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IPIS Briefing November 2020 – The diamond industry

The IPIS briefing offers a selection of articles, news and updates on natural resources, armed conflict, Business & Human Rights and arms trade.  Every month, an editorial and related publications shed a light on a specific topic in IPIS’ areas of research.

In focus:  The diamond industry – ethics in the time of a pandemic

In the news: Ethiopia-Tigray Conflict; WWF Admitted “Sorrow” Over Human Rights Abuses; Victoire à la Cour de Justice CEDEAO: Le Tribunal déclare la Guinée coupable du Massacre de Zogota.

New subscribers can register here to receive the briefing and updates on IPIS’ new maps and reports.

This briefing is produced with the financial assistance of the European Union. The contents of this document are the sole responsibility of IPIS and can under no circumstances be regarded as reflecting the position of the European Union.


IN FOCUS: THE DIAMOND INDUSTRY – ETHICS IN THE TIME OF A PANDEMIC

COVID-19 did not spare the diamond industry. Already hit by bad weather the past few years, the pandemic turned this into a major storm that upended the sector at all segments of the diamond supply chain. Mines, trading hubs and polishing centres were closed for months and reopened to a sector in disarray with billions of excess inventories in an already glutted market, reduced demand and squeezed prices.

A blessing…

This heightened pressure, combined with the growing competition from lab-grown diamonds, rapidly accelerated the gradually maturing idea that this old industry needs to reinvent itself. At an unprecedented pace, timeworn, and previously unyielding industry practices, are being modernized.

The big diamond miners, and particularly industry giants De Beers and Alrosa, since long dominate the entire supply chain. They not only determine how many diamonds are put on the market, but also who can buy them, when, and at what price. The pandemic fast-tracked the loosening of their grip on the sector as it pushed cornered buyers, traders and manufacturers to claim their space in the market and adjust it to their needs and demands. Analysts predict this will lead to a catharsis for the industry, with a healthier diamond pipeline that, for the first time in almost a century, is starting to operate like a normal demand-driven and competitive industry.

Combined with a growing embracement of technology and experiments with new business models that seek to streamline the fragmented and often inefficient diamond value chain, the industry’s economic model is reported to come out stronger from this crisis. But did this so-called catharsis really consider the whole industry?

or a curse ?

Much less attention indeed goes to how this pandemic is impacting diamond producing countries, artisanal and small-scale miners, the industry’s workforce and communities affected by diamond mining.

COVID-19 appears to have fuelled a deterioration of working conditions at various stages of the supply chain. This includes workers in industrial mines in Zimbabwe being forced to choose between camping on site for months, away from their families, in cramped and unhygienic facilities, or losing their jobs. In the cutting and polishing centres of Botswana and India the economic havoc is leading to job losses and concessions on labour rights, with months of outstanding salaries, serious wage cuts, and poor health precautions. In the Indian city of Surat, the world’s diamond polishing capital, this is reportedly leading to a new hike in suicide rates among diamond cutters.

Artisanal miners across the world are losing their jobs and income due to lockdown measures and blocked supply chains. Those who are able to continue work often face increased risks of abuses and accidents as government services halt or reduce oversight. To be able to sustain their livelihoods, these miners have no choice but to accept drastically reduced prices, of up to 60%, for the diamonds they mine. Economic hardship, combined with closed schools, are moreover drawing more children to work in diamond mines.

With many diamond traders putting their travel on hold, artisanal miners are increasingly pushed towards smuggling networks. The rupture in formal trade gives an even bigger competitive advantage to illicit actors that were already outcompeting registered diamond traders by avoiding taxes and banking costs. When illicit networks thrive this further entrenches the problem of armed group, criminal and terrorist financing through diamond mining and trade in countries like the Central African Republic, Zimbabwe, Mozambique,Brazil and Venezuela.

This dirty business contaminates the global diamond trade, as illicit, criminal and terrorist networks make abuse of  poorly functioning control systems in diamond producer states and trading hubs to launder illicit stones and the associated financial flows. It moreover deprives producer countries of much-needed resources. A recent United Nations study calculated that illicit financial flows are making Africa lose at least $40 billion a year, with diamonds accounting for 12%. The United Arab Emirates in particular, were put on the spot recently by the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) – the world’s anti-money laundering watchdog – for failing to address risks of money laundering and terrorist financing linked to its role as a global trading hub for diamonds.

Time for an ethical catharsis?

It has been argued that this pandemic, which highlights our global interdependence and the inseparability of economic and human health, may be a major turning point for how companies manage their environmental, social and governance (ESG) performance. On the other hand, the recession it is causing, might also imply that the priorities of many struggling businesses will lie elsewhere.

This may hold particularly true for the luxury goods market, which is thrown into its largest contraction ever recorded due to slashed consumer spending. At present, the odds do not seem to be in favour of an ethical catharsis in the diamond industry.

Despite a constant stream of webinars, newsletters, articles and blogs on how COVID-19 has impacted diamond and jewellery companies, the industry remained ominously silent on how the pandemic fuels protracted human rights challenges related to diamond mining, manufacturing and trade.

A new Human Rights Watch report shows that this silence is not without consequences. It reveals that most big jewellery retailers are not taking any steps to assess the impact of COVID-19 on human rights in their supply chains. Whilst finding some improvements in responsible sourcing practices over the past years, the study further confirms that few big jewellers can give assurances that the diamonds they are selling are free from human rights abuses. Equally, none of the industry’s many umbrella organizations responded to recent reports of serious corporate harms linked to diamond mining in countries like Tanzania, Zimbabwe, Lesothoand Sierra Leone.

In the image-sensitive diamond industry, most of the energy and resources still seem to go to marketing the good that diamonds do, which is most clear in the work of the Natural Diamond Council. The silence on any harms associated with diamonds keeps such human rights concerns lingering for years. It also explains why discussions on modernizing the sector’s approach to supply chain due diligence, in line with the global movement on responsible sourcing and business & human rights, gain so little traction. Moreover, in a time that transparency is key to winning consumer confidence, painting this biased picture is likely to be counterproductive and undermines the credibility of the industry’s messaging.

Hans Merket, IPIS Researcher

 

FURTHER READING

The Dangerous Allure of Win-Win Strategies | Winter 2021 | Stanford Social Innovation Review

For the past 30 years, celebrated academics and business leaders have promoted the idea that companies often profit by addressing social and environmental problems. Although these proposals have been hailed as promising breakthroughs, they are unscientific and counterproductive.

Weak links. The idea of the ‘supply chain’ shackles how we think about economic justice. What forces could new metaphors unleash? | 11 September 2020 | Aeon

It’s 38 degrees Celsius, even in the shaded alleys of Dubai’s gold souk. Bangles and chains adorn every window, small bars and coins are stacked neatly in glass display cases, and the air is filled with the rhythmic clicks of luggage-wheels pulled briskly over tile.

IN THE NEWS

BUSINESS & HUMAN RIGHTS

Switzerland to Step Up Ethical Standards Despite Voters’ Rebuff | 30 November 2020 | BloombergQuint

Switzerland will still up the ante on multinational corporations with new ethics standards for businesses after voters rejected a popular initiative on Sunday. A counter-proposal will now go ahead. It also seeks to ensure companies based in Switzerland don’t abuse human rights or breach environmental standards elsewhere, but stops short of allowing them to be sued for liability.

Counter-Proposal to Responsible Business Initiative: Overview of New Duties for Companies (pdf) | 30 November 2020 | Lenz & Staehelin

On November 29, 2020, the “Responsible Business Initiative” has been rejected by a majority of the Swiss cantons. As a result, the indirect counter-proposal adopted by the Swiss parliament will most likely enter into force. The counter-proposal imposes exten- sive non-financial reporting duties on large publicly traded companies and regulated fi- nancial institutions notably in relation to environmental, social and employment-related matters, respect for human rights as well as anti-corruption. It also lays down addi- tional due diligence duties with regard to conflict minerals, and child labor.

As cobalt demand booms, companies must do more to protect Congolese miners | 29 November 2020 | Australian Times

The Democratic Republic of Congo is the major source of some of the minerals used to manufacture components in household appliances, mobile phones, electric vehicles and jewellery. The mineral extraction industry is the backbone of the Congolese economy. Copper and cobalt, which is a by-product of copper, accounts for 85% of the country’s exports. Because of the huge mineral deposits available in the country, it is often the only sourcing option for companies.

Swiss firms narrowly avoid ‘Responsible Business’ liability as vote divides nation | 29 November 2020 | Reuters

Swiss firms narrowly avoided facing greater liability for human rights and environmental abuses on Sunday after a national vote rejected the proposal due to regional differences despite it winning majority popular support.

EU corporate due diligence: new rules, or businesses rule? | 26 November 2020 | EU Observer

There is growing pressure for corporations to do the right thing, but are EU lawmakers willing to act? Few ideas are as bold and exciting in Brussels policy circles as that of corporate due diligence. It became a ‘hot topic’ back in April when the EU’s justice commissioner Didier Reynders told an audience of movers and shakers that new human rights and environmental rules for business are coming in 2021.

Switzerland: a public referendum on human rights due diligence for Swiss-based companies | 26 November 2020 | Hogan Lovells

As expected, a public referendum as regards the Responsible Business Initiative (“RBI”) – i.e. a proposal launched in April 2015 by a coalition of Swiss civil society organisations on mandatory human rights due diligence for Swiss-based companies – will take place on 29 November 2020.

WWF Admitted “Sorrow” Over Human Rights Abuses | 25 November 2020 | BuzzFeedNews

Embedding human rights in conservation | November 2020 | WWF

One of the world’s largest charities knew for years that it was funding alleged human rights abusers but repeatedly failed to address the issue, a lengthy, long-delayed report revealed on Tuesday.

UN Business and Human Rights Forum, Day 3: Business Must Approach DEI Issues Through a Human Rights Lens | 24 November 2020 | Sustainable Brands

he irony at this Forum is that so much of the conversation is about abuses in company supply chains, often far outside company walls. However, race discrimination is also close to home — taking place every day within the companies themselves.

UN Business and Human Rights Forum, Day 2: What’s New in Mandatory Human Rights ’Due Diligence’ Law? | 24 November 2020 | Sustainable Brands

Companies are obliged to monitor and manage environmental and human rights standards in their supply chains. This week saw major steps forward in support for enforcing human rights due diligence by law, as well as major debates in shaping the new laws. Here are my 10 takeaways from the debates.

Supply chain integrity and investigations: Key considerations for retail businesses | 20 November 2020 | DLA Piper

It is impossible to ignore the controversies that have emerged this year in the UK’s Leicester textile industry, which include allegations of modern slavery and other serious misconduct levelled at suppliers of household retail fashion names. This is not an isolated incident. From the Rana Plaza factory collapse to increasing reports of modern slavery and worker exploitation in garment factories across Southeast Asia, similar controversies are increasingly common for retail supply chains.

Swiss corporate responsibility vote reflects wider trend | 19 November 2020 | SwissInfo

One of the most controversial issues in the debate on the ‘responsible business’ initiative, which goes to a nationwide vote on November 29, concerns the scope of the Swiss proposal, compared with regulations in other countries. Is Switzerland poised to break new legal ground all on its own?

UN Forum on Business and Human Rights, Day 1: ‘The Most Vulnerable Are Always in Your Supply Chain’ |17 November 2020 | Sustainable Brands

Today, the UN Annual Forum on Business and Human Rights kicked off — with high-level business commitments to prevent human rights violations in their operations, to prepare for next year’s ten-year anniversary of the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights and to realise the ambition to “build back better.”

Nestlé & Cargill v. Doe Symposium | 16 November 2020 | Just Security

The U.S. Supreme Court will hear arguments on Dec. 1 in the consolidated cases of Nestlé USA, Inc. v. Doe I and Cargill Inc. v. Doe I, which could redefine the limits of corporate liability under the Alien Tort Statute (ATS). In anticipation of the oral argument, Just Security is pleased to host an online symposium dedicated to exploring legal and policy issues in the consolidated cases, brought against two major chocolate manufacturers for their alleged use of child slave labor in West Africa. In the run up to the oral arguments we will feature posts by a number of stakeholders, many of whom filed “friends of the court” briefs (amici curiae). We have invited amici from all sides—on behalf of the Plaintiffs and the Defendants—to participate.

Petra addressing human rights abuse allegations ‘as matter of urgency’ | 16 November 2020 | Mining Journal

Embattled Petra Diamonds says it’s working hard to address allegations of human rights abuses at its Williamson mine in Tanzania “as a matter of urgency” and plans to have a new security service provider in 2021.

Governance and human rights decline in Africa for first time in 10 years: Survey | 16 November 2020 | WION

A survey published on Monday revealed that the governance performance of Africa worsened for the first time in ten years. The survey takes into account human rights, rule of law, and security among many. The Ibrahim Index of African Governance (IIAG), considered the most comprehensive survey in Africa rates 54 African countries. The criteria are as follows: human rights, security, economic stability, just laws, free elections, corruption, infrastructure, health and education, and poverty.

Why big companies fear the Responsible Business Initiative | 15 November 2020 | SwissInfo

Big multinationals in Switzerland have been nearly unanimous in their rejection of an initiative to make companies more accountable for their actions abroad. What are they afraid of?

Mastering human rights risks – Why asset managers should act now | 13 November 2020 | IPE

Sustainable investing has been a hot topic among investors for some time, with a particular focus on environmental, social and governance (ESG) factors. Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, ESG stocks and assets have outperformed the market. While the ’S’ has often been overlooked, recent trends are fuelling attention on the cornerstone of ‘social’ – human rights.

Petra Diamonds investigates charges Tanzanian subsistence miners abused | 12 November 2020 | Reuters

Petra Diamonds Ltd – Statement re Human Rights Allegations from RAID | 12 November 2020 | Petra Diamonds Ltd | Yahoo

Petra Diamonds said it was investigating allegations by a British non-governmental organisation that subsistence miners who trespassed on the firm’s Williamson mine in Tanzania were detained, beaten and shot at, killing at least seven of them.

In conversation with Ian Smillie | 12 November 2020 | Jewellery Business

Completely cleansing the global diamond industry of blood, corruption, and conflict is no easy feat, and few are more familiar with this challenge than Ian Smillie.

International arbitration of business, human rights and environmental disputes | 11 November 2020 |Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP

In the latest episode of Freshfields’ international arbitration podcast, Will Thomas, Natalie Sheehan and Amanda Neil discuss business and its interface with human rights and the environment in the context of international arbitration. This post highlights some of the key points discussed in the podcast.

One step closer to EU human rights sanctions | 11 November 2020 | Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP

With the US and the UK both already having implemented individual human rights sanctions, the EU is about to enact its own human rights sanctions regime: The European Commission and the EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs, Josep Borrell, have recently presented a proposal for the introduction of EU human rights sanctions. This follows an announcement by the President of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, in her September 2020 State of the Union Address on the Commission’s attention to bring forward such EU human rights sanctions framework.

Republic of Guinea ordered to compensate guinean victims of human rights violations | 10 November 2020 |ECOWAS Court of Justice

The ECOWAS Court of Justice has ordered the Republic of Guinea to pay 160 million Guinean francs each to the heirs/next of kin of six deceased victims of attacks by security agents of the Republic of Guinea. The Court also ordered the Respondent state, the Republic of Guinea to pay 240 million Guinean francs, totalling 3.6 billion (3,600,000,000) Guinean francs as damages to 15 persons listed in the initiating application in the suit for the violation of their rights by the State.

Victoire à la Cour de Justice CEDEAO: Le Tribunal déclare la Guinée coupable du Massacre de Zogota | 10 November 2020 | Advocates for Community Alternatives

Depuis plus que huit ans, les habitants de Zogota en Guinée Forestière poursuivent la justice pour le massacre qui a dévasté leur village. Aujourd’hui, ils peuvent enfin fêter le jugement de la Cour de Justice de la CEDEAO, qui a déclaré les forces de sécurité guinéennes coupables des assassinats, arrestations arbitraires, et torture des citoyens de Zogota.

RDC : le CNPAV demande à la justice d’ouvrir une enquête indépendante sur Dan Gertler pour “corruption” dans le dossier Kalukundi | 9 November 2020 | Actualite.cd

La campagne anti-corruption « le Congo n’est pas à vendre » (CNPAV), a salué, dans une conférence de presse tenue ce lundi 9 novembre, la condamnation par la justice américaine d’OZ Africa, une filiale du fonds d’investissement spéculatif américain Och-Ziff, pour corruption liée à un projet minier en République Démocratique du Congo. La Campagne exhorte la justice congolaise à enquêter sur les allégations afin de s’assurer que toute personne impliquée dans le dossier rende compte de leurs actes et afin que les victimes congolaises soient reconnues et indemnisées.

Uganda: Gov’t drafts National Action Plan on business, human rights | 9 November 2020 | New Vision

In March 2019, residents of Ngorymwet Parish, in Kween district woke to up an unanticipated eviction which left over 500 displaced. The land measuring about 7000 acres had been allegedly allocated to an investor for rice farming.

Q & A on the Proposal for an EU Legislation on Mandatory Human Rights and Environmental Due Diligence| 9 November 2020 | HRW

In June 2020, Human Rights Watch outlined key elements that should be incorporated in EU legislation governing mandatory human rights and environmental due diligence, including climate change.[1] Here, Human Rights Watch responds to a few ‘frequently asked questions’ posed by legislators and businesses and addresses some of the main arguments against robust, binding human rights due diligence.

Kleptopia: Tom Burgis’ disturbing look at State Capture on a global scale | 9 November 2020 | The Daily Maverick

In his new book ‘Kleptopia: How Dirty Money is Conquering the World’, Financial Times correspondent Tom Burgis shines a penetrating light on the rise of the kleptocrats. This is State Capture on a global scale and while the likes of Jacob Zuma are on the ropes, the alpha predators at the top of this food chain – think Putin and Xi – are still consuming public resources at a gluttonous rate.

Corporate responsibility divides business and civil society | 5 November 2020 | SwissInfo

A broad alliance of civil society groups is seeking to establish new rules for Swiss-based companies doing business abroad. Voters decide on their initiative on November 29.

Zambian villagers sue mining giant for poisoning thousands of children in Kabwe | 2 November 2020 |Lifegate

Anglo American is accused of poisoning thousands, especially children, after decades of lead mining in Kabwe. A lawsuit has been filed to seek justice.

NATURAL RESOURCES

Sustainable Management Of Natural Resources As Regulation Mode To New Conflicts Dynamics | 24 November 2020 | The Organization of World Peace

November 6 marks the annual date of The International Day for Preventing the Exploitation of the Environment in War and Armed Conflict, which had been previously established under the tenure of Kofi Annan as United Nations Secretary General. Despite the periods of post-conflict reconstruction and the stepping into the 21st Century which was projecting new modes of International Cooperation, the issues of the environment and natural resources become grave and rise as new security threats.

Zimbabwe Gold Smugglers Shipping Over $1.5 Billion a Year | 24 November 2020 | Bloomberg

More than $1.5 billion of gold is smuggled out of Zimbabwe every year, depriving the cash-strapped economy of crucial foreign-exchange revenues, according to research organization International Crisis Group.

Uganda-Tanzania pipeline runs into legal challenges | 24 November 2020 | The East African

EACOP in legal soup after NGOs’ sues Uganda, Tanzania, EAC: Report | 26 November 2020 | Devdiscourse

Four non-governmental organisations have moved to the East African Court of Justice to block the construction of the East African Crude Oil Pipeline (EACOP) by Uganda and Tanzania.

Gold mining emissions draw scrutiny after price surge | 23 November 2020 | Reuters

Investors are putting pressure on gold miners, whose high greenhouse gas emissions have been less scrutinized, to report transparently and take concrete steps to curb them after a rally in prices this year drew closer attention to the sector’s footprint.

Great Lakes region still not benefitting from its minerals endowment | 19 November 2020 | Mining Weekly

Africa, and in particular the Great Lakes region, is richly endowed with minerals, but the continent and the region are not yet benefitting adequately from the sustainable mining and beneficiation of those minerals.

Billionaire Gertler buys royalty rights in Congo cobalt project | 17 November 2020 | Mining Weekly

A company controlled by Israeli billionaire Dan Gertler, who is under US sanctions for alleged corruption, bought rights from the Democratic Republic of Congo’s State mining company to royalties from one of the world’s largest cobalt projects.

Mining in Africa and beyond: Tracking the great gold rush | 13 November 2020 | The Africa Report

As demand for gold skyrockets, artisanal mining and smuggling ramps up, financing conflict and corrupt politicians, risking human lives and destroying the environment. The Africa Report tracks the precious mineral on its journey from ­ rebel-controlled areas to jewellery stores across the world.

The Sentry: African Conflict Gold is Being Laundered in Dubai | 13 November 2020 | OCCRP

The years-long rise in international gold prices has driven a new artisanal gold mining and refining rush in conflict-affected areas in East and Central Africa and has turned the United Arab Emirates into the foremost launderer of such gold, according to a new report from The Sentry.

Gold market authority threatens to blacklist UAE and other centres | 12 November 2020 | Reuters

The world’s most influential gold market authority is threatening to stop bullion from countries including the United Arab Emirates entering the mainstream market if they fail to meet regulatory standards, a letter seen by Reuters showed.

African Countries agree to enhance cooperation on geothermal development | 11 November 2020 | Modern Diplomacy

More than 500 experts, governments, civil society, academia and the private sector representatives from Africa and other regions agreed on the agenda of regional cooperation and accelerating geothermal development in Africa, as the Eighth African Rift Geothermal Conference (ARGEO C8) concluded on 6 November.

As energy needs drive demand for minerals, forests face greater threats | 11 November 2020 | Mongabay

Rising demand for energy, especially from renewable sources, looks set to increase pressure on the world’s forests, as many of minerals used in solar panels, wind turbines and battery storage are mined in sensitive forest areas.

SPLM-IO, NAS figured in illegal gold mining, smuggling, and trade | 11 November 2020 | Radio Tamazuj

The Sentry, in a new report, singled out the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement in Opposition (SPLM-IO) and National Salvation Front (NAS) as being involved in mining, taxing, and trading in gold to finance their rebel activities in South Sudan.

Why Ghana’s mineral resources benefit a privileged few | 9 November 2020 | GhanaWeb

Ghana continues to benefit less from its rich oil and mineral resources although the country features tops among mineral rich nations in the world and continues to lead the pack.

Somalia: The new oil and gas frontier | 9 November 2020 | The Africa Report

Somalia’s opportunity as one of the world’s last true oil and gas exploration frontiers may soon be rekindled – creating an industry to deliver long-term economic growth and prosperity to the Somali people.

The DRC: A Resource-Rich Country | 9 November 2020 | Africa Oil & Power

The Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) is considered to be one of Africa’s richest countries in terms of natural resources and is home to the Congo River, the second-longest river in Africa, which boasts major hydroelectric potential. Estimates state that it could produce up to 100,000 MW, close to a third of Africa’s total hydroelectric potential.

Trafic d’espèces sauvages : des milliers de saisies lors d’une opération d’Interpol | 9 November 2020 | La Provence

Une centaine de cargaisons de bois, des milliers de tortues, oiseaux et reptiles, plus d’une tonne d’ivoire: des saisies coordonnées par Interpol dans 103 pays ont porté un coup au trafic d’espèces sauvages et de produits naturels.

Sustainability is Transforming the Diamond Industry | 8 November 2020 | Blue and Green Tomorrow

Sustainability is a major concern that needs to be a priority in every aspect of our lives. However, most people only think about sustainability in a few limited contexts, such as electricity and oil. The reality that there are other areas where sustainability needs to be a concern, including the purchase of diamonds.

Rendre les smartphones plus durables et plus éthiques | 7 November 2020 | Espace Manager

Un smartphone, ce sont des émissions de CO2, de la pollution et… du sang. Pourtant, plus de 10 milliards ont été vendus dans le monde depuis 2007, à peine 15% ont été collectés pour recyclage et 14 millions dorment dans nos tiroirs. Parmi les solutions, en prendre soin, les recycler ou se tourner vers des téléphones « éthiques ».

Africa Energy Series Special Report: South Sudan 2020 | 6 November 2020 | Africa Oil & Power

Read about South Sudan’s growing oil sector and more in the Africa Energy Series Special Report: South Sudan 2020 – the leading investor resource for tracking South Sudan’s current and future movements within the sector.

Chinese demand and domestic instability are wiping out Senegal’s last forests | 5 November 2020 | Mongabay

After a decade of intensive illegal logging, endangered Pterocarpus erinaceus rosewood trees are becoming increasingly scarce in Senegal’s southern region of the Casamance, which borders the Gambia.

Tanzania Finalizing Permit For its First Rare-Earth Metals Mine | 5 November 2020 | BloombergQuint

Tanzania is in the final stages of approving a permit for the country’s first rare earths mine to Australian company Peak Resources Ltd. as the government seeks a bigger share of revenue from natural resources.

Somaliland Port Of Berbera Set To Challenge Djibouti’s Monopoly | 4 November 2020 | EABW News

Somaliland Port of Berbera is expected to challenge the monopoly enjoyed by Djibouti once complete in January 2021 and offer an alternative for maritime and military interests in the Horn of Africa.

Mali’s transitional government takes aim at mining contracts | 2 November 2020 | Dispatchlive

Mali’s transitional government aims to review mining conventions signed with companies by the previous administrations, interim President Bah N’daw, said at the weekend after recommendations from the country’s auditor-general.

ARMS TRADE

South Sudan: UN arms embargo must be maintained after surge in violence against civilians in 2020 | 30 November 2020 | Amnesty International

The United Nations Security Council (UNSC) must maintain the arms embargo on South Sudan, Amnesty International said today, after confirming shocking cases of extreme violence by government forces and an increase in attacks on civilians, including war crimes, across the country in 2020.

KBR wins $65 million contract to support US bases in Djibouti and Kenya | 25 November 2020 | DefenceWeb

Kellogg Brown and Root (KBR) has been awarded a $64.8 million US military contract to support base operations at three locations in Djibouti and Kenya.

Senate moves against illicit arms trade in Nigeria | 25 November 2020 | The Vanguard

The Senate on Wednesday considered a critical bill seeking to tackle the illicit importation and trade of small arms and light weapons in Nigeria.

There are 350m illegal arms in Nigeria— Senate | 25 November 2020 | The Vanguard

The Senate Leader, Senator Yahaya Abdullahi(APC-Kebbi North), has said 350 million (or 70%) of the 500 million illegal arms in West Africa were in Nigeria.

Africom donates field hospital to Kenya Border Police | 24 November 2020 | DefenceWeb

United States Africa Command donated a 40-bed, negative air pressure mobile field hospital (MFH) to the Kenya Border Police.

Le Maroc se lance dans l’industrie militaire | 23 November 2020 | Bladi.net

Le Maroc peut désormais se lancer dans la fabrication des armes après l’adoption de la loi permettant à l’establishment militaire d’établir des unités industrielles de fabrication d’armes sur le territoire national. Le royaume devra compter sur l’expertise militaire des États-Unis avec qui il a signé un accord historique de coopération militaire stratégique pour une durée de 10 ans.

Serbian Bullets Used to Attack Unarmed Nigerian Protesters | 18 November 2020 | Balkan Insight

Although Nigeria’s authorities have robustly denied involvement in the shooting dead of unarmed protesters in Lagos in October, a CNN investigation has proved the contrary, while the investigation to which BIRN also contributed reveals that some of the bullets fired on the protesters were made by Serbian arms manufacturers in 2005.

France donates boats to Togo | 18 November 2020 | DefenceWeb

France has donated two semi-rigid patrol boats to Togo’s navy, which will use them to combat piracy and other maritime crimes.

RDM supplying SANDF with new 40 mm medium velocity ammunition | 17 November 2020 | DefenceWeb

Rheinmetall Denel Munition (RDM) is supplying the South African National Defence Force (SANDF) with new 40 mm medium velocity ammunition as part of Project Kamogelo, the acquisition of new Y4 40 mm grenade launchers from Milkor.

Sierra Leone Armed Forces takes delivery of four patrol boats | 9 November 2020 | DefenceWeb

The Sierra Leone Defence Force Maritime Wing has taken delivery of four patrol boats that were donated by the government of South Korea.

Nigeria will sustain funding for its Military Industrial Complex – Defence Minister | 8 November 2020 | Nairametrics

The Minister of Defence, Maj. Gen. Bashir Magashi (rtd.) has said that Nigeria will sustain funding for its Military Industrial Complex, which would leverage on Research and Development to improve Nigeria’s defence capabilities.

UN adopts Sierra Leone’s resolution to regulate global arms trade | 7 November 2020 | The Patriotic Vanguard

The United Nations General Assembly on Friday overwhelmingly adopted a resolution submitted by Sierra Leone’s Ambassador and permanent Representative in Switzerland, Dr. Lansana Gberie (pictured), as President of the 7th Conference of States Parties (CSP7) of the Arms Trade Treaty to regulate the international trade and movement of conventional weapons.

RDM receives South African Army 60 mm mortar contract | 5 November 2020 | DefenceWeb

Rheinmetall Denel Munition (RDM) has revealed that the South African Army has ordered millions of rands worth of 60 mm mortar ammunition.

Explosives smuggling: South Africa’s ticking time bomb | 5 November 2020 | ISS | DefenceWeb

Originating in the region’s mining and construction industries, explosives are used for illegal mining and robberies.

About 1,200 seized illicit firearms destroyed in Sekondi | 5 November 2020 | News Ghana

The National Commission on Small Arms and Light Weapons on Thursday destroyed a total of 1,194 confiscated small arms in the Western and Western North Regions, as part of efforts to create awareness on the dangers of illicit arms.

CONFLICT

Warning shots”: The steady rise of political violence in Ghana | 30 November 2020 | African Arguments

On 20 July 2020, residents of Kasoa, on the outskirts of the capital Accra, were registering to vote in the upcoming elections when gunshots forced them to take cover. The frightened citizens assumed the shots had been fired by a criminal gang or vigilantes, but it soon emerged that the person responsible was a Hawa Komsoon, the local member of parliament. The politician later claimed that she’d fired the “warning shots” in order to “protect herself”.

Top-secret testimonies implicate Rwanda’s president in war crimes | 29 November 2020 | The Mail & Guardian

For years, UN investigators secretly compiled evidence that implicated Rwandan President Paul Kagame and other high-level officials in mass killings before, during and after the 1994 Rwandan genocide.

RDC : le chef milicien Ntabo Ntaberi « Sheka » condamné à perpétuité pour crimes de guerre | 23 November 2020 | Radio Okapi

Le chef du groupe armé Nduma Defense of Congo (NDC) Ntabo Ntaberi « Sheka » a été condamné, lundi 23 novembre, à la prison à perpétuité. La justice militaire de Goma au Nord-Kivu le poursuit pour crimes de guerre par meurtres, viols, esclavage sexuel, enrôlement d’enfants, pillage, destruction de biens et atteinte à l’intégrité physique.

Zimbabweans fear terror attacks from Mozambique | 22 November 2020 | Anadolu Agency

A political science student from the University of Zimbabwe, Jethro Ngara, sees doom and gloom as his country dares to wade into Mozambique’s war on terror. Ngara, 25, said he is too young to die and fears particularly for his parents who are domiciled along the eastern border town of Mutare which is close to Mozambique where terrorists have killed hundreds of Mozambicans.

How has Burkina Faso changed since the ‘insurrection’? | 21 November 2020 | Al Jazeera

On October 30, 2014, Serge Bambara, better known as Smockey, a popular Burkinabe hip-hop artist, stood and watched as the country’s national assembly building was burned and looted by protesters.

Shocking number of sexual violence cases perpetrated by armed groups in Salamabila, Democratic Republic of Congo | 19 November 2020 | Doctors without Borders

Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) teams in Salamabila, in the Democratic Republic of Congo´s (DRC) eastern Maniema province, have treated approximately 1,000 survivors of sexual violence since the beginning of 2020—85 percent of the perpetrators were armed men. The international medical humanitarian organization MSF calls on armed actors to end its attacks on civilians and calls on other humanitarian actors in DRC to respond to this crisis and strengthen protection services for the people of Salamabila who have suffered in silence for far too long.

Facing Jihadists, Burkina Faso Gambles On Village Militias | 18 November 2020 | WorldCrunch

Ousséni is proud, and as he looks out at the rust-colored hills in the province of Bam, in north-central Burkina Faso, his face lights up. The 56-year-old farmer doesn’t want to use his real name for this article. But having “finally returned” to his village after months of shock and shame, he says also feels at peace in a way he’d no longer thought possible. And that’s because Ousséni feels “victorious” — in the face of the jihadists.

Islamist group executes close to 30 people en masse in Democratic Republic of Congo | 17 November 2020 | OpIndia

Interior Minister of North Kivu province, Jean-Bosco Sebishimbo told that twenty-nine bodies were found in the Virunga Park after being executed en masse. He said that during an armed attack that took place in Kokola village on Tuesday, around six civilians were killed.

The hard truths of negotiating with al-Shabaab | 17 November 2020 | African Arguments

With the US planning to withdraw troops and the African Union reaffirming its commitment to draw down its mission in Somalia by the end of 2021, the need to negotiate with al-Shabaab is clear. Even without these soldiers pulling out, Somalia’s conflict has been ongoing for almost two decades and resembles another “forever war”. No party has enough of a military advantage to defeat the other and there is currently no prospect of this changing anytime soon.

Awaiting Justice for Police Killings in DR Congo | 16 November 2020 | HRW

At 3 a.m. on December 18, 2013, about 20 police officers stormed the home of 24-year-old Gauthier (a pseudonym) and forced him into their pickup truck. This was the last time his mother saw him. Gauthier was among dozens of young men and boys suspected to be “kuluna,” or gang members, who fell victim to a months-long, brutal police campaign in the Democratic Republic of Congo’s capital, Kinshasa.

La Force conjointe du G5 Sahel demeure essentielle dans la lutte contre le terrorisme, rappelle l’ONU | 16 November 2020 | UN News

Le chef des opérations de paix de l’ONU a appelé lundi devant le Conseil de sécurité à renforcer l’action de la Force conjointe du G5 Sahel face à la menace terroriste, notamment à accroître le soutien sur le plan financier.

L’État islamique a-t-il vraiment pris pied en RDC? | 13 November 2020 | Sputnik News

En République démocratique du Congo, l’EI revendique un nombre croissant d’attaques, ajoutant à l’instabilité causée par les groupes armés la crainte de voir un islamisme radical s’installer dans le pays. Une étude de la situation permet cependant de relativiser cette menace. Analyse pour Sputnik du chercheur et journaliste Patrick Mbeko.

RDC : la porosité des frontières les infiltrations des groupes armés étrangers à la base de l’insécurité dans la plaine de la Ruzizi | 13 November 2020 | Actualite.cd

Le chef de chefferie de Barundi et député provincial du Sud-Kivu, Richard Ndabagoye déplore l’insécurité grandissante dans la plaine de la Ruzizi, dans le territoire d’Uvira. Pour lui, la porosité des frontières congolaises cause les incursions des combattants étrangers qui sèment l’insécurité dans cette partie du pays frontalière avec le Burundi et le Rwanda.

Tensions flare in Western Sahara as pro-independents Polisario accuse Morocco of ending ceasefire | 13 November 2020 | France24

The pro-independence Polisario Front declared a three-decade-old ceasefire in disputed Western Sahara was over on Friday after Morocco launched an operation to reopen the road to neighbouring Mauritania.

An Islamist insurgency in Mozambique is gaining ground — and showing a strong allegiance to the Islamic State | 13 November 2020 | The Washington Post

In the densely forested, oil-and-gas-rich northeast corner of Mozambique, a local Islamic insurgency has steadily escalated with a growing allegiance to the Islamic State and the arrival of foreign fighters using operational techniques similar to those from conflicts in Syria, Afghanistan and Iraq.

Mozambique Cabo Delgado violence is a ‘desperate’ situation, warns Bachelet | 13 November 2020 | UN News

UN agencies have warned that civilians – and especially women and children – have endured dreadful human rights violations that include numerous attacks, kidnapping and reported beheadings by armed groups, who have also clashed with government forces.

Tanzania: Magufuli denounces UN human rights report, Tundu Lissu flees the country | 12 November 2020 |The Africa Report

The head of Tanzania’s largest opposition CHADEMA, Tundu Lissu, has fled Tanzania for fear of reprisals against opposition figures in the aftermath of the country’s questionable general election that saw John Magufuli re-elected for a second term.

Angola: Police Fire on Peaceful Protesters | 12 November 2020 | HRW

Angolan police used live bullets, teargas, and dogs to disperse a peaceful anti-government protest, killing one protester, in the capital, Luanda, on November 11, 2020, Human Rights Watch said today. Police severely beat the well-known activists Nito Alves and Laurinda Goveia, who are both in critical condition, and arbitrarily arrested a third activist, Luaty Beirao.

South Sudan: Dozens Killed in Separate Clashes | 12 November 2020 | Daily Nation | AllAfrica

At least 29 people have been killed in separate violent clashes in South Sudan. In the first incident, the opposition rebel group, the National Salvation Front, said it two of its fighters were killed in an attack it claimed was commanded by South Sudan People’s Defence Forces.

DRC – Rumours Abound After Series of Deaths in the President’s Entourage | 12 November 2020 | African Arguments | AllAfrica

n the course of just one year – from June 2019 to May 2020 – an alarming twenty-plus people in President Félix Tshisekedi’s immediate entourage died. These deaths have ignited various conspiracy theories and shine a light on the grim reality of politics in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).

Burundi: un rapport très mesuré de l’ONU pour maintenir le dialogue avec le pouvoir | 12 November 2020 |RFI

Le secrétaire général de l’ONU a rendu public, mardi 10 novembre, un rapport très attendu au Burundi et qui est considéré par des sources onusiennes comme suffisamment modéré pour préserver le dialogue avec un pouvoir burundais souvent qualifié d’intransigeant. Ce rapport fait suite à une mission de haut niveau qui a séjourné dans le pays à la mi-septembre en vue d’évaluer la situation à la faveur de l’élection d’un nouveau président en mai de cette année.

What are the implications of International Human Rights NGOs moving to the South? | 10 November 2020 |Open Global Rights

On 20 September, the Amnesty International’s India office ended its operations in the country. Amnesty International (AI) attributed it to the Government of India’s “incessant witch-hunt” based on unfounded and motivated allegations including money laundering. AI India office stated that in the last eight years, more than four million Indians have supported it and around 100,000 Indians have made financial contributions.

Tchad : 30 véhicules militaires attendus à Sarh dès ce mardi pour renforcer la sécurité | 10 November 2020 |Al-wihda info

30 véhicules militaires sont attendus à Sarh dès ce mardi 10 novembre 2020 pour renforcer la sécurité, a annoncé lundi le chef de l’État Idriss Déby lors d’une rencontre avec les chefs militaires du Moyen-Chari.

Ituri : l’armée annonce la neutralisation d’au moins 25 autres miliciens CODECO/ALC à Djugu | 10 November 2020 | l’Interview

Les forces armées de la République démocratique du Congo (FARDC) annoncent avoir neutralisé au moins 25 autres miliciens de la CODECO/ALC dans le territoire de Djugu en Ituri.

Militant Islamists ‘behead more than 50’ in Mozambique | 9 November 2020 | BBC News

More than 50 people have been beheaded in northern Mozambique by militant Islamists, state media report. The militants turned a football pitch in a village into an “execution ground”, where they decapitated and chopped bodies, other reports said.

Why did Somaliland just suspend cooperation with the UN? | 9 November 2020 | African Arguments

On 25 October, authorities in Somaliland suspended their relations with the United Nations “until further notice”. The semi-autonomous state did not provide reasons in its short announcement, but its government is clearly losing patience with the UN’s unwillingness to recognise Somaliland as an independent country.

RDC : l’ONU demande la libération des travailleurs humanitaires pris en otage | 9 November 2020 | UN News

Le Bureau des Nations Unies pour la coordination des affaires humanitaires (OCHA) en République démocratique du Congo (RDC) a demandé la libération de travailleurs humanitaires enlevés dans l’est du pays.

Enrayer la communautarisation de la violence au centre du Mali (pdf) | 9 November 2020 | International Crisis Group

Depuis 2016, les violences contre les civils s’amplifient dans la zone située aux sud et sud-est de la région de Mopti. Inédites au Mali, ces violences – qu’elles soient perpé- trées par des jihadistes, des groupes d’autodéfense mobilisés contre eux ou les forces de sécurité – associent tueries de masse, vols et destruction de biens. D’abord localisées et sporadiques, elles prennent une dimension communautaire de plus en plus marquée.

RDC: David McLachlan-Karr condamne le Kidnapping des humanitaires au Sud-Kivu | 6 November 2020 |Actualite.cd

David McLachlan-Karr, Coordonnateur humanitaire en République démocratique du Congo (RDC), David condamne les récentes attaques contre les travailleurs humanitaires dans la province du Sud-Kivu dans l’Est du pays.

Are Africa’s borders sacrosanct? Ghana’s Western Togoland crisis | 6 November 2020 | ISS | DefenceWeb

Recent attacks raise questions about how secessionist tendencies have been managed in post-independence Africa.

Liberia:‘No Reports of Persistent Patterns of Human Rights Violation with Impunity’ – Government Tells Human Rights Council, But Civil Society Organization Disagrees | 3 November 2020 | FrontPageAfrica-Online

Human Rights Defenders and Civil Society Organizations in Liberia have debunked Liberia’s Human Rights report presented to theUN Human Rights Council’s Universal Periodic Review (UPR) Working Group.

Making sense of the Sahel | 3 November 2020 | DefenceWeb

In recent years, the region has become a base for violent extremists and those fighting them. The Sahel, a semiarid region stretching from Senegal on the Atlantic coast to Eritrea and the Red Sea, has been a dividing line in Africa for centuries.

RDC: début du désarmement d’un groupe armé actif depuis 20 ans en Ituri, la FRPI | 2 November 2020 | La Libre Afrique

Les autorités congolaises ont entamé le désarmement d’un groupe armé actif depuis vingt ans en Ituri, dans le nord de la République démocratique du Congo, a constaté un correspondant de l’AFP. Le début de ce désarmement intervient huit mois après la signature d’un accord de paix entre le gouvernement et le groupe armé de la Force de Résistance Patriotique de l’Ituri (FRPI).

The Legality of a SADC Intervention in Cabo Delgado in the Absence of Mozambican Consent | 2 November 2020 | Opinio Juris

The growing insurgency in Mozambique continues to worry its neighboring states and the Southern African Development Community (SADC) alike. Known as Ansar al-Sunna, the insurgency first arose in 2017 in Mozambique’s northern province of Cabo Delgado. By July 2019, it had pledged allegiance to ISIS and by 2020, several reports confirm it has been added to the Islamic State Central Africa Province. Over the course of three years, insurgents have launched dozens of attacks across the province, resulting in over two thousand deaths and the displacement of some 250,000 people.

Red Sea Dynamics | November 2020 | The Africa Report

The Red Sea has always been the site of power plays amongst countries vying for its control. From the ancient Egyptian expeditions to Punt land, to the Romans who established its role as an important artery for trade with the East. And today, beneath its calm and pristine turquoise waters, it remains in constant flux as its regional players and those from outside compete for a chance to secure their interests. The strategic artery can be both a beacon of peace or a catalyst for destruction. We look at its ever-changing dynamics in this exclusive series of 6 articles.

ETHIOPIA-TIGRAY CONFLICT

Leader of Tigray’s forces tells Ethiopia PM to ‘stop the madness’ | 30 November 2020 | Al Jazeera

The defiant leader of Ethiopia’s rebellious Tigray region has called on Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed to “stop the madness” and withdraw troops from the region as he asserted that fighting continues “on every front”, two days after the government declared victory.

Ethiopia Rights Commission calls on gov’t to restore communications, basic services in Tigray; calls on independent, transparent investigation into grave rights violations | 30 November 2020 | Addis Standard

In a statement it released today, the Ethiopian Human Rights Commission (EHRC) said that following the government’s November 28 announcement of “the completion of the final phase and cessation of the military operation in Tigray Region and the outlines of next steps listed therein,” it calls for the government to, among others, restore “telecommunications and provision of basic services,” as well as allow “access to independent and transparent investigation into conducts of grave human rights violations.”

Ethiopian military operation in Tigray is complete, prime minister says | 28 November 2020 | Reuters

Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed said on Saturday that military operations in the restive region of Tigray are complete and federal troops control the regional capital, a major development in a three-week-old war that has shaken the Horn of Africa.

End of the road for TPLF? | 28 November 2020 | The Reporter (Ethiopia)

Surrounded by the Ethiopian National Defense Forces (ENDF) and the final assault on Mekele already underway, these look like the final days of the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF). Even underneath the ardent defiance and unexpected claims of victory by the TPLF, there are some subtle admissions of an impending military defeat.

Ethiopia: A dispatch from West Tigray and North Amhara | 27 November 2020 | ICRC

In mid-November, after the first week of clashes in northern Ethiopia, an ICRC team traveled to North Amhara and West Tigray. In this account, Wilson Mondal, field team leader, describes what they saw.

The Situation in Ethiopia is a Unique War and the African Union Has a Legal Duty to Silence the Guns | 26 November 2020 | African Arguments

The onset of a shooting war between Ethiopia’s National Defense Force (ENDF) and the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF), which began on 4 November 2020, was predictable. The surprise so far has been the reluctance of Ethiopia’s leadership under Nobel Peace Prize-winning Prime Minister, Abiy Ahmed Ali, to accommodate appeals for de-escalation. On 25 November, the Prime Minister took to his twitter-feed to urge “the international community, to refrain from any acts of unwelcome or unlawful interference and respect the fundamental principles of non-intervention under international law.”

Ethiopia’s Tigray crisis: Fears of ethnic profiling stalk conflict | 26 November 2020 | BBC

Some Tigrayans in Ethiopia have described to the BBC how they have been harassed, detained or discriminated against since fighting began in their home region on 4 November.

Why the third layer of Ethiopia’s conflict may be the most worrying | 26 November 2020 | African Arguments

The conflict between Ethiopia’s federal government and the Tigrayan People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) is another tragic event for a nation reeling from ethnic-based violence and political assassinations. There have likely been thousands of casualties since the military campaign began on 4 November, and many more have had to flee their homes.

Who Benefits from the Destruction of Ethiopia? | 25 November 2020 | African Arguments

There are a lot of unanswered questions about the war in Ethiopia. Let me pose one more: who stands to gain across the region? Ten years ago the then-Prime Minister of Ethiopia, Meles Zenawi told me, “my nightmare is that we should have an Egyptian agenda financed by Gulf money.” He didn’t foresee state-of-the-art military technology as part of that nightmare.

Q&A: Conflict in Ethiopia and International Law | 25 November 2020 | HRW

On November 4, 2020, Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed appeared on state television and acknowledged that he ordered the Ethiopian National Defense Forces (ENDF) to commence operations against the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) in response to what he described as attacks by TPLF forces on Ethiopian military bases and federal forces in the regional capital of Mekelle, and at other camps in the Tigray region.

Crisis Group links deportation of analyst to comments on Tigray | 25 November 2020 | The East African

There are concerns that Ethiopian authorities are getting uncomfortable with foreign commentators on the ongoing conflicts in the northern region of Tigray, after an analyst was deported.

Éthiopie : une nouvelle guerre de sécession ? | 25 November 2020 | IRIS

Il y a un peu plus d’un an, le Premier ministre éthiopien Abiy Ahmed recevait le prix Nobel de la paix pour avoir enfin mis fin à la guerre avec son voisin érythréen, et pour avoir démocratisé un pays qui était particulièrement répressif. Aujourd’hui le même est à la tête d’un pays qui pourrait se livrer à des massacres de masse dans la région du Tigré.

Tigray Maikadra massacre of civilians is a crime of atrocity: Ethiopian Human Rights Commission | 24 November 2020 | Addis Standard

The Ethiopian Human Rights Commission (EHRC) has found that an atrocious massacre of civilians has been committed by an informal group of Tigrayan youth known as ‘Samri’, aided and abetted by members of what was then the local administration and security establishment in Maikadra, in Tigray Region’s Western Zone, on November 9th, 2020.

As Ethiopia’s army declares daily victories, its people are being plunged into violence | 24 November 2020 | The Guardian

Stop War Crimes in Ethiopia Today | 23 November 2020 | African Arguments

Ethiopia’s prime minister Abiy Ahmed has promised military victory in Tigray. He says he will capture the capital, Mekelle, and the leadership of the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF), which he calls a criminal junta. If he succeeds, it will be a pyrrhic victory – prospects for peace, democracy and protection from famine in Ethiopia will be set back a generation.

Ethiopia’s other conflicts | 23 November 2020 | The New Humanitarian

The conflict in Ethiopia’s Tigray region has cost hundreds of lives and sent tens of thousands of people fleeing to Sudan over the past three weeks. But the region is just one of several in the country experiencing violent unrest amid a fraught political transition.

Ethiopia rejects African mediation, pushes toward rebel-held Tigray capital | 21 November 2020 | Reuters

The Ethiopian government rebuffed an African effort to mediate on Saturday, saying its troops had seized another town in their march towards the rebel-held capital of northern Tigray region.

Secret UN report reveals fears of long and bitter war in Ethiopia | 21 November 2020 | The Guardian

Ethiopian national forces are meeting heavy resistance and face a protracted “war of attrition” in the northern region of Tigray, a confidential United Nations assessment reveals.

The Tigrayan Conflict and the Laws of Humanitarian Assistance | 20 November 2020 | Opinio Juris

For over two weeks, violent and escalating clashes in the Tigray region of Ethiopia have resulted in hundreds of deaths, thousands of displaced persons and ever growing humanitarian needs in this mountainous region of northern Ethiopia.

Tigray Population Movement Information bulletin (pdf) | 20 November 2020 | nternational Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC)

Since 3 November 2020, A series of escalating clashes between the Ethiopian Federal Government and the Tigray Regional Government has resulted in a growing humanitarian emergency including heavy casualties and population movements both internally and cross border. An estimated 9 million people within or near the Tigray region are at risk due to increasing confrontations.

WHO chief denies Ethiopia’s claim of backing Tigray region | 19 November 2020 | AP

The World Health Organization’s director-general on Thursday denied an allegation from his own country, Ethiopia, that he was lobbying neighboring nations to provide arms and other support to the defiant Tigray region, which has been clashing with the Ethiopian government for two weeks.

Ethiopia, led by a Nobel peace winner, is looking down the barrel of civil war | 19 November 2020 | The Guardian

The humanitarian tragedy is already stretching across borders: 27,000 Ethiopians have crossed the frontier into Sudan in two weeks, the largest influx in 20 years.

Ethiopia’s Prime Minister Trades His Nobel Peace Prize for Civil War | 19 November 2020 | Bloomberg

We may be long past holding laureates of the Nobel Peace Prize to its lofty standards — the cruel cynicism of Henry Kissinger and open bigotry of Aung San Suu Kyi are just two instances of honorees behaving dishonorably — but Abiy Ahmed’s belly flop from the pedestal is nonetheless remarkable. In less than a year since his uplift in Oslo, Ethiopia’s prime minister has embroiled his country in a civil war and brought the Horn of Africa to the edge of chaos.

Operational update on escalating fighting in Tigray and northern Ethiopia | 18 November 2020 | ICRC

In just two weeks, escalating fighting in Tigray and northern Ethiopia has triggered immense suffering and risks spiralling into a wider humanitarian crisis.

Digging Own Grave: The End Days of Ethiopia’s TPLF | 18 November 2020 | CounterCurrents

Previously in power for almost three decades, the Tigray Peoples Liberation Front (TPLF) of Ethiopia finally is approaching their end days and as we say here in the Horn of Africa, “they are digging their own grave”.

Ethiopia Tigray crisis: Abiy issues ‘ultimatum’ as civilians flee fighting | 18 November 2020 | BBC

Ethiopia’s prime minister has said a military operation against rebel forces in the northern Tigray region is entering its “final phase”. Abiy Ahmed said a three-day deadline given for Tigray’s forces to surrender had now expired.

Ethiopia pushes for Tigray capital, denies ‘ethnic bias’ | 18 November 2020 | Reuters

Ethiopian forces pushed towards the capital of the rebel Tigray region on Wednesday, ignoring international appeals for talks to end the conflict and denying it was targeting any ethnic group.

Peace was swift in Ethiopia under Abiy. War was, too | 17 November 2020 | AP

Abiy Ahmed left Ethiopians breathless when he became the prime minister in 2018, introducing a wave of political reforms in the long-repressive country and announcing a shocking peace with enemy Eritrea.

Factbox: The forces fighting in Ethiopia’s Tigray conflict | 17 November 2020 | Reuters

Ethiopia’s military is fighting battle-hardened troops in the northern Tigray region, threatening stability around the Horn of Africa.

Ethiopia resists mediation as it bombs Tigray capital | 17 November 2020 | DefenceWeb

Ethiopia resisted international pressure for mediation in a war in the country’s north on Monday as its air force bombed the Tigrayan capital Mekelle, according to diplomatic and military sources.

Tigrai National Government Statement (pdf) | 17 November 2020 | Tigrai National Government | Aiga Forum

Abiy Ahmed has regionalised and internationalised the war. But it will not save him from eventual defeat. Dr. Debretsion Gebremichael, President of the Regional State of Tigray has written to more than seventy Heads of states and leaders of regional and international organizations warning the further internationalisation of the war.

Ethiopia says its troops marching on Tigrayan capital | 17 November 2020 | Reuters

Ethiopia said its troops were marching on the capital of the Tigray region on Tuesday after a deadline for rebel forces to surrender passed in a two-week conflict shaking the Horn of Africa and alarming the world.

Factbox: Which countries have stakes in Ethiopia’s war? | 17 November 2020 | Reuters

Ethiopian troops are battling rebellious forces from the country’s northern Tigray region. Fallout from the conflict in Africa’s second most-populous nation is already spilling over into Ethiopia’s neighbours, threatening to further destabilise a fragile region.

The Ongoing Law Enforcement Operations in Tigray: Causes and Objectives | 17 November 2020 | Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia | Ethiopian News Agency

Causes of the Ongoing Law Enforcement Operations: What makes the Law Enforcement Operation directed against the extreme elements of the TPLF clique just and necessary?

Background to the war in Ethiopia for the international media | 17 November 2020 | Committee for Voice of Reason | Aiga Forum

The illegitimate Ethiopian government has imposed a complete shutdown of communication and transportation in and out of the State of Tigray. He has now declared war and mobilized ground and air attacks against the state. This illegitimate government has controlled the local media and is disseminating false information to the international community.

Ethiopian troops ‘liberate’ key town in Tigray, claim officials | 16 November 2020 | The Guardian

Ethiopian troops have advanced further into the northern region of Tigray, seizing a key town on the road to its capital, officials in Addis Ababa have said.

Abiy Ahmed Ali’s war on Tigrai: a guide to its genesis | 16 November 2020 | Yitbarek Mesfin | Aiga Forum

Ethiopia is a very complex country made up of 80 different linguistic groups. Some international reporters are at last beginning to understand the cause of the civil unrest in Ethiopia from the start of Abiy Ahmed’s premiership in 2018. But there is still misunderstanding about the country’s political problems.

Tigray crisis viewpoint: Why Ethiopia is spiralling out of control | 15 November 2020 | BBC

Ethiopia appears to be fast approaching civil war. Fighting between forces loyal to the federal government headed by Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed and the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) has claimed hundreds of lives and is threatening to rip the country apart.

In escalation of Ethiopia war, Tigray leader says his forces fired rockets at Eritrea | 15 November 2020 | Reuters

The leader of Ethiopia’s rebellious Tigray region confirmed on Sunday that his forces had fired rockets at the airport in Eritrea’s capital, a major escalation that raises fears of a wider war in the Horn of Africa region.

Conflict in Ethiopia’s Tigray Region Widens as Missiles Are Fired at Airports | 14 November 2020 | NYT

Two airports in a state that neighbors Tigray, where Ethiopian troops are fighting local forces, were the targets of rocket fire late on Friday, the government said, as an 11-day conflict in the region widened.

How Abiy is heralding Eritreanization of Ethiopia! | 14 November 2020 | Tedros A. Tsegay | Aiga Forum

Nobel Peace Prize laureate Abiy Ahmed is at war with his own people. He has ordered all state power at his disposal to annihilate the Tigrayan People Liberation Front (TPLF) by opening war from almost all fronts, including from Eritrea using Eritrean soldiers according to eyewitness account, who crossed the border into the Sudan.

Rockets fired at Eritrean capital from Ethiopia, diplomats say | 14 November 2020 | Reuters

At least three rockets were fired at Eritrea’s capital from Ethiopia on Saturday night, five regional diplomats said, a major escalation of a conflict pitting Ethiopian government troops against rebellious local forces in the Tigray region.

Ethiopia: leaders of Tigray region admit they attacked neighbouring Amhara | 14 November 2020 | The Guardian

Leaders of Tigray in Ethiopia’s north on Saturday claimed responsibility for rocket attacks on two airports in a nearby region and threatened to strike neighbouring Eritrea, raising concerns that the escalating conflict could spread across national borders.

Ethiopia’s Tigray crisis: How the conflict could destabilise its neighbours | 14 November 2020 | BBC

The fighting in Ethiopia’s northern Tigray state may not only have drastic implications for the future of the country but could also seriously affect its neighbours.

Ethiopia Tigray crisis: Rights commission to investigate ‘mass killings’ | 14 November 2020 | BBC

Ethiopia’s human rights commission has said it will send a team to investigate reports of mass killings of civilians in the northern Tigray state.

Ethiopian human rights commission says monitoring military operation | 14 November 2020 | New Business Ethiopia

Ethiopian Human Rights Commission Public Statement | 14 November 2020 | Facebook

In its statement the Ethiopian Human Rights Commission (EHRC) indicated that it has been monitoring closely and is in consultation with the relevant authorities regarding the risk of multidimensional human rights violations arising from the ongoing war in Tigray Region.

Refugee exodus to Sudan swells as war crimes feared in Ethiopia’s Tigray | 13 November 2020 | Reuters

The United Nations voiced concern on Friday that the conflict between Ethiopian government forces and insurgent northern leaders could spiral out of control and said war crimes may already have been committed.

Amnesty International’s Irresponsible Allegations | 13 November 2020 | Elias Dawit | Aiga Forum

Amnesty International, a global human rights organization, issued a statement saying “We have confirmed the massacre of a very large number of civilians, who appear to have been day labourers in no way involved in the ongoing military offensive. This is a horrific tragedy whose true extent only time will tell as communication in Tigray remains shut down,” said Deprose Muchena, Amnesty International’s Director for East and Southern Africa.

Ethiopian police seeking lists of ethnic Tigrayans – U.N. Report | 13 November 2020 | Reuters

Ethiopian police visited a U.N. World Food Programme (WFP) office in Amhara region to request a list of ethnic Tigrayan staff, according to an internal U.N. security report seen by Reuters on Friday.

Ethiopians fleeing to Sudan describe air strikes and machete killings in Tigray | 13 November 2020 | Reuters

Civilians fleeing fighting in Ethiopia’s northern Tigray region described bombing by government warplanes, shooting on the streets and killings by machete, as they joined thousands of refugees crossing into neighbouring Sudan.

Tigray: How Ethiopia reached this crisis point and how it could get out | 13 November 2020 | African Arguments

The current crisis in Tigray has not appeared from the clear blue sky. Its roots are deep in Ethiopia’s history and its outcome will dictate the country’s future. It is unlikely Ethiopia will fall apart. But a period of violence is probable and will continue until there is a further adjustment of government at the centre and a rebalancing of the relationship with the regions. Increased democratisation is one potential solution, but by no means the only outcome.

Ethiopia: Protect People as Tigray Crisis Escalates | 13 November 2020 | HRW

The Ethiopian government and Tigray regional authorities should protect people and property at risk from the fighting. Amid credible reports of increasing casualties, the authorities on both sides should facilitate access for humanitarian groups, stop interrupting essential services, and immediately restore communication services in the region.

Ethiopia claims big advance in Tigray, Amnesty reports mass killing | 12 November 2020 | Reuters

Ethiopia: Investigation reveals evidence that scores of civilians were killed in massacre in Tigray state | 12 November 2020 | Amnesty International

Ethiopia’s military has defeated local forces in the west of Tigray state, Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed said on Thursday, accusing his foes of atrocities during a week of fighting that threatens to destabilise the Horn of Africa.

Ethiopia’s Instability Threatens to Engulf Region | 11 November 2020 | VoA

In a country plagued by years of ethnic violence, analysts fear the latest fighting between government troops and regional paramilitary forces in Ethiopia could be the breaking point.

Ethiopian Human Rights Commission condemns more arrest of journalists as police keeps all incommunicado | 11 November 2020 | Addis Standard

The Ethiopian Human Rights Commission (EHRC) confirmed that four more journalists were arrested overnight. They are Haftu Gebregzhiabher, Tsegaye Hadush, & Abreha Hagos from Ethiopian Press Agency (EPA’s) and Udi Mussa from Oromia Media Network (OMN).

Ethiopian journalists arrested as Tigray conflict worsens, refugees flee to Sudan | 11 November 2020 | Reuters

Ethiopia’s human rights commission condemned the arrest of journalists as Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed pressed ahead with a military offensive in a northern region against local leaders defiant of his authority.

Thousands flee Ethiopia conflict, protests against Tigray’s leaders planned | 11 November 2020 | Reuters

Ethiopian refugees were flooding into Sudan on Wednesday as Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed’s federal troops battled well-armed local forces in Tigray and protests against the northern region’s leaders were planned elsewhere.

Clashes in Ethiopia’s Tigray region force thousands to flee to Sudan | 11 November 2020 | UNHCR

UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, is working with authorities in Sudan to provide lifesaving assistance to more than 7,000 refugees from Ethiopia, who have fled across the border in the past two days.

Experts react: Understanding the conflict in Tigray | 11 November 2020 | Atlantic Council

On November 4, Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed launched a military offensive against forces of the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF), which is the governing authority of the northern Ethiopian region of Tigray. Coming after months of rising tensions between the TPLF and the Abiy administration, the latest military action was precipitated by an alleged surprise night-time assault by the TPLF on a major Ethiopian National Defense Force (ENDF) base in Tigray that resulted in the killing of non-Tigrayan soldiers and the attempted looting of heavy artillery and weapons.

Police rearrest Addis Standard’s editor | 10 November 2020 | Addis Standard

The police on duty at Addis Abeba police station have this afternoon rearrested Medihane Ekubamichael, product editor at Addis Standard publication. Medihane was first detained on Saturday November 07 by members of the city’s police and take to undisclosed location.

Police detain Addis Standard’s editor, accuse him of attempt to dismantle the constitution | 9 November 2020 | Addis Standard

Members of Addis Abeba and federal police officer have on Saturday arrested Medihane Ekubamichael, product editor at Addis Standard publication. Jakenn Publishing PLC, the publishers of Addis Standard publication, confirmed that Medihane was arrested and initially taken to undisclosed location on Saturday November 07, from his house in Addis Abeba.

Concern of outright war in Ethiopia grows as PM presses military offensive | 9 November 2020 | Reuters

Ethiopia’s prime minister stepped up a military offensive in the northern region of Tigray on Sunday with air strikes as part of what he called a “law enforcement operation”, increasing fears of outright civil war in Africa’s second-most populous country.

Violence worsens in Ethiopia as hundreds reported to have died in conflict | 9 November 2020 | Businesslive

An escalating conflict in Ethiopia’s restive Tigray region has killed hundreds of people, sources on the government’s side said, even as the prime minister sought on Monday to reassure the world his nation was not sliding into civil war.

Conflict in Ethiopia extends the Greater Middle East’s arc of crisis | 7 November 2020 | ModernDiplomacy

Ethiopia, an African darling of the international community, is sliding towards civil war as the coronavirus pandemic hardens ethnic fault lines. The consequences of prolonged hostilities could echo across East Africa, the Middle East and Europe.

Ethiopia’s PM seeks to regain control over restive Tigray region | 7 November 2020 | Reuters

Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed sought to re-establish authority over the northern Tigray region on Saturday, a day after launching air strikes amid reports that Tigrayan forces had seized control of federal military sites and weapons.

Timeline: Key events leading to Ethiopia’s crisis in Tigray | 6 November 2020 | Reuters

Ethiopia is mobilising troops from around the country and sending them to the northern Tigray region to fight a powerful ethnic faction that led the ruling coalition for decades.

Ethiopia’s Abiy vows to disarm ‘fugitives from justice’ in Tigray campaign | 6 November 2020 | Reuters

Ethiopia’s air force bombed arms depots and destroyed military hardware in the northern Tigray region on Friday, the prime minister said, escalating a war he launched this week against his former ruling coalition allies.

Ethiopia mobilises for war in northern region | 6 November 2020 | DefenceWeb

Ethiopia mobilised for war in the northern Tigray region on Thursday, dashing international hopes of averting a conflict between Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed’s government and the powerful ethnic faction that led the ruling coalition for decades.

U.N. chief ‘deeply alarmed’ by armed clashes in Ethiopia’s Tigray | 6 November 2020 | Reuters

The head of the United Nations said he was deeply alarmed by fighting in Ethiopia’s northern Tigray region, where federal troops have been exchanging fire with the powerful ethnic faction that led the ruling coalition for decades.

Ethiopia’s PM Abiy defends military operations, others call it war | 6 November 2020 | RFI

The “large-scale law enforcement operation” has “clear, limited and achievable objectives: to restore the rule of law and the constitutional order,” he said on Friday, calling out the Tigray region’s Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) leadership as “fugitives from justice … using the civilian population as human shields.”

As more troops mobilized to northern Ethiopia to join “aimless war” PM Abiy assures operations have “clear, limited & achievable objectives” | 6 November 2020 | Addis Standard

As more troops are being mobilized to join the offensive against TPLF’s regional special forces, Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed said military operations by federal defense forces underway in Northern Ethiopia have “clear, limited & achievable objectives.”

Ethiopia’s Premier Orders Troops Into Once-powerful Tigray Region in Major Escalation | 4 November 2020 | VoA

Ethiopia’s Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed ordered the military to deploy to the Tigray region on Wednesday after accusing the government there of attacking federal troops, a major escalation of a row between the premier and the once-powerful region.

A statement from Jakenn Publishing PLC regarding the blockage of all means of communication in Tigray Regional State | 4 November 2020 | Addis Standard

Jakenn Publishing PLC, the publisher of Addis Standard online magazine expresses its deep regret that due to the blockage of internet, mobile and landline communications, its journalists are unable to provide an inclusive news on the ongoing military engagement between forces of the federal army and Tigray regional state.

National defense forces given order to “start military offensive against TPLF: PM Abiy Ahmed | 3 November 2020 | EthioExplorer

Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed has just announced that the National Defense Forces (ENDF), led by a command post, is given order to start military offensive against TPLF in Tigray regional state.

Political Parties Commend HPR Decision to Lift Immunity of 39 Members | 3 November 2020 | Ethiopian News Agency

Representatives of political parties have commended the resolution to lift the immunity of some members of the House of People’s and Representatives (HPR) today.

Army Made a Sharp Riposte against Defiant TPLF Attack | 2 November 2020 | Ethiopian News Agency

Ethiopian National Defense Force (ENDF) has announced on Wednesday that it has successfully contained the attack from the defiance Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) and advanced to counteract in a bid to protect the unity of the country.

Crisis staring” Tigray, Federal governments “in the eye” as army is caught in the mix, relations plummet to new low | 31 October 2020 | Addis Standard

Tensions between the federal and the Tigray Regional State governments have picked up a new twist following a decision by the later to return Brigadier General Jamal Mohammed from Mekelle Alula Abanega Airport.

Splitting Southern Nations region into four can promote peace | 10 October 2020 | Ethiopia Insight

For more than two decades, the question of statehood formation has been raised by identiy-based zones in the Southern Nations Nationalities and Peoples’ Regional State (SNNPRS).

House of Federation speaker says establishing transitional government, dispatching federal security forces in Tigray among constitutional options | 2 October 2020 | Addis Standard

Adem Farah, Speaker of the House of Federation (HoF) says there are enough constitutional means to take measures against those endangering the constitution.

OFC calls for “genuine national dialogue” | 30 September 2020 | Oromo Federalist Congress | Addis Standard

Ethiopia has entered a new year with all its heavy political burdens – with both hope and despair. And without a shadow of doubt, the hoped-for democratic transition is disturbingly failing,” said the opposition Oromo Federalist Congress (OFC) in a statement.

Tigray region says it will defy federal laws enacted as of Oct. 05; EDP calls for transitional gov’t, inclusive dialogue & reconciliation | 29 September 2020 | Addis Standard

In an interview aired on Tigray Mass Media Agency, Asmelash Wolde Sellassie, executive member of Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF), the governing party of Tigray regional state, said the region will not comply with laws, directives, and regulations, among others, to be enacted by the federal government after its current term in office came to an end on October 05/2020.

Ethiopia files terrorism charges against leading opposition activist | 19 September 2020 | Reuters

Ethiopia has filed terrorism charges against a prominent media mogul and opposition politician from the Oromo ethnic group, Jawar Mohammed, the attorney general’s office said on Saturday.

Regional party wins vote in Ethiopia’s Tigray, challenging federal government | 11 September 2020 | Reuters

The regional ruling party has won a landslide election victory in Ethiopia’s northern Tigray region, officials said on Friday, as a confrontation looms with national authorities who have branded the vote illegal.

Ethiopia bars journalists from flying to Tigray regional vote, passengers say | 7 September 2020 | Reuters

At least 12 people, including four journalists and a senior think tank analyst, were barred on Monday from flying to Tigray, four of the passengers said, after Ethiopian security officials said the region’s elections later this week were illegal.

Ethiopia’s upper house rules Tigray regional vote unconstitutional | 5 September 2020 | Reuters

Ethiopia’s upper house ruled on Saturday that plans by the Tigray region to hold an election on Sept. 9 were unconstitutional, setting up a potential clash between the central government and a powerful ethnic party.

Ethiopia’s Tigray region to holds poll, defying federal government | 4 September 2020 | Reuters

Ethiopia’s northern Tigray region will head to the polls on Wednesday in defiance of the federal government, the latest challenge to Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed from a slew of regional leaders flexing their muscles ahead of next year’s national elections.

Ethiopia’s Tigray region eyes election in challenge to national unity | 5 May 2020 | Reuters

Ethiopia’s Tigray region plans to hold elections, its main party said, setting it on a collision course with the federal government and testing the country’s fragile unity.

Ethiopia postpones August election due to coronavirus | 31 March 2020 | Reuters

Ethiopia has postponed parliamentary elections scheduled for August due to the coronavirus outbreak, the electoral board said on Tuesday, a move endorsed by some key opposition parties.

Ethiopia passes gun control law to tackle surge in violence | 9 January 2020 | Reuters

Ethiopia’s parliament passed legislation on Thursday aimed at curbing gun ownership after a surge in regional ethnic violence blamed on a proliferation of small arms in private hands.

Voting for Internal Secession – Federalism and ethnicity in Ethiopia | 28 November 2019 | Verfassungsblog

20 November 2019 might go down in history as one of the turning points for federalism in Ethiopia. It was the day on which the unparalleled clause of the Ethiopian Constitution, which provides ethnic communities with the right to establish their own state (i.e. subnational unit), was put into practice. Finally, after clamoring for their own state for years, the Sidama, the fifth largest ethnic group in the country, were allowed to have their day in a referendum.

Ethiopia’s ruling coalition agrees to form single party ahead of 2020 vote | 21 November 2019 | Reuters

Ethiopia’s ruling coalition on Thursday approved the merger of three of its four ethnic-based parties into a single national one ahead of the 2020 elections, part of the prime minister’s efforts to unite the country, but one of the parties boycotted the meeting and vote.

Violence during Ethiopian protests was ethnically tinged, say eyewitnesses | 26 October 2019 | Reuters

Much of the fighting seen during protests in Ethiopia this week was ethnically tinged, eyewitnesses said on Saturday, describing attacks by young men from the Oromo ethnic group against people from other ethnic groups.

Abiy Ahmed and the struggle to keep Ethiopia together | 11 October 2019 | The Africa Report

Ethiopia’s ongoing liberalisation and ethnic federalism are creating a combustible situation as ethnic groups seek more autonomy on economic, political and security matters.

Ethiopia to hold autonomy referendum for ethnic Sidama in November | 29 August 2019 | Reuters

Ethiopia on Thursday granted its ethnic Sidama community a referendum in November on self-determination, with a view to creating the country’s 10th autonomous region, Fana news agency reported.

Ethiopia’s opposition parties criticize election law changes | 24 August 2019 | Reuters

Ethiopian lawmakers on Saturday revised election laws to pave the way for polls next year, but some opposition parties said the changes would make it more difficult for them to challenge the ruling coalition.

Regional power grab attempt causes rare discord in Ethiopia coalition | 12 July 2019 | Reuters

A failed regional coup in Ethiopia has exposed rare divisions in the alliance that has dominated the country for three decades, with two of the four ethnic parties that form the ruling coalition trading insults in a public feud.

Abiy Ahmed’s reforms in Ethiopia lift the lid on ethnic tensions | 29 June 2019 | BBC

After launching the most ambitious reforms in his country’s history Ethiopia’s Prime Minister, Abiy Ahmed, is under threat. The murder of his army chief of staff amid an alleged coup attempt in the Amhara region has highlighted the vulnerability of the reform process. The BBC’s Africa Editor, Fergal Keane, analyses the challenge facing the continent’s youngest leader.

Nearly 250 arrested in Ethiopia after foiled coup | 27 June 1019 | Reuters

Nearly 250 people have been arrested in Ethiopia’s capital and the main city in its Amhara region since a coup attempt was foiled, state TV reported on Thursday.

Ethiopia’s ethnic militias in the spotlight after failed coup | 24 June 1019 | Reuters

A foiled coup in the Ethiopian state of Amhara that left five senior officials dead, including the army’s chief of staff, has thrust ethnic militias in one of Africa’s fastest-growing economies into the spotlight.

Ethiopia opposition see dangers if 2020 vote delayed | 21 June 1019 | Reuters

Opposition politicians in Ethiopia are warning against a delay to national elections due in 2020 that would be the first under reformist Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed but are under threat from an explosion of regional ethnic rivalries.

Ethiopia’s Ethnic Federalism: Part of the Problem or Part of the Solution | 23 January 2019 | Verfassungsblog

Lenin once famously said that ‘[t]here are decades where nothing happens; and there are weeks where decades happen’. This aptly describes the dizzying political sea change that Ethiopia has been going through since 2 April 2018, the day that saw the election of Abiy Ahmed as the Prime Minister. Since then, the country has witnessed political reforms that, if sustained, will soon herald a new era of democratization and human rights.

‘Nobody will kneel’: Tigrayans defiant as Ethiopian leader cracks down | 16 December 2018 | Reuters

In the birthplace of the armed struggle that propelled Ethiopia’s ruling coalition to power 27 years ago, there is growing anger as the country’s new prime minister stages a crackdown on the region’s once-powerful leaders.

Secessionism, Federalism and Constitutionalism in Ethiopia | 15 August 2018 | Verfassungsblog

On the morning of 4 August 2018, troops were seen taking over key positions in Jijiga, a capital city of the State of Somali, one of the constituent units of the Ethiopian federation. Heavily armed military vehicles were stationed outside the state parliament, the offices of state government and the state TV station. It was not an invasion by a foreign force. It was a federal intervention.

‘These changes are unprecedented’: how Abiy is upending Ethiopian politics | 8 July 2018 | The Guardian

Abiy Ahmed, the prime minister of Ethiopia, has accelerated a radical reform programme that is overturning politics in the vast, strategically significant African country.

Abiy Ahmed sworn in as Ethiopia’s prime minister | 2 April 2018 | al Jazeera

Ethiopia’s parliament has elected Abiy Ahmed as the new prime minister, a week after the ruling coalition nominated him to succeed Hailemariam Desalegn. Abiy was sworn in on Monday shortly after his election to become Africa’s second-most populous country’s 16th prime minister and the first Oromo to hold Ethiopia’s top seat.

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