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Ethiopia: Following his landslide win, will Abiy and Tigray leaders find a lasting solution?

By Patrick Smith
Posted on Monday, 12 July 2021 14:33

Supporters wear vests with pictures of Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed, as they attend his last campaign event ahead of Ethiopia's elections on 21 June 2021. REUTERS/Tiksa Negeri

The landslide victory for Premier Abiy Ahmed’s Prosperity Party announced by the Electoral Board on 10 July – winning 410 out of the 436 parliamentary seats contested – offers a critical chance for the country’s leaders to end the devastating conflict in Tigray and reunite the country.

The depredations of the last eight months, the toll in human lives and the derailing of the country’s development achievements means the chance of reuniting the country may be slim, but it is vastly better than any of the alternatives. The outcome in Africa’s second most populous country will resonate across the region and the continent.

Political solution

On all sides, wise counsel argues that the only way to resolve the Tigray crisis is by crafting a political solution. There is a brief hiatus in which to launch a dialogue that could address how best to run Ethiopia: as a federation, a confederation of regions, a unitary state or some hybrid configuration.