Ethiopia: Tigray conflict overshadows Abiy Ahmed’s quest for legitimacy | DW News

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  • DW News published this video item, entitled “Ethiopia: Tigray conflict overshadows Abiy Ahmed’s quest for legitimacy | DW News” – below is their description.

    Ethiopians are voting in national elections on Monday. It’s a day of reckoning for Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed as he hopes to boost his legitimacy with the vote.At his first and last campaign rally this week, he said his main goal is to uphold what he called the unity and freedom of the country. The election is taking place against a backdrop of tensions.In 2018 Abiy rode to power on a wave of optimism after 3 decades of oppressive rule dominated by the Tigrayan People’s Liberation Forces, a party anchored in the northern region.After taking office Abiy made peace with neighboring Eritrea, bringing an end to a 20 year conflict.That move earned him the prestigious Nobel Peace Prize, but it also angered the TPLF forces who neighbor Eritrea. Then last year Abiy sent the army into the northern Tigray region to crush the TPLF. Thousands have been killed and millions displaced. To make matters worse ethnic violence has flared elsewhere. Hundreds have died in clashes on the border between Oromia and Amhara, the country’s two most populous states. Critics accuse Abiy of denying states with different ethnicities more autonomy. It’s led some opposition figures to boycott the poll. Despite violence between government forces and local insurgent groups in several parts of Oromia state, the officials in the Prime Minister’s home village of Beshasha say there’s nothing to worry about.Abiy’s birthplace might guarantee safe polls, but in other parts of Oromia unrest is rampant. Oromo armed groups actively contest the holding of elections, claiming they’re undemocratic and that the current government is illegitimate.The two main opposition parties in Oromia decided to withdraw. Their main leaders are behind bars.Especially in Western Oromia, clashes between the Oromo Liberation Army and federal forces pose a major threat to the elections. Inter-ethnic violence has also left hundreds dead and thousands displaced.As a consequence, several constituencies will not be able to vote on June 21st. The international community has warned of electoral violence.To reduce the risks, the European Union held trainings such as this one to provide tools for peacebuilding – targeting women, youth groups and traditional leaders.Through the vote, Abiy Ahmed seeks to establish his political legitimacy. But the prime minister is facing various challenges, including the conflict in Tigray, for which he is facing mounting pressure, at home and abroad.

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    In This Story: Eritrea

    Eritrea officially the State of Eritrea, is a country in Eastern Africa, with its capital at Asmara. The northeastern and eastern parts of Eritrea have an extensive coastline along the Red Sea. The nation has a total area of approximately 117,600 km2 (45,406 sq mi), and includes the Dahlak Archipelago and several of the Hanish Islands.

    Eritrea is a multi-ethnic country, with nine recognized ethnic groups in its population of around five and a half million. Eritrea has nine national languages which are Tigrinya language, Tigre, Afar, Beja, Bilen, Kunama, Nara, Saho. Most people in the territory adhere to Christianity or Islam, with a small minority adhering to traditional faiths.

    Eritrea gained de jure independence in 1993 after an independence referendum. National legislative and presidential elections have never been held since independence.

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  • In This Story: Ethiopia

    Ethiopia, in the Horn of Africa, is a rugged, landlocked country split by the Great Rift Valley. With archaeological finds dating back more than 3 million years, it’s a place of ancient culture. Among its important sites are Lalibela with its rock-cut Christian churches from the 12th–13th centuries. Aksum is the ruins of an ancient city with obelisks, tombs, castles and Our Lady Mary of Zion church.

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  • In This Story: Tigray Conflict

    The Tigray conflict was an armed conflict that began in November 2020 in the Tigray Region of Ethiopia, between Tigray Region special forces led by the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF), and the Ethiopian National Defense Force (ENDF) in alliance with Amhara Region special forces.

    The conflict stemmed from the attempt of Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed to distance the country’s politics from ethnic federalism, a power-sharing system giving regional influence to individual ethnic groups, by merging the ethnic and region-based parties of the Ethiopian People’s Revolutionary Democratic Front, which had governed Ethiopia for 30 years, into a nationwide Prosperity Party.

    The Egyptian Prime Minister declared victory on 30 November 2020.

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