Hundreds of thousands of Ethiopians have come to the streets in several towns to oppose rebel groups aiming to remove the central government in Addis Ababa via violence. The government, which is surrounded by militarily formidable rebels from the north, has supported the demonstrations. As a result, the protests are primarily targeted at the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF).
The government-organized rallies also targeted international voices advocating for a halt to the bloodshed. “We don’t need foreign influence,” the posters said.
The Ethiopian army started a violent operation against local rebels in the northern province of Tigray roughly a year ago, sparking a war between the insurgents and the government.
The nation has been in a terrible humanitarian crisis since then. The situation has worsened in recent days, prompting Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed’s administration to proclaim a state of emergency on Tuesday. He also urged the people to take up weapons against the Tigray People’s Liberation Front militants (TPLF).
People from Tigray were detained in Addis Ababa’s capital on Saturday, according to eyewitnesses, and carried away in military vehicles. On Saturday, police acknowledged that a “cleanup” had taken place.
Ethiopia’s brutality has previously been condemned by the United Nations Security Council.
“We will not provoke a bloodbath in Addis,” the TPLF has said, “since the fear of such a catastrophe is ludicrous and unrealistic.” The TPLF has said that it would invade Addis Ababa if necessary to remove Abiy Ahmed’s administration.
Tigray is the northernmost region of Ethiopia’s federal government. The Tigrayans make up only 6% of the population, although their TPLF ruled the nation for 27 years. The major guerrilla movement that toppled communist rule in 1991 was this one. They lost control in 2018, and Abiy Ahmed was elected president.
He is an Oromo, the biggest ethnic group in Ethiopia (nearly 35 percent of the population of more than 100 million inhabitants). Since 1994, Ethiopia has been a nation divided into ten ethnically based states, causing significant problems.
Abiy Ahmed is a reformer who has clashed with the TPLF. They got into a large debate last year over whether or not to conduct elections, and a brutal struggle has been waging since November 2020. According to analysts, the TPLF is militarily formidable, having held the reins for more than a quarter-century and still possessing a large arsenal of weaponry.