Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed adamantly tried to still fears that the fighting that broke out in Tigray on November 4 would return Ethiopia to allout war.
Not only have things gone seriously pear shaped since then, with Ethiopian refugees fleeing into Sudan to escape the fighting, but the Tigrayan Peoples Liberation Front admitted today it had shelled Asmara airport in neighbouring Eritrea.
The TPLF claims this in retaliation for Ethiopian air force using Eritrean airports to launch attacks against it.
It could not get more difficult for Ahmed, who has vehemently denied this.
The Nobel Peace Prize he collected last year was for forging peace with Eritrea.
Not only has this been thrown into turmoil but the United National Human Rights Commission is saying the peacemaker faces possible war crimes charges for the lethal attacks his forces have made on Tigrayan civilians.
How have things gone so wrong?
Tigrayans make up only six percent of Ethiopia’s 100-million population.
They had a disproportionate share of political power until Ahmed took the helm.
The Tigrayans paid a heavy toll in Ethiopia’s war with Eritrea 20 years ago.
Already marginalized by Ahmed, they were pushed even further out by the political reforms he initiated in Ethiopia.
The TPLF attack on an Ethiopian military base 12 days ago was both an expression of frustration and a demonstrate of muscle that the Addis Ababa forces felt obliged to answer ruthlessly.
Ahmed’s denials notwithstanding, the fighting has brought the prospect of all out war back to the Horn of Africa.
Before the Tigrayan attack, he was already dealing with clashes between the Oromo and the Amhara, which are the two largest ethnic groups in Ethiopia.