Ethiopia’s mounting issues, deaths, and disputes under prime minister Abiy Ahmed’s watch

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The deadly conflict between the Ethiopian government and the Tigray People’s Liberation Front in northern Ethiopia has resulted in hundreds of soldiers’ and civilians’ reported deaths since November 2020, a humanitarian crisis in the region.  

“We are extremely concerned about the reports” of aid workers killed, U.N. humanitarian spokesman Saviano Abreu said early this month. “We have hundreds of colleagues still on the ground.”

The situation for citizens, military, and aid workers seems to worsen each day. Reports from international agencies like the Red Cross expose issues in other parts of the country as well, supported by state-media. 

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In the Western Benishangul-Gumuz Region of Ethiopia, “unidentified attackers torched homes and killed more than 100 people in a village,” reported by state-affiliated Fana TV. However, that report was much higher a day later, “Yesterday we buried 207 people who are the victims and 15 more from the attackers,” Red Cross volunteer Melese Mesfin told Reuters news agency. 

This comes a time when COVID-19 is still spreading throughout the country, with 451 new COVID-19 cases as of December 27th,  confirming a total of 122,864 cases. 

Land disputes with Sudan will enter into talks this week over encroachment and looted agriculture. And the Ethiopian Renaissance Dam water rights are still unresolved, with Egypt fearing the Dam will affect its share of water. 

With so many issues and such strong opposition, the Ethiopian government will need international support and internal resiliency to work toward security and peace. Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed’s leadership and ability to build and rebuild relationships are on display as world powers, and Ethiopians from the African Diaspora watch closely, wondering what will become of Ethiopia under his watch. 

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Kristi Pelzel
Kristi Pelzel
Kristi Pelzel is a Senior International Correspondent at Today News Africa, working across U.S. and African markets, based in Washington, D.C. Her expertise spans broadcast, digital, and social media communication, nested with policy research, analysis, and writing. A member of the National Press Club in Washington, D.C., Kristi holds a B.A. from the Academy of Art University, San Francisco, California, and an M.A. from Georgetown University, Washington, D.C.

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