Will Tigrayan Rebels Attack Ethiopia’s Capital?
Will Tigrayan Rebels Attack Ethiopia’s Capital?
Podcast / Africa

Will Tigrayan Rebels Attack Ethiopia’s Capital?

This week on Hold Your Fire!, Richard Atwood and Crisis Group expert William Davison discuss Ethiopia’s civil war, now entering its second year, and the advance by Tigrayan rebels toward the capital Addis Ababa.

This week, as Ethiopia’s civil war enters its second year, Tigrayan rebels captured the strategically placed cities of Dessie and Kombolcha, only hours away from the country’s capital Addis Ababa. Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed imposed a state of emergency and exhorted citizens to take up arms to defend the capital. With Tigrayan forces at striking distance, is an all-out assault on the capital imminent?

This week on Hold Your Fire!, Richard is joined by Crisis Group’s Senior Ethiopia Analyst William Davison to discuss what might happen next. They discuss the factors explaining Tigrayan forces’ offensive, the strain on Ethiopia’s federal forces and the impact of Tigrayan gains on Prime Minister Abiy’s position and his ruling party. They look at the war’s international dimensions: Eritrea’s continued involvement, how Djibouti might respond were Tigrayan forces able to reach the Djiboutian border and seek to open supply lines, and the risk Sudan gets sucked in. They discuss what an assault on the capital by Tigrayan forces might entail and how that can be averted. 

Click here to listen on Apple Podcasts or Spotify.

For more information, explore Crisis Group’s analysis on our Ethiopia page and read our latest briefing Ethiopia’s Civil War: Cutting a Deal to Stop the Bloodshed


Executive Vice President
Senior Analyst, Ethiopia

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