The Tigray civil war in Ethiopia, which started in November 2020 after the Ethiopian government in Addis Ababa attempted to consolidate political control of the Tigray region in Northern Ethiopia, has dragged on to the end of its ninth month and into its tenth. This marks a point in which the conflict has been occurring for almost a Year. The conflict has been marked by massive amounts of war crimes committed by both sides, particularly the case of “War Rape”, which has become an almost daily occurrence in the region. Hundreds of thousands of people have been internally displaced in Ethiopia due to the fighting.
Displaced civilians taking shelter in an abandoned college construction site (Reuters)
The war originated from a political ousting of the TPLF (Tigray People’s Liberation Front) from high government positions in the central government in 2017, and those who decided to continue their careers moved back to their home region of Tigray. Afterwards, several events and small skirmishes occurred in the region, which had begun to refuse orders from the central government and troop movements. After the continued refusal of orders from the government, the war began in the middle of the night of November 3rd and 4th, with TPLF forces attacking northern command centers for the Ethiopian army and disrupting supply lines. The neighboring country of Eritrea also involved themselves, occupying a sliver of the northern country.
Currently speaking, the TPLF have been able to hold their ground and recapture the Tigray region’s capital of Mekelle from the ENDF (Ethiopian National Defense Force) after a day of fighting. With the current ongoing worldwide pandemic, and the countries already present drought and food shortage, the conflict in Tigray has worsened the situation. Deaths and massacres have become even more common in the country due to these several factors.
Many say that the conflict can not be resolved without a foreign intervention. However, with the Egyptian government in Cairo beginning to threaten the Ethiopian government in Addis Ababa against damming the White Nile, many think the conflict may end in favor of dealing with the external threat.
-Written by Shane Miller