Civil war-type situations have arisen between Ethiopian Prime Minister Abi Ahmed Sarkar and the Tigraya People’s Liberation Front (TPLF). So far, several hundred people have died and the very existence of the country is threatened. Both sides are trying to prove themselves to the world by mobilizing their supporters. The Addis Ababa government and the TPLF have accused each other of having sparked an argument and Prime Minister Abi claimed that army officers were brutally murdered. On the other hand, Tigrayan leader Debretsian Gebremikal said that Ethiopian special forces and neighboring Eritrean troops jointly carried out the attack. At the same time, the Russian Foreign Ministry called on both sides to take action and hoped the government would establish peace in the right way.
Thousands killed in airstrikes
Looking at history, Ethiopian King Haley Selassie was removed from power during the 1974 revolution. Commanded Janata Derg. It was only after this that the “red terror” began when thousands of young people were killed by the army and civil war broke out in the country. The Air Force used to bomb here every day, so it only came out at night. The most traumatic event occurred in 1988 when 1,800 people were killed in an airstrike in the city of Haussian. In 1991, the Ethiopian People’s Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF) led by the TPLF defeated the military government. In the EPRDF 27-year rule, infant mortality fell from 5 out of 20 to 1. The drought ended as well as the civil war.
27 years of ‘darkness’ reign
However, democracy did not come to the country and the young people felt that they had no interest in politics and that few people controlled politics, the military and the economy. Prime Minister Abi describes 27 years of rule as darkness. Abi Ahmed, from the Oromo community, was first elected by the EPRDF as party leader, then as prime minister in 2018. He made politics liberal. Suppression of the EPRDF and creation of a new Prosperity Party. It made him very popular. Abi signed a peace deal with Eritrea for which he also received the Nobel Peace Prize last year and has become close to President Isaiyas Afwerki. (Photo: Debretsion Gebremichael)
Prime Minister Abi says the TPLF crossed the line by holding regional elections in September. The government did not allow these elections and the Prosperity Party was unable to run. At the same time, the TPLF said the elections had already been decided but were postponed due to Kovid and the government’s term ended without setting a date for the elections. The organization claims that only the regional government is formed on the basis of the opinion of the people.
Atmosphere versus abi
Ethiopia’s constitution provides for a federal system in which local groups run the governments of their region. It was adopted after the EPRDF came to government, which Prime Minister Abi wants to end. The regional states of the country have the right to hold their elections. This provision was made so that if democracy collapses in the center, the regions continue to function on their own. This was demanded by groups like Tigrayan and Oromo. TPLF is not asking for a separation, but something similar could happen from the current controversy. This year, PM Abi opposed the Oromo youth who brought him to power. The riots that followed the murder of Oromo singer Hachalu Hundesa killed 150 people and arrested more than 10,000 people. (Photo: Abiy Ahmed)