From Nobel peacemaker to authoritarian: Ethiopia falling out of love with Abiy Ahmed

From Nobel peacemaker to authoritarian: Ethiopia falling out of love with Abiy Ahmed

The democratic reforms and peace deals engineered by Africa’s youngest leader caused a surge of optimism, write Jane Flanagan and Samuel Getachew. But with the country at risk of breaking apart and the return of repression, “Abiymania” is over

When Ethiopia erupted in “Abiymania”, the country appeared on the brink of a new dawn. The young and charismatic Abiy Ahmed had risen swiftly to become prime minister on a promise to end decades of repression. It earned him the Nobel peace prize. However, reports of extrajudicial killings, jails filling up with political opponents and lengthy internet shutdowns are among Ethiopia’s bleaker milestones in the 12 months since his award.
The excitement of 2018 has given way to rising fears that a feud between Africa’s youngest leader and restive regional rivals has set Ethiopia on a path to a military showdown that could tear the country apart.
Jane Flanagan | Samuel Getachew, Addis Ababa Wednesday October 07 2020, 5.00pm BST, The Times

When Ethiopia erupted in “Abiymania”, the country appeared on the brink of a new dawn. The young and charismatic Abiy Ahmed had risen swiftly to become prime minister on a promise to end decades of repression. It earned him the Nobel peace prize.

However, reports of extrajudicial killings, jails filling up with political opponents and lengthy internet shutdowns are among Ethiopia’s bleaker milestones in the 12 months since his award.