The Tigray War and the African Union

Hisham Aidi

03 Aug 2021

5pages PDF

The ongoing war in the Tigray region of Ethiopia has resulted in the world’s worst humanitarian crisis in a decade. The escalating conflict has led to the death and displacement of thousands of civilians, raised ethnic tensions in Ethiopia, and caused a food crisis that could lead to widespread famine. Much can be said about this conflict—how it revolves around models of governance and conflicting visions of self-determination, and how its impact will be felt across the region. Here, we look at the short-term causes of this war, highlighting Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed’s strategic errors, in light of long-standing debates about Ethiopian statehood and ethno-federalism. We also examine the role of the African Union in this conflict, including the debate between Realist and Liberal scholars about the African Union’s agency.