Tigrayan fighters weather a storm in Mekelle, Ethiopia, June 2021
Finbarr O'Reilly / Redux

Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed came to power at a tumultuous moment in 2018. Years of protests by the country’s largest ethnic group, the Oromo, had prompted the government to declare a state of emergency, and long-simmering ethnic and regional tensions threatened to break apart the ruling coalition, known as the Ethiopian People’s Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF). An Oromo and a self-proclaimed reformer, Abiy promised sweeping economic and political changes and set out to make peace with Ethiopia’s archenemy, Eritrea. The United States welcomed these early initiatives, embracing the prime minister’s reform agenda and lavishing promises of

Finish reading this article for free.

Enter your email and we'll send a paywall-free link directly to your inbox.

In addition to your unlocked article, you will receive our flagship weekly newsletter Foreign Affairs This Week, as well as occasional updates and offers from Foreign Affairs. You can unsubscribe at any time. For more information, visit our user agreement and privacy policy.


Get unlimited access to all Foreign Affairs. Subscribe now.

Are you already a subscriber? Sign in.