April 16, 2024

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Challenges Mount for the Government of Ethiopian PM Abiy Ahmed

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In this blog, we’ll explore the mounting challenges facing the Ethiopian government, particularly Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed, as international pressure looms over ongoing operations in the Amhara region.

Ethiopian Military Operations

In the past few weeks, the Ethiopian military, under the leadership of Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed, initiated a ground offensive against the Fano Fighters in the Amhara region. However, an intriguing shift has been observed in the tactics employed during this operation.

While the ground offensive continues, there has been a noticeable reduction in the intensity and frequency of drone and air strikes. This departure from the traditional strategy raises questions about the government’s directives to its military forces. The hypothesis suggests that the Ethiopian government might have intentionally curtailed the use of air assets, potentially to mitigate civilian casualties.

Reasons Behind Reduced Air Operations

One plausible explanation for this strategic shift is the Ethiopian government’s sensitivity to international scrutiny, particularly from key players like the United States. As Ethiopia faces a crucial economic juncture, seeking a bailout package from the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the government is keen on avoiding any incidents that could jeopardize this prospect.

Economic Stakes and International Scrutiny

Ethiopia’s urgent need for financial assistance, estimated at around three to four billion US dollars, brings the IMF into the spotlight. The US, a significant shareholder in the IMF, has expressed concerns about human rights abuses in Ethiopia, specifically in the Amhara region.

A recent statement from the US State Department highlighted the alarming reports of arbitrary arrests, civilian killings, and drone strikes. The US issued a veiled threat, cautioning that sustained human rights violations could impact its support for the IMF program in Ethiopia. This warning comes ahead of the IMF’s scheduled visit to Ethiopia, adding urgency to the delicate situation.

Diplomatic Significance and US Position

The US has been consistently calling for dialogue since the beginning of the armed conflict in the Amhara region. The government’s failure to heed these calls has now resulted in a clear message from the US – continued human rights abuses may hinder Ethiopia’s chances of receiving the much-needed IMF bailout.

Additionally, the US has condemned the recent killing of Ethiopian Orthodox monks in the Oromia region, emphasizing its vigilant monitoring of the human rights situation in the country.

Timing of Military Operations and Potential Ramifications

The timing of the military operation, coinciding with the imminent IMF visit, raises questions about its strategic planning. Additionally, the Ethiopian government pursues its objectives against Fano Fighters, the military’s actions may inadvertently impact the nation’s economic recovery efforts.

The delicate balance between addressing security concerns and adhering to international expectations presents a formidable challenge for the administration of Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed. Moreover, the coming days will likely see a measured approach by the Ethiopian military to avoid escalating tensions and potential repercussions on the diplomatic front.


As Ethiopia navigates through a critical juncture, with economic stability hanging in the balance, the international community closely watches the unfolding events in the Amhara region. Moreover, the intersection of military operations, human rights concerns, and diplomatic intricacies poses a complex challenge for the Ethiopian government. We will continue to monitor and provide updates on this developing situation.

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