Risk of civil war in Ethiopia


The army in Tigray has been deployed on the border with Eritrea.
Link2007 with the other networks of Italian NGOs asks the international community to intervene immediately to avoid the escalation of violence between the different ethnic groups.
Ethiopia, which plays a key role in contributing to the stability of all of East Africa by welcoming 800,000 Eritrean, South Sudanese and Somali refugees within its borders, risks plunging into a bloody civil war.
Just over a year ago, Ethiopian Prime Minister Ahmed Abiy was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. The day before yesterday, November 4, he decided to deploy the army in Tigray against the militias of the ruling party in the region, the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF), denouncing their assault on the regional national defense base.
“Our defense forces have received the order to take on the task of saving the nation – said Abiy on his Facebook page – The last stage of the red line has been crossed. Force is used equally to save the people and the country.”
Tigray is a region of about 5 million inhabitants, on the border with Eritrea, which is always of Tigrinya ethnicity, and has always been a hot spot as a battlefield between Ethiopia and Eritrea in the twenty-year war between the two countries.
Wednesday’s is only the latest episode of an escalation of tension between the central government and that of Tigray which for months has been making peaceful coexistence difficult and putting the population at risk. For two days the region has been completely isolated, all communications, electricity and water supplies have been cut off and, according to some sources, some military operations are already underway.
As Italian Civil Society Organizations for development cooperation and international solidarity, represented by AOI, CINI and Link2007, operating in Ethiopia with expatriate and local personnel for the implementation of programs also financed by the United Nations, the European Union and the Italian Government, we ask that the international community take action for an immediate peaceful resolution of the conflicts before a real civil war breaks out.
In particular, we believe that Italy has an important historical, cultural and economic link with Ethiopia and therefore we hope that the Italian Government will act quickly to offer its availability for effective mediation between the parties involved to avoid further military escalations.

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