Tensions between local Tigray leaders and central Government that have been growing over the past few weeks came to a head this week. On Wednesday morning the Prime Minister of Ethiopia ordered the country’s military to mount an offensive to placate the Regional Government in Tigray region. This offensive comes on the wake of a State of Emergency having been declared in Tigray Region and after a military barracks was attacked by Tigray Rebel Forces. The Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) which on Tuesday was labelled by parliament a terrorist organisation unsurprisingly remains defiant having organised local Elections in September, which were labelled illegal by central Government. In a further show of disobedience last week the TPLF refused to accept the authority of the Prime Minister to appointment of a Federal Government representative to the region. The Government appears determined to nip this situation in the bud having cut communication links with the region and electricity supply. Many shops and offices are closed and residents of the regional capital are staying off the streets to avoid getting caught up in any trouble. This situation is very serious but not entirely unexpected as tensions have slowly been rising since the TPLF left the government 2 years ago after nearly 3 decades in power. Although the Prime Minister was awarded the Nobel Peace prize he seems unfazed in the use of military force to put down this mounting rebellion. All this is happening far from the coffee growing areas of Ethiopia, in the Northern part of the country on the border between Tigray and Amhara regions.
It is difficult to get information from the affected region since internet and phone services have been cut. Addis Ababa remains undisturbed by the fighting in the North of the country and our supply chains are in no immediate threat however we shall monitor for potential disruptions to the normal flow of the crop.
Birr is trading at 37.64 to the USD.
Have a good and peaceful weekend.
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