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Ethiopia: With Tigray under rebel control, what next for Prime Minister Abiy?

By Nicholas Norbrook, Patrick Smith
Posted on Wednesday, 30 June 2021 19:18

Demonstrators hold Tigray's flags as they gather by the sea at Gyllyngvase beach after a Tigray protest in Falmouth, during the G7 summit in Cornwall, Britain, 12 June 2021. REUTERS/Tom Nicholson

Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed may have hoped that the announcement of a unilateral ceasefire on Monday 28 June in Tigray would stop the crisis in northern Ethiopia spiralling out of his control. Instead, it raises tough questions about the authority of his government amid growing dissension in the regions.

A week ago, as many Ethiopians were voting in the 21 June national elections, Abiy’s government launched what it called a final offensive against resistance forces in Tigray.

The Tigray conflict started in 2020 when the leaders of the Tigray People’s Liberation Front, a party that was influential under the government of former premier Meles Zenawi, challenged Abiy’s authority and regional elections without Addis’ approval.