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UN envoy warns of spreading civil war in Ethiopia

With violence escalating in northern Ethiopia, the United Nations has warned of a spreading civil war in the country.

With violence escalating in northern Ethiopia, the United Nations has warned of a spreading civil war in the country.

“No one can predict what continue fighting and insecurity will bring. But let me be clear what is certain is at the risk of Ethiopia descending into a widening Civil War is only too real,” UN political affairs envoy Rosemary DiCarlo said at a UN Security Council meeting on Monday.

The conflict in the northern region of Tigray has reached catastrophic proportions, she said. “The fighting places the future of the country and its people as well as the stability of the wider Horn of Africa region in grave uncertainty in recent days.”

The Ethiopian government’s conflict with the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) began a year ago and has accelerated in recent days, with a nationwide state of emergency declared last week and residents of the capital told to be ready to take up arms to defend residential areas.

In November 2020, Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed launched a military offensive against the TPLF, which had long run the northern region of Tigray and was a major player in Ethiopia’s national politics.

Tensions began to simmering when Abiy came to power in 2018 and sought to reduce its influence.

Since the beginning of August, the conflict has spread from Tigray to the neighbouring regions of Afar and Amhara. Together with rebels of the Oromo Liberation Army (OLA), the TPLF is advancing towards the Ethiopia capital Addis Ababa.

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