go to top
A woman holds her child inside a temporary shelter at Umm Rakouba refugee camp A woman holds her child inside a temporary shelter at Umm Rakouba refugee camp after fleeing the conflict in Ethiopia’s Tigray region, in Qadarif, eastern Sudan, Dec. 7, 2020 (AP photo by Nariman El-Mofty).

How Abiy’s Effort to Redefine Ethiopia Led to War in Tigray

Tuesday, Dec. 8, 2020

MEKELLE, Ethiopia—During the past two years, whenever Haileselassie, a wood trader in the Tigray region of northern Ethiopia, placed an order for supplies from the capital, Addis Ababa, he would lie awake at night, restless with worry. “I don’t sleep,” he told me in late October, sitting at the back of his shop in the central market of Mekelle, Tigray’s capital. “I don’t believe it will arrive safely.”

By then, insecurity and lawlessness had spread in different parts of Ethiopia, and tensions between Tigray and Amhara, a larger region that neighbors Tigray to the south, had decidedly worsened. The roads, Haileselassie said, had become dangerous, and trucks belonging to some of his friends had been attacked and looted. As a result, his business was struggling, as Mekelle’s market grappled with supply shortages. “I’m very, very worried,” he admitted, clearly agitated as he tapped his foot under the desk. ...

To read more,

enter your email address then choose one of the three options below.

Subscribe to World Politics Review and you'll receive instant access to 10,000+ articles in the World Politics Review Library, along with new comprehensive analysis every weekday . . . written by leading topic experts.