Ethiopian lawmakers on Thursday endorsed a six-month state of emergency in the northern region of Tigray, a day after Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed ordered military operations there in an escalation of a long-running feud. The AFP reports that the move is part of an attempt by Abiy, winner of last year’s Nobel Peace Prize, to assert federal control over a region whose ruling party has openly defied him for months and brands him as illegitimate. According to the country’s constitution, under a state of emergency the government has ‘all necessary power to protect the country’s peace and sovereignty’ and can suspend some ‘political and democratic rights’.