Ethiopia Edges Toward Civil War as Tensions Rise in Tigray Region

Ethiopia Edges Toward Civil War as Tensions Rise in Tigray Region
Ethiopian Orthodox Christians pray for peace during a church service at the Medhane Alem Cathedral in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, Nov. 5, 2020 (AP photo by Mulugeta Ayene).

Editor’s Note: Every Friday, Andrew Green curates the top news and analysis from and about the African continent. Subscribers can adjust their newsletter settings to receive Africa Watch by email every week.

Ethiopia’s military declared it has “entered into a war” with leaders of the northern Tigray region Thursday, escalating a conflict that could tear apart Africa’s second-most populous country and destabilize the Horn of Africa.

Troops from across the country are reportedly massing at the border of Tigray in response to what Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed said was a deadly attack this week on a federal military camp, which Tigrayan leaders denied. The region’s ruling party, the Tigray People’s Liberation Front, said fighter jets bombed their capital, Mekele, on Thursday. Despite international calls for restraint, observers are warning of the potential for a drawn-out conflict between two heavily armed combatants.

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