Posts by: Alex DeWaal

Ethiopia’s Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed inherited a state. He sacrificed it to the dream of an empire. On his current trajectory, Abiy’s political obituary will be that he left Ethiopians with neither state nor empire.

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There’s a chance to de-escalate the war in Ethiopia and begin negotiations towards peace. The opportunity is slender but worth taking. It starts with calming the rhetoric.

The alternative is that the public rhetoric escalates and the next phase of the war—in Western Tigray and Tselemti, areas claimed and currently occupied by Amhara regional state—becomes […]

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There’s a new reality in Ethiopia: the Tigray Defense Force has defeated the Ethiopian National Defense Force.

In a series of battles over the last two weeks, the TDF has broken the back of the ENDF and taken control of most of Tigray. The armed forces do not possess the leadership, capacity, resources, or time […]

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Published June 21, 2021 in The Baffler, read the full excerpt at, The Unwinnable War on Disease.

In my book New Pandemics, Old Politics, I tell the history of the modern world in four pandemics. It […]

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In the aftermath of the military defeats suffered by the Ethiopian National Defense Force (ENDF) in Tigray there is an immediate high risk of reprisals against civilians.

Last week the Tigray Defense Forces (TDF) took the strategic offensive for the first time and destroyed an ENDF force of approximately 15,000 men and captured significant amounts […]

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African leaders promised to “silence the guns” by 2020. Today, it is Africa’s voice for peace that is silent.

Just two decades ago, when the G7 leaders assembled, it was standard for Africa to be on the agenda, represented by an African leader who was forging a new partnership between a democratizing and developing continent […]

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