Ethiopia is experiencing rapid and inflamed domestic and external circumstances. Ethnic conflict between its various regions has deepened, and the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) has moved the battle beyond its territory with its fighters penetrating deep into the Afar and Amhara regions. In early August, Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed urged all Ethiopians, including civilians, to join the federal forces in pushing the rebels back. Ahmed has also been trying to mobilize regional support for his bid to resolve the armed conflict raging in the country for about 11 months.
Lt. Gen. Abdel Fattah al-Burhan, Chairman of the Sovereignty Council of Sudan and Abdel Aziz al-Hilu, Head of Sudan People’s Liberation Movement-North (SPLM-N) on March 28, 2021 signed in South Sudan’s capital Juba a “declaration of principles” (DOP) that constitutes a framework for political talks with armed groups to end conflicts in the country and rebuild the new Sudanese state.
The tour of British Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab in January 2021 that included Sudan, Kenya and Ethiopia reflects the nature of Britain’s new policies, London’s expanding efforts to maximize its influence in the region and establish a foothold there as part of the UK’s post-Brexit global vision. In its attempt to improve its ties with countries in the Horn of Africa, Britain depends on a number of pillars and approaches that enhance its strategic interests there. At the same time, London faces some challenges that curb Britain’s moves in the region such as the growing influence of the competing powers and the increasing security and terrorist threats. This paper highlights the nature of Britain’s interests and motivations in the Horn of Africa, characteristics and foundations of this interest, and the potential future scenarios for the British regional presence.
Many recent developments revealed a real crisis in the relationship between the centre and the periphery in Ethiopia. In the last two months of 2020, the federal government in Addis Ababa was forced to engage in a number of armed confrontations in the regions of Tigray, Oromia and Benishangul-Gumuz, in addition to the outbreak of a wave of violent clashes between the Afar and Somali regions, and within the Southern Nations, Nationalities, and Peoples’ Region (SNNPR).
The turbulent conditions in many Ethiopian regions constitute a major source of threat to the stability of the political system and the unity and cohesion of the state, which makes it useful to monitor the current situation in the various Ethiopian regions through a number of indicators, mainly the relationship between the regional government and the federal government, and the extent of the presence of the ruling Prosperity Party in each of those regions as a representative of Abiy Ahmed’s unionist project, in addition to the security situation and the state of conflicts in the various regions, and subsequently anticipate the different prospects of the Ethiopian state in the future, between the option of launching a process of radical change to the country's constitution to reformulate the relationship of the capital with the regions, or the option of continuing with the formula of ethnic federalism with the enhanced powers it offers to the regional governments.
The decision to postpone the parliamentary elections in Somalia, which were scheduled to be held on July 25, raised political and security concerns that an agreement between the opposition and the regime of President Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed (known as Farmaajo) on May 27, 2021, could collapse. The agreement helped resolve an electoral crisis between the two parties who were close to getting embroiled in an all-out civil war. The agreement stipulated that the elections be held within 60 days, with Prime Minister Mohamed Hussein Roble taking a leading role in them, and reducing the powers of the outgoing president in the transitional phase, after the failed attempt to extend his term for an additional two years.
After an eight-month takeover of the Tigray region, the Ethiopian army withdrew from the northernmost regional state after a unilateral federal government ceasefire decision. The move seemed to signal a radical shift in the conflict in Ethiopia. The Tigray Defense Forces (TDF) - the military arm of the Tigray People's Liberation Front (TPLF) - shifted from defense to offense, creating new balances that put the conflict in Ethiopia on new paths that were not expected in its initial stage. This paper reviews and analyzes the latest developments in the Ethiopian conflict, and potential trajectories.
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