Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed (Photo: DW)
Nov, 4th 2020 – The Ethiopian government has ordered attacks on forces of the regional administration in Tigray.
This is following claims by the Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed that the Tigrayan People’s Liberation Front attacked the Ethiopian National Defence Forces and “attempted to rob” artillery from the facility.
Abiy Ahmed, Ethiopian Prime Minister’s office said, “The attack on the Northern Command (of ENDF) has been premised on TPLF viewing the Ethiopian National Defence Forces as a foreign army rather than an army that has been protecting the people of Tigray for more than twenty years. “Resultantly, TPLF has chosen to wage war in Dalshah.“
The government on Tuesday had ordered troops to launch attacks on forces of the regional administration in Tigrau raising the ante in a conflict between Addis Ababa and the autonomous part of the country. Ahmed claimed that the Tigrayan People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) had crossed the last red line after ambushing Ethiopian forces.
PM Ahmed had rescheduled the elections initially meant for May this year to next year due to Covid-19. The troubled northern autonomous region of Ethiopia defied Addis Ababa in August and held elections despite the national postponement.
Tigray administration has said it will not recognize Dr. Abiy’s government beyond October, saying it had overrun its mandate.
With the soured relations between the two forms of government, experts warn that the problem in Ethiopia could spiral making the country unstable especially after the mediation efforts have failed.
Rashid Abdi, who analyzes geopolitical events in both the Horn of Africa and the Gulf noted that the decision to order an attack on Tigrayans may have been Dr. Ahmed’s ‘worst strategic blander’
In December 2019, Dr. Ahmed led the dissolution of the coalition of Ethiopian People’s Revolutionary Democratic Front merging the parties into the propsperity party.
However, some experts have commended Dr. Ahmed’s actions as ambitious. Nairobi’s think tank Southlink Consultant, Dr. Abdiwahab Sheikh Abdisamad said, “Ethiopian PM’s order to the army to tame rogue Tigrayan region is wise and timely. Misguided Tigrayan elites thumbed their noses at the very Ethiopianness PM Abiy was pushing for.“
The Ethiopian government has declared a state of emergency on northern Tigray region for six months for threatening the sovereignty of the country