Abiy Ahmed’s War Follies: Can Ethiopia Survive As One?

Prime Minister Abiy

Abiy Ahmed, the 2019 Noble Prize winner has pushed Ethiopia to the brink. Photo: Wikimedia Commons. 

[Speaking Truth To Power]

Sadly, what I said in my African History Club podcast of December 15, 2020 about the war on Tigray by the Ethiopian federal army and its ally the military of Eritrea now seems to have been borne out.

This is what I said, beginning at the 25 minutes and 10 seconds mark:

“So even though Abiy Ahmed and the military, the national army has managed to conquer the physical Tigray region, nobody expects that that will be the end of the conflict.Because Tigray has a history of military insurgency, 

of effectively fighting insurgency. So unless there is a political solution, it seems to me that this is something that could escalate into a long-time conflict, and if that were the case,most definitely, it might encourage the other regions that comprise Ethiopia to also take the same approach that Tigray has taken. So really at the end of the day there’s no military solution to this conflict. So I think Abiy Ahmed, the prime minister should find a way to step back and come to the conclusion that rather than destroying the TPLF he still has to reach an accommodation  with them because the other regions are watching carefully as well. The other regions that comprise Ethiopia.

So depending on how Abiy Ahmed resolves the situation with Tigray, that is also going to affect his ability, and his country’s ability to hold together the entire federal republic of Ethiopia together.”

Six months after I made those comments, in June 2021, the tide changed dramatically and the Tigray Defense Force (TDF) handed Abiy Ahmed several battle ground defeats in Tigray, capturing thousands of federal soldiers and pushed them out of Tigray.

The TDF’s counterattack has led its forces into Amhara region as well as Afar. Forces in Oromo have now declared an alliance with TDF to fight against Abiy’s government and federal forces.

The chickens have come home to roost for Abiy Ahmed and his follies. Can Ethiopia survive as one federal state? What’s next for Ethiopia? It’s hard to see Ethiopia surviving as one so long as Abiy Ahmed remains prime minister. 


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