The Stream

Is Ethiopia’s war over or just beginning?

On Thursday, December 10 at 19:30 GMT:
After more than a month of fighting, Ethiopia’s federal army has taken control of the capital of the northern Tigray region, where it has been battling a rebellious regional government.

Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed says this brings the conflict with the former local ruling party, the Tigrayan People’s Liberation Front (TPLF), to an end and that a process of political reform will now begin.

The TPLF, though, says it has withdrawn from the capital Mekelle to surrounding mountains and launched a guerrilla campaign. The competing narratives cannot be independently verified due to a federal government-imposed communications blackout in the region and restricted access to it.

A burgeoning humanitarian crisis has yet to be meaningfully tackled, and with an estimated two million people in need of aid, UN agencies are demanding access. The government admitted on Tuesday its forces had fired on a UN team in Tigray, accusing it of illegally crossing two checkpoints.

“The agreement we entered with the UN was in the belief that the UN would coordinate with us but the government would call the shots,” Redwan Hussein, spokesman for the government’s task force for the conflict, told reporters.

Concern is now growing that a full-scale humanitarian disaster could develop and that a protracted guerrilla war could destabilise the entire Horn of Africa region.

In this episode of The Stream, we meet a panel of Ethiopians to consider what could come next.

In this episode of The Stream, we are joined by:
Zecharias Zelalem, @ZekuZelalem

Esayas Hailemariam, @Esayas_101
Coordinator, Global Society of Tigrean Scholars

Yohannes Gedamu, @yohanethio
Political scientist