The conflict in Ethiopia is getting more complicated, and defections by old friends of Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed are increasing. Yesterday, the British Minister for Africa urged Eritrean troops to withdraw immediately from Tigray, expressing concern over the recent report by the Ethiopian Commission for Human Rights. Great Britain ranks among the Western voices critical of the federal government: the United States, Canada and the European Union. Condemnations and diplomatic requests that aim at the withdrawal of the Eritreans to restore respect for human rights, without insisting too much on the request for a ceasefire and the promotion of dialogues between the parties to bring the conflict back to a strictly political-diplomatic level.
Drawing on his experience in overcoming ethnic conflicts and hatred during and after the 1994 post-genocide reconstruction period, Paul Kagame addressed the Biden Administration and the United Nations Security Council stressing the need for a swift end. of the ongoing conflict in Tigray. He did so during an interview with ‘Battlegrounds‘ organized by the Hoover Institution, a tink tank specializing in international perspectives and the crucial challenges to global security and prosperity. The speech was taken up by the ‘Tigray Online’ – propaganda organ of the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) on its website and relaunched with two Twitter, the first in Amharic and the second in English, by various African media and by the blog of the journalist Martin Plaut, specialized on the Horn of Africa and South Africa.
President Kagame has called on US President Joe Biden and the UN Security Council not to rule out the direct military intervention by the United Nations option. “If the Ethiopian state is unable to stop the atrocities in its territory while the suspicion of genocide arises, the United Nations has a duty to intervene. Faced with the mere suspicion of ethnic cleansing, the UN Security Council has the right to act directly ” Kagame informed in an official note addressed to the United Nations.
Kagame urged US President Joe Biden and the UN Security Council not to rule out direct military intervention by the United Nations: “If the Ethiopian state is unable to stop the atrocities in its territory while the suspicion of genocide emerges, the Nations United have a duty to intervene.Faced with the mere suspicion of ethnic cleansing, the UN Security Council has the right to act directly ”.
Paul Kagame’s intervention would seem destined to make the international community reflect that, faced with evidence of ethnic cleansing and the risk of genocide (yet to be demonstrated), it could not afford the luxury of not intervening, as it did in 1994 in Rwanda.
However, it should be noted that Kagame has strong political ties with the TPLF dating back to the 1990s. Meles Zenawi, Paul Kagame and Yoweri Kaguta Museveni were at the time the ‘Good Boys’ on whom the United States and Great Britain had concentrated political, financial and military support for a reorganization of powers in the Horn of Africa and East Africa that reflected the the Anglo-Saxon powers economic and geopolitics interests even at the expense of French influence in the Great Lakes region.
The three Good Boys had been charged with replacing dictatorial regimes with more democratic and technically prepared regimes in order to offer the necessary stability for Anglo-Saxon markets and investments and to diminish the economic and political influence of France. Zenawi, Kagame and Museveni were celebrated as the leaders of the ‘Africa Rising’.
It was Museveni, (also helped by Colonel Gaddafi) who brought down the corrupt and inhuman regime of Milton Obote. It was Museveni once in power who helped the TPLF and Zenawi strengthen ties with the Anglo-Saxon powers in order to be able to seize power by overthrowing the Stalinist dictatorship of the DERG (Committee in Amharic language). Finally, it was Museveni and Zenawi who helped Paul Kagame’s Rwandan Popular Front to seize power in Rwanda in 1994 during the genocide carried out by the HutuPower racial dictatorship of Habyarimana.
Zenawi agreed in 1996 to send troops in support of Ugandan and Rwandan ones to overthrow the regime of Mobutu Sese Seko in Congo (then Zaire) which offered protection and military support to the Rwandan genocidal militias who were attempting to recapture Rwanda with the aid of France. The power management of the three “Good Boys” was identical. All three administrations were based on a technocratic management that offered important economic but authoritarian development. Both have repressed all ethnic policies aimed at dividing their respective countries and making them fall into the horrors of civil war.
Paul Kagame still remains tied to the TPLF and his proposal to get out of the military political crisis in some way favours Tigrina leadership, so he could face a clear rejection by the federal government of Abiy.
In serious difficulty with his Western allies, the Ethiopian Prime Minister is attempting to strengthen economic, political and military ties with the President of Turkey Recep Tayyip Erdoğan. Following an official visit to Istanbul by Ethiopian Foreign Minister Demeke Mekonnen, the Turkish government declared itself available to expand its investments in Ethiopia, which already amount to 2.5 billion dollars, becoming the second foreign investor in Ethiopia after China, and to offer full support to the Addis Ababa government in the ‘clean-up operation against a rebel and outlow political military organization’.
Turkey has also offered to play the role of mediator to avoid the conflict between Sudan and Ethiopia linked to territorial border disputes and the mega-dam GERD. President Erdoğan claims he is able to avoid war by resolving various disputes in a peaceful and civil manner. Khartoum government is not speaking at the moment. Some diplomatic sources say that Sudanese secret services are aware of an imminent sale of Turkish arms to the Addis Ababa government to be used against Sudan if the conflict becomes inevitable. The only diplomatic acts carried out so far by the Sudanese government has been to recall the Ambassador stationed in Addis Ababa for a series of consultations and to officially accuse Ethiopia of having militarily attacked Sudan several times with the aim of to annex border territories claimed by the Ethiopian Amhara ethnic group. The Arab League stands with Sudan and its sovereignty in its crisis with Ethiopia.
These days the federal government also faces another critical issue. Today marks the 46th anniversary of the creation of the TPLF. In Mekelle in other cities of Tigray, young people intend to celebrate the anniversary of the foundation by challenging federal law enforcement. The leaders of the Abiy Prosperity Party who are in Tigray have been invited by the Prime Minister to leave Mekelle as a form of protection from possible retaliation attempts. Nebiyu Sihul, head of the Tigrinya section of the Prosperity Party is now protected in Addis Ababa.
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