Ethiopia: War in Tigray – Background and state of play Eric Pichon. 2022 12 9. Think Tank European Parliament. https://www.europarl.europa.eu/thinktank/en/document/EPRS_BRI(2022)739244 https://www.europarl.europa.eu/RegData/etudes/BRIE/2022/739244/EPRS_BRI(2022)739244_EN.pdf War in Ethiopia Center for Preventive Action. 2023 3 31. Council on Foreign Relations. https://www.cfr.org/global-conflict-tracker/conflict/conflict-ethiopia Tigray War Fast Facts CNN Editorial
““Prime Minister Abiy used existing cracks within the EOTC and the influence of new evangelical movements to consolidate his power.
After he received praise for supposedly unifying a divided Church in 2018, the EOTC is now more divided than ever, most notably in Tigray and Oromia.
The role of the EOTC, with its radical Mahibere Kidusan group—along with the rise of Pentecostals and the Prosperity Party—has been both a causative factor and fueling contributor to the Tigray war, and has produced a split within the Church in Tigray.
Beyond the role of Ethiopia’s institutions in fomenting divisions, the Tigray war has also seen priests systematically targeted and religious artefacts destroyed. According to a leaked official church letter, at least 78 priests were massacred in one zone in Tigray.
In addition, the Waldeba Monastery, the oldest in Sub-Saharan Africa, and the al-Nejashi Mosque, one of the first mosques in Africa, were attacked, with the former destroyed and its monastic community brutally massacred.
Thus, while conflict in Ethiopia is typically framed according to its political and ethnic dimensions, religion and religious institutions have also played a central role.””
“Visa bans. Trade restrictions. Threats of economic sanctions. And visit after visit from top emissaries, including a U.S. senator bearing a message from President Joe Biden.
For a year, U.S. officials have used these and other instruments in their diplomacy toolbox to persuade, push and pressure Ethiopia’s government and rebel forces to end a vicious civil war believed to have killed thousands of people, left hundreds of thousands starving and displaced millions.
But nothing is working. And things are getting worse.”
“A civil war between Ethiopia’s federal government and the country’s northern Tigray region, which began late last year, has led to widespread atrocities and created famine conditions in parts of the country. Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed’s decision to expel UN officials from the country comes after they raised concerns about the worsening humanitarian situation.
UN officials have repeatedly warned that Ethiopia’s government is blocking the movement of critical supplies — like medicine, food, and fuel — into the Tigray region, with as little as 10 percent of the needed humanitarian supplies being allowed in. Those accusations were echoed this week by the head of the UN’s humanitarian aid arm, as well as by a UN report finding the region on the brink of famine.”
“The bloodshed and cost of last weekend’s offensive launched by the government against Tigrayan forces could begin to exhaust the parties, creating an opening for negotiation. This is the moment to prepare for concerted international action to prevent further chaos and to focus diplomacy on a comprehensive settlement. Secretary Antony Blinken’s recent meeting in Washington with his European Union counterpart Josep Borrell, the African Union’s high representative for the Horn of Africa, former Nigerian President Olusegun Obasanjo, and Sudanese Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok was a good start. It is the first time Africa, the U.S. and E.U. have met at this level to chart a way forward on the Ethiopian crisis. And President Biden’s Oval Office meeting with Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta on Thursday is important, with Kenya now presiding in the U.N. Security Council. This is the level of commitment that will be required for a Dayton-style process to gain traction and be successful.
A future political settlement will need to be comprehensive. It should include lifting the blockade and immediate opening of humanitarian access to Tigray and other regions; the withdrawal of Eritrean troops and a commitment to non-intervention by neighboring powers; the release of political prisoners; negotiation of a new political balance for Ethiopia, with substantial regional autonomy and a fair system of fiscal federalism; and provision for an independent commission to investigate abuses of power.”