Ethiopia is building a mighty dam on the Blue Nile, promising economic benefits for both itself and Sudan. But Egypt fears for its freshwater supply. The parties should agree on how fast to fill the dam’s reservoir and how to share river waters going forward.
Inter-ethnic fighting erupted in Amhara region in north leaving some 25 people dead and govt reshuffled key positions. Ethnic Oromo and Amhara militias reportedly clashed in Oromo-administered zone and North Shewa Zone in Amhara region particularly around Kemissie and Ataye towns 5-7 April leaving around 25 dead before military put stop to fighting. Former President of Amhara region Gedu Andargachew was appointed FM 18 April. Same day president of Oromia region Lemma Megersa was appointed defence minister. Finance Minister Ahmed Shide was confirmed as chair of Somali People’s Democratic Party 2 April. Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF), one of four parties in ruling coalition Ethiopian People’s Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF), 13 April said it was opposed to plans to convert EPRDF into one party, while EPRDF Council meeting 15-17 April failed to address coalition’s key challenges. Attorney General Berhanu Tsegaye 12 April announced arrest of 59 people for corruption including agency heads and mid-ranking officials. Berhanu same day said National Intelligence and Security Service (NISS) had foiled planned attacks in capital by suspected Al-Shabaab militants. PM Abiy 15 April received members of Sudan’s Transitional Military Council and praised it for respecting popular will. Eritrea 18-22 April closed two border crossings with Ethiopia. Former rebel group Gambela People’s Liberation Movement 21 April returned from Eritrea.
Ethiopia’s charismatic new prime minister, Abiy Ahmed, has generated great excitement with initiatives breaking with the past. But he faces challenges as formidable as his promises are bold: he urgently needs to halt communal strife, smooth the road to elections and boost the ailing economy.
Ethiopia’s struggle with domestic religious radicalisation has shifted toward top-down intervention, a policy that has contained violence but is generating new risks. Political accommodation and compromise are vital to defuse faith-based radicals’ opposition to what they perceive as overly secular rule by the dominant party.
The most credible attempt at talks to end decades of armed conflict in Ogaden may soon resume, but concerted efforts need to be made to guide them to a peaceful resolution.
The West will need to show tougher love to his successor than it did to Ethiopian Prime Minister Meles Zenawi, who died Monday, if one of its most important regional allies is to remain stable.
The Ethiopian Peoples’ Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF), led by its chairman and prime minister, Meles Zenawi, has radically reformed Ethiopia’s political system. The regime transformed the hitherto centralised state into the Federal Democratic Republic and also redefined citizenship, politics and identity on ethnic grounds.
Ethiopians want [the Ogaden National Liberation Front (ONLF)] to concede on the issue of the constitution. ONLF previously said they were not going to recognize the federal constitution.
[The dispute about future management of the Nile] is a proxy conflict over who should be the regional hegemon, Egypt or Ethiopia.
The Ethiopian government backed a different candidate, so there was speculation that the new Somali president may actually be hostile to Ethiopia.
The protests [in Ethiopia] have now reached a serious level, a different scale. We should not exaggerate and say the government is going to keel over tomorrow, but it portends future trouble unless they get a grip.
It is clear Ethiopia has a potentially serious and destabilizing unrest on its hands. What started off as isolated and localized protests in the Oromia and Amhara regions has now morphed into a much broader movement covering a large swath of the country
I think the government [of Ethiopia] is fearful that these protests may actually engulf the whole country. That is why you are seeing this heavy-handed crackdown
Addis Ababa can win economic and security gains if it perseveres with its impressive commitment to peace efforts in South Sudan. With its new two-year membership on the UN Security Council, Addis Ababa has the opportunity to better connect regionally-led political processes to UN action.
A 12 June clash between Eritrea and Ethiopia comes as the Horn of Africa’s two most implacable rivals face a crossroads.