As the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) militia and special forces learned that they are about to lose Maikadra town to the Ethiopian Defense Forces and Amhara region special forces – that rescued besieged Ethiopian Defense Forces following November 4 -, they massacred what is said to be now over 1000 unarmed civilians. Abiy’s new political vehicle, the Ethiopian Prosperity Party, is the national frontrunner, constructed from the former Ethiopian People’s Revolutionary Democratic Front ruling coalition, which was once led by the TPLF. Updated 4:00 PM ET, Sun November 22, 2020 . Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Linkedin. Ethiopia’s construction of the GERD commenced within the context of the CFA. Ethiopia: Major battle looms as PM Abiy issues ultimatum to Tigray. Ethiopia’s Conflict: A War Won to Preserve the Nation-State. The Prospects and Difficulties of Elections. The second, more profound problem in conducting elections concerns broader needs for security, trust, reconciliation, and the ability of Ethiopians to freely engage in open political discourse, debate, and campaigning. 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. 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. Ethiopia is Africa's oldest independent country and its second largest in terms of population. As violence continues over control of the northern Ethiopian region of Tigray, Ethiopia’s future remains unsettled, even if the conflict ends soon. 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. Ethiopia's water and sanitation crisis 33 million Ethiopians lack access to an improved water source and 89 million lack access to improved sanitation. For their part, American officials have asserted that the conflict in Tigray has served to unite Ethiopians. 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. 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. Of those who lack access to improved sanitation, a staggering 23 million practice open defecation. 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. All rights reserved. By. As violence continues over control of the northern Ethiopian region of Tigray, Ethiopia’s future remains unsettled, even if the conflict ends soon. Dr Debretsion Gebremichael, president of Tigray regional state, and 62 others face “terrorism, grand corruption, human rights violation and treason charges”, Federal … 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 … As violence continues over control of the northern Ethiopian region of Tigray, Ethiopia’s future remains unsettled, even if the conflict ends soon. 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. Aly Verjee, Publication Type: / Ethiopian PM issues 72-hour deadline for Tigrayan forces to surrender. A number of prominent political figuresand journalists were jailed before the Tigray conflict began, and more arrests of journalists have followed this month. 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. 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. By Schams Elwazer. 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 … The dam’s power will also help with similar problems in Sudan, Kenya and Djibouti, all of which are connected to Ethiopia’s grid and will begin importing power from it in the coming years. November 15, 2020. 2 Dec 2020 Ethiopia and the United Nations have reached an agreement to channel desperately needed humanitarian aid to a northern region where a … 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. Ethiopia’s Problems Will Not End with a Military Victory. 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