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[Sub-Saharan Africa] News and Politics Thread

24

Posts

  • JusticeforPlutoJusticeforPluto Registered User regular
    The formation of Ethiopia actually has little to do with colonialism. I mean, its borders we changed and limited by European powers but the Ethiopia that exits today is the result of empire building by the people of the Ethiopian Highlands during the late 1800's.

    You can see the empire building here:


    Ethiopia is famous for being the only African nation to escape becoming a colony (well, there was the brief Italian occupation from 1936 to 1941). I believe they did have to cede a part of Eritrea to Italy, but did win the First Italo-Ethiopian War, which was very embarrassing to Italy (the Second one lead to the occupation).

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  • FencingsaxFencingsax It is difficult to get a man to understand, when his salary depends upon his not understanding GNU Terry PratchettRegistered User regular
    I got my history wrong and thought the Italian occupation started earlier, my mistake.

  • RedTideRedTide Registered User regular
    The formation of Ethiopia actually has little to do with colonialism. I mean, its borders we changed and limited by European powers but the Ethiopia that exits today is the result of empire building by the people of the Ethiopian Highlands during the late 1800's.

    You can see the empire building here:


    Ethiopia is famous for being the only African nation to escape becoming a colony (well, there was the brief Italian occupation from 1936 to 1941). I believe they did have to cede a part of Eritrea to Italy, but did win the First Italo-Ethiopian War, which was very embarrassing to Italy (the Second one lead to the occupation).

    Didn't Mussolini essentially send his warships with enough fuel for a one way trip and nothing else, meaning if the west didn't abandon the Ethiopians entirely even the slightest interference would have left the Italian offensive in shambles?

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  • cckerberoscckerberos Registered User regular
    RedTide wrote: »
    The formation of Ethiopia actually has little to do with colonialism. I mean, its borders we changed and limited by European powers but the Ethiopia that exits today is the result of empire building by the people of the Ethiopian Highlands during the late 1800's.

    You can see the empire building here:


    Ethiopia is famous for being the only African nation to escape becoming a colony (well, there was the brief Italian occupation from 1936 to 1941). I believe they did have to cede a part of Eritrea to Italy, but did win the First Italo-Ethiopian War, which was very embarrassing to Italy (the Second one lead to the occupation).

    Didn't Mussolini essentially send his warships with enough fuel for a one way trip and nothing else, meaning if the west didn't abandon the Ethiopians entirely even the slightest interference would have left the Italian offensive in shambles?

    I can't find anything supporting this idea. It also doesn't make a whole lot of sense, as Eritrea provided the Italians with more than enough logistical support.

  • SolventSolvent Econ-artist กรุงเทพมหานครRegistered User regular
    edited August 23
    Ethiopia is for sure a complicated place. In the recent conflict in Tigray, it's easy to naturally sympathise with the underdogs but it's important not to lose sight of the fact that summing up the conflict is impossible, given the myriad factions and very unfortunate history of the many people and groups in the region. There are many in Ethiopia who have no love for the Tigrayan political machine that was in power in the country from the 90s on. As a result of the Tigrayan dominance of the country's politics for many years, the Tigrayan forces are well armed, trained and experienced. Of course, I am absolutely not trying to justify or excuse in any way the atrocities that may have occurred recently. Nevertheless, other ethnic groups in Ethiopia have accused Tigrayan forces of murders, repression, ethnic cleansing and expansion into their lands too, over the years, and this should also inform your view of the situation.

    Saying that Ethiopia's borders are a result of colonialism is partly correct, actually. Only it's not European colonialism. The view from some of the Oromo factions (and other ethnic groups, too) is that a lot of the country's history is a result of Amhara colonialism. During Ethiopia's imperial era the Amhara were the dominant ethnic group, and spread their language, religion, culture and laws through the country.

    While it's correct that Abiy is Oromo and when he came to power he had the support of many who shared his ethnicity, the Oromo people of course are not a single united front. The grievances of some Oromo against Ethiopian Federal institutions run deep. And Abiy is as much a part of the ruling Ethiopian elite as any, despite his ethnicity. The Oromo people, despite being the most numerous in Ethiopia (although not a majority, it's important to note - there is no absolute majority ethnicity), have for a lot of its history been sidelined from political power. Many of the recent disputes have been regarding the status of Addis Ababa, the country's capital, which although a hub for the mostly non-Oromo rulers, was nominally was carved out of Oromo land. Since the capital is expanding due to the usual urban migration that happens in industrialising countries, there have been a number of moves to expand the zone of the capital into neighboring Oromia.

    This also gets to a part of Ethiopian politics which I think is critical to understand. The Ethiopian system is Federal, and for the most part the 'states' (or nations) are drawn up along ethnic lines. The power in these states (although I do not know to which extent it is de jure or de facto) is also held along mostly ethnic lines. But of course, you cannot cram only one group of people within a geographical border and exclude them from everywhere else, because people move around, intermarry, and they have done so for millennia. Hence, you have Amhara villages in Oromia that complain of being disadvantaged in that state, you have Oromo in Amhara state who complain of the same, and repeat for almost every permutation of ethnic group and state in the country. Now it sort of goes beyond my expertise to speak with too much authority here, but my understanding is that solidifying these ethnic regions and some devolution of power from the central state was part of the bargain that enabled all of Ethiopia to cohere under the EPRDF in 1991 after they won the civil war. In theory, every ethnic group in Ethiopia is allowed to institute self-rule if they desire. But there has been violence between the militias of different ethnic groups ever since the civil war ended anyway.

    The Ethiopian state thus has a constitution which does not fundamentally unite its people but divides them. In my opinion, this makes it incredibly difficult to make any kind of positive reform in the country stick, but it makes it very, very easy for politicians to misstep and divide people further. For example, with (once again) no small amount of bloodshed, just a year ago Sidama became a new state in the south. This might have calmed some of the ethnic tensions and violence in that part of the country, but it does nothing for the conception of a single unified Ethiopian polity.

    I think that Abiy was reform-minded, and it's terrible to see that things are going the way they are going now. Perhaps he tried to go too fast. Or perhaps he was always terrible. I don't know for sure. When he released political prisoners he cemented his reputation as a reformer, but he also made his own job harder. It's easy to compliment this kind of move, but in a country like this, you must remember that some of these people were in prison because they advocated for armed rebellion against the government. And after their release in 2018? Some of them regained supporters, and continued to advocate for insurrection. This played a role in the unrest that led to on-and-off riots, states of emergency, and crackdowns in 2019 and 2020.

    The internet blackouts have been a feature of the Ethiopian government's strategy to quash rebellion for years: they are not an invention of Abiy. Again, not to say that it's justified! But they're now part of a standard toolbox for repressive regimes around the world and probably don't surprise anyone on this forum.

    Last part from me regarding the Tigray war: this guy speculates that perhaps the whole thing with Abiy making peace with Eritrea (and which was largely the reason for the Peace Prize*) was actually foresight. That is, he had the intention of bringing conflict to, or knew that conflict was inevitably coming with Tigray and managed to turn Eritrea into an ally for this purpose.

    Doing a TL;DR almost seems irresponsible, but:
    Ethnic division is a fundamental part of how Ethiopia has been structured since at least 1991, and I know little about what was around before that. This division gives the country very strong innate forces that lead it to instability, and it seems a constant struggle to keep it together. There have been hopeful signs that the country could transform, but it will really be a herculean effort for it to do so.

    *and I don't think we should ignore that ending long frozen but historically bloody conflicts is a good thing.

    A link I didn't cram in elsewhere.

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  • SolventSolvent Econ-artist กรุงเทพมหานครRegistered User regular
    A broader comment on African politics. Working with a lot of older and more experienced African colleagues gave me a better understanding of the difficulties that come with democracy. When you grow up in one, it can be a little difficult to imagine a different world. In places that have experienced long and terrifying civil wars, and suffer from ongoing ethnic divisions and conflict, democracy is a really hard ask. Being able to get the perspective of people who know from experience that dictators are terrible if you get on their bad side, but simultaneously know that some dictators managed to end decades-long conflicts, does help you to look at things in a different light. It's obviously not black-and-white. I still wish for democracy alongside those who don't have the benefit of it, and I don't condone the horrible things that may be viewed as necessary by some to bring conflicts to a close, but I hope that these days I'm a bit more sympathetic towards those who may continue to support politicians that are very, very flawed.

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  • ElkiElki get busy Moderator, ClubPA mod
    edited September 5
    Reuters bureau chief for West & Central Africa. Bizzare scenes out of Guinea as Alpha Condé is overthrown in a coup orchestrated by a colonel.



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  • MayabirdMayabird Pecking at the keyboardRegistered User regular
    Yep. There had been protests for months (which had led to dozens of deaths) after Condé had basically changed the constitution so he could run for a third term.

    Scuttlebutt says the real contributing factor to the coup though was that military pay was about to be cut, which has been the source of dozens of coups over the millennia. The months of protests just meant the overthrow of Condé had popular support.

  • KaputaKaputa Registered User regular
    edited September 11
    "U.S. Forces Were Training the Guinean Soldiers Who Took Off to Stage a Coup"

    From the sounds of it, the soldiers who performed the coup in Guinea literally drove off from the base where the Green Berets were currently training them and overthrew the government. The US claims it had nothing to do with it and the Green Berets say they had no foreknowledge, and that may or may not be true, but either way it doesn't look good. As NYT puts it:
    And although numerous U.S.-trained officers have seized power in their countries — most notably, Gen. Abdel Fattah el-Sisi of Egypt — this is believed to be the first time one has done so in the middle of an American military course.

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  • DarkPrimusDarkPrimus Registered User regular
    It sure seems like a big coincidence that the troops the US special forces were training just so happened to be the ones who did the coup.

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  • GiantGeek2020GiantGeek2020 Registered User regular
    DarkPrimus wrote: »
    It sure seems like a big coincidence that the troops the US special forces were training just so happened to be the ones who did the coup.

    They would tend to be the elite troops. I don't think they send the F Troop to training. So these would be the guys with more swagger, etc.

    I do kind of want to know what the frack is in those training manuals though. Is it just that speech from Sean Connery in the Rock?

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  • KaputaKaputa Registered User regular
    edited September 30
    https://www.nytimes.com/2021/09/23/world/africa/boko-haram-surrender.html

    most telling is this part
    Also in the camp are legions of Boko Haram fighters waiting to be interrogated by the Nigerian government. There are fighters who joined the group willingly, often lured with gifts of money and motorcycles, but also those who were forced or brainwashed into signing up.

    One fighter was a hafiz, someone who has memorized the entire Quran. But, he said, he never knew how to interpret the words he could recite so well.

    In his early teens, he listened to Boko Haram’s leaders preach that the whole world had turned to wayward living and that they needed to stand and fight

    “I totally believed them,” he said, seated on a carpet, compulsively rubbing the sole of his foot over and over with stubby fingers. “I trusted them and anything they said, I agreed.”

    He killed 17 people, he said, and he did it joyfully, seeing it as a blessing.

    Around the time Mr. Shekau killed himself, the hafiz began secretly listening to recordings of sermons by imams preaching a completely different, and peaceful, interpretation. Distraught, he plotted his surrender.

    “I want forgiveness. But I don’t know how God will forgive me,” he said.
    @RoyceSraphim I'm responding in this thread just for the geographical reasons.

    Damn, this story is heartbreaking on so many levels, it was a tough read. All the guy you quoted needed to go from a zealous mass murder to a peaceful life where he begs God's forgiveness forever was hearing someone offer an alternative take on Islam from Boko Haram's insane "kill everyone" version. And then the comment about how huge numbers of Boko Haram fighters have wanted to surrender for a long time, but feared that the military would just kill them (this fear was not unfounded) and felt that they couldn't. So much of this violence was so unnecessary, in so many ways. But the real bomb dropped on me by this article was:
    hundreds of thousands of whom have died

    I have never heard that, every estimate I've ever seen has been in the low-mid five digits, so hoping it was a mistake I clicked through to the reuters article it quotes. It seems the UN is using a broader metric which includes indirect deaths (i.e. Boko Haram burns your village's fields and everyone starves) rather than solely those violently killed. Nonetheless it seems that the conflict was much more devastating than was commonly thought.
    The toll, given by the U.N. agency in a new study on the war and its impact on livelihoods, is 10 times higher than previous estimates of about 35,000 based only on those killed in fighting in Nigeria since the conflict's start 12 years ago.

    And then this:
    Children younger than five account for more than nine out of 10 of those killed, with 170 dying every day, the UNDP said.

    I lack the words.

    Despite these terrible revelations (which may only be revelations to me, since the UN said this a few months ago), it's good that a mass surrender of Boko Haram occurred. "Thousands of fighters" is pretty major. However the fact that the IS-aligned splinter faction has now completely taken over the insurgency and has moved into Boko Haram's former strongholds is upsetting.

    Kaputa on
  • RoyceSraphimRoyceSraphim Registered User regular
  • MayabirdMayabird Pecking at the keyboardRegistered User regular
    Would you be surprised that Facebook has been fanning the flames of genocide in Ethiopia just like they did in Myanmar? Of course you wouldn't be, because encouraging genocides to drive up engagement and give Zuckerberg a few more billion dollars in stock value is what they do.

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  • MayabirdMayabird Pecking at the keyboardRegistered User regular
    Protests have been continuing in Eswatini over the past few months. This week, a group of nurses and public sector workers tried to take a petition to parliament and were fired upon by police, injuring dozens and killing a bystander. The nurses are continuing their protest, which includes not treating any cops who are in or end up in a hospital. They're calling it a boycott, and it's not like the police cared all that much when they were shooting into crowds of nurses. Sounds like a plan to me.

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  • SanderJKSanderJK Crocodylus Pontifex Sinterklasicus Madrid, 3000 ADRegistered User regular
    A military coup in Sudan
    https://www.bbc.com/news/world-africa-59033142

    Almost every civilian government person arrested, killed the internet. Pro democracy organizations asking to block roads and for civil disobedience.

    Really wish Sudan could end the Interesting Times...

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  • JusticeforPlutoJusticeforPluto Registered User regular
    Elki has been posting updates about the ongoing protests and the struggle between Pro-Democracy groups and the military in the Middle East Thread. Lots of good info there.

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  • TryCatcherTryCatcher Registered User regular
    So, is incredibly hard to get news from Ethiopia, thanks to the war going on, but AJ has been following the latest developments:
    Ethiopia’s strategic town of Dessie ‘captured’ by rebel forces

    Tigrayan forces said they captured the strategic town of Dessie in Amhara region that borders Tigray, according to a rebel spokesman and residents.

    An Ethiopia government spokesperson, however, denied Tigrayan fighters seized Dessie, saying the town was still under government control.

    Residents told AFP news agency that government troops retreated on Saturday following heavy fighting and power outages in parts of the town.

    “At around 2am [23:00 GMT] Friday, Ethiopian soldiers began retreating from the area,” Amir, a Dessie resident who declined to give his second name, said.

    Another resident said Tigrayan rebels “entered the city with ENDF [Ethiopian National Defense Force] soldiers not seen” anywhere in the city.

    Getachew Reda, spokesperson for the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF), told Reuters news agency by satellite phone from an undisclosed location that Tigrayan fighters pushed government forces from Dessie and were headed towards the town of Kombolcha.

    He added the fighters captured numerous Ethiopian soldiers.

    One day later:
    Tigrayan forces claim to capture new town of Kombolcha

    Tigrayan forces said on Sunday they seized another strategic town in Ethiopia’s Amhara region.

    The fighters captured Kombolcha and its airport, said Getachew Reda, a spokesperson for the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF).

    The capture of Kombolcha would be a strategic gain for the Tigrayan fighters against the Ethiopian military and its allies, who are trying to dislodge the Tigrayans from the Amhara region.

    The large town is about 380km (235 miles) from the capital, Addis Ababa, and is the furthest south in Amhara that the TPLF has reached since pushing into the region in July. It suggested the TPLF was heading closer to the Ethiopian capital.

    So, that's two days of Abiy getting rolled and the TPLF getting closer and closer to the capital, there's a strong possibility of Abiy fleeing the country on helicopter before the end of the year.

    Mayabird
  • KaputaKaputa Registered User regular
    edited November 2
    And following what TryCatcher posted above:

    Ethiopia declares nationwide state of emergency
    Ethiopia’s cabinet has declared a nationwide state of emergency effective immediately and authorities in Addis Ababa told citizens to prepare to defend the capital, as fighters from the northern region of Tigray threatened to march towards the city

    The government of Ethiopia is telling citizens to prepare to defend the capital? How the hell did this happen? What is the state of the Ethiopian army? Up until a couple of days ago I thought the TPLF had successfully pushed the government out of its region and was trying to push into a couple neighboring regions; then a couple of Amhara cities fall and now we're talking about a march on Addis Ababa? I do not understand.

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  • JusticeforPlutoJusticeforPluto Registered User regular
    edited November 3
    Jesus that is bad for Ethiopia. Their army just melted away I guess?

    Huh, a pretty level headed respose from the US goverment?
    On Tuesday, the US Special Envoy for the Horn of Africa Jeffrey Feltman denounced the TPLF’s expanding military campaign.

    “We have consistently condemned the TPLF expansion of the war outside Tigray and we continue to call on the TPLF to withdraw from Afar and Amhara,” said Feltman.

    “The expansion of the war however is as predictable as unacceptable given that the Ethiopian government began cutting off humanitarian relief and commercial access to Tigray in June which continues to these days despite horrifying conditions of reported widespread famine,” he added.

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  • TryCatcherTryCatcher Registered User regular
    edited November 3
    Jesus that is bad for Ethiopia. Their army just melted away I guess?

    There's a point after an army loses enough that the rest of the army decides that it isn't worth it, so the whole thing devolves into a cascading failure. And there's the morale angle. I mean, would YOU do a heroic last stand for the Afghan government PM Abiy? The answer so far it seems: No, that's for suckers, specially if the only thing that's going to do is give the failing leadership more time to pack stuff in helicopters.

    On the UN and the US saying something about it, right now the TPLF has the ball, and the obvious thing that's going to happen is the TPLF ignoring everything else until they finish winning the war, and they are also probably going to demand a lot of humanitarian aid as a price for withdrawing from Afar and Amhara since, you know, they kinda need it.

    Props for that answer though, it already sets up "we want this from the TPLF in exchange of aid". And it also recognizes "what we were supposed to do, let Abiy kill us?".

    TryCatcher on
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  • JusticeforPlutoJusticeforPluto Registered User regular
    edited November 3
    Yeah, my understanding is that a lot of armies in Africa operate more like the ANA than anything else. Poorly paid, no loyalty to the state, divided along ethnic group lines.

    Edit: also given the saber rattling Egypt and Sudan were making over the Grand Renaissance Dam, a military option must seem a lot more attractive to them if negations break down. Cause if Ethiopia can't stop some poorly armed rebels, how can they stop the Egyptian Air Force?

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  • TryCatcherTryCatcher Registered User regular
    Yeah, my understanding is that a lot of armies in Africa operate more like the ANA than anything else. Poorly paid, no loyalty to the state, divided along ethnic group lines.

    Edit: also given the saber rattling Egypt and Sudan were making over the Grand Renaissance Dam, a military option must seem a lot more attractive to them if negations break down. Cause if Ethiopia can't stop some poorly armed rebels, how can they stop the Egyptian Air Force?

    To be fair, the TPLF is not "some poorly armed rebels". Tigrayans used to be a considerable portion of the National Army and they defected when Abiy attacked Tigray to exterminate them.

    Mayabird
  • RoyceSraphimRoyceSraphim Registered User regular
    I mean they pretty much ran to government until a few years ago right? So not only do they know all the Military assets at play, they set the standard operating procedure for those units

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  • jothkijothki Registered User regular
    TryCatcher wrote: »
    On the UN and the US saying something about it, right now the TPLF has the ball, and the obvious thing that's going to happen is the TPLF ignoring everything else until they finish winning the war, and they are also probably going to demand a lot of humanitarian aid as a price for withdrawing from Afar and Amhara since, you know, they kinda need it.

    Assuming that they actually withdraw instead of turning all of Ethiopia into an oppressive minority-run ethnostate.

    I'm thinking that the primary diplomatic objective now on our part should be to push for Tigrayan independence.

  • TryCatcherTryCatcher Registered User regular
    edited November 3
    jothki wrote: »
    TryCatcher wrote: »
    On the UN and the US saying something about it, right now the TPLF has the ball, and the obvious thing that's going to happen is the TPLF ignoring everything else until they finish winning the war, and they are also probably going to demand a lot of humanitarian aid as a price for withdrawing from Afar and Amhara since, you know, they kinda need it.

    Assuming that they actually withdraw instead of turning all of Ethiopia into an oppressive minority-run ethnostate.

    I'm thinking that the primary diplomatic objective now on our part should be to push for Tigrayan independence.

    There's several non-Tigrayan groups supporting the TPLF, that's also a factor on their quick advance. There's a good chunk of other ethnicities that aren't cool with what Abiy is doing. Including enough Oromo that oppose Abiy. For example, the OLA that is right now supporting the TPLF. From Reuters, 3 days ago:
    On Sunday night, insurgents from Oromiya, Ethiopia's most populous region, said they had also seized the town of Kemise, 53 km (33 miles) south of Kombolcha on the same highway to the capital Addis Ababa.

    Odaa Tarbii, a spokesperson for the Oromo Liberation Army (OLA), said the group had taken Kemise, 325 km (200 miles) from Addis Ababa, and were engaging government forces.

    The OLA is an outlawed splinter group of the Oromo Liberation Front, a formerly banned opposition group that returned from exile after Abiy took office in 2018. The Oromo are Ethiopia's largest ethnic group; many of their political leaders have been imprisoned under Abiy's government.

    In August the OLA and the TPLF announced a military alliance, heaping pressure on the central government.

    Abiy himself is Oromo, his party is the Oromo Democratic Party (well, now the Prosperity Party). Tigrayans are a mere 6.1% of the population, Oromo are the largest group with 34.5% of the population. So of course that the TPLF has Oromo groups allied to it. A mere drawing of the battlefield around ethnic lines is vastly reductive, and Tigrayan independance is not what the OLA is going to want, they and the TPLF likely are going to want to rule over all of Ethiopia. Hopefully with a power sharing agreement, which should be the primary diplomatic objective, since everybody needs an actual Ethopian government to be able to have someone to negotiate with.

    TryCatcher on
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  • JusticeforPlutoJusticeforPluto Registered User regular
    edited November 3
    jothki wrote: »
    TryCatcher wrote: »
    On the UN and the US saying something about it, right now the TPLF has the ball, and the obvious thing that's going to happen is the TPLF ignoring everything else until they finish winning the war, and they are also probably going to demand a lot of humanitarian aid as a price for withdrawing from Afar and Amhara since, you know, they kinda need it.

    Assuming that they actually withdraw instead of turning all of Ethiopia into an oppressive minority-run ethnostate.

    I'm thinking that the primary diplomatic objective now on our part should be to push for Tigrayan independence.

    I don't think supporting the Balkanization of Ethopia is going to go over well. Especially given that most nations in Africa are like Ethopia and supporting ethnic based successionist movements will be seen in a negative light.

    Especially since the last time the West did so it was in support of the puppet state of Katanga.

    Edit: like if Tigray breaks away then you may trigger other states and people to do the same. Especially the Somalis in the west. It might be seen as calling for the defacto end of Ethopia.

    JusticeforPluto on
  • RoyceSraphimRoyceSraphim Registered User regular
    jothki wrote: »
    TryCatcher wrote: »
    On the UN and the US saying something about it, right now the TPLF has the ball, and the obvious thing that's going to happen is the TPLF ignoring everything else until they finish winning the war, and they are also probably going to demand a lot of humanitarian aid as a price for withdrawing from Afar and Amhara since, you know, they kinda need it.

    Assuming that they actually withdraw instead of turning all of Ethiopia into an oppressive minority-run ethnostate.

    I'm thinking that the primary diplomatic objective now on our part should be to push for Tigrayan independence.

    I don't think supporting the Balkanization of Ethopia is going to go over well. Especially given that most nations in Africa are like Ethopia and supporting ethnic based successionist movements will be seen in a negative light.

    Especially since the last time the West did so it was in support of the puppet state of Katanga.

    Edit: like if Tigray breaks away then you may trigger other states and people to do the same. Especially the Somalis in the west. It might be seen as calling for the defacto end of Ethopia.

    Not to mention the infrastructure systems for the various communities aren't exactly spread out in a Fashion anything close to the United States. So there would be a massive dip in quality of life for people caught on the wrong side of the border compared to where the power plants are

    JusticeforPluto
  • MayabirdMayabird Pecking at the keyboardRegistered User regular
    "I'm going to starve you all to death" isn't the incentive to stop fighting that Abiy thought it would be. Desperate people flock to the TPLF faster than they're starving to death and they have nothing to lose in battle.

    Also a reminder that the current head of the TPLF has already led a victorious army into Addis Ababa, a few decades ago.

    TryCatcherSmrtnik
  • JusticeforPlutoJusticeforPluto Registered User regular
    jothki wrote: »
    TryCatcher wrote: »
    On the UN and the US saying something about it, right now the TPLF has the ball, and the obvious thing that's going to happen is the TPLF ignoring everything else until they finish winning the war, and they are also probably going to demand a lot of humanitarian aid as a price for withdrawing from Afar and Amhara since, you know, they kinda need it.

    Assuming that they actually withdraw instead of turning all of Ethiopia into an oppressive minority-run ethnostate.

    I'm thinking that the primary diplomatic objective now on our part should be to push for Tigrayan independence.

    I don't think supporting the Balkanization of Ethopia is going to go over well. Especially given that most nations in Africa are like Ethopia and supporting ethnic based successionist movements will be seen in a negative light.

    Especially since the last time the West did so it was in support of the puppet state of Katanga.

    Edit: like if Tigray breaks away then you may trigger other states and people to do the same. Especially the Somalis in the west. It might be seen as calling for the defacto end of Ethopia.

    Not to mention the infrastructure systems for the various communities aren't exactly spread out in a Fashion anything close to the United States. So there would be a massive dip in quality of life for people caught on the wrong side of the border compared to where the power plants are

    Yeah, not to mention any Tigrayan caught on the wrong side.

    While I'm not keen on a TPLF or Abiy run Ethopia, it sounds better than seeing the Yugoslav Wars play out in East Africa.

  • KaputaKaputa Registered User regular
    edited November 3
    Best quote I've run into in articles on the current events in Ethiopia (quoting the prime minister)
    “We will bury this enemy with our blood and bones and make the glory of Ethiopia high again,” the 2019 Nobel Peace Prize winner said.

    Can we just end the Nobel Peace Prize as an institution already? How much more do we have to mock them before they're too embarrassed?

    Kaputa on
    TryCatcherKayne Red RobetinwhiskersShadowfireTicaldfjamHonkFANTOMASDarklyreSmrtnikTynnanGiantGeek2020VishNubMayabird
  • TryCatcherTryCatcher Registered User regular
    Kaputa wrote: »
    Best quote I've run into in articles on the current events in Ethiopia (quoting the prime minister)
    “We will bury this enemy with our blood and bones and make the glory of Ethiopia high again,” the 2019 Nobel Peace Prize winner said.

    Can we just end the Nobel Peace Prize as an institution already? How much more do we have to mock them before they're too embarrassed?

    To be fair, nobody seemed to expect that Abiy was just going to go crazy and order a genocide at the threat of losing power.

    FencingsaxRoyceSraphim
  • shrykeshryke Member of the Beast Registered User regular
    TryCatcher wrote: »
    Kaputa wrote: »
    Best quote I've run into in articles on the current events in Ethiopia (quoting the prime minister)
    “We will bury this enemy with our blood and bones and make the glory of Ethiopia high again,” the 2019 Nobel Peace Prize winner said.

    Can we just end the Nobel Peace Prize as an institution already? How much more do we have to mock them before they're too embarrassed?

    To be fair, nobody seemed to expect that Abiy was just going to go crazy and order a genocide at the threat of losing power.

    They generally seem to be given out for specific things too and not for everything you have ever done and will ever do in your life.

    Fencingsax
  • JusticeforPlutoJusticeforPluto Registered User regular
    Yeah to be fair at lest Ethopia and Eritrea are still at peace!

    shryke
  • TryCatcherTryCatcher Registered User regular
    Yeah to be fair at lest Ethopia and Eritrea are still at peace!

    As mentioned on this very thread, that was helped by Abiy inviting Eritrea to join on the slaughter, which they did.

    And there's another diplomatic priority, to see if someone can convince the TPLF and the OLA to not go inmediatly against Eritrea after they finish winning the civil war.

    Mayabird
  • KaputaKaputa Registered User regular
    Yeah to be fair at lest Ethopia and Eritrea are still at peace!
    But at the same time not really? Eritrean forces still occupy parts of Tigray and I think some other areas in northern Ethiopia. I suspect that they are still involved in active fighting with the TPLF, but maybe not on a large scale since the TPLF is pushing south rather than north (dunno though, it very difficult to find adequate information about this war). In other words, Eritrea is not at war with the government of Ethiopia, but Eritrea is at war with Ethiopians in Ethiopia.

    My question is, if the TPLF succeeds in overthrowing and replacing the government, what then for Eritrea? Surely a TPLF-led government would then expel Eritrean forces from Ethiopia, if the Eritreans didn't withdraw independently. But does it end there? I'm seeing pro-TPLF people online - who identify as Ethiopian diaspora, though I have no means of confirming this - advocating an invasion of Eritrea after the TPLF takes Addis Ababa. I imagine there would be international opposition to such a move, and I think people are getting ahead of themselves here anyway, but it wouldn't be the first time a TPLF-led government fought a war with Eritrea.

    Also, is anyone here informed enough to know if the TPLF has significant allies aside from the Oromo faction mentioned earlier? I saw some twitter and facebook posting about an ethnic Somali militia declaring an alliance with the TPLF, but it's impossible for me to know how much stock to place in that.

    The lack of information about this conflict is very frustrating; mainstream news offers very little, and online discussion/analysis on places like reddit and twitter are sparse in comparison to other recent/ongoing wars. I feel the same way I did when trying to understand South Sudan's civil war. At the time, both Syria and South Sudan were engulfed in fierce warfare, but for Syria, every village or hillside to change hands was updated on maps, each of the myriad factions was known and documented, photographic and video resources were abundant, sources on the ground were consulted, 100s of mainstream English language news articles were published. In South Sudan's case, it was a complete mystery beyond the (likely misleading) bare essentials of what started the conflict. None of my googling or checking news sites' international sections ever led me to be able to understand that conflict. No one talked about it. The most mind blowing part is, the death toll of the South Sudanese Civil War is also in the hundreds of thousands (Syria being a bit more, over half a million), and yet it received basically no attention. It's also instructive in terms of the motivations of US foreign policy; for Washington, the bloodshed in Syria was ostensibly a moral atrocity that had to be fixed by the government's overthrow; for South Sudan, bleeding at the same time, the country might as well have activated a Somebody Else's Problem Field.

    Kayne Red RobeMayabird
  • TryCatcherTryCatcher Registered User regular
    A lot of reporting is basically repeating the statements from the national goverment, and is the same: The TPLF are terrorists and how dare people to support them, we aren't losing is Fake News, etc. And international organizations calling for diplomacy because that's what they always do. Though Reuters's coverage seems decent, despite that.

    A lot of it has been repeated already, but relevant bits:
    The U.S. Embassy in Addis Ababa authorised the voluntary departure of some staff and family members because of the intensifying hostilities. Washington said on Wednesday it was "gravely concerned" about the situation and called for ceasefire talks and a halt to military operations.

    Heh, "voluntary". Right. Abiy's plan so far is deny, deny, deny, we are going to win, anybody who says otherwise is a terrorist supporter:
    Police had arrested "many people" in Addis Ababa since the government declared the state of emergency, police spokesperson Fasika Fanta said on Thursday.

    Residents told Reuters on Wednesday many Tigrayans had been arrested. Fasika said arrests were not based on ethnicity.

    "We are only arresting those who are directly or indirectly supporting the illegal terrorist group," Fasika said. "This includes moral, financial and propaganda support."

    Meanwhile, the TPLF is just putting all their ducks on a row and telling people to just surrender when they are done doing that:
    TPLF spokesman Getachew on Wednesday pledged to minimise casualties in any drive to take Addis Ababa.

    "We don't intend to shoot at civilians and we don't want bloodshed. If possible we would like the process to be peaceful," he said.

    A regional analyst, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said the TPLF was likely to hold off on any advance on Addis Ababa until they secured the highway running from neighbouring Djibouti to the capital.

    Everybody can tell that a siege is coming and if the embassies on Addis Ababa were, let's say, hypothetically, already negotiating safe passage for their personal with the TPLF, they are not going to admit it while Abiy can still do something about it.

    Oh right, Abiy is also asking for a loan from the IMF and the response is unintentionally hilarious:
    "Given the heightened uncertainty on the ground and its impact on the macro economy amid significant donor support, it's difficult to move to program discussions at this stage. But we stand ready to engage when the timing is right," he said.

  • TryCatcherTryCatcher Registered User regular
    Expats tend to be more, well, bloodthirsty than the people at the ground wanting the fight to be over, but let's not mince facts. Eritrea helped Abiy's genocide and reinvaded Ethiopia, and there's going to be a lot of very pissed off people demanding a pound of flesh for that. Humanitarian aid seem like a very good incentive to get the TPLF to not go for it after they secure Ethiopia, so that's an opportunity to steer the wheel torwards diplomatic solutions.

    Kayne Red RobeSmrtnikGiantGeek2020Mayabird
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