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Ethiopian Lawmakers Endorse Six-Month State of Emergency in Tigray

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Does This Mean War?

Ethiopian lawmakers endorsed a six-month state of emergency in Tigray on Thursday, after Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed ordered a military response to an attack on federal troops by the Tigray People’s Liberation Front ruling party (TPLF).

Abiy Ahmed, the Ethiopian Prime Minister, expressed in a national address, “The Amhara people, militia and special forces have bravely repelled attacks launched in some places in the Amhara region and managed to deter the expanding force. The forces in the Amhara region, along with members of the national defence force, have not only put off the expanding force but also controlled key areas.”

Open Defiance

The move is to assert federal control over a region whose ruling party has for months openly defied Abiy — who is a 2019 Nobel Peace Prize winner and has been branded as politically illegitimate by certain groups in the Tigray region.

Civilians in Tigray vs the TPLF Party

Redwan Hussein, the Ethiopian Emergency Committee Spokesman, shared his insight on the matter, “This conflict is not between the Tigray region versus the federal government, this conflict is between a very small group which has narrow vested interests which is helping to destabilise the national order and to attain and regain control over the Ethiopian political order. So the federal government has to do everything possible to maintain order and to uphold the constitution and again to liberate the Tigrayan people.

Tigray Civilians and the Ahead of Thursday’s vote, the Ethiopian Human Rights Commission, the national rights body, highlighted the need to maintain key services and supplies for civilians in Tigray — regardless of political tensions between certain groups and the rest of the country.