Waging war on the Tigray seems like a suicidal decision by the federal government 0 The call from Ethiopia’s capital was grim. © 2020 Guardian News & Media Limited or its affiliated companies. As Ethiopia descends into civil war, civilians by the thousands begin to stream out. The confrontation between Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed and the Tigray State will have profound national and regional ramifications for decades to come. “This reinforces the government narrative that they’re not fighting a war against some political opponent they fell out with, but that they’re fighting a war against a brutal junta that uses terrorism to maintain its power.”. Ethiopia Edges Toward Civil War As Federal Government Orders Attack On Tigray Region Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed said forces of the Tigray People's Liberation Front, which controls Ethiopia… But Hiwot, a 31-year-old mother of two who fled to neighboring Kenya after her husband was killed by the TPLF four years ago, said she fears a similar fate could befall her uncle, her aunt and millions of others who find themselves caught in the crossfire in an emerging civil war between Ethiopia’s military and a well-armed adversary. Jamie Macwhirter and Currently more than 250,000 Ethiopian immigrants and their children live in the United States — more than from any other African country except Nigeria. On Friday the TPLF fired rockets at two airports in federal government-held territory and on Saturday at least three rockets were aimed at an airport in the capital of Eritrea in an attempt by the TPLF to rope Ethiopia's neighbor into the conflict. But Sudan can be a perilous place for ethnic minorities and people besieged by war. Abiy did not come for change.”, “Before fighting, they should have engaged in talks,” Fayisa Tolera, 43, a former Oromo Liberation Front soldier, told The Times. Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed is facing a leadership test as he starts an offensive against the Tigray region. Ethiopia risks falling into an ethnic civil war with regional implications In September, Tigray held elections anyway, against orders from the capital. Guilty or not, “the pinning of the massacre on the TPLF by the prime minister makes it even less likely that the government is going to pursue anything other than a military solution,” Davidson told The Times. The TPLF denied responsibility for the attacks. But Tigrayans balked after Ahmed dissolved the ruling coalition to form a new political party, dismissed all the Tigrayans from his Cabinet, and postponed national elections scheduled for August. ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia - Ethiopia approached civil war on Wednesday as its Nobel Peace Prize-winning prime minister ordered the military to … "There is increasing concern for the protection of civilians against hostilities,” the UN office that coordinates humanitarian assistance said in a statement. But right now, “our priority is to make sure that the border remains open.”. On Nov. 9, dozens if not hundreds of civilians were slashed with machetes and many were killed during a massacre in the town of Mai-Kadra in the southwest Tigray region, according to Amnesty International. He said rough terrain will make it difficult for aid and personnel to reach the remote region, and that resources for the refugees were already in short supply. “TPLF commanders and officials must make clear to their forces and their supporters that deliberate attacks on civilians are absolutely prohibited and constitute war crimes,” said Amnesty International’s regional director Deprose Muchena, while the UN’s human rights chief warned that the killings may constitute “war crimes.”, “Ethnically motivated attacks and reportedly ethnic profiling of citizens constitute a dangerous trajectory that heightens the risk of genocide, war crimes, ethnic cleansing and crimes against humanity,” the UN warned. This story originally appeared in Los Angeles Times. The Ethiopian Civil War began on 12 September 1974 when the Marxist Derg … Ethiopian leader rejects concerns of a brewing civil war as clashes reportedly leave hundreds dead. Within months he brokered peace with neighboring Eritrea to end a violent, two-decades-long standoff between the nations. After Ethiopia disavowal of binding international agreements regarding the Nile Basin, Ethiopian Prime Minister is leading a fierce war on Tigray … The challenge now, in this ancient land with a proud history is to feed, educate and house the people including those displaced by the Eritrean-Ethiopian W… Ethiopia: Civil War and Nation Building in the 21st Century. “For us, it's not good. If the man’s reports are true, “the government from Tigray is planning to burn the whole city today,” Hiwot told the Los Angeles Times. Survivors, who hail from the Amhara ethnic group, said their attackers were members of the TPLF with whom they’d long scuffled over territory. Last modified on Fri 20 Nov 2020 09.25 GMT, Available for everyone, funded by readers, People who fled fighting in northern Ethiopia tell of atrocities and gruelling journey to Sudan, PM Abiy Ahmed has implied operation will soon be over, but many leaders have found their planned short wars will not end quickly, Abiy Ahmed urges ‘peaceful’ end to three-week conflict after generals say civilians in the regional capital Mekelle will be shown ‘no mercy’, As conflicts rapidly unfold in Ethiopia, Sudan, Somalia and Yemen, the US, UK and European states are being increasingly sidelined. If precedent is any indication, the outlook for their swift and peaceful return to Ethiopia isn’t good. Nikhita Chulani, Thu 19 Nov 2020 16.22 GMT He said it’s crucial that a camp be established far enough from the border to protect refugees from spillover fighting. Ten buses had arrived to bus residents of Tigrayan ethnicity to safety, leaving thousands of worried residents behind. Ahmed said this month’s airstrikes were in retaliation for attacks by the TPLF that sought to steal weaponry and equipment from Ethiopia’s military and which left an unknown number of soldiers wounded and dead. “But I worry a lot of lives will be lost. TPLF leadership has accused Eritrea, a longtime foe, of sending ground forces across the border to join the Ethiopian military in attacking Tigray. Already in Tigray, “banking services have halted resulting in a lack of cash,” according to the UNHCR. We need more masks.”. Jacob Kushner. Tourists sometimes pass through Tigray’s eastern tip en route to visit the nearby Danakil Depression, which many geologists and meteorologists regard as both the lowest and hottest place on earth, reaching 410 feet below sea level and with recorded temperatures as high as 125 degrees. Civil War in Ethiopia: Who, what, why? Ethiopia is Africa’s second-most populous nation, and its northern Tigray region was already home to some 100,000 internally displaced people and another 96,000 refugees from neighboring Eritrea — half of the nation’s total, according to the UNHCR. If the conflict becomes entrenched and the refugees are unable to return home, many may set their sights on asylum and hope for resettlement abroad. Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed sleepwalked into a civil war. “We are urging governments in the neighboring countries to keep their borders open for people forced from their homes,” said UNHCR Regional Bureau Director Clementine Nkweta-Salami. November 16, 2020, 2:30 AM. Several told The Times that the conflict was liable to escalate as different ethnic militias chose their allegiances and prepared for battle. The victims appeared to be day laborers who posed no discernible threat. Ethiopia is approaching civil war as its Nobel Peace Prize-winning prime minister has ordered the military to confront the country’s well-armed Tigray regional government More live in California than any other state, with at least 7,000 in the Los Angeles metropolitan area. “We know there’s been federal aerial bombardment, but we don’t know the exact targets or how successful it’s been,” said William Davidson, senior Ethiopia analyst for the International Crisis Group. Information about the conflict in Tigray is hard to come by, due in part to Ethiopia’s government-imposed blackout of phone and internet communication. “Civilians caught in the crossfire always pay the price, especially children, women, elders and the disabled.”. In early November, Ethiopia’s Parliament labeled the TPLF a terrorist organization, complicating any attempt at negotiating peace. 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