopian army's recapture of the town of Chifra in the Afar region from the TPLF on 28 November, hence, comes as a morale-boosting military gain for the government army.

Abiy came to power in 2018 following mass protests by the Oromo and Amhara, Ethiopia's largest ethnic groups, against the TPLF-led coalition government which dominated the country's politics for close to three decades. In September 2020, the TPLF went ahead with the regional parliamentary elections in defiance of Abiy's government order to postpone........

© Middle East Monitor

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