Inside Story

Is an all-out civil war now likely in Ethiopia?

The rebels in Tigray are joining forces with armed fighters from the prime minister’s ethnic group.

Months of violence in Ethiopia’s Tigray region have highlighted the growing ethnic divide, awakened old rivalries and produced odd alliances.

And Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed might be complicating things even further

Earlier this week he called on all capable Ethiopians to join the army and stop the region’s rebels “once and for all”.

But in a twist of events, the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) responded by joining forces with another rebel group, the Oromo Liberation Army, to fight the government.

It means the conflict is no longer contained in one region and there are growing fears it could lead to an all-out civil war.

How much of a threat does this pose to Abiy Ahmed, and to Ethiopia?

Presenter: Kim Vinnell


William Davison – Ethiopia senior analyst at International Crisis Group

Samuel Getachew – Journalist

Awol Allo – Senior lecturer in law, Keele University