Name? Abiy Ahmed
Westphalian identity? Ethiopian
Why is he in the news? Prime Minister of Ethiopia, Abiy Ahmed, is back in the news for an escalation in the Tigray region. Abiy’s forces have recently taken over some important cities in the northern Tigray region, such as Shire; the other two towns Ethiopian forces have taken over are Korem and Alamata, which are both under 200 miles from the Tigray capital, Mekele.
Why do we care? The war in the Tigray region has been pretty brutal. However, despite multiple attempts to bring Abiy and the leaders of the TPLF to the table to discuss a solution to the war, it ends in the talks collapsing. The war’s escalation continues to threaten regional security as an even more desperate situation for the TPLF will mean an influx of migrants to surrounding countries.
Why should you care? The war in Tigray is coming up on its two-year anniversary in November. The war has put the Tigray region in a 17-month blockade and millions of people have been forced to evacuate their homes while at the same time the death count is still an unknown figure. With the war continuing and worsening following the recent failure of peace talks, you should care 10/10 aboutAfrica’s largest modern conflict.
Who else cares? The international community has been nonetheless vocal of the war in Ethiopia. The chairman of the African Union Moussa Faki Mahamat demanded an unconditional ceasefire of the conflict in a press release on Twitter. The USA Special Envoy to the Horn Mike Hammer has also been closely collaborating with the African Union to set up peace talks with the parties involved to end the conflict.
Any further comments? Abiy’s government has said it would commit to peace talks with the Tigrayan leaders. However, this would not be the first time Abiy committed to a peaceful ending in the conflict; it is unlikely to be the last.