Eritrea continues to be an enigma few outsiders know well. Alan Boswell is joined by author and journalist Martin Plaut, who offers unique insights on the Horn of Africa’s most off-the-radar country and President Isaias’ autocratic state.
In his introduction to this month’s edition of CrisisWatch, our President Robert Malley reflects on Crisis Group's decision to focus on the risk of violence surrounding the upcoming U.S. elections.
A disputed regional election plan has ratcheted up tensions between Ethiopia’s federal government and its rivals in Tigray. To avert a confrontation, Tigrayan officials should press pause on election preparations and both sides should embrace dialogue to address the dispute and underlying causes.
Al-Shabaab is targeting teachers in order to expel those it views as outsiders from majority-Muslim north-eastern Kenya. The government’s response – to evacuate non-native tutors – has shuttered the area’s schools. Nairobi should supply funds to hire local educators, while it works to restore security.
Firefights have broken out between federal Somali soldiers and troops from the Jubaland region. A heightened confrontation could embolden Al-Shabaab’s Islamist insurgency. The African Union should press Ethiopia and Kenya, which back Mogadishu and Kismayo, respectively, to coax the two sides into negotiations.
Mounting economic turbulence is rocking Sudan’s delicate political transition. Without urgent donor assistance to provide economic relief to a suffering population, public support for the cabinet’s reform agenda could collapse. Any failure in the civilian-military government could have tragic consequences for Sudan and the region.
As Ethiopia’s 2021 election nears, a territorial dispute has flared between Amhara and Tigray, two northern regions. It could turn ugly amid rising ethnic nationalism. To heal the rift, the federal government should convene regional leaders in pursuit of guarantees for minority rights.
The coronavirus pandemic could pose a huge challenge to Somalia. To manage the crisis, the federal government should reach out to and coordinate with political rivals. It should avoid a unilateral postponement of elections due in November, which could trigger a violent backlash.
The military [...] simply has not had the time nor shown the will to address violence in the way that many rural Sudanese would need to see in order to put down their weapons.
Sudan’s economy is in freefall and there has been limited international assistance.
Ethiopia will not be deterred from finishing GERD by U.S. aid cuts and nor will it change its negotiating stance.
Sudan has been pretty isolated for a long time. It is very keen to get off this [terror] list. This is the carrot.
Ethiopian political leaders should consider appealing to a third party to mediate, should they have exhausted all other opportunities.
Disarmament in South Sudan resembles an abusive counterinsurgency operation, not an orderly collection of arms, which the local militias often resist giving up.
Somalia is headed into an electoral season that promises to be heated. If not carefully managed, politicking could spiral into violence. In this excerpt from our Watch List 2020 – Autumn Update, Crisis Group urges the EU and its member states to press for implementation of consensus-based electoral model, provide technical assistance, and keep up assistance to the Somali security sector and the African Union’s peacekeeping mission (AMISOM).
In early 2020, Vice News correspondent Julia Steers was the first foreign journalist in five years to set foot in the Jebel Marra mountains, Darfur’s last rebel-held area. She tells of a region traumatised by war and explains why these rebels stayed out of an August peace deal.
In this podcast series, Crisis Group President Rob Malley and Board Member Naz Modirzadeh, a Harvard professor of international law and armed conflict, dive deep into the conflicts that rage around the globe, along with Crisis Group field analysts and special guests. This week, they discuss U.S. support for the Yemen war and the absence of the Palestinian issue from the normalisation agreement among Israel, the UAE and Bahrain. Crisis Group's Senior Analyst for Ethiopia, Will Davison, also joins them to discuss the challenges facing Ethiopia.
Peacemaking has changed in Africa, with increased militarisation and multipolar approaches to peacekeeping. Looking ahead in this first episode of The Horn’s second season, our Africa Program Director Comfort Ero tells host Alan Boswell what she sees as the continent’s complex drivers of war.
Originally published in Daily Nation