As Ethiopian Government Hints of ‘Threat’ From Sudan, Will Tigrayans Seek Independence?

Africa

Ethiopia is an ethnic jigsaw puzzle of different tribes – Amhara, Oromo, Tigrayan, Sidama, Gurage, Wolayta and Somali. The government in Addis Ababa declared a unilateral ceasefire earlier this week after waging war on rebels in the northern region of Tigray since November.

The Ethiopian government has claimed it could re-enter the capital of the rebel region of Tigray “within weeks” but says it is facing a bigger threat, hinting at a possible attack by Sudan or Egypt.

The Tigray Defence Forces (TDF) rebels – led by the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) – recaptured Mekelle on Monday, 28 June, after a 10-day offensive which forced Ethiopian troops to retreat.

​The fall of the regional capital was a humiliating blow to the government of Ethiopia’s Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed.

But on Wednesday, 30 June, Redwan Hussein, a spokesman for the Ethiopian government’s Tigray taskforce said, in an apparent reference to Sudan: “Ethiopia is exposed to an attack from outsiders.”

​Mr Redwan said the ceasefire had been “made for humanitarian cause” but he claimed: “If it is required, we can easily enter to Mekelle and we can enter in less than three weeks.”

Ethiopia has been at loggerheads with Sudan and Egypt over its plans to complete the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD), which they fear will affect the flow of water downstream in the Nile.

Mr Abiy’s government invaded the northern region of Tigray in November, claiming the…

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