Ethiopian PM begins 2nd term saying war exacts 'heavy price'

Ethiopia's Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed speaks behind bulletproof glass at his inauguration ceremony, after he was sworn in for a second five-year term, in the capital Addis Ababa, Ethiopia Monday, Oct. 4, 2021. Abiy was sworn in Monday for a second five-year term running a country in the grip of a nearly year-long war, as a handful of visiting African leaders urged him to hold the nation together. (AP Photo/Mulugeta Ayene)
Caption
Ethiopia's Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed speaks behind bulletproof glass at his inauguration ceremony, after he was sworn in for a second five-year term, in the capital Addis Ababa, Ethiopia Monday, Oct. 4, 2021. Abiy was sworn in Monday for a second five-year term running a country in the grip of a nearly year-long war, as a handful of visiting African leaders urged him to hold the nation together. (AP Photo/Mulugeta Ayene)

Credit: Mulugeta Ayene

Credit: Mulugeta Ayene

Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed has begun a second five-year term running a country in the grip of a nearly year-long war against Tigray forces who he describes as “hateful” toward the nation

ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia (AP) — Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed was sworn in Monday for a second five-year term running a country in the grip of a nearly year-long war against Tigray forces he described as "hateful" toward the nation, while a handful of visiting African leaders urged him to hold things together.

The Tigray conflict “has made us pay a heavy price,” Abiy told a crowd in the capital, Addis Ababa. And he bristled at international pressure as concerns grow over the war's human toll, saying “there are those who showed us their true friendship and those who betrayed us.” He didn't name names.

Abiy's Prosperity Party was declared the winner of parliamentary elections earlier this year in a vote criticized and at times boycotted by opposition parties, but described by some outside electoral observers as better run than those in the past.

The prime minister, the 2019 Nobel Peace Prize winner for restoring ties with neighboring Eritrea and for pursuing sweeping political reforms, now faces major challenges as war in the Tigray region spreads into other parts of the country, deadly ethnic violence continues and watchdogs warn that repressive government practices are on the return.

Abiy said the country will start an “inclusive national dialogue that includes everyone who believes in a roundtable discussion,” led by Ethiopians.

The 11-month war is weakening Ethiopia’s economy, once one of Africa’s fastest-growing, and threatening to isolate Abiy, once seen as a regional peacemaker. Six African heads of state — from Nigeria, Senegal, Uganda and neighboring Somalia, Djibouti, Kenya and South Sudan — attended Monday’s ceremony.

“Today, more than ever before, we hope to see an Ethiopian nation that is at peace with itself,” Djibouti's president, Ismail Omar Guelleh, told the crowd. “We all know how fragile peace is in our region. ... We remain certain that the Ethiopian nation is bigger and stronger than whatever ails her."

Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta added that "Ethiopia is our mother. If our mother is not at peace, neither can the family be at peace.”

Eritrean President Isaias Afwerki, in a message shared by his information minister, expressed hope that the trajectory of his country and Ethiopia “will be further enhanced and consolidated ... in spite of efforts by negative external forces of regression.” The president, who has never allowed national elections since independence from Ethiopia, didn't attend Monday's events.

Ethiopia’s government last week faced condemnation from the United Nations, the United States and several European nations after it expelled seven U.N. officials it accused of supporting the Tigray forces who have been battling Ethiopian and allied forces.

The government is under growing pressure as people begin to starve to death in Tigray under what the U.N. has called a "de facto humanitarian blockade." Last week the U.N. humanitarian chief told The Associated Press that the situation in Ethiopia is a "stain on our conscience."

The U.S. has threatened further sanctions if humanitarian access to Tigray isn't granted soon and the warring sides don't take steps toward peace. Thousands of people have been killed in the war waged between the Tigray forces who once dominated the national government and Ethiopian and allied forces.

As Abiy faces another term, “I think it will give the government the chance to renew its commitment to reform and to enhance the human rights situation in the country,” Amnesty International researcher Fisseha Tekle told The Associated Press. “They have a parliament which is dominated by one ruling party, so if they have the commitment, they also have the opportunity to do that.”

The results of a joint investigation into the conflict by the U.N. human rights office and the government-created Ethiopian Human Rights Commission will be released on Nov. 1, a few days before the war's one-year mark.

Ethiopia's Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed is sworn in for a second five-year term, at the House of Peoples Representatives in the capital Addis Ababa, Ethiopia Monday, Oct. 4, 2021. The prime minister, the 2019 Nobel Peace Prize winner for restoring ties with neighboring Eritrea and for pursuing sweeping political reforms, now faces major challenges as war in the Tigray region spreads into other parts of the country. (AP Photo)
Caption
Ethiopia's Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed is sworn in for a second five-year term, at the House of Peoples Representatives in the capital Addis Ababa, Ethiopia Monday, Oct. 4, 2021. The prime minister, the 2019 Nobel Peace Prize winner for restoring ties with neighboring Eritrea and for pursuing sweeping political reforms, now faces major challenges as war in the Tigray region spreads into other parts of the country. (AP Photo)

Credit: Uncredited

Credit: Uncredited

Ethiopia's Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed, center, walks with First Lady Zinash Tayachew, left, as he arrives to be sworn in for a second five-year term, at the House of Peoples Representatives in the capital Addis Ababa, Ethiopia Monday, Oct. 4, 2021. The prime minister, the 2019 Nobel Peace Prize winner for restoring ties with neighboring Eritrea and for pursuing sweeping political reforms, now faces major challenges as war in the Tigray region spreads into other parts of the country. (AP Photo)
Caption
Ethiopia's Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed, center, walks with First Lady Zinash Tayachew, left, as he arrives to be sworn in for a second five-year term, at the House of Peoples Representatives in the capital Addis Ababa, Ethiopia Monday, Oct. 4, 2021. The prime minister, the 2019 Nobel Peace Prize winner for restoring ties with neighboring Eritrea and for pursuing sweeping political reforms, now faces major challenges as war in the Tigray region spreads into other parts of the country. (AP Photo)

Credit: Uncredited

Credit: Uncredited

Ethiopia's Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed, center, walks with First Lady Zinash Tayachew, left, as he arrives to be sworn in for a second five-year term, at the House of Peoples Representatives in the capital Addis Ababa, Ethiopia Monday, Oct. 4, 2021. The prime minister, the 2019 Nobel Peace Prize winner for restoring ties with neighboring Eritrea and for pursuing sweeping political reforms, now faces major challenges as war in the Tigray region spreads into other parts of the country. (AP Photo)
Caption
Ethiopia's Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed, center, walks with First Lady Zinash Tayachew, left, as he arrives to be sworn in for a second five-year term, at the House of Peoples Representatives in the capital Addis Ababa, Ethiopia Monday, Oct. 4, 2021. The prime minister, the 2019 Nobel Peace Prize winner for restoring ties with neighboring Eritrea and for pursuing sweeping political reforms, now faces major challenges as war in the Tigray region spreads into other parts of the country. (AP Photo)

Credit: Uncredited

Credit: Uncredited

Ethiopia's Parliament prepares to swear-in Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed for a second five-year term, at the House of Peoples Representatives in the capital Addis Ababa, Ethiopia Monday, Oct. 4, 2021. The prime minister, the 2019 Nobel Peace Prize winner for restoring ties with neighboring Eritrea and for pursuing sweeping political reforms, now faces major challenges as war in the Tigray region spreads into other parts of the country. (AP Photo)
Caption
Ethiopia's Parliament prepares to swear-in Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed for a second five-year term, at the House of Peoples Representatives in the capital Addis Ababa, Ethiopia Monday, Oct. 4, 2021. The prime minister, the 2019 Nobel Peace Prize winner for restoring ties with neighboring Eritrea and for pursuing sweeping political reforms, now faces major challenges as war in the Tigray region spreads into other parts of the country. (AP Photo)

Credit: Uncredited

Credit: Uncredited

Ethiopia's Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed, right, and First Lady Zinash Tayachew, left, attend his inauguration ceremony after he was sworn in for a second five-year term, in the capital Addis Ababa, Ethiopia Monday, Oct. 4, 2021. Abiy was sworn in Monday for a second five-year term running a country in the grip of a nearly year-long war, as a handful of visiting African leaders urged him to hold the nation together. (AP Photo/Mulugeta Ayene)
Caption
Ethiopia's Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed, right, and First Lady Zinash Tayachew, left, attend his inauguration ceremony after he was sworn in for a second five-year term, in the capital Addis Ababa, Ethiopia Monday, Oct. 4, 2021. Abiy was sworn in Monday for a second five-year term running a country in the grip of a nearly year-long war, as a handful of visiting African leaders urged him to hold the nation together. (AP Photo/Mulugeta Ayene)

Credit: Mulugeta Ayene

Credit: Mulugeta Ayene

Ethiopia's Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed, right, and First Lady Zinash Tayachew, left, attend his inauguration ceremony after he was sworn in for a second five-year term, in the capital Addis Ababa, Ethiopia Monday, Oct. 4, 2021. Abiy was sworn in Monday for a second five-year term running a country in the grip of a nearly year-long war, as a handful of visiting African leaders urged him to hold the nation together. (AP Photo/Mulugeta Ayene)
Caption
Ethiopia's Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed, right, and First Lady Zinash Tayachew, left, attend his inauguration ceremony after he was sworn in for a second five-year term, in the capital Addis Ababa, Ethiopia Monday, Oct. 4, 2021. Abiy was sworn in Monday for a second five-year term running a country in the grip of a nearly year-long war, as a handful of visiting African leaders urged him to hold the nation together. (AP Photo/Mulugeta Ayene)

Credit: Mulugeta Ayene

Credit: Mulugeta Ayene

Ethiopia's Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed, right, First Lady Zinash Tayachew, center, and Djibouti's President Ismail Omar Guelleh, left, attend Abiy's inauguration ceremony after he was sworn in for a second five-year term, in the capital Addis Ababa, Ethiopia Monday, Oct. 4, 2021. Abiy was sworn in Monday for a second five-year term running a country in the grip of a nearly year-long war, as a handful of visiting African leaders urged him to hold the nation together. (AP Photo/Mulugeta Ayene)
Caption
Ethiopia's Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed, right, First Lady Zinash Tayachew, center, and Djibouti's President Ismail Omar Guelleh, left, attend Abiy's inauguration ceremony after he was sworn in for a second five-year term, in the capital Addis Ababa, Ethiopia Monday, Oct. 4, 2021. Abiy was sworn in Monday for a second five-year term running a country in the grip of a nearly year-long war, as a handful of visiting African leaders urged him to hold the nation together. (AP Photo/Mulugeta Ayene)

Credit: Mulugeta Ayene

Credit: Mulugeta Ayene

Ethiopia's Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed, center, greets Djibouti's President Ismail Omar Guelleh, right, as First Lady Zinash Tayachew, left, looks on at Abiy's inauguration ceremony after he was sworn in for a second five-year term, in the capital Addis Ababa, Ethiopia Monday, Oct. 4, 2021. Abiy was sworn in Monday for a second five-year term running a country in the grip of a nearly year-long war, as a handful of visiting African leaders urged him to hold the nation together. (AP Photo/Mulugeta Ayene)
Caption
Ethiopia's Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed, center, greets Djibouti's President Ismail Omar Guelleh, right, as First Lady Zinash Tayachew, left, looks on at Abiy's inauguration ceremony after he was sworn in for a second five-year term, in the capital Addis Ababa, Ethiopia Monday, Oct. 4, 2021. Abiy was sworn in Monday for a second five-year term running a country in the grip of a nearly year-long war, as a handful of visiting African leaders urged him to hold the nation together. (AP Photo/Mulugeta Ayene)

Credit: Mulugeta Ayene

Credit: Mulugeta Ayene

Ethiopia's Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed, far right, salutes during a military parade accompanied by First Lady Zinash Tayachew, second right, and other dignitaries at Abiy's inauguration ceremony after he was sworn in for a second five-year term, in the capital Addis Ababa, Ethiopia Monday, Oct. 4, 2021. Abiy was sworn in Monday for a second five-year term running a country in the grip of a nearly year-long war, as a handful of visiting African leaders urged him to hold the nation together. (AP Photo/Mulugeta Ayene)
Caption
Ethiopia's Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed, far right, salutes during a military parade accompanied by First Lady Zinash Tayachew, second right, and other dignitaries at Abiy's inauguration ceremony after he was sworn in for a second five-year term, in the capital Addis Ababa, Ethiopia Monday, Oct. 4, 2021. Abiy was sworn in Monday for a second five-year term running a country in the grip of a nearly year-long war, as a handful of visiting African leaders urged him to hold the nation together. (AP Photo/Mulugeta Ayene)

Credit: Mulugeta Ayene

Credit: Mulugeta Ayene

A dancer wears a dress in the colours of the national flag at the inauguration ceremony of Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed after he was sworn in for a second five-year term, in the capital Addis Ababa, Ethiopia Monday, Oct. 4, 2021. Abiy was sworn in Monday for a second five-year term running a country in the grip of a nearly year-long war, as a handful of visiting African leaders urged him to hold the nation together. (AP Photo/Mulugeta Ayene)
Caption
A dancer wears a dress in the colours of the national flag at the inauguration ceremony of Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed after he was sworn in for a second five-year term, in the capital Addis Ababa, Ethiopia Monday, Oct. 4, 2021. Abiy was sworn in Monday for a second five-year term running a country in the grip of a nearly year-long war, as a handful of visiting African leaders urged him to hold the nation together. (AP Photo/Mulugeta Ayene)

Credit: Mulugeta Ayene

Credit: Mulugeta Ayene

Kenya's President Uhuru Kenyatta speaks behind bulletproof glass at the inauguration ceremony of Ethiopia's Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed, after Abiy was sworn in for a second five-year term, in the capital Addis Ababa, Ethiopia Monday, Oct. 4, 2021. Calls grew Monday for an end to the financial secrecy and shell companies that have allowed many of the world's richest and most powerful people to hide their wealth from tax collectors, following a report by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists, with Kenya's President Uhuru Kenyatta one of 330 current and former politicians identified as beneficiaries of the secret accounts. (AP Photo/Mulugeta Ayene)
Caption
Kenya's President Uhuru Kenyatta speaks behind bulletproof glass at the inauguration ceremony of Ethiopia's Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed, after Abiy was sworn in for a second five-year term, in the capital Addis Ababa, Ethiopia Monday, Oct. 4, 2021. Calls grew Monday for an end to the financial secrecy and shell companies that have allowed many of the world's richest and most powerful people to hide their wealth from tax collectors, following a report by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists, with Kenya's President Uhuru Kenyatta one of 330 current and former politicians identified as beneficiaries of the secret accounts. (AP Photo/Mulugeta Ayene)

Credit: Mulugeta Ayene

Credit: Mulugeta Ayene

Kenya's President Uhuru Kenyatta, right, greets Ethiopia's Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed, center, at the inauguration ceremony of Abiy after he was sworn in for a second five-year term, in the capital Addis Ababa, Ethiopia Monday, Oct. 4, 2021. Calls grew Monday for an end to the financial secrecy and shell companies that have allowed many of the world's richest and most powerful people to hide their wealth from tax collectors, following a report by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists, with Kenya's President Uhuru Kenyatta one of 330 current and former politicians identified as beneficiaries of the secret accounts. (AP Photo/Mulugeta Ayene)
Caption
Kenya's President Uhuru Kenyatta, right, greets Ethiopia's Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed, center, at the inauguration ceremony of Abiy after he was sworn in for a second five-year term, in the capital Addis Ababa, Ethiopia Monday, Oct. 4, 2021. Calls grew Monday for an end to the financial secrecy and shell companies that have allowed many of the world's richest and most powerful people to hide their wealth from tax collectors, following a report by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists, with Kenya's President Uhuru Kenyatta one of 330 current and former politicians identified as beneficiaries of the secret accounts. (AP Photo/Mulugeta Ayene)

Credit: Mulugeta Ayene

Credit: Mulugeta Ayene

Kenya's President Uhuru Kenyatta, right, greets Nigeria's President Muhammadu Buhari, center, at the inauguration ceremony of Ethiopia's President Abiy Ahmed after he was sworn in for a second five-year term, in the capital Addis Ababa, Ethiopia Monday, Oct. 4, 2021. Calls grew Monday for an end to the financial secrecy and shell companies that have allowed many of the world's richest and most powerful people to hide their wealth from tax collectors, following a report by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists, with Kenya's President Uhuru Kenyatta one of 330 current and former politicians identified as beneficiaries of the secret accounts. (AP Photo/Mulugeta Ayene)
Caption
Kenya's President Uhuru Kenyatta, right, greets Nigeria's President Muhammadu Buhari, center, at the inauguration ceremony of Ethiopia's President Abiy Ahmed after he was sworn in for a second five-year term, in the capital Addis Ababa, Ethiopia Monday, Oct. 4, 2021. Calls grew Monday for an end to the financial secrecy and shell companies that have allowed many of the world's richest and most powerful people to hide their wealth from tax collectors, following a report by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists, with Kenya's President Uhuru Kenyatta one of 330 current and former politicians identified as beneficiaries of the secret accounts. (AP Photo/Mulugeta Ayene)

Credit: Mulugeta Ayene

Credit: Mulugeta Ayene