ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia (AP) — Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed was sworn in Monday for a second five-year term running a country in the grip of a nearly year-long war against Tigray forces he described as “hateful” toward the nation, while a handful of visiting African leaders urged him to hold things together.
The Tigray conflict “has made us pay a heavy price,” Abiy told a crowd in the capital, Addis Ababa. And he bristled at international pressure as concerns grow over the war’s human toll, saying “there are those who showed us their true friendship and those who betrayed us.” He didn’t name names.
Abiy’s Prosperity Party was declared the winner of parliamentary elections earlier this year in a vote criticized and at times boycotted by opposition parties, but described by some outside electoral observers as better run than those in the past.
The prime minister, the 2019 Nobel Peace Prize winner for restoring ties with neighboring Eritrea and for pursuing sweeping political reforms, now faces major challenges as war in the Tigray region spreads into other parts of the country, deadly ethnic violence continues and watchdogs warn that repressive government practices are on the return.
Abiy said the country will start an “inclusive national dialogue that includes everyone who believes in a roundtable discussion,” led by Ethiopians.