Tensions still simmering in The Horn of Africa

13 January 2021

Ethiopia has recently experienced war in the Tigray region. The Ethiopian government clashed with members of the people of Tigray. The government believed there were Tigrayans who aimed to secede from the state’s federal system.

Photo by Hasan Almasi

As recently as two days ago, Ethiopia’s military reported killing fifteen members of the Tigray ruling party. Other party members were captured.

Ethiopia’s conflict has ethnic characteristics. Abiy Ahmed, Prime Minister of Ethiopia, stems from the Oromo people. The people of Tigray, with whom the government is clashing, are Tigrayans.

The crisis in Ethiopia has humanitarian consequences. Thousands of Tigrayans now live as refugees in neighbouring countries, including over 56,000 in Sudan.

There are reports of hunger and limited access to water and medical care for the refugees.

To date, interventions from the African Union (AU) in the conflict have been unsuccessful.

The Institute for Security Studies states that “as the continent continues to grapple with peace and security challenges, the AU’s own principles continue to diminish its ability to prevent and respond to conflicts in 2021 and beyond”.