Horn of Africa

  • Bruton in the New York Times: It's Bad in Eritrea, but Not That Bad


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  • Bruton Quoted by the Eritrean Ministry of Information on the COI Eritrea Report


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  • Bruton Quoted by Star Tribune on Kenya's Strategy Toward al-Shabaab


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  • A Frightening Flare-up on the Ethiopia/Eritrea Border, and Another Resounding Silence from Washington

    According to Eritrean officials, in the early hours of Sunday, June 12, Ethiopian forces launched an unprovoked assault over the Eritrean border at the town of Tsorana. Heavy fighting lasted throughout the day and continued after dark, when the Eritrean forces managed to launch a counter-offensive that ended the assault.

    Near midnight on June 12, Eritrea’s information minister released a press statement accusing Ethiopia of the attack, and stating that “the purpose and ramifications of this attack are unclear.” Privately, officials expressed concern that the skirmish could presage a return to full-scale war.

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  • What the UN Gets Wrong About Rights in Eritrea

    A finding of crimes against humanity would be indefensible, said the Atlantic Council’s Bronwyn Bruton

    A UN panel’s expected conclusion that crimes against humanity are being committed in Eritrea would be legally indefensible because of the flawed methodology in the compilation of the report and would further erode the credibility of the International Criminal Court (ICC) in Africa, said the Atlantic Council’s Bronwyn Bruton.

    The UN’s Commission of Inquiry on Eritrea (COIE) will present its findings on June 8. “Based on my interactions with the Commission, I do expect the COIE to recommend that the government of Eritrea be referred to the ICC for crimes against humanity, despite the weakness of the evidence,” said Bruton, deputy director of the Council’s Africa Center. [Update: The COIE said "widespread" human rights abuses have been committed in Eritrea and should be referred to the International Criminal Court as crimes against humanity.].

    The report will likely name Isaias Afwerki, who has served as Eritrea’s president since the country won independence in 1991 after a three-decade-long war with Ethiopia, as well as generals and senior-ranking politicians in the country, she added.

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  • Pham Joins Voice of America to Discuss South Sudan, Somalia, and Chad


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  • No ‘Silver Bullet’ for Kenya’s Security

    On May 6, the Kenyan government announced that it would cease hosting the estimated 600,000 refugees that currently call Kenya home. Days later, the government scaled back its initial threat, focusing instead on northeastern Kenya’s Dadaab refugee camp, the world’s largest and home to 350,000 Somali refugees and their progeny. Despite providing little evidence, the Kenyan government maintains that Dadaab's existence threatens Kenya’s national security. The United Nations, United States, and international aid organizations have strenuously objected to the announcement, and warn that it may be illegal. But properly closing Dadaab may prove far more complicated and costly than the Kenyan government expects.

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  • Bruton Quoted by Foreign Policy on ISIS Presence in Somalia


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  • Gambella Attack Exposes Ethnic Tensions between Ethiopia, South Sudan

    On Friday, April 15, South Sudanese raiders crossed the border into Ethiopia to attack thirteen villages in the country’s Gambella region. Violence and carnage ensued, and the assailants escaped with 108 women and children and nearly 2,000 stolen cattle, according to Ethiopian government estimates. On Monday, the government announced that the death toll rose to 208 civilians and sixty attackers; the UN High Commissioner for Refugees reported that more than 21,000 people fled their homes in the raid’s aftermath.

    Gambella, one of Ethiopia’s nine official regions that is approximately the size of Belgium, is located in the western part of the country, jutting into South Sudanese territory. It has 400,000 estimated residents, and is home to some of the country’s most fertile land—significant chunks of which have been leased to international companies in lucrative, but controversial, land deals.  

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  • Roundtable Discussion with the Foreign Minister of Somalia

     On Wednesday, March 23, the Africa Center hosted a roundtable discussion with His Excellency Dr. Abdusalam H. Omer, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Investment Promotion of the Federal Republic of Somalia.

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