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"The Battle of Mekelle and Its Implications for Ethiopia" Topic

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130 hits since 11 Jan 2021
©1994-2021 Bill Armintrout
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Tango01 Supporting Member of TMP11 Jan 2021 8:39 p.m. PST

"On November 28, Ethiopian prime minister Abiy Ahmed congratulated the Ethiopian National Defense Force (ENDF) for seizing control of Mekelle, the capital of Ethiopia's restive Tigray region, after nearly a month of mounting violence between the government and rebel Tigrayan forces. Abiy declared that he would focus on "rebuilding the region and providing humanitarian assistance while Federal Police apprehend the [Tigray People's Liberation Front] TPLF clique." The prime minister's triumphant message, however, underplays the human toll of the conflict; dismisses the risk of an insurgency and regional spill over; and discounts damage to the country's democratic transition.

A1: Prime Minister Abiy and the TPLF share responsibility for the tragedy in Tigray. Both sides have been confrontational and uncompromising, heedlessly escalating tensions until fighting inevitably broke out in early November. Prime Minister Abiy, whose daring commitment to reconciliation and reform awed many Ethiopians and international observers, including the Norwegian Nobel Committee, was decidedly less magnanimous toward Ethiopia's previous regime dominated by the TPLF. He swiftly moved against ethnic Tigrayan officials—who represent 6 percent of the population—arresting more than 60 officials, some from the intelligence services and some from a military-run industrial conglomerate. The TPLF responded in kind, rejecting Abiy's leadership and refusing to join the prime minister's new Prosperity Party. When Abiy delayed the election due to the pandemic, the TPLF ignored his order and defiantly proceeded with its own election on September 9, which it won by a landslide…."
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