Ethiopia’s war and conflicts in Sudan, South Sudan and Somalia will shape the year 2022


Welcome to Foreign policyAfrica’s letter.

This week’s edition is the last of the year. Below we take a look at the conflicts that will shape Africa in the coming year and other things we will observe, from the government crisis in Somalia to the stalled transition in Sudan. See you in 2022.

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The focus is on conflicts in the Horn of Africa

Ethiopia’s federal government said last Thursday that his troops would not advance further into the northern region of Tigray. The move came days after the Tigrayan rebels announced a retreat and the recent retaking of strategic cities north of the capital Addis Ababa by federal troops. Humanitarian organizations hope this latest announcement will lead to a possible ceasefire, although official peace talks have not yet started.

No one could have predicted how many twists and turns the war of more than a year in Ethiopia would bring with it. The Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed, who was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 2019, has developed from an international hero for ending his country’s 20-year conflict with Eritrea into the front line troops in the fight against the Tigrayan rebels since taking office in 2018.

The conflict in the region began on November 4, 2020 when Abiy ordered a military response against the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) after it attacked military bases of the Federal Army’s Northern Command.

The outbreak of war was followed by months of growing tensions between the federal government and the TPLF, which had previously dominated the ruling Revolutionary Democratic Front of the People in Ethiopia and led a repressive authoritarian government from 1991 until the rise of Abiy after widespread protests against the government. Abiy’s efforts to make peace with longtime enemy Eritrea and bring ethnic diversity to the upper ranks of the Tigrayan-dominated federal army were perceived as provocative by the TPLF.

Abiy promised a swift offensive and appeared to have put down the rebellion in early 2021, but Tigrayan’s forces then recaptured their regional capital, Mekele, in the summer and made further progress. Last month, the TPLF threatened to march on Addis Ababa before withdrawing as federal troops retook key cities.

The United Nations has accused all sides of having committed atrocities during the war. More than 1 million people have been displaced from Tigray since the conflict began, and some 5.2 million of the six million people living in Tigray are starving, according to the US Agency for International Development.

December 24th was Ethiopia REMOVED from the United States’ Duty Free Trade Agreement under the African Growth and Opportunity Act. US officials threatened in November to revoke preferential trading status over “gross human rights violations”. Guinea and Mali were also removed due to coups in these countries.

The Biden administration is increasing affected that Turkey, China, and the United Arab Emirates help arm Ethiopian federal troops with drones. The possibility of further Sanctions or interventions can only exacerbate the conflict, analysts warn. As Bronwyn Bruton and Ann Fitz-Gerald argued in Foreign policy this week: “US policy on the Horn of Africa is in tatters. … For some time now, the USA has been losing ground to China, Russia, Turkey and the Gulf States in Africa. But now there is not a single nation in the geostrategically important region of Horn, which is reliably located in Washington’s corner. “

Ethiopian leaders have shown little appetite for Western mediation after opposing various international calls for an end to the fighting. Attempts by the African Union to negotiate a ceasefire have also produced few tangible results.

What happens in Ethiopia in 2022 is likely to reverberate on the Horn of Africa, making it an important region to watch.


What we will see in 2022

Government crisis in Somalia. Somali President Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed (commonly known by the nickname Farmaajo) suspended Prime Minister Mohamed Hussein Roble’s powers on Monday. The President accused the Prime Minister of corruption in an ongoing investigation. “The duties and powers of the prime minister remain suspended pending the conclusion of the ongoing investigation,” said a statement from the Somali presidential office.

Roble said the move amounts to one open coup. The two have been involved in a power struggle for months and on Sunday they accused each other of the indirect parliamentary elections that began on November 1st. accomplished until December 24th.

As of Saturday, only 24 of 275 MPs were reportedly elected. The US Embassy in Somalia pushed Leader, “Take Immediate Steps To De-escalate Tensions”. In April fighting broke out in the capital Mogadishu after Farmaajo controversially agreed to an extension of his mandate that should have ended in February – a move he sided with. defended Foreign policy in May.

The crisis in Somalia has many facets – including widespread food insecurity, drought and increasing violence by the al-Qaeda-affiliated extremist group al-Shabab. More than 80 percent Somalia is estimated to experience severe drought conditions, the United Nations warned, and this is likely to lead to further conflict.

Decade of war in South Sudan. Two years after it broke away from Sudan in 2011, South Sudan found itself in turmoil amid clashes between President Salva Kiir and Vice President Riek Machar. This resulted in a civil war killed around 400,000 people, and although the war officially ended in 2020, violence between warring factions in government and rival local groups continued.

Nicholas Haysom, UN Secretary-General’s Special Representative for South Sudan, warned that the emerging uncertainty is of “great concern”. In July, violence between armed youths in Tonj in the north-west of the country ransacked or destroyed a four-month supply of food for 41,000 people. Some 8.3 million People need humanitarian aid, according to the United Nations fear Tensions could increase.


Sudanese anti-coup protesters attend a gathering in Omdurman, Sudan, on October 30th to express their support for the country’s democratic transition.– / AFP via Getty Images

Sudan’s stalled transition. Sudanese protesters continue to call for an end to the role of the military in the country’s transition to democracy. The Central Committee of Sudanese Doctors, a union affiliated with the protest movement, said On the 10th day of the pro-democracy demonstrations against a coup on October 25, led by General Abdel Fattah al-Burhan, 178 people were injured by security forces.

Sudan’s military reinstated overthrew Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok on November 21, almost a month after he was placed under house arrest. Hamdok said the deal he signed with the military allowed him to form a new technocratic transitional government, but protesters are now calling for his resignation over an agreement that ensures the legitimacy of the military and excludes civilian politicians from the Sudanese cabinet.

The country is said to go bankrupt in 2022. Authorities allegedly backed up more than $ 1.2 billion in hard currency reserves to cover imported goods during the coup, leaving its treasury empty. Sudan secured $ 2.5 billion loan however, the International Monetary Fund in June frozen it – along with $ 700 million in direct aid from the US government – due to the coup.

Sudan has 52 of its 65 years under military control since independence; Some analysts suggest that any transition to a fully democratic system would be immense difficult reach.

Combating the ADF in Uganda. Uganda on Thursday charged 15 people with terrorism Offense in terms of Bomb attacks At least nine people were killed in the capital Kampala and elsewhere in October and November. The Islamic State, which is allied with the local rebel group Allied Democratic Forces (ADF), Responsibility assumed for the November attacks.

Originally a Ugandan group, the ADF moved to the dense forests of eastern DRC for more than three decades after escaping attacks by the Ugandan military. It pledged allegiance to the Islamic State in 2019, although some experts deny it shortcut. However, other researchers argue that the ADF’s rampant violence and evolving propaganda correspond with higher external funding and a higher relationship with the Islamic State.

Uganda’s troops entered the Congo this month in a joint military offensive against the ADF. But Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni, who has been in office since 1986, is himself accused Alignment Opposition and human rights violations. Uganda is also the largest host country for refugees in Africa with around 1.56 million Refugees from the neighboring country South Sudan, Congo and Somalia.

Nineteen months after the COVID-19 pandemic, Ugandan schools are still up closed, the longest closure in the world. It is to be feared that one third these students are never allowed to return to the classroom. Deadly raids Uganda’s security forces, an inexplicable authoritarian government, and dwindling economic prospects for young people without formal education are likely to help rebel groups like the ADF attract new members.


Famine in Nigeria’s refugee camps. Some women living in internally displaced persons (IDPs) camps in Nigeria said they preferred living as abductees in Boko Haram-ruled cities because of access to food. HumAngle reported. Aminata, a former Boko Haram prisoner who was forcibly married to a terrorist after her abduction, said her existence with the insurgent group was better. Many who live in the Dalori IDP camp on the outskirts of Maiduguri in northeastern Nigeria told the story HumAngle that they had done without government or non-governmental meal cards for months.

Can Barrow deliver in Gambia? After the Gambian President Adama Barrow’s second term in office, the pressure on him to provide efficient public services has increased, writes Sait Matty Jaw in African arguments. Overall, the December elections were the most credible in Gambia’s recent political history. Many Gambians hope that Barrow’s second term will differ from his first and that he will comply with the institutional and legal reforms he has promised to fight corruption.



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