Shadow falls over Ethiopia reforms as warnings of crisis go unheeded

Having fled violence, a million Ethiopians now face hunger and disease. Yet Abiy Ahmed seems intent only on their return

In southern Ethiopia, tens of thousands of people are enduring what aid workers say is a full-blown humanitarian crisis. But the government of the new prime minister, Abiy Ahmed, appears not to be listening.

It is a stain on the record of an administration that, since Abiy’s appointment last April, has been lauded for opening up Ethiopia’s political space and making peace with neighbouring Eritrea. Last month, Abiy was nominated for a Nobel peace prize. His government has also been praised for passing a new refugee policy hailed as a model of compassion and forward-thinking. Yet the dire situation facing millions of people forced from their homes by conflict, and the new regime’s approach to their plight, has invited a more sceptical response from some observers.

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