Constitutional question at the heart of Ethiopia’s fight in Tigray

Some see ‘ethnic federalism’ and a ‘nation of nations’ as the country’s salvation, others as its damnation

29 November 2020 - 17:38 By David Pilling

In 200AD, the Aksumite empire in modern-day Tigray was considered one of the world’s four great civilisations, with Rome, Persia and China.

It had a written language, Ge’ez, it had adopted Christianity and it was renowned for its towering stone obelisks, some of which are still standing. Its borders, which waxed and waned over the empire’s 1,000-year history, stretched to the Red Sea in what is now Eritrea and to Meroe, an ancient desert kingdom in modern-day Sudan...

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