Why Ethiopia in a Civil War?

Ground Report| New Delhi: Ethiopia in a Civil War; Ethiopia is known to be a land of culture with its existence dating back to 3 million years with architectural ancient sites. Today, this land of culture seems divided into two regions that are willing to destruct the other just to gain ethnic and political power. Ethiopia is also the second-most populous country in Africa.

Ethiopia currently is facing a political rivalry based on the roots of ethnicity between the rest of the regions against its northern region of Tigray, which is situated at close borders of Eritrea.

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A Look at the Political Influence in the Country

Ethiopia was earlier ruled and dominated by the TPLF government of Tigray People’s Liberation Front which was formed in the 1970s. When the ethnicity of Tigray was marginalized in the country.

This government was under the rule of Prime Minister Meles Zenawi, after Zenawi’s death in 2012, the Liberation Front began to weaken. Although Zenawi’s rule in Ethiopia helped countries like Somalia to fight Islamist military groups. Forming an ally with the United States, it violated human rights in its own country through ethnic cleansing and the execution of several people.

After the death of Zenawi, which initially led to the fall of TPLF, a former intelligence officer Abiy Ahmed rose to power and became the Prime minister of Ethiopia, although he was earlier a supporter or an ally of the TPLF, after his emergence to power, Abiy paved the way for the downfall of TPLF by charging some of its members for corruption and letting others out of his political office.

Abiy who was known for his pacifist approach to forming diplomatic relations ended the decades-long fight with its neighbouring country Eritrea which also has closed borders with Tigray, by signing a peace deal that led to him winning the Nobel Peace Prize in 2019.

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What Paved the Way for the Civil War?

Tigrayans constitute 6% to 7% of the population of Ethiopia which is low compared to the ethnicity of Oromo and Amhara. What’s fascinating is that, while the president of long rival country Eritrea, President Isaias tied hands with PM Abiy Ahmed, the Tigrayans also built ties with Oromo, the second-largest ethnicity of Ethiopia. This possesses a great threat to Ahmed. Tigrayans being such a marginalized ethnicity was able to form power at the time of Zenawi’s rule and dominate an ethnic majority country of Ethiopia.

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In September 2020, Tigray managed to get ahead with parliamentary regional elections while prime minister Abiy postponed the election process at the time. By November, TPLF marched towards the capital of Ethiopia, Addis Ababa. This agitated Abiy and he backed with drones fight and military power, sending TPLF back to its region.

Effects of the Ongoing Civil War

TPLF and Abiy Ahmed’s military have caused havoc in the country, which pushed millions out of their homes, caused famine. It killed thousands of civilians, stopped aid and food supply to the most critical parts of the country. This also forced millions to poverty and 9 million people to food scarcity as per the New York Times. This war is causing a massacre in the country, posing human rights violations, malnutrition, and sexual abuse in the country to rise.

The most affected are the citizens of the country, US threatened Abiy Ahmed to reduce trade supply and imposing of sanctions on the country. United Nations has also called out the human rights violation caused in the country due to the war. Abiy Ahmed, who once believed in diplomatic solutions, is adamant about fighting with the Tigray Peoples’ of Liberation Front and also stooped the point of shutting down access to the internet, health care, food, and other necessary supply of the TLPF. In 2021, TPLF expanded its region and held captive many military soldiers, the same effect was seen by Abiy when captivated Tigrayans were executed.

To Conclude-

This civil war can only be solved through diplomatic relations, by talking and listening to the need of the other. If the US imposed sanctions on Ethiopia, it will push the country into economic fall while the country is already facing a massacre. All of this could prove to be a downfall of not just the country, but human rights and political power of Abiy Ahmed. If the war is handled through ego and ethnic cleansing rather than intellectual and diplomacy.

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