Canada Ethiopia: Ethnic conflicts threaten to tear the country apart.

22:45  24 november  2020
22:45  24 november  2020 Source:   spiegel.de

Uganda: President Yoweri Museveni calls for negotiations in Ethiopia

 Uganda: President Yoweri Museveni calls for negotiations in Ethiopia © Sumy Sadurni, AFP Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni, on Monday November 16, began a mediation between the Ethiopian government and the dissident regional authorities in Tigray. (Illustration) During a meeting on Monday with Ethiopian Deputy Prime Minister Demeke Mekonnen Hassen, President of Uganda Yoweri Museveni called for negotiations for a return to peace in Ethiopia. Since November 4, the armed forces of the central government have been confronting those of the Tigray region.

The Ethiopian army is advancing further and further in the province of Tigray - and with it regional militias. An ethnic conflict has broken out that threatens the stability of the entire country.

  Äthiopien: Ethnische Konflikte drohen das Land zu zerreissen © EDUARDO SOTERAS / AFP

Rockets flew again on Monday: They were shot down in Tigray, the embattled northern province of Ethiopia, and flew south to Bahir Dar, the capital of the neighboring Amhara region. It was the third rocket attack by the Tigrin armed forces on the neighboring region within two weeks. But the news received little attention.

But apparently small messages like these are important. They clearly show that the war over Tigray could be a forerunner for further ethnic conflicts in the multi-ethnic African state. They show that already now, in the shadow of the campaign of Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Abiy Ahmed, conflicts that have been simmering for a long time are escalating.

Ethiopia: Tigrayans implicated in the country, particularly in Addis Ababa

 Ethiopia: Tigrayans implicated in the country, particularly in Addis Ababa © EDUARDO SOTERAS / AFP Concern is growing among Tigrayans, especially in Addis Ababa, who fear being arrested or doing violence ethnic object of revenge (illustrative image). In Ethiopia, fighting continues in the Tigray region in the absence of independent witnesses. Federal troops are seeking to take the region's capital and capture the leaders of the governing Tigrayan party, the TPLF.

Looting, atrocities, executions

In the reports of refugees about mass killings and looting, about atrocities, beheadings of children and executions with machetes, there is mostly talk of militias from the neighboring province of Amhara - less often about the regular Ethiopian armed forces.

There is still a communication blackout in Tigray, the reports are difficult to check. But shortly before his expulsion last weekend, William Davison from the think tank International Crisis Group warned that the security forces and militias from Amhara would be far less disciplined and under less control than the armed forces with which they were advancing in Tigray.

“Some factions in Amhara lay claim to an area that essentially comprises the entire West Tigray Zone. They say that this is Amhara land, which was annexed by the Tigray People's Liberation Front (TPLF) in the early 1990s, ”says Davison. If this land is permanently occupied, the local Tigray would oppose it. That in turn would exacerbate the conflict.

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Ethiopia - a fragile multiethnic state

The political cohesion of Ethiopia, a country with more than 100 million citizens, has been fragile for years. The country has never really settled since the five year anti-government protests that brought Abiy Ahmed to power in 2018. The background:

The protests were led by the Oromo, Ethiopia's largest ethnic group. She denounced their political and economic marginalization under the rule of the Tigray ethnic minority.

The Amhara, the second largest ethnic group in the country, also complained about this.

The appointment of Abiy Ahmed as Prime Minister heralded the end of the supremacy of the Tigray. One reason: his father was an Oromo, his mother was an Amhara.

Since 1991 the Tigray had ruled the country as the leading force of the ruling party. Now they too quickly felt marginalized. Abiy loosened the firm grip of her repressive system, promised rapid democratization, released political prisoners, invited opposition members to come back to Ethiopia from exile.

In Ethiopia, the two camps claim victories in Tigray

 In Ethiopia, the two camps claim victories in Tigray © Eduardo Soteras, AFP People wave the Ethiopian flag on November 17, 2020 in Addis Ababa, to honor the Ethiopian National Defense Forces engaged in the dissident region of Tigray . Opposed for two weeks in a military conflict, the Ethiopian government and the authorities of the dissident region of Tigray each claimed, Wednesday, important military victories.

New freedoms fostered ethnic tensions

But the new freedoms fostered ethnic tensions. The ethnically dominated regions entered into a kind of competition. They now demanded a fairer distribution of resources, everyone demanded an end to injustices against their own ethnic group and, above all, greater autonomy. A kind of ethno-nationalism emerged. It was like Abiy had taken the lid off a pressure cooker.

The conflict between Amhara and Tigray is arguably the most bitter in the country. Long before the army marched into Tigray, there had been warnings that a war could break out between Tigray and Amhara.

The core of the conflict is the territorial disputes, is the land that both ethnic groups claim for themselves - and of which the Amhara say the Tigray stole it during their rule.

Abiy's campaign now seems to give the Amhara the opportunity to revise what they perceive to be a great injustice. You seem to be brutally creating fact at the moment.

The conflict could upset other parts of the country. Because the war in the north shows the semi-autonomous federal states that the government is ready to do everything to take action against regional governments that it sees as a threat to constitutional order and stability. A provocation for all those who want more autonomy.

Much will now depend on whether there will be a quick win in Tigray. Such a move would probably strengthen Abiy Ahmed's central government. But if the conflict drags on, the country is on the verge of collapse.

Abiy Ahmed urges the world not to interfere in Ethiopia's "internal affairs" .
© Provided by Le Point Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed on Wednesday asked the international community not to interfere in the conflict in Tigray, a few hours before the end of the ultimatum he gave to the leaders of this region to surrender or undergo a "merciless" attack on their capital.

usr: 0
This is interesting!