Voters have begun casting their ballots in delayed elections in Ethiopia that supporters of the prime minister, Abiy Ahmed, say are proof of his commitment to democracy and critics warn could be the launchpad for consolidation of an increasingly authoritarian rule.
The national and regional polls take place against a background of a gruelling military conflict in the northern Tigray region, the looming prospect of a famine, rising ethnic violence and deep economic problems.
Campaigning has been short. Abiy, in power since 2018, told a crowd of tens of thousands of supporters last week at his only rally that Ethiopia would show a sceptical world that he could unite the fractious country.
Read rest of story here.