Abiy Ahmed (Prime Minister of Ethiopia) Birhanu Jula (ENDF Chief of Staff) Kenea Yadeta (Minister of Defence) Tiruneh Temesgen (Chief Administrator of Amhara Region, early November 2020) Agegnehu Teshager (Chief Administrator of Amhara Region, as of late November 2020) Mulu Nega (Federally appointed Chief Administrator of the Tigray Region) Alleged:
The Tigray People's Liberation Front, a military and politically powerful entity inside Ethiopia representing 6% of the total population ethnically, refused to join the new party, and alleged that Abiy Ahmed became an illegitimate ruler by rescheduling the general elections set for 29 August 2020 to an undetermined date in 2021 due to COVID-19.
The situation escalated to violence on the 4th of November with an alleged attack by the Tigray People's Liberation Front on the Northern Command Headquarters of the Ethiopian National Defense Force. Rocket attacks have spilled over into the neighbouring Amhara Region and country of Eritrea.
Ethiopian government stated that federal forces had captured the Tigrayan capital of Mekelle on 28 November, following which Prime Minister Abiy declared the Tigray offensive 'over'. The TPLF has said they will continue fighting.
The TPLF used to be part of the Ethiopian governing coalition until its 2019 refusal to merge into the Prosperity Party. Tensions between the government and the TPLF escalated in the months before the Tigray military intervention. Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed, who is of Oromo-Amharadescent, accused the TPLF Party Members in the Tigray Regional Government of undermining his authority. By contrast, the Tigray authorities saw the refusal to recognise the September 2020 election for the Tigray parliament (which, along with all elections in Ethiopia, had been delayed by the federal government and elections board until the end of the COVID-19 pandemic in Ethiopia) as the reason for the outbreak of the conflict. Abiy Ahmed's government considered the September Tigray election to be illegal. The warming of relations between Abiy Ahmed and Eritrean President Isaias Afwerki, who is poorly regarded in Tigray, was also considered to have fuelled the tension.
The day prior to the TPLF's alleged attack on a military camp, the federal parliament of Ethiopia had suggested designating the TPLF as a terrorist organization. As tension continued to grow, a general appointed by Ahmed was prevented by the Tigrayan government from taking on his military post.
The 1995 Constitution of Ethiopia states in Article 39, 1, "Every Nation, Nationality and People in Ethiopia has an unconditional right to self-determination, including the right to secession."
In late September 2020, the TPLF stated that the constitutional term limit of the HoF, the House of Peoples' Representatives (HoPR), the Prime Minister and the Council of Ministers was 5 October 2020, and that for this reason, it would consider "the incumbent" constitutionally illegitimate after 5 October. TPLF proposed replacing the government by a technocratic caretaker government as detailed in a plan posted on Facebook by the Coalition of Ethiopian Federalist Forces.
Claire Wilmot, writing in The Washington Post, speculated that Internet restrictions imposed by the Abiy government during the Tigray conflict might be motivated by the wish to deescalate the conflict. She argued that much of the Twitter activity that she analysed was authentic English-language communication by Ethiopian diaspora, with the hashtag #StopTheWarOnTigray, and aiming to complement the "one-sided and highly dangerous image" that dominated views on the conflict. Wilmot saw the Tigray conflict related Ethiopian online activity as mostly distinct from Ethiopian online hate speech, which in 2019 was mostly in Amharic on Facebook, but also suggested that the lines between authentic online political activity and deliberate misinformation were becoming blurred. Wilmot suggested that the "information vacuum" in the conflict reduced the "ability to verify information".
On November 12, 2020, the TPLF chairman Debretsion Gebremichael denied allegations that the TPLF had surrendered, stating that "we are still holding. These people cannot defeat us. We cannot be beaten."
On November 27, Ethiopian Attorney General, Gedion Timothewos, pressed by the BBC's Stephen Sackur to clarify if his country was now "sinking into civil war", responded: "If the Prime Minister were to let the TPLF go on with the kind of things they have been doing, if he had let them acquire the heavy weaponry they wanted to acquire by attacking the Northern Command, yes, we would have descended into that kind of situation; but by taking the measures we are taking right now, we will be able to avert that possibility." 
The United Nations (UN) warned of the emergence of a major humanitarian crisis, should a full-scale conflict arise.
The African Union (AU) appealed for cessation of hostilities and protection of civilians.
Canadian Foreign Minister François-Philippe Champagne called on all parties to show restraint. Champagne also called for a peaceful solution and protection of civilians.
Djiboutian PresidentIsmaïl Omar Guelleh expressed strong support for Abiy, saying that he had chosen to "restore law and order at the federal level, and punish those seeking to break up the country" and dismissed the prospect of negotiations, saying that the TPLF had "structured itself so as to bring the central government to its knees" and that talks could "only lead to the partition of Ethiopia", as they would set a precedent under which other regional groups would be able to assert their own secessionist claims.
U.S. Secretary of StateMike Pompeo urged de-escalation of the conflict and immediate action to restore peace, and emphasized the importance of protecting civilians. U.S. President-elect Joe Biden's foreign policy adviser Antony Blinken expressed deep concern over the humanitarian crisis in Ethiopia, ethnic violence and threats to peace and security in the area. He called on the TPLF to protect civilians and take steps to end the conflict.
Worldwide, humanitarian organisations and the scientific community asked rapidly for ceasefire and humanitarian aid to the people of Tigray.
The European Commission said it was mobilizing an initial €4 million in emergency aid, in order to assist displaced Ethiopian refugees fleeing to Sudan.