Abiy Ahmed: The man changing Ethiopia -BBC News
Who is Abiy Ahmed?
Mr Abiy’s background is crucial to the way people view him.
He is the country’s first Oromo leader – the ethnic group at the centre of nearly three years of anti-government protests, which left many dead following clashes with security forces and thousands arrested.
One of the protesters’ main complaints was that they have been politically, economically and culturally marginalised for years – despite being the country’s largest community.
The coming to power of Mr Abiy, who is believed to have huge support among the Oromo youth as well as other ethnic groups, has begun to change that.
He is leader of the Oromo People’s Democratic Organisation (OPDO), one of the four ethnic parties which make up the ruling Ethiopian People’s Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF) coalition.
The pace of change in Ethiopia has been so fast since Abiy Ahmed became prime minister in April that it is almost like observing a different country.
The reforms he has introduced were unthinkable not so long ago.
The government seemed impervious to criticism from human rights groups that the state stifled free expression, sidelined and imprisoned opposition leaders and cracked down on protests.
It also appeared steadfast in its disagreement with a border commission ruling that was meant to end the two-decade conflict with neighbouring Eritrea.
But all that has changed.
In just a few months, Mr Abiy has lifted the state of emergency, ordered the release of thousands of prisoners, allowed dissidents to return home and unblocked hundreds of websites and TV channels.
He has also ended the state of war with Eritrea by agreeing to give up disputed border territory, in the process normalising relations with the long-time foe.