In-Depth AnalysisPolitics

In-depth Analysis - Amhara region crisis: The weight of a crumbling core

The Amhara region has been under a State of Emergency since August 2023 (Illustration: Matias Samuel/Addis Standard)

Addis Abeba - The ruling Prosperity Party (PP) was once enjoying the unwavering support from the political class in the Amhara region, a key ally during the Tigray war. Fortunes have flipped and the region is now home to a full-blown armed uprising against the very same government.

The immediate cause of this uprising is the November 2022 Cessation of Hostilities Agreement (CoHA) signed between the federal government and the Tigray People's Liberation Front (TPLF), which the leaders of the ongoing armed uprising in the Amhara region saw as "pact of betrayal."

This rising sentiment has also ignited a tide of a new form of Amhara nationalism in the expression of the desire for secession among many political activists, unheard in the history of Ethiopia.

The souring relations between an Ethiopian state and Amhara political elite was best described by Gedu Andargachew, the former Amhara region president, who told lawmakers that "the relationship between the Amhara people and the Prosperity Party is irrevocably fractured."

In the midst of what looks like a conflict with no prospect of a peaceful end in sight, it is compelling to review the current political trajectory in the Amhara region, with scenarios of the collapse of the regional government, compounded by the looming paralysis of local administration, and the long lasting effect of that in the state-society relations hitherto defined by a strong bond between the two. Questions such as what does the emergence of a new and popular Amhra nationalism at grassroots level and the fragility of elite leadership look like going forward?


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