The Ethiopian National Defense Forces (ENDF) is currently carrying out a large military operation against the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) in the Tigray Region.
The region, that is located in Ethiopia’s far north along the border with Eritrea and Sudan, is the homeland for the Tigrayan, Irob and Kunama peoples. Under the Ethiopian Federal Constitution, the region enjoys a form of autonomy.
While the status of the region is determined by the constitution, the relations between the local groups and the capital, Addis Ababa, have been always tense.
The relations worsened in 2018, when Prime Minister Abiy first assumed office. The locals began noticing attempts by the central government to dominate decision-making process in the region.
A recent report by the Egyptian Center for Strategic Studies traces tension between Addis Ababa and the Tigray region back to an incident that took place in September of 2019. Locals in Shire and Zalambessa assaulted a convoy of the ENDF carrying troops, which had withdrawn from the border with Eritrea under a normalization deal between the two countries.
Tension raised in Tigray after the last local elections which were held in August. A military parade that was organized by the TPLF escalated the situation further.
Addis Ababa responded to these move on November 4, when PM Abiy ordered to carry out a large military operation against the TPLF in Tigray. The PM said government forces are taking action in order to prevent local forces from taking over military positions in the region.
Soon after, a no-fly zone was announced over Tigray by the central government. The region was also placed in the state of emergency.CIVIL WAR IN ETHIOPIA: OVERVIEW OF TIGRAY CRISIS