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World Why Ethiopia’s conflict could spill beyond its borders

12:45  01 december  2020
12:45  01 december  2020 Source:   washingtonpost.com

Ethiopia's Tigray: These refugees fled a town littered with corpses. They join tens of thousands making the journey to Sudan

  Ethiopia's Tigray: These refugees fled a town littered with corpses. They join tens of thousands making the journey to Sudan Thousands have made the journey from the Tigray region in Ethiopia to neighboring Sudan where they have been met with a shortage of food, beds and shelter. The UN described Tigray as a humanitarian crisis which will only escalate in the coming weeks. A town 'covered with corpses'Another survivor, Gashaw Maleda, said four of his friends escaped, but another 15 were killed. Tigrayan militias came with machetes and knives, looking for people from the Amhara region to kill, he said. © Marwan Ali/AP At least 30,000 refugees have fled to neigboring Sudan, according to the UN. "I hated being human at the time.

The fighting in Ethiopia ' s northern Tigray state may not only have drastic implications for the future of the country but could also seriously affect its neighbours. "The Sudanese are involved and at some point it will involve other countries in the region, and also beyond , because it is a strategic region.

The Eritrean– Ethiopian border conflict was a violent standoff and a proxy conflict between Eritrea and Ethiopia . It consisted of a series of incidents along the then-disputed border

Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed ordered troops into the northern region of Tigray on Nov. 4, accusing a powerful faction of traitorous behavior. On Saturday, the government claimed its military took control of the region’s capital city, Mekele. On Monday, the Tigray leadership accused Ethiopian troops of launching a “genocidal campaign” in the region.

a group of people standing next to a body of water: Refugees on Monday stand on the bank of a river that separates Sudan and Ethiopia. (Baz Ratner/Reuters) Refugees on Monday stand on the bank of a river that separates Sudan and Ethiopia. (Baz Ratner/Reuters)

Tensions have been brewing with the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF), once a dominant force in Ethiopia’s regime, since Abiy gained power. The conflict erupted soon after Abiy claimed that the TPLF crossed a “red line” when Tigrayans attacked a federal military base in early November. Fears of mass atrocities grew after Abiy’s 72-hour ultimatum for the TPLF’s surrender expired last week.

Ethiopian prime minister warns Tigray forces to surrender within 72 hours

  Ethiopian prime minister warns Tigray forces to surrender within 72 hours Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed gave Tigray forces three days to surrender as conflict continues in the region. © Provided by Washington Examiner Ahmed cautioned the forces to surrender in 72 hours in a tweet on Sunday, adding they were at the "at the point of no return." Ethiopian troops plan to surround Mekelle, Tigray's capital, with tanks in an attempt to force a surrender, according to Reuters. Reuters couldn't immediately reach Tigrayan forces for comment. Fighting has escalated since Ahmed accused Tigray's forces of attacking federal Ethiopian troops on Nov. 4.

A conflict between the government of Ethiopia and forces in its northern Tigray region has thrown the country into turmoil. The conflict started on 4 November, when Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed ordered a military The roots of this crisis can be traced to Ethiopia ' s system of government.

Ethiopia could hardly bear another emergency, even before a deadly conflict exploded in its northern Tigray region this month. The U.N. refugee agency says Ethiopia ' s growing conflict has resulted in thousands fleeing from the Tigray region into Sudan as fighting spilled beyond Ethiopia ' s borders

Could Abiy’s offensive turn into a broader civil war, and draw in neighboring countries? Tens of thousands of civilians have fled into Sudan, threatening its stability. And earlier this month, Tigray forces reportedly fired multiple rockets into Eritrea, a long-standing rival of the TPLF. If Sudan or Eritrea decides to intervene, other outsiders may follow.

My research explains why foreign interference in Ethiopia’s conflict is predictable — and why interventions by external militaries tend to make bad situations worse.

Ethiopia’s Tigray conflict reflects unresolved ethnic tensions

Civil wars are rarely purely domestic affairs

Foreigners often meddle in the internal battles of other countries — and outsiders are getting increasingly meddlesome. The data reveal that outside interventions in civil wars have increased in recent years, both in terms of absolute numbers and in the proportion of ongoing wars.

600 civilians were killed in massacre in Tigray, Ethiopia’s rights commission says

  600 civilians were killed in massacre in Tigray, Ethiopia’s rights commission says The report said a youth group, aided by the then-local administration, carried out the killings. The commission said at least 600 people were killed in the town of Mai Kadra in western Tigray on Nov. 9 when local youths known as Samri, aided by the then-local administration, went door to door killing those they identified as from the minority Amhara and Wolkait ethnic groups.

People are going hungry in Ethiopia ’ s rebellious northern Tigray region as roads are blocked, airports are The U.N. refugee agency says Ethiopia ' s growing conflict has resulted in thousands fleeing from the Tigray region into Sudan as fighting spilled beyond Ethiopia ' s borders and threatened to

Fighting has broke out between Ethiopia ' s Oromo and Somali communities. The BBC looks at why . While conflicts have been common between the two bordering communities, the public finger-pointing by top regional officials is unprecedented and could exacerbate the current conflict .

During the Cold War, most interventions were shaped by the U.S.-Soviet rivalry. After the fall of the Soviet Union, countries focused on finding negotiated settlements and deploying peacekeeping forces to keep the peace. But the United States, regional powers and neighboring countries became less hesitant to intervene after Sept. 11, 2001, and as the U.S.-led liberal order began showing signs of decay.

Most full-fledged civil wars today include foreign militaries, groups and fighters.

Why do foreign militaries intervene?

Foreign militaries are not innocent bystanders to civil wars. In fact, internal conflicts attracted external militaries last year more often than at any time since World War II. We may have been underestimating the extent of external involvement in African conflicts in particular.


Video: Why has Nigeria failed to defeat Boko Haram? (Al Jazeera)

Ethiopia’s cracking down in Tigray. But activists are spreading the news.

One reason for these interventions is because the ill effects of a localized conflict are never neatly contained within the confines of a war-torn country. Refugees, rebels and weapons — along with drugs and other illicit materials — can spread easily beyond national borders, threatening the stability of nearby countries.

Ethiopia enters 'final phase' of operation in Tigray region - Prime Minister

  Ethiopia enters 'final phase' of operation in Tigray region - Prime Minister Ethiopia has entered the "final phase" of a "law enforcement" military operation in the northern restive region of Tigray after a 72-hour deadline to surrender expired, Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed tweeted."The last peaceful gate which had remained open for the TPLF clique to walk through have now been firmly closed," the statement read, referring to the region's ruling party, the Tigray People's Liberation Front.

Long-simmering tensions between Ethiopia ’ s federal government and the northern state of Tigray have escalated into all-out conflict . 6. How ugly could this get? Very. The Tigray region is already heavily militarized because of its proximity to Eritrea, which fought a war with Ethiopia from 1998 to 2000.

Ethiopia ' s parliament has voted to dissolve the government of the northern Tigray region, amid a dispute which has escalated into armed conflict . There are fears the conflict could lead to civil war, which could also destabilise neighbouring countries. The leaders of Tigray dominated Ethiopia for

A record number of refugees are living abroad — the highest totals in the post-World War II period — as recent civil wars displace greater numbers than in previous decades. Large numbers of refugees pose risks to weaker host countries. The strain on financial resources, threats to internal security, shifts in local demographics or new animosities among populations can create incentives for intervention.

Tigray absorbed an estimated 100,000 Eritreans from a previous war, many of whom could be displaced yet again. The rapid pace of Ethiopians now arriving in Sudan reportedly is overwhelming aid organizations — and the numbers seeking safety are likely to continue to climb. Sudan itself is in the middle of a fragile transition after its longtime dictator was toppled last year, and is poorly placed to absorb the influx.

Conflicts also affect economies in neighboring countries. Research indicates that the negative economic effects can stretch hundreds of miles outside the country at war, with losses in regional investment and increases in illegal trade. So neighbors care about conflicts in their own backyard.

Ethiopians flee Tigray capital in fear of imminent assault

  Ethiopians flee Tigray capital in fear of imminent assault NAIROBI, Kenya (AP) — People continued to flee the capital of Ethiopia’s embattled Tigray region in fear of an imminent assault after Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed said the army had been ordered to move in for the “final phase” of an offensive to arrest the defiant regional leaders. Fighting reportedly remained well outside Mekele, a densely populated city of a half-million people who had been warned by the Ethiopian government of “no mercy” if they didn’t separate themselves from the Tigray leaders in time. Abiy on Thursday told residents to stay indoors and disarm as the army, with tanks, was given the order to move in. His government has vowed to protect civilians.

Civil wars heighten the risk of wars between nations

Analysts argue that one of the best predictors of civil war is if there is another civil war in the region. The negative transnational effects of wars can aggravate domestic tensions and spark internal conflicts in other countries. Conflicts spread and contagion happens.

External militaries intervening to prevent negative spillovers can also instigate a broader international dispute. Likewise, regimes waging domestic battles may see a reason to conduct cross-border counterinsurgency campaigns or attack foreign rivals that are supporting opposition groups. Political scientist Idean Salehyan finds that more than half of all rebel groups rely on external sanctuaries during civil wars, so governments often want to chase down their enemies abroad.

But outsiders tend to mess things up

When external military forces get involved, they often harm internal and international security. In Syria and Yemen, for instance, the reality that so many outsiders are involved in these conflicts means that fighting is unlikely to end anytime soon.

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Interventions typically provoke additional interventions by rival countries. And once there are several competing foreign forces involved, civil wars tend to last longer, the research shows. It’s simply harder to find a compromise that makes enough people happy during negotiations — potential solutions are complicated by more parties with unique interests.

Ethiopian government begins offensive in Tigray capital city

  Ethiopian government begins offensive in Tigray capital city NAIROBI, Kenya (AP) — The Ethiopian military on Saturday began an offensive in the Tigray regional capital in its quest to arrest the region’s defiant leaders. Tigray TV announced shelling in Mekele, a city of a half-million people. A report from the city confirmed it. The Tigray leader could not immediately be reached. Ethiopia’s government did not immediately comment. Ethiopia’s government had warned Mekele residents there would be “no mercy” if they didn’t move away from the leaders of the Tigray People’s Liberation Front in time.

If parties agree to peace, interventions make conflicts more likely to recur again — that was the case in Afghanistan, Congo and Somalia.

Local struggles can escalate rapidly into proxy wars, when a major power benefits by having others fight a conflict. Take the war in Libya, for example. The sheer number of outsiders — Egypt, France, Jordan, Qatar, Russia, Sudan, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, the United Arab Emirates and the United States — has transformed the conflict into something quite different from when it started. Proxy wars often drag on, and it’s always possible for them to escalate into wider conflicts.

To be sure, not all outsiders make things worse. Most studies find U.N. peacekeepers effective, though of course far from perfect — their presence tends to reduce civilian deaths, shorten wars, prolong peace and diminish the diffusion of conflict to other countries. When outside military forces get involved in a country’s internal conflict, however, the same results do not occur.

In short, interventions tend to provoke more interventions, prolong civil wars and increase the chances of war between countries. None of this bodes well for Ethiopia. Neighboring Eritrea, Sudan, Egypt and other countries could become key players in an all-out civil war with no clear end in sight.

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David Kampf (@davekampf) is a senior PhD fellow at the Center for Strategic Studies at the Fletcher School.

Ethiopia's war risks leaving manufacturing dreams in tatters .
Ethiopia's war risks leaving manufacturing dreams in tattersADDIS ABABA (Reuters) - When Bangladeshi textile firm DBL set up shop in Ethiopia two years ago, the African nation was the garment industry's bright new frontier, boasting abundant cheap labour and a government keen to woo companies with tax breaks and cheap loans.

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