Ethiopia: Will Tigray reach a conclusion in 2021?

By The Africa Report
Posted on Monday, 15 February 2021 16:28, updated on Wednesday, 17 February 2021 13:33

Nov. 30, 2020, Ethiopia's Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed responds to questions from members of parliament at the prime minister's office in the capital Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. (AP Photo/Mulugeta Ayene, FILE)/WRC102/21001377427487/FILE PHOTO DATED MONDAY, NOV. 30, 2020/2101011138

Relations between Addis Ababa and Ethiopia’s states will shape the course of the year ahead. The country has previous experience in the dangers that an overly centralised government can pose, but its current constitution – with states based on ethnic identity, and ethnic self-determination as a right – has problems of its own.

The 2018 election of Abiy Ahmed as leader of the ruling coalition, and thus as prime minister, changed the country’s ethnic calculus. Abiy is an Oromo, from the country’s largest ethnic group, and his rise signalled the sidelining of the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF), which had long dominated the government and armed forces under Meles Zenawi.