Ethiopia crisis: ‘a political mess that makes fathers fight sons’


Ethiopia crisis: ‘a political mess that makes fathers fight sons’

Tigray conflict is the biggest test of Abiy Ahmed’s premiership and threatens to spill over into neighbouring countries

David Pilling and Andres Schipani

Gashaw Koye, a 42-year-old farmer from Amhara dressed in crisp new battle fatigues, met his wife from the neighbouring region of Tigray more than two decades ago. Now, as part of an army mustered by Abiy Ahmed, Ethiopia’s prime minister, he is preparing to fight Tigray’s regional government.

It is bad enough that Gashaw may have to battle people from his former wife’s northern homeland. Worse, among the soldiers fighting for the Tigray People’s Liberation Front, or TPLF, is the couple’s 21-year-old son, Amanuel.

There is little love lost between the regions of Amhara and Tigray, which have long-running land disputes along their shared border. That animosity is now part of a broader national conflict in Ethiopia, a country of 110m people in the Horn of Africa...

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