Wednesday (November 3rd): Abiy Calls for State of Emergency

Abiy-Ahmed - Ethiopia
Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed

Name? Abiy Ahmed

Westphalian identity? Ethiopian

Age? 45

Why is he in the news? Abiy Ahmed, Prime Minister of Ethiopia, implemented a state of emergency amidst the war against the Tigray region. This move comes after the Tigrayan People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) had reportedly captured two towns in the Amhara region, Dessie and Kombulcha. The TPLF has made such headway alongside the Oromo Liberation Army, a rebel group from the Ethiopian capital.  

Why do we care? In July, Abiy won his first test in the national elections. Though the war has continued for about a year, the TPLF’s recent advancements represent an increasingly difficult test for Abiy’s central government. If Abiy is ousted in a coup by the TPLF, it will elevate tensions in the Horn of Africa, heightening instability across the entire region but namely with Eritrea- the TPLF’s longtime rival- and Sudan which is already experiencing a military and political crisis. 

Why should you care? As Abiy Ahmed looks to somehow redeem himself from Tigray advancement and OLA-partnership, he has called on residents of Addis Ababa to prepare themselves for combat by registering all firearms to the government. Of course, these requests are incredibly concerning, and as the fight edges to the capital, the recent developments should make you care 7/10 about a high potential of continued suffering in Ethiopia… 

Who else cares? The Chair of the African Union, Moussa Faki, has once again called for the end of all hostilities in Ethiopia. Though the Union has taken little action against the federal government, the escalation of the war may open the door for intervention under the condition of war crimes. 

Any further comments? In Abiy’s war against the TPLF, he has often limited international monitoring from rights groups or the UN. Nevertheless, the UN and Ethiopian Human Rights Commission found that the central government, TPLF, and Eritrean soldiers may be responsible for committing war crimes, allowing for potential AU intervention.