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Tigray War

Updated: Oct 24, 2022

In Ethiopia, the civil war that began in November 2020 resumed after a period of calm of nearly 9 months. Initiated by a constitutional dispute between Tigray and the federal government and escalating into a protracted power struggle, the civil war first saw the government (supported by the Eritrean army and Amhara forces) enter Tigray and force its administration to flee. However, Tigrayan forces then regrouped to launch a guerrilla campaign that thwarted federal plans and succeeded in regaining power. Then, Tigrayan troops attempted to overthrow the government, causing thousands of civilians to flee. Then, the government, armed with new drones and supported by a strong popular mobilization, pushed back the Tigrayan forces to their home region in December 2021. A lull followed in 2022, a fragile and informal truce with both sides conciliatory.⁣

From a humanitarian point of view, these clashes have exacerbated an already precarious situation, as Ethiopia is the third largest host country in Africa, with nearly a million refugees and asylum seekers. In addition, there are 3.5 million internally displaced people because of this war. Furthermore, while 40% of the population in Tigray suffers from an acute lack of food, more generally, over 9 million people in Ethiopia rely on food aid. Therefore, the situation for these refugees is highly worrying, especially as some camps have been attacked, and the safety and well-being of thousands of refugees caught up in the conflict depend on humanitarian aid, which the war has dramatically disrupted.⁣

Thus, the resumption of the war on August 24 is a setback for a troubled peace process and for all efforts to provide humanitarian assistance to the millions of refugees. The peace process must therefore be reviewed and better implemented if collective suffering is to be curbed, especially since the war has the potential to become a protracted and stalemated conflict.⁣

Photo © AFP via Getty Images

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