Ethiopia. The two-year war against neighboring Eritrea was settled by a rapid Ethiopian offensive in May (see Eritrea).
The starvation disaster that occurred in 1999 hit during the year and was exacerbated by the war. The government rejected the aid organizations’ plea for ceasefire to increase opportunities to help those in need, and UN personnel accused Ethiopia of drawing resources from the rescue work to the war. In the spring, dozens of children were estimated to die from starvation every day in the country’s southern and eastern parts. However, since the famine was devoted to great international attention, aid began to flow in, and during the autumn, the worst crisis was considered to be averted, despite the drought continuing. From the UN, disaster relief worth about SEK 800 million had then reached Ethiopia.
- ABBREVIATIONFINDER: Offers three letter and two letter abbreviations for the country of Ethiopia. Also covers country profile such as geography, society and economy.
In the May and September parliamentary elections, the ruling Ethiopian People’s Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF) won, which received as many as 493 of the 546 seats of the House of Representatives.
Tamirat Layne, prime minister and defense minister a few years in the early 1990s, was sentenced in May to prison for 18 years for corruption and abuse of power.
The remains of Emperor Haile Sellassie were buried in November in Trinity Cathedral in Addis Ababa. They had been kept in a smaller church since they were found under a toilet in the Emperor’s Palace in 1992. Haile Sellassie was deposed at the military coup in 1974 and died in captivity the following year under unclear circumstances, probably murdered. The reburial was arranged by a private foundation after the government refused to grant a state burial because of the oppression that prevailed under the emperor’s 45-year-old rule.
Abiy critics charged with terrorism
Oromo Jawar Mohammed, a political opponent of Prime Minister Abiy, is charged with terrorism. Jawar Mohammed is a former media mogul and a member of the Oromo Federal Congress (OFC). He is one of 23 people charged with terrorism or similar crimes committed during the violence that erupted after the death of troublemaker Hachalu Hundessa and claimed 239 lives (see June 2020 and July 2020). Jawar Mohammed denies any wrongdoing and says the Abiy government is trying to eliminate political opponents ahead of the upcoming elections by imprisoning them. A total of around 9,000 people were arrested during the wave of violence in Oromia, of which around 2,000 have been charged with various types of crime.
TPLF wins all Tigray seats
Regional elections are being held in Tigray despite Prime Minister Abiy declaring it illegal. The Abiy government has postponed the general election due to the corona pandemic and extended the seat of the sitting parliament for the time being. The ruling party TPLF wins all 152 electoral seats out of a total of 190. The remaining 38 seats are distributed after discussions between the five parties that participated in the regional elections. Turnout is estimated at 97 or 98 percent, according to the regional election authority. The election in Tigray increases the already deep antagonisms between the central government of Addis Ababa and the rulers of the Tigray region. The Tigranian ethnic group dominated Ethiopian politics for three decades but has lost influence in connection with political reforms following Abiy’s accession.
The United States is freezing some aid
The United States is freezing part of its aid to Ethiopia because negotiations with Egypt and Sudan on a solution to the conflict over the Great Renaissance Dam are too slow. Ethiopia began filling the power plant dam in July without first agreeing with neighboring countries. How much aid is withdrawn is unclear as well as which projects are affected. It is clear, however, that aid for the fight against HIV / AIDS and the corona pandemic will not be affected, as will aid against drought and other humanitarian aid.
The Minister of Defense is fired after criticism of Abiy
Prime Minister Abiy dismisses Defense Minister Lemma Megersa, a troubled and close ally who has recently openly criticized Abiy’s political reform agenda. Megersa has above all criticized Abiy’s decision to turn the ruling party alliance EPRDF into a single party, the Welfare Party, which led to the alliance breaking up. The new Minister of Defense will be Kenea Yadeta, a former security official at Oromia. The change of minister takes place in connection with a major government reshuffle. The division among the Oromo people over Abiy’s agenda seems to be increasing, with a group believing that the Prime Minister is not putting enough energy into doing something about the political and economic marginalization that the Oromo people are experiencing. Oromo is the country’s largest ethnic group, but political power has traditionally been with the Amharic and Tigranes (see Population and language).
According to COUNTRYAAH, the population of Ethiopia in 2000 was 66,224,693, ranking number 16 in the world. The population growth rate was 3.030% yearly, and the population density was 66.2248 people per km2.