Egypt and Ethiopia have otherwise been locked in a low-intensity contest over which nation would dominate the region, undermining each other’s interests in Eritrea, Somalia and South Sudan. A quiet but long-sustained rivalry, it is one of those rarely noticed but important fault lines in international relations that allow other conflicts to rumble on.
This week, however, President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi of Egypt is expected to fly to Addis Ababa, the capital of Ethiopia, to attend a summit of the African Union. He will also meet with Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn of Ethiopia, a rare chance to shift the political landscape in northeastern Africa.Continue Reading →
My main points are that peace needs money. More particularly, the way in which peace is financed determines the nature of that peace. Sustainable peace requires the right kind of money. I am not talking about financing peace processes—which are invariably good value for money, even if the day-to-day expenses of hosting delegates in hotels might appear to be extravagant—but rather the financing of the post-peace dispensation.
There has been much attention to how natural resources can be a curse rather than a blessing, and can drive conflict. There is less attention on how rental revenues, including natural resources along with aid and security cooperation rents, shape the prospects for peace. Nonetheless, there is a certain model for peacemaking that has become dominant in Africa, and that model has built-in assumptions about the nature of how peace will be financed.Continue Reading →
Remarks by Alex de Waal on the occasion of the first anniversary commemoration of the death of Meles Zenawi, Prime Minister of Ethiopia, Addis Ababa, August 20, 2013.
It is a privilege to be here today, to honour the memory of the late Prime Minister Meles Zenawi.
I first had the opportunity to [...]Continue Reading →
As we all recall, on 28 January 2012, our Heads of State and Government laid the foundation stone for the AU Human Rights Memorial (AUHRM) during the inauguration of the new AU Conference Centre and Office Complex. This is a very important project not only to preserve the memory of mass atrocities but also to prevent future recurrence of such crimes. We should, therefore, spare no effort to enable this Memorial achieve its central objective of becoming a permanent centre where people from all over the world gather to reflect on the sanctity of life. It should also serve as a place where our policy makers renew their collective commitment to prevent atrocious crimes such as genocide from happening ever again on our continent.Continue Reading →
The extraction of the Falasha from Ethiopia remains a dark chapter in our history which we should not forget. As a nation we are poorer, deprived of their cultural and historical legacy. As a nation we are shamed by the cynical way in which our leaders exploited them for money and weapons. Most importantly, the Ethiopian Jews have become victims of this relocation, at best unwitting, at worst coerced. It is not surprising that people who have undergone such an uprooting are traumatized and prone to become social casualties. The revelation that the Israeli state has systematically violated their rights in the most sinister manner, betraying the trust that the Beta Israel put in that government as their protector, is a signal that this historic wrong needs to be righted.Continue Reading →
In the months following his death on 20 August, Ethiopia’s Prime Minister Meles Zenawi has been eulogized and demonized in equal measure. But his policies, and the transformational paradigm on which they were based, have rarely been elucidated. While alive, Meles was equally indifferent to praise and blame. To those who acclaimed Ethiopia’s remarkable economic growth, he would ask, do they understand that his policies completely contradicted the neo-liberal Washington Consensus? To those who condemned his measures against the political opposition and civil society organizations, he demanded to know how they would define democracy and seek a feasible path to it, in a political economy dominated by patronage and rent seeking?Continue Reading →
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