Can Abiy and the TPLF make peace? | The Stream
After nine months of war, Ethiopia’s war may be entering its most dangerous and critical phase yet.
What started as a dispute between the central government and a regional ruling party, the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF), has widened into a civil war that has unleashed a humanitarian disaster and left hundreds of thousands of people on the brink of famine.
Earlier this week, the TPLF said it was open to a “negotiated end” to the conflict but rejected a plan to appoint an African Union moderator, just one of many roadblocks to getting the two sides to the negotiating table.
Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed last month issued a call to arms for all capable citizens, urging them to join the army to suppress the resurgent Tigrayan rebellion “once and for all.” TPLF-allied forces have now crossed into the neighbouring Amhara and Afar regions and have even vowed to march on the capital Addis Ababa if a government blockade on the Tigray region is not lifted.
The United States Agency for International Development says just seven percent of the needed aid is reaching the Tigray region and food supplies have now run out. Rights group Amnesty International says Ethiopian government forces and allied militias have weaponised rape and forced Tigrayan women into sexual slavery. And UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has warned the Security Council that the conflict in Ethiopia is “a humanitarian catastrophe…unfolding before our eyes.”
In this episode, we’ll discuss why this moment in the conflict is so critical and ask whether Ethiopia can find peace again.