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.
Ethiopia: Will Tigray reach a conclusion in 2021?
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.