Abiy against the world
Ethiopia is losing friends and influence
An essential Western ally now faces sanctions and isolation
(Economist)–It was one of the grandest ceremonies that Meskel Square had ever witnessed. Part military parade, part cultural jamboree, the spectacle in the heart of the Ethiopian capital, Addis Ababa, was so lavish that one might have mistaken it for the inauguration of a president or the crowning of a monarch.
In fact, the focus of the pomp was Abiy Ahmed, Ethiopia’s prime minister. He came to power when his predecessor resigned amid massive protests in 2018. Although the early months of his tenure involved mending relations with the opposition and signing a peace deal with Eritrea (for which he won a Nobel prize in 2019), his rule has since been marred by ethnic unrest, a slowing economy and a devastating civil war in the northern state of Tigray. The event on October 4th marked the start of his first full five-year term as prime minister, following elections in July.