Posts by: Alex DeWaal

Today, Ethiopia is a land marked by the starkest contrast: feast and famine.

In Addis Ababa, Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed is holding a lavish celebration to inaugurate his new government, on a scale not seen since the coronation of Emperor Haile Selassie almost one hundred years ago. There are vast crowds, parades, state banquets, and […]

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For three months, international estimates of the number of people facing humanitarian emergency or famine in Tigray have not shifted. On July 2, the UN said that 400,000 people were in “famine-like conditions.” On August 26, the UN said the same thing. That’s not because things haven’t changed for the worse. Every indication […]

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By Alex de Waal and Bridget Conley. (Image: Adrian Wallace via Flickr, 2007).

WPF’s employee of the month in September 2021 is military intervention. Military intervention is the privilege assumed by the great power of the day. For thirty years the world power has been the self-styled “indispensable nation”: the United States […]

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Originally published by Responsible Statescraft on September 17, 2021.

Out of the headlines, the civil war in Ethiopia rages on. Thousands are dying in bloody battles between Tigrayan resistance fighters and the ill-trained recruits that the Ethiopian government is deploying to shore up its shattered army. More than 200 massacre sites have been documented in […]

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To end a war, enemies have to talk. Even if they start off refusing to meet each other face to face, they can speak to a mediator. Skilled mediators gain trust with the warring leaders and then use that rapport to encourage those leaders to open direct negotiations. Every peacemaker’s memoir describes how such personal […]

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September 11—or Meskerem 1—is Ethiopian New Year’s Day. At the stroke of midnight on September 10/11 2001, the Sheraton Hotel in Addis Ababa began a wonderful fireworks display, to rival any pyrotechnics in the world. I remember it vividly—and what happened in the hours that followed. This is a brief personal reflection on those momentous […]

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