As a humanitarian crisis threatens to spiral out of control in Ethiopia’s Tigray region, the Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed ignored the conflict to open a new highway in the south of the country. Ahmed won huge praise and a Nobel Peace Prize for his role in negotiating peace agreements for long-standing conflicts against internal rebel forces in Ethiopia and against their neighbours Eritrea. International praise of him has made way for criticism since the beginning of November however. His heavy-handed response to tensions with the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) has led to an outbreak of violence.
After a build up of tension in recent years between the different regions and ethnicities, Ethiopia stands on a cliff edge a few steps away from falling into the abyss of civil war.