In a recent tragic incident, the Ethiopian Human Rights Commission reportedthat at least 34 people were killed in a November 14 attack on a bus in Benishangul. An adequate response necessitates efforts at reconciliation, justice, and inclusive dialogue. ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia, March 5, 2020/APO Group/ — The U.S. Embassy in Addis Ababa launchedR. As early as December 2018, a USAID pre-elections assessment found that “there is a lack of consensus about specific solutions and timing of reforms in relation to the election cycle, and that information about and support for the reforms is inconsistent. Ethiopia is particularly vulnerable to the effects of zoonotic diseases, especially anthrax, brucellosis, and rabies. The challenges faced in administering elections are significant. In May, Amnesty International reported that at least 10,000 people had been “arbitrarily arrested and detained last year as part of the government’s crackdown on armed attacks and violence in Oromia Region,” and in July, that another 5,000 had been arrested following protests the previous month. These have had bearing on the children of Ethiopia. Ambassador to Ethiopia Michael Raynor told journalists on November 19 that “another aspect of this is the Ethiopian government continues to articulate a vision of the military conflict coming to an end fairly soon, a week or two from now.”. For successful elections to be held, credibly and non-coercively addressing both insecurity and the underlying grievances behind the violence will be essential. Only once these processes [of constitutional and electoral reform] are completed should an electoral timeline be consulted and announced, and preparations begin in earnest.”. JUST WATCHED Why are there fears of civil war in Ethiopia? mode: 'thumbnails-rr', November 12, 2020. Substantial efforts are needed to reduce political tensions ahead of elections in 2021. By: Aly Verjee. But his tough actions have unleashed a torrent of problems. The nationwide protests by the Oromo people, the single largest ethnic group in both Ethiopia and the Horn of Africa, is a clear example of the atmosphere this systematic marginalization and failed government policies have created in … More importantly, discussions on such issues must include many more political and civil actors beyond those now in conflict if at least a degree of national consensus is to be achieved. Ethiopia’s Problems Will Not End with a Military Victory. However, at the end of October, NEBE proposed that the elections be held in late May or June 2021, contingent on beginning poll worker training in December and voter registration in January. Citation Daley, B. Ethiopia's water and sanitation crisis 33 million Ethiopians lack access to an improved water source and 89 million lack access to improved sanitation. Journalist Tom Gardner spent weeks collecting their testimonies amid talk that the mine could be set to re-open, even though the government has not publicly addressed local grievances. A number of prominent political figuresand journalists were jailed before the Tigray conflict began, and more arrests of journalists have followed this month. In May, the NEBE proposed two scenarios on which to base a prospective electoral calendar: the first required 224 days to prepare for and conduct elections, and the second required 276 days. According to the New Poverty Index, about 90% of the … On November 6, Abiy wrote that “operations by federal defense forces underway in Northern Ethiopia have clear, limited and achievable objectives.” On November 9, the prime minister said the military operation “will wrap up soon,” and the next day, that “our law enforcement operations in Tigray are proceeding as planned: operations will cease as soon as the criminal junta is disarmed, legitimate administration in the region restored, and fugitives apprehended and brought to justice—all of them rapidly coming within reach.” Claims that the conflict will be short-lived have also been echoed by senior American officials: U.S. War sometimes starts like clockwork but predicting the date on which a conflict will end often leads to disappointment. ... "They didn't see eye to eye on some issues, so it became difficult to … As violence continues over control of the northern Ethiopian region of Tigray, Ethiopia’s future remains unsettled, even if the conflict ends soon. The polls are expected to be the first competitive elections since 2005 and raise fundamental questions about the future order of the Ethiopian state. Industry, mainly construction, and services accounted for most of the growth. Apart from the TPLF, a number of new opposition political parties are expected to contest the polls. Share Tweet. November 15, 2020. Assistant Secretary of State for Africa Tibor Nagy told journalists on November 19 that “it seems like [the conflict in Tigray] has brought the Ethiopian nation together, at least for the time being, in support of the prime minister …” Ambassador Raynor added that “the rest of the country actually remains quite calm at present, no indications of anyone taking up comparable actions elsewhere, and in fact the opposite. SHARES. P. roponents of the two dominant views on the COVID-19 induced Ethiopian constitutional crisis have now coalesced to articulate their proposed pathways on the current predicament along two main tracks.. Therefore, as focused on their immediate objectives and consequently as reluctant to seek dialogue and compromise as they may be, the parties in conflict may find that a negotiated settlement may ultimately be the only realistic choice, if not imminently, then in the months ahead. While wider questions of reconciliation, reform, and elections cannot be the first point on the agenda in any eventual negotiations between the federal government and the TPLF, discussing them cannot be indefinitely avoided, either. The Prospects and Difficulties of Elections. Projects Ethiopian PM issues 72-hour deadline for Tigrayan forces to … In May, Amnesty International reported that at least 10,000 people had been “arbitrarily arrested and detained last year as part of the government’s crackdown on armed attacks and violence in Oromia Region,” and in July, that another 5,000 had been arrested following protests the previous month. BY TAARIFA RWANDADecember 3, 2020 Ethiopia has the largest number of Read more. Without much delay, discussions on the technical issues related to the dam’s construction, filling, and maintenance also started among Ethiopia, Sudan, and Egypt in November 2011, a few months before Hosni Mubarak’s government was overthrown in Cairo. November 23, 2020. As violence continues over control of the northern Ethiopian region of Tigray, Ethiopia’s future remains unsettled, even if the conflict ends soon. Ethiopia is blessed with abundance of natural resources such as gold, Potash, unexploited natural gas or Methane, copper and platinum. ADDIS ABEBA – The Ethiopian government has issued on Thursday arrest warrants on 64 top officials of Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF). Apart from a five-year occupation by Mussolini's Italy, it has never been colonised. Therefore, Ethiopia uses a “one health” approach to its GHSA activities by bringing together human and animal health partners, recognizing that the health of people is connected to the health of animals and the environment. Wale Odunsi. 2 Dec 2020 Ethiopia and the United Nations have reached an agreement to channel desperately needed humanitarian aid to a northern region where a … Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Linkedin. Ethiopian PM issues 72-hour deadline for Tigrayan forces to surrender. However, even if Abiy’s military objectives are quickly achieved, experiences of warfare in northern Ethiopia dating back a century suggest that it is much easier to capture territory than it is to hold it. Even before the conflict with Tigray, there were more than 1.8 million internally displaced persons in Ethiopia. Achieving the federal government’s security objectives in Tigray is unlikely to resolve both new and entrenched political challenges, and already delayed national elections, now expected in 2021, may prove a severe test of Ethiopia’s political order, and consequently affect broader regional stability. Desert Locust situation update 3 December 2020 Intense swarm invasion of Kenya likely from mid-December onwards Substantial breeding and large numbers of hopper bands continue to develop within a vast area of eastern Ethiopia and central Somalia where ground and aerial control operations are in progress. container: 'taboola-right-rail-thumbnails', Substantial efforts are needed to reduce political tensions ahead of elections in 2021. Moreover, the federal government must soon confront an even bigger problem in 2021: how to conduct peaceful and credible elections. The polls are expected to be the first competitive elections since 2005 and raise fundamental questions about the future order of the Ethiopian state. As NEBE explained, several important preparatory tasks were unable to be completed in March, meaning that the crucial voter registration exercise, which was expected to register tens of millions of prospective voters, was unable to commence in April. target_type: 'mix' Further, the TPLF’s historic capacity to wage guerrilla warfare from the rural mountains of Tigray may not be definitively eroded by its losses in conventional warfare. By Schams Elwazer. The TPLF has made counterclaims: that it inflicted significant casualties on federal forces in Raya and to have repulsed federal forces in Mehoni and Zalambessa. While wider questions of reconciliation, reform, and elections cannot be the first point on the agenda in any eventual negotiations between the federal government and the TPLF, discussing them cannot be indefinitely avoided, either. 13 July 2020 Exposed, silenced, attacked: failures to protect health and essential workers during the COVID-19 pandemic Research Ethiopia is Africa's oldest independent country and its second largest in terms of population. While in February 2020, the National Election Board of Ethiopia (NEBE) announced that elections would be held in August 2020, by the end of March, the Board had decided to indefinitely delay the elections because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Further, as the U.N. Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs pointed out on November 20, “Humanitarian partners in Ethiopia are further concerned about the increasing report of violence in Oromia and Southern Nations Nationalities and Peoples (SNNP) regions. Published November 22, 2020 2:00 pm . The reform process has been largely elite-driven and concentrated in Addis Ababa, and there is a lack of clarity on a specific road map to achieving the goals set out by the prime minister.” While there has been some important progress since that assessment was made, conducting elections in Ethiopia will be the largest democratic exercise in the country’s history; the technical challenges should not be underestimated and cannot easily be expedited. (adsbygoogle = window.adsbygoogle || []).push({}); window._taboola = window._taboola || []; For their part, American officials have asserted that the conflict in Tigray has served to unite Ethiopians. War sometimes starts like clockwork but predicting the date on which a conflict will end often leads to disappointment. Press “The root cause of political problems in Ethiopia is national oppression by the Ethiopian empire state and refusal by the state to respect the rights of oppressed peoples to self-determination. All rights reserved. }); © 2001 – 2020 Puntland Post. on. Achieving the federal government’s security objectives in Tigray is unlikely to resolve both new and entrenched political challenges, and already delayed national elections, now expected in 2021, may prove a severe test of Ethiopia’s political order, and consequently affect broader regional stability. The Ethiopian Civil War is A Symptom of US Foreign Policy Dysfunction, Somaliland Opposition Leader Calls for Ceasefire in Ethiopia. Residents in Ethiopia’s Oromia state have long claimed that contamination from a gold mine owned by an Ethiopia-born Saudi tycoon has led to health problems. Tuesday, November 24, 2020 While in February 2020, the National Election Board of Ethiopia (NEBE) announced that elections would be held in August 2020, by the end of March, the Board had decided to indefinitely delay the elections because of the COVID-19 pandemic. More recently, NEBE has noted that the possibility of constitutional and electoral reform could also complicate the electoral calendar and has warned, “Preparations for electoral process based on [an] unstable timeline are not advisable. The challenges faced in administering elections are significant. As rising violence in Ethiopia threatens to pull neighboring Eritrea into the fray, USIP’s Susan Stigant says, “There is a real need for some external, independent investigator to help diffuse some of that escalation” and look into disturbing reports of human rights violations stemming from the conflict. Yet from the start of armed hostilities with the Tigrayan People’s Liberation Front (TPLF), Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed promised the conflict would be swift and decisive. For the federal government, taking control of the state capital of Tigray, and its largest city, Mekelle, is now the principal remaining tactical military objective. Squaring the electoral preparations and timetable with a plan for reconciliation and national dialogue may thus be imperative for a peaceful future in Ethiopia. Susan Stigant, director of Africa Programs at the U.S. Institute of Peace, testified on December 3, 2020 at the House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on Africa, Global Health, Global Human Rights and International Organization's hearing on “The Unfolding Conflict in Ethiopia.” Her expert testimony as prepared is presented below. It was the Tigray region’s decision to proceed with organizing its own elections in September, in defiance of the federal government and without the oversight and participation of the NEBE, that contributed to a deterioration of relations between Tigray and Addis Ababa, and which was a further step toward the violence now occurring. The reform process has been largely elite-driven and concentrated in Addis Ababa, and there is a lack of clarity on a specific road map to achieving the goals set out by the prime minister.” While there has been some important progress since that assessment was made, conducting elections in Ethiopia will be the largest democratic exercise in the country’s history; the technical challenges should not be underestimated and cannot easily be expedited. Violent conflict between the federal government of Ethiopia and the federal state of Tigray, in the country’s north, began November 4 and quickly escalated. 28 November 2020. Ethiopian Public Health Institute (EPHI) and CDC lab experts conducting a COVID-19 lab test at the EPHI Reference lab. Ethiopia’s economy experienced strong, broad-based growth averaging 9.8% a year from 2008/09 to 2018/19, Ethiopia’s real gross domestic product (GDP) growth rebounded to 9% in 2018/19. Grants & Fellowships Visit While the fighting of the last few weeks may have significantly degraded the TPLF’s military capacity, it is unlikely that the federal government can entirely subdue the TPLF as a political entity, which retains the support of a substantial number of Tigrayans. Violent incidents involving unidentified armed groups have been reported on an almost daily basis, mainly in the Western Oromia region, while several thousand people were reportedly displaced by inter-communal violence in Konso zone, SNNPR on 16 November.” Alas, any short-term increase in perceived or real Ethiopian national unity resulting from the current Tigray confrontation does little to address the problems of arbitrary detention or intercommunal violence elsewhere in the country. Blog, The United States Institute of Peace Legal and Privacy Information | FOIA Inquiries, Susan Stigant on Ethiopia’s Escalating Civil Conflict, What Ethiopia’s Brewing Conflict Means for the Country—and the Region, Ethiopia's Tigray Crisis: Why Nobel laureate Abiy Ahmed sent his troops to battle - BBC News, A Bold Peace Offensive To Engage North Korea - War on the Rocks, Ethiopian forces said to block refugees from entering Sudan - Associated Press, Tunisian labour union demands dialogue amid rising unemployment and unrest - The National. Moreover, the federal government must soon confront an even bigger problem in 2021: how to conduct peaceful and credible elections. Ethiopian Monitor #Ethiopia, #Tigray, #Tplf. Search for experts, projects, publications, courses, and more. National elections are overdue and are now expected to be held next year. As violence continues over control of the northern Ethiopian region of Tigray, Ethiopia’s future remains unsettled, even if the conflict ends soon. Ethiopia. Meanwhile, Ethiopia has the second largest poor population in Africa and it is the second poorest country in the world according to the New UNDP Human Development Multidimensional Poverty Index. As violence continues over control of the northern Ethiopian region of Tigray, Ethiopia’s future remains unsettled, even if the conflict ends soon. Yet from the start of armed hostilities with the Tigrayan People’s Liberation Front (TPLF), Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed promised the conflict would be swift and decisive. Ethiopia’s leader has gained the upper hand in confronting an uprising in the country’s northernmost region of Tigray. Oromo youth chant slogans during a protest in-front of Jawar Mohammed's house, an Oromo activist and leader of the Oromo protest in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, October 24, 2019. / Ethiopia’s construction of the GERD commenced within the context of the CFA. The first problem is one of election administration, operations and reform: a rush to organize elections in early 2021, as some have suggested, may easily worsen the political situation across the country, as in such a limited time, elections are unlikely to be effectively administered. Reconciling the electoral process with efforts for reconciliation and national dialogue is now even more imperative. Another major problem facing Ethiopia today is the systematic marginalization and persecution of certain ethnic groups caused mainly by poor government policies. Further, as the U.N. Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs pointed out on November 20, “Humanitarian partners in Ethiopia are further concerned about the increasing report of violence in Oromia and Southern Nations Nationalities and Peoples (SNNP) regions. 2.6% of the population (mainly in the far south and southwest) follow traditional religions; other religions (the Baháʼí Faith, Judaism, etc.) Ethiopia has already reached the halfway mark on the 2020 target. In a recent tragic incident, the Ethiopian Human Rights Commission reported that at least 34 people were killed in a November 14 attack on a bus in Benishangul. The current Ethiopian regime has recognized in its constitution the right of self-determination with serious limitations imposed on the exercise of the right. Ethiopia’s Conflict: A War Won to Preserve the Nation-State. Beyond the national polls, each regional state of Ethiopia is also due to hold elections for their state legislatures. Even without the impact of COVID-19 and the situation in Tigray, Ethiopia’s next national elections are fraught with difficulty. Updated 4:00 PM ET, Sun November 22, 2020 . Is the Nobel Peace Prize Brand Damage Reversible? More recently, NEBE has noted that the possibility of constitutional and electoral reform could also complicate the electoral calendar and has warned, “Preparations for electoral process based on [an] unstable timeline are not advisable. Dr Debretsion Gebremichael, president of Tigray regional state, and 62 others face “terrorism, grand corruption, human rights violation and treason charges”, Federal … Seemingly both regional governments, federal governments, and large swaths of the people galvanizing around the [federal] government.”. 2301 Constitution Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20037Tel: +1.202.457.1700, About Covid-19 '': Ethiopians abandoned and abused in Saudi prisons Research Ethiopia have followed this month Analysis! 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