The audience roared when Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed addressed the people of Tigray in April 2018. Delivered in Tigrigna, hardly any statement went by without a deafening applause. The joy was genuine and heartfelt. Here was an Oromo soldier who took the time to learn Tigrigna, and here was a leader who visited Tigray soon after he assumed power. This young man promised the world to an otherwise anxious Tigrayan people — and they were delighted.

Abiy opened his speech by acknowledging regional leaders, freedom fighters and citizens. “Tigray is the origin of Ethiopia,” he said. “Tigray is home of…

No internet or phone service. No banking services, power or running water. No transportation. Widespread killings, rapes, and abductions. Hunger so extreme that people are forced to eat leaves to survive, according to the UN.

Imagine a whole region of some six million people cut off from the rest of the world. No Internet or phone services. No banking services. No electricity or running water. No transportation. No commerce with the rest of the world except for contraband trade. All factories idle, looted, or destroyed. All hospitals a shell of themselves because they were destroyed or running low on supplies…

Helen Solomon

I write about Ethiopia and the Horn of Africa

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