Name? Abiy Ahmed
Westphalian identity? Ethiopian
Why is he in the news? Abiy Ahmed is under pressure after the release of a CNN report about an alleged massacre by Eritrean soldiers in the Tigray region of Ethiopia. The report was followed by a statement from the UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres condemning the violence and calling for Eritrean troops to leave Ethiopia.
Why do we care? We wrote about this topic back in December, asking what is the truth about a region where little information gets to the outside world. Today we are closer to the answer and can say not only did these troops tip the armed conflict in favour of Ahmed’s government, but they also increased suffering in the region.
Why should you care? The Tigray region is on the brink of a humanitarian crisis as 4,5 million people are in desperate need of assistance and are suffering hunger. Not to mention the implications this conflict has on the power struggles of the region, you should care 7/10.
Who else cares? General Abdel Fattah al-Burhan, the leader of the Sudanese army. About 60000 Ethiopians have fled the Tigray to Sudan, raising tensions between the countries. Add the conflict over the GERD and a generation old border conflict (al-Fashqa territory) between Sudan and Ethiopia and you have a recipe for conflict between him and Ahmed. In fact, al-Burhan’s statement on all of this was to “raise the flag of Sudan above al-Fashqa…and not waste one inch of the homeland.”
Any further comments? So what does Ahmed say about all of this? Well, the Nobel Peace Prize Winner of 2019 has not commented on these new accusations. His government only published a statement saying it would investigate “credible allegations of atrocities and human rights abuses.” No words about Eritrea, no words about Sudan, and no words about the Tigray people and their suffering…not exactly calming a region ripe for conflict…