“He Was Defeated”: Ethiopian PM Withdraws from Tigray After Months of Civil War, as Famine L ooms


Democracy Now!

Published on Jul 1, 2021

The Ethiopian military has withdrawn its forces from Mekelle, the capital of the war-torn Tigray region, after the government declared a ceasefire. Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed denied reports his military was defeated by Tigrayan forces, and said he had successfully pacified the city. Ahmed, who won the Nobel Peace Prize in 2019, launched the offensive against Tigray separatists in November. Since then, thousands have been killed, over a million civilians have been displaced, and some 350,000 people are now on the brink of famine. Alemayehu Fentaw Weldemariam, a constitutional law scholar, political theorist and conflict analyst, says Prime Minister Ahmed’s “unilateral” ceasefire hides the reality of what happened. “He was defeated,” he says. We also speak with Stanley Chitekwe, chief of nutrition at UNICEF Ethiopia, who says the organization is seeing “very high levels of malnutrition” in Tigray, including among children under 5. “This malnutrition situation may deteriorate into famine,” he warns.

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