The Tigray People's Liberation Front was formed in the period of File:Derg-icon.png Dergball but claimed to be the heir of previous Tigray nationalist movements that had been struggling against the File:Abyssinia-icon.png Ethiopian Empireball. Conflicts between Tigray nationalists and the Derg started after internal factions began to fight each other out of ideological disputes and ended up escalating to a separatist beef. The TPLF was the dominant faction inside of the EPRDF (Ethiopian People's Revolutionary Democratic Front), that overthrew the Derg in the Ethiopian Civil War with the support of the USAball, as communism came to an end in Ethiopia, it became a Federal Republic in 1995 under its guidance. The TPLF dominated Ethiopian politics until 2018, which eventually led to the start of the war.
Ethnic nationalism in Ethiopia is caused by the historical disturbed relations between the different ethnic groups that inhabit File:Amhara-icon.png Amharaball, File:Tigray-icon.png Tigrayball, File:Oromia-icon.png Oromiaball, File:Harari-icon.png Harariball and other regions, they would either struggle for central or regional power, though since recently it has come to extreme and insane levels. In the past, Tigrays had ascended to the throne of the File:Abyssinia-icon.png Abyssinian Empireball under Yohannes IV, but following his death, it came under the control of Menelik the II, who used to reign over Shewa (the center of the Amharas), shifting the center of power away from Tigray. In this period, under a expansionist peak, Menelik united all of Ethiopia, taking territories previously not subjected to its authority, such as the the Sultanate of Harar which was once a part of File:Adal-icon.png Adal (or Somaliaball), Tigray was also one of those regions since 1889.
Under Haile Selassie, the monarchy didn't treat the Tigrays well as they had sided with his opponent Lij Iyasu, and this can be traced as the early origin of current conflicts. Later, most of the Tigray land (now known as Eritreaball was taken by File:Kingdom of Italy-icon.png a certain evil colonial power) and separated the two Tigray ethnic regions, though Eritrea is not purely a Tigray ethnic state, it has people of different ethnic backgrounds that ended up identifying with such identity in the 20th century. Tigrayans despised the File:Abyssinia-icon.png Ethiopian Empireball and were always unsatisfied with their unequal treatment based on race and class, they revolted during WW2, when the File:Kingdom of Italy-icon.png Kingdom of Italyball started attacking their clay to annex the rest of their region.
When File:Abyssinia-icon.png Abyssinia was liberated during the East African campaign, most Tigrinyas in Eritrea were supportive of uniting with the rest of Ethiopia out of anti-colonialism, but following the years their relations with the command of the Empire deteriorated and was as bad as that of the Tigrayans in the Tigray, so they started to revolt. However, most were not demanding independence, rather progressive reforms in Ethiopia, the cause of independence started only to be pushed later. During the Ethiopian Civil War, Tigray nationalists dominated the main anti-File:Derg-icon.png Dergball front under their TPLF. After the beginning of ethnic federalism following the end of communism, the Tigray region continued to not have a very solid relationship with File:Amhara-icon.png Amharaball, border disputes would appear but would never escalate to military conflicts, ending up being more about rhetoric.
Chaos in Ethiopia
Political chaos in Ethiopia broke out in 2020. The context behind it was that in 2018, Abiy Ahmed became the Prime Minister of the country as the main leadership of the EPRDF, there, he started to push for policies that diverged from those cultivated by the TPLF since the end of the civil war in the 90s. Abiy dissolved the EPRDF in december 2019 and founded the Bildigna (known in English as the Prosperity Party), which aimed to turn Ethiopia more unitary but still without abolishing federalism. Between all the ethnic parties, the TPLF was the only one that refused to take part in the formation of the new party, that officially put an end to their domination over Ethiopian politics. Following this, the TPLF became contrarian to every government decision.
Back to 2020, Ethiopia was having a rough start. Covid-19 already spread wildly in the country with having over 100,000 cases in the country. The OLM and OLF riots in File:Oromia-icon.png Oromiaball had made things worse, destroying infrastructure in the capital city File:Addis Ababa-icon.png Addis Abababall and causing the death of civilians as a result of sectarian violence. Even after this current unrest, things continued pretty bad, File:Tigray-icon.png Tigrayball decided they were holding elections early because Abiy wanted to delay it over Covid as the country was having a big surge, if he just refused to delay, they certainly wouldn’t be having those elections. These disagreements only served to boost sectarian violence in the borders between the regions of File:Tigray-icon.png Tigrayball and File:Amhara-icon.png Amharaball, remembering that just a year ago there was an attempted regional coup in Amhara region and one TPLF senior guy was killed alongside an Amhara nationalist, but no one really knows the details as the case was made way too obscure. The previous streak of improvement of infrastructure and stability in Ethiopia had quickly fallen due to all these chaotic recent events.
The Government Status
Then Prime Minister of Ethiopia, Abiy Ahmed, started to crack down on dissident protests in File:Oromia-icon.png Oromiaball, he ended up victorious after the OLF lost a lot of popular support among normal protesters as they supported ethnic violence, Abiy had the chance of arresting a lot of people that were causing troubles there. But in Tigray things were worse, border issues between File:Amhara-icon.png Amharaball and File:Tigray-icon.png Tigrayball regional forces plus their TPLF militias were involved in clashes. The intervention supposedly started after the Ethiopian National Defense Forces retreated from an area the TPLF had previously raided, just after it left, they came back and massacred the people there. TPLF also started to attack civilian settlements in Amhara regions such as airports as the Ethiopian army started to advance in their region. This all led to the intervention and the current conflict, it was expected something like this would happen, maybe not in such proportions.
Surprisingly, Eritreaball sided with Abiy Ahmed against File:Tigray-icon.png Tigrayball in its dispute. This can be explained as Eritrean president Isaias Afwerki has since mid 90s developed a great animosity with the TPLF when it still ruled Ethiopia under Meles Zenawi. Following the 2018 Eritrea–Ethiopia summit, the two countries solved their border issues and started to have friendly relations, cooperating at regional geopolitical levels.
The Big Question
|Is the military Intervention really needed to keep balance over constant separatism in Ethiopia?
There was a lot of riots during the Hachalu protests and a massacre caused by Oromia against Amhara people for "vengeance" (similar to what's going on in File:South Africa-icon.png South Africaball). The Military of balancing Tigray and Amhara is currently in warfare. Even though this is territorial war, the Tigary military intervention might lead to a Second Ethiopian civil war, of the contendments of the OLF and TPLF. If the government ends up failing to quickly solve this issue, a second civil war might be expected.
In late November 2020, Ethiopian forces claimed victory. However, the TPLF said otherwise and has continued to fight. Many people had disregarded the Ethiopian victory and said that the war continues. The TPLF captured more land after the taking of Mek'eleball, but their advances are once again being slowed by the Ethiopian Army.
Tigrayan Counter-Offensive and Government Retaliation
By mid 2021, Tigray had taken back most of their region, and began an offensive into Amhara and Afar. The offensive was quite successful and Tigray was starting to advance on the capital of Amhara.
However, Ethiopia halted the Tigrayans advance and began to push back. While the government was able to push the rebels away from major cities in Amhara, the OLA linked up with the Tigrayans and the coalition pushed towards Addis Ababa. The government declared a state of emergency as rebels got even closer to the capital in late 2021. The offensive stalled and government forces were able to push back the rebels all the way back to Tigray in the final month of 2021.
On December 20, 2021, Tigray requested a ceasefire, which Ethiopia agreed to. Tigray withdrew all forces from neighboring regions and in return the Ethiopian government allowed aid into the region. In February, Tigray launched an offensive into Afar region, but pulled back again due to the ceasefire.