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The TPLF’s Revenge: Abiy Ahmed’s Role in Bringing Back the Political Nightmare

June 11, 2024

The TPLF had been a dominant force in Ethiopian politics for many years until Abiy assumed power. However, the TPLF suffered a significant defeat at the hands of the Ethiopian Military and Amhara Fano joint forces following a violent attack on the Northern Command of the Ethiopian Army. Tensions escalated in November 2020 when Abiy authorized a military operation against the TPLF-controlled region of Tigray, in response to an alleged assault on a federal army base by TPLF fighters.  The resulting conflict has had catastrophic consequences, with thousands of casualties, widespread displacement of civilians, and numerous reports of human rights violations from various parties involved.

Abiy Ahmed’s actions have caused a sense of betrayal among the Amhara Fano, as he unilaterally negotiated the Pretoria peace treaty with the TPLF, thanks to the involvement of American Horn of African envoy Mike Hammer. This move blatantly disregarded the Pretoria disarmament agreement, allowing the TPLF to initiate a war against Welkait and attempt to regain control of the region with the support of Abiy Ahmed’s government. The TPLF now asserts that their fighting force consists of approximately 300,000 troops, including the Samri-TPLF youths who sought refuge in Sudan during the Tigray conflict and received military training there. It is important to recall that the Samri youth group was responsible for the horrific Mikadra massacre, where more than 1,500 Amhara civilians were ruthlessly killed and left on the streets.

The TPLF, despite losing power at the federal level, still poses a significant threat in Tigray and is determined to persist in their fight until their conditions are satisfied, causing further complications in Ethiopia’s delicate political environment and sparking worries about the nation’s stability and unity. 2. Abiy’s recent actions seem to be an effort to divert the attention of Amhara Fano from targeting the regime in Addis Ababa to the volatile Welkait Plus region, where the Amhara Fano supporters are strategically focusing their efforts. By weakening Abiy’s control over the central government in Addis Ababa, the Amhara Fano group hopes to thwart TPLF’s aggressive attempts to reclaim Welkait Plus. Unless the malign influences of TPLF, OPDO, OLF, and Beaden are eradicated from Ethiopian politics, peace and progress in the country will remain elusive, putting Ethiopia’s very existence at risk.

Girma Berhanu, Professor
Department of Education and Special Education (Professor)
University of Gothenburg

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