The Tigrayan People's Liberation Front (TPLF) is a socialist (and formerly Marxist-Leninist) political party in Ethiopia. Formed by seven students in 1975, the TPLF was opposed to both Haile Selassie's monarchy and the Derg military junta, and the TPLF allied with the Eritrean People's Liberation Front against the Derg during its campaign of guerrilla warfare during the 1980s. The party joined the EPRDF political alliance to gain representation in the government, and the EPRDF would take over the government after the overthrow of the Derg. During Abiy Ahmed's premiership, however, the TPLF refused to merge into his new Prosperity Party and was opposed to his democratic reforms, and, in September 2020, it held illegal regional elections, despite the government's postponement of the August 2020 general elections to 2021 because of the COVID-19 pandemic. In November, the TPLF's armed wing attacked an Ethiopian military headquarters in the Tigray Region, leading to the bloody Tigray conflict, in which the Ethiopian government cracked down on the rogue TPLF's paramilitary operations. The TPLF attempted to escalate the conflict by firing rockets into Eritrea (hoping for a retaliatory attack which never materialized) and the Amhara Region, but the separatist conflict failed to spread into the neighboring regions, leading to the TPLF's stronghold of Mekelle falling on 28 November 2020.
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