Tumultuous Times For Ethiopia on Eve of New Year

Ethiopia's six days of Pagumen - the 13th "month" of Ethiopian calendar - are being marked at national level with various activities. Today, September 8, 2023 is the second day of Pagumen which has been designated to 'Sacrifice Day' under the theme "Sustaining a Country through Sacrifices." Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed at a civil servants' awards ceremony said that "serving the country devotedly is the greatest gift of a lifetime", Ethiopian News Agency wrote on September 6, 2023.

Ethiopia will observe Enkutatash (the day of giving jewels) - New Year on the Gregorian calendar - and celebrated by Ethiopia and Eritrea on September 12.

But while Ethiopia celebrates, several protesters were arrested in the Tigray region on the eve of a demonstration scheduled for Mekelle on September 7, 2023, to protest against the Tigray People Liberation Front (TPLF), the ruling party in the northern region of Ethiopia.

In addition to insecurity, an Amnesty International report released in September 2023, details criminal attacks carried out by Eritrean troops in the northern region of the country, reports Agenzia Fides. Tigrayans took to the streets to demand the evacuation of all foreign forces, particularly troops from Eritrea.

Ethiopia and the Tigray region were in a two-year war from from November 3, 2020 to November 3, 2022. The war was primarily fought in the Tigray Region of Ethiopia between forces allied to the Ethiopian federal government and Eritrea on one side, and the TPLF on the other.

After a peace deal brokered in South Africa, Ethiopia's Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed appointed the spokesperson of the Tigray People's Liberation Front (TPLF) Getachew Reda, as head of an interim administration in the Tigray region until an election, anticipated for 2024, takes place.


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