Name? Abiy Ahmed
Westphalian identity? Ethiopian
Why is he in the news? The Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) retook the capital of the Tigray region, Mekelle, on Monday and have indicated they have little desire for a truce with Abiy’s government forces. The TPLF has caused a major blow to Prime Minister Abiy in taking Mekelle eight months into a conflict Abiy promised would be over in a span of weeks … As a result, the Ethiopian government declared a unilateral ceasefire with immediate effect.
Why do we care? For many of the same reasons you should care: famine + war + displaced peoples + pandemic + water wars = a chaotic conflict that threatens to destabilize the Horn of Africa region. Our reoccurring coverage of the matter shows how much we care!
Why should you care? According to the international organization on migration, more than 1.7 million people have been displaced in northern Tigray. Not to mention that famine, the worst in the world at the moment, has afflicted at least 350,000 in the Tigray region–making Ethiopia the worst-hit country in a decade when it comes to food insecurity. Large scale famine and displacement means you should care 9/10.
Who else cares? President Isaias Afwerki of Eritrea. Eritrean troops have continuously been accused of the worst violations including killings and sexual assault even after PM Abiy said the soldiers were to go home…This begs the question as to whether Eritrean troops will adhere to the unilateral ceasefire or if Isaias will encourage them to remain in Tigray. Any further comments? By framing the ceasefire as a “humanitarian one,” Abiy’s government is attempting to save face as the rebels now have control of Mekelle (and were greeted with cheers from civilians as they retook it). Unfortunately for Abiy, the TPLF largely views the ceasefire as a “joke,” with much of the international community in similar understanding …