Summary

Violent clashes have been reported in Ethiopia’s northern Tigray region since early November. According to the central government led by Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed, the violence broke out when forces affiliated to the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) attacked a military base, thus prompting the executive to launch a military operation in the region. Fighting has been raging since then, raising fears that Ethiopia – a country with pronounced and longstanding sectarian cleavages – may plunge into civil war.

Far from being a purely local problem, the destabilization of Ethiopia would have serious consequences on the Horn of Africa and beyond, especially if a state of prolonged conflict and economic downturn results in a new surge of Europe-bound migrants.