The major update on the publication entails escalating war in Ethiopia where the Ethiopian government has launched at least two airstrikes in the Tigray city Mekelle. Eyewitnesses record explosions and smoke within the Adi Haki Market, where a government spokesman reported a successful offensive on the TPLF communication network and facility (Feleke et al.). The TPLF spokesman, on the other hand, accused the government of targeting civilians on a market day. The Tigrayan war started after the Ethiopian government accused the TPLF of attacking a federal military base in Mekelle. The Tigrayan war broke in November 2020 and has been associated with the ethnic cleansing of the Tigrayan people spearheaded by Ethiopian and Eritrean soldiers. In July 2021, TPLF fighters retook the city of Makelle, previously controlled by the government. The war has seen the rise of humanitarian abuses, with over 2 million fleeing the region. Famine and thousands of killings have been recorded, with 18,000 children admitted with severe acute malnutrition (SAM). Ethiopia’s government blockage of aid and humanitarian support has further worsened the situation. President Biden signed an executive order to issue sanctions on parties propelling the Tigrayan war in October, but its implementation is still pending.
The news event provides critical insight on the state of the Tigray War and how it relates to the US foreign policy in the Horn of Africa. The Horn of Africa is a strategic but volatile region crucial for advancing the US global agenda in the fight against terrorism, respect of human rights, and democracy. Ethiopia has been a US strategic ally in the fight against terrorism within the Middle East and the horn of Africa. As the GERD conflict continues, Ethiopia has also engaged in an internal war with the TPLF. Ethiopia’s collaboration with Eritrea has sparked a humanitarian crisis, with both forces accused of blocking humanitarian aid from reaching Tigray (Walsh). The prevalence of unstable Ethiopia, the situation in Afghanistan, the tensions in Somalia over delayed elections, and the withdrawal of US forces threaten the ability of the US in its fight against terrorism. Terror groups like Al-Qaeda could gain a foothold within the unstable nations and gain the power to harm the American citizens. The US reaction to the war in Ethiopia is significant as it threatens the gains meant in the fight against terrorism.
The news event relating to the situation in Ethiopia is an exciting coverage that elaborates relationship between the US and Ethiopia has been deteriorating since the Trump administration. Therefore, it becomes interesting to understand the state of the Tigray War and the US response to the war. The news gives an essential update on the US commitment to restore its relations with Ethiopia. The information also reiterates the US commitment to safeguarding human rights and efforts to fight terror in a war that has threatened Africa’s horn’s stability. The news update provides an essential update on how the Ethiopian government has escalated its offensive in Tigray. Surprisingly, Biden signed sanctions on individuals fuelling the Tigray War, but the executive order’s implementation has yet (Feleke et al.). This topic is still interesting to see how the US solves the humanitarian crisis, human rights abuses, massacres, and sexual violence against a targeted ethnic group.
The Tigray War has been ongoing for around one year, with no indication of a mutual agreement between the TPLF and the Ethiopian government. The Eritrean forces and the Ethiopian National Defense Forces have alleged been involved in sexual violence, the massacre of civilians, and the blockage of humanitarian aid to the Tigray region. It becomes imperative to seek to understand;
- Are the sanctions the US is threatening to impose on the perpetrators of the Tigray War likely to bring long-lasting peace to the region?
- How will these sanctions affect the relations of the US with its key ally in the horn of Africa?
Feleke, Bethlehem, et al. “Capital of Ethiopia’s Tigray Hit by Airstrikes, Eyewitness and Local Forces Say.” CNN, Cable News Network, 2021.
Walsh, Declan. “Ethiopia Launches New Offensive on Tigray Rebels as Famine Looms.” The New York Times, 2021.