Ethiopia’s northern Tigray region on Wednesday went ahead with regional elections in an act of strong defiance against Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed, who called the vote illegal but said the government would not respond with force.
Ethiopia’s upper house ruled on Saturday that plans by the Tigray region to hold an election on September 9 were unconstitutional, setting up a potential clash between the central government and a powerful ethnic party.
Ethiopian authorities said on Friday they had arrested two suspects over the killing of a popular political singer, whose death last week sparked protests in which 166 people were killed.
The Oromo, Ethiopia’s largest ethnic group, have long complained of their exclusion from political power.
Ethiopia’s parliament approved on Wednesday an extra year in office for Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed after August elections were postponed, two days after a leading opposition politician resigned as speaker of its upper house in apparent protest at the delay.