Ethiopia will struggle to contain nationalist violence

Friday, June 28, 2019

Subject

Implications of recent high-level assassinations.

Significance

Details are still emerging after violence on June 22 left the president of Amhara Regional State and the head of the Ethiopian National Defence Forces (ENDF) dead. This elite violence has shaken Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed’s administration -- and the ruling Ethiopian People’s Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF) -- and threatens to derail Abiy’s reform agenda.

Impacts

  • Choosing a new ENDF chief may offer Abiy an opportunity to improve relations with the Tigray People’s Liberation Front.
  • Rumours that it orchestrated the assassinations may lead to more targeted attacks on Tigrayans.
  • Further nationalist violence is likely to follow, in Amhara and elsewhere.
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