Why are people fleeing Ethiopia's Tigray region?

Nov 19, 2020, 05:19 PM
In 2019, Abiy Ahmed was riding high. For a year he had been Ethiopia’s prime minister, having emerged from byzantine internal jockeying at a time of deep unease and anger. He had ushered in a series of swift democratic reforms, seemingly bringing an end to decades of repression as he opened up the press and released political prisoners. 

Then, the charismatic 43-year-old blew on to the international scene winning the Nobel Prize for reaching out to end the decades-long stalemate conflict with neighbouring Eritrea. He had solved an intractable situation once dubbed “No war, No peace.” But less than a year later, on November 17, the same people that awarded his peacemaking efforts with a Nobel prize released a statement expressing deep concern. The reason? Abiy was now at war at home against the province of Tigray, in Ethiopia’s north, sandwiched below Eritrea and next to Sudan.

This week on Beyond the Headlines host James Haines Young looks at how Abiy Ahmed went from Nobel Peace Prize winner to the brink of civil war in Ethiopia.