The seven-month conflict in Ethiopia’s Tigray region has devolved into a humanitarian crisis, with ominous signs that atrocities there could escalate. The U.S. and other countries are finally raising the alarm, but Tigray needs action now.
Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed was praised as a great reformer when he assumed office in 2018. He won the Nobel Peace Prize in 2019 for a peace deal that ended a two-decade war between Ethiopia and Eritrea. But today, he is presiding over a civil war that has escalated out of control, with reports of mass atrocities committed by Ethiopian forces, and no end in sight.
The Ethiopian military was initially dispatched to Tigray in November 2020, to crush what Ahmed said was a mutiny. The government forces were joined by Eritrean forces. While there have been allegations of atrocities on all sides, there have been credible eyewitness reports of widespread extrajudicial killings, looting and destruction of property, mass executions, arbitrary arrests, rape, deliberate starvation and forced displacement of populations by the Ethiopian and Eritrean military.