Horn of Africa

  • Lilley Joins CGTN America to Discuss Ethiopia's Economy


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  • Ethiopia’s Counterproductive State of Emergency

    Following Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn’s sudden resignation on Thursday, Ethiopian authorities announced a six-month country-wide state of emergency (SOE), effective yesterday. This order, the country’s second in two years, imposes draconian restrictions on freedom of speech and assembly, while granting extended powers to the country’s already powerful security services.

    This decision is counterproductive to the government’s stated goals of political reform and inclusive governance. It undercuts Ethiopia’s security by emboldening those who believe that violence is the only way to achieve fundamental political reform in Ethiopia, but it also negates the national and international goodwill generated by the country’s unprecedented recent release of hundreds of high-profile political prisoners.

    A rapid pivot is the best hope for the ruling coalition Ethiopian People’s Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF) to preserve prospects for long-term peace in Ethiopia.  

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  • Bruton Quoted in Bloomberg on Ethiopia Declaring State of Emergency


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  • Ethiopia: At the Precipice

    Ethiopia's declaration of a state of emergency (SOE) in the wake of widespread protests earlier this week suspends the few democratic rights that Ethiopian citizens enjoy and effectively empowers military decision-making above the civilian leadership of the country. As the ruling party has seesawed between peaceful and authoritarian gestures - first releasing dozens of important political opponents, and then establishing martial law - it has become clear that Ethiopia's political leadership is perilously divided and in the midst of its own internal crisis. Critics of the regime are describing the SOE as a military coup.

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  • Bruton Quoted in Bloomberg on Ethiopian Prime Minister's Resignation


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  • Bruton Joins Al Jazeera to Discuss Ethiopia's Current Situation


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  • Foreign Minister Discusses Situation in Ethiopia

    On Thursday, February 15, the Atlantic Council’s Africa Center hosted Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia H.E. Dr. Workneh Gebeyehu.

    Atlantic Council Vice President and Africa Center Director Dr. J. Peter Pham welcomed participants and introduced Dr. Workneh, noting that the meeting was happening one day after the Ethiopian government freed thousands of prisoners and just hours after Ethiopian Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn announced his resignation.

    In his remarks, Dr. Workneh gave an overview of Ethiopia’s foreign policy in a regional context, including the country’s role in the South Sudan peace process via the Intergovernmental Authority on Development. He then gave an update on the political situation in Ethiopia, remarking on the government’s agreement—amid massive popular pressure—to make substantial political reforms and allow for more inclusive, democratic governance.

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  • Ethiopia: In the Eye of the Storm

    After overseeing the release on February 13 and 14 of thousands of political challengers to the regime, Ethiopian prime minister Hailemariam Desalegn has resigned amid continuing protests that potentially threaten the survival of the government. (For detailed analysis of those events, read this: https://buff.ly/2GeB15y )

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  • Ethiopia's Prime Minister Steps Down

    On February 15, Ethiopian Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn resigned following months of sustained protests and pressure from the country’s aggrieved and marginalized ethnic groups. The country’s ruling party, the Ethiopian People’s Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF), now faces a crisis of leadership as it determines Ethiopia’s next prime minister. This author predicted the imminent ouster of Hailemariam and offered speculation as to the next person to hold that post—including the momentous challenges any new prime minister will face. Above all, Ethiopia’s new leader faces an increasingly emboldened population who demands real political reforms—which will require a painful, and potentially fraught, distribution of economic resources and power away from the TPLF ruling elite. 

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  • Ethiopia: End Game?

    Update: On February 15, Ethiopian Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn resigned following months of sustained protests and pressure from the country’s aggrieved and marginalized ethnic groups. The country’s ruling party, the Ethiopian People’s Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF), now faces a crisis of leadership as it determines Ethiopia’s next prime minister. This author predicted the imminent ouster of Hailemariam and offered speculation as to the next person to hold that post—including the momentous challenges any new prime minister will face. Above all, Ethiopia’s new leader faces an increasingly emboldened population who demands real political reforms—which will require a painful, and potentially fraught, distribution of economic resources and power away from the TPLF ruling elite.

    The protest movement playing out in Ethiopia is one of the most consequential conflicts on the African continent – more than any other, it has the potential to upend US policy in the Horn of Africa. It could disrupt counterterrorism efforts in Somalia and reduce the number of peacekeeping troops in South Sudan. But alarmingly, it has barely registered in Washington policy discussions or in the American press.

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