The UAE, together with its ally Saudi Arabia, played a highly visible role in helping make peace between Eritrea and Ethiopia. As its footprint across the Horn of Africa grows, the UAE should avoid having intra-Gulf competition colour its engagement.
Govt launched crackdown on corruption in govt and military and continued to foster cooperation with neighbours, but ethnic violence and criminality continued. In crackdown against corrupt officials, govt 10-11 Nov arrested 79 people, including senior military officials and head of military-run Metals and Engineering Corporation (METEC); company accused of mismanaging mega-projects including Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam. Tigray regional state President Debretsion Gebremichael 19 Nov said crackdown discriminated against ethnic Tigrayans, who dominated in govt before PM Abiy’s election. Ethnic Oromo militias 14 Nov reportedly killed at least ten Somalis in Moyale, on border with Kenya. Ethnic Oromo armed groups 29 Nov reportedly attacked civilians and Oromia state police in East Wollega zone and areas adjacent to Benishangul Regional State killing dozens of civilians and seventeen police officers. Armed group Oromo Liberation Front 14 Nov reached cooperation agreement with political party Oromo Democratic Party, urging supporters to refrain from violence and abide by rule of law. Former opposition figure Birtukan Mideska named head of electoral board 22 Nov. PM Abiy 9 Nov received Somali President Farmajo and Eritrean President Afwerki to discuss how to develop ties, 17 Nov addressed African Union at 11th extraordinary session in Addis Ababa, highlighting need to reform and strengthen union.
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.
The Ethiopia-Eritrea impasse carries serious risk of a new war and is a major source of instability in the Horn of Africa, most critically for Somalia. Following Ethiopia’s refusal to accept virtual demarcation of the border by the now disbanded Ethiopia-Eritrea Boundary Commission (EEBC), Asmara unilaterally implemented it and forced out the UN peacekeepers (UNMEE), significantly raising the stakes and shattering the status quo.
The risk that Ethiopia and Eritrea will resume their war in the next several weeks is very real. A military build-up along the common border over the past few months has reached alarming proportions. There will be no easy military solution if hostilities restart; more likely is a protracted conflict on Eritrean soil, progressive destabilisation of Ethiopia and a dramatic humanitarian crisis.
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
A 12 June clash between Eritrea and Ethiopia comes as the Horn of Africa’s two most implacable rivals face a crossroads.
Prime Minister Meles Zenawi died on 20 August 2012. Emilio Manfredi, Crisis Group’s Ethiopia Analyst, explains the profound national and regional consequences of the passing of the man who ruled the country for over two decades.