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Armed conflict in Tigray threatens break up of Ethiopia

Armed conflict in Tigray threatens break up of Ethiopia

Ethiopia’s parliament has declared Tigray’s regional government illegal and voted to dissolve it. During an emergency session, the MPs agreed that the armed conflict poses a threat to Ethiopia, WSWS reports.

Ethiopia’s prime minister Abiy Ahmed has ordered the airstrikes in response to what he claimed was an “attack” by Tigray’s ruling party on an army compound that he said had the support of an unnamed “foreign hand.”

Tigray, one of Ethiopia’s semi-autonomous, ethnically defined provinces, becomes the real problem for the Cabinet. With phone and internet lines cut, the region has been effectively sealed off.

Over a week, the armed clashes in eight different locations with dozens of casualties were reported by the UN. Under those circumstances, nine million people could be displaced by the fighting between state forces and the Tigrayan People’s Liberation Front (TPLF).

The Tigray regional government was tagged as illegal by the MPs who said it “violated the constitution and endangered the constitutional system” and a new caretaker administration would hold elections and “implement decisions passed on by the federal government.”

With more than half of Ethiopia’s army based in Tigray, a legacy of its war with Eritrea, PM cannot rely on the military’s support or a brief skirmish. Last week, he sacked his army chief, head of intelligence and foreign minister.