African Union calls for an immediate ceasefire in Ethiopia: Tensions in Tigray

African Union calls for an immediate ceasefire in Ethiopia: Tensions in Tigray

Noriko Watanabe and Lee Jay Walker

Modern Tokyo Times

The nation of Ethiopia is multi-ethnic and multi-religious and many faultlines exist. Thus, issues around power concentration, regional dynamics, political differences, and ethnic issues can quickly spiral out of control.

Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed is adamant that Ethiopia must defend the nation-state from internal forces that agitate. Similarly, opposing views in Tigray feel alienated and seek greater control over this part of Ethiopia.

It is known that hundreds have already died since military clashes broke out between the central forces of Ethiopia and the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF). Hence, the African Union (AU) wants an immediate suspension of military hostilities and for political dialogue to take place.

The AU “urged the central government and Tigray’s state authorities to engage in dialogue to seek a peaceful solution.”

Voice of America reports, “Abiy, who won the Nobel Peace Prize in 2019, ordered air strikes and sent troops into Tigray last week after accusing the TPLF of attacking a military base. Tigrayans say Abiy’s government oppresses and discriminates against them and behaved autocratically in postponing a national election.”

If the bloodshed continues without a political compromise then the fighting could spiral out of control. Thus the AU – and the international community – should seek a way to ease tensions before this happens.

However, it appears that the leader of Ethiopia believes that the central state is being threatened by the leadership in Tigray. Hence, more blood will flow in the immediate future.

The leader of Ethiopia tweeted, “Our law enforcement operations in Tigray are proceeding as planned: operations will cease as soon as the criminal junta is disarmed, legitimate administration in the region restored, and fugitives apprehended & brought to justice — all of them rapidly coming within reach.”

The BBC reports, “The Tigray’s administration sees Mr. Abiy’s reforms as an attempt to build a unitary system of government destroying the current federal arrangement.”

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