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On Ethiopia’s Return to Civil War: Its Background, Causes, Prognosis, and Prospects for Resolution



The Research Center for Human Dignity & GRM’s Global Situation Room

On Ethiopia’s Return to Civil War: Its Background, Causes, Prognosis, and Prospects for Resolution

Guest Speaker:
Alemayehu Fentaw Weldemariam

Date: December 21,Monday 2020
Time: 10:00 A.M.

ZOOM link:
Click here
Meeting ID:
999 1099 2895

Language: English
*No Reservation Required

Lecture Abstract
Ethiopia has returned to civil war after almost 30 years since the end of the 17-years long civil war in 1991. Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed of Ethiopia formally declared war on 4 November 2020 on Tigray region in north of Ethiopia. The federal government of Ethiopia accused the Tigray People’s Liberation Front, TPLF, of attacking the Federal Northern Command. Ethiopia is technically in a state of civil war, despite official statements to the contrary. The major cause of the war is a conflict between Abiy Ahmed and TPLF over the scale and speed of Abiy’s reform programs and the postponement of the 2020 national and regional elections, causing mutual brinkmanship and delegitimization. What’s at the root of this conflict between Mekele, regional capital Tigray, and Addis Abba, the federal capital, is Abiy Ahmed’s overvaulting ambition for power consolidation and desire to recreate the Ethiopian state in his own image. The aim of the war is the complete subjugation of Tigray by the federal government. The threat to Tigray is none but existential. The war will cause a humanitarian crisis of biblical proportions unfolding against a backdrop of complex ethnic and power dynamics, which will end up destabilizing not only the country of 110 million, but also the entire Horn of Africa region unless checked in time. The scope of the war is quickly changing, as it draws in Eritrea and the United Arab Emirates, UAE. In this talk, I’d like to explore the background, causes, and implications of the war to Tigray, Ethiopia, and the Horn of Africa region.

Lecturer-in-Law, Mekelle University, Mekelle, Tigray, EthiopiaAlemayehu was born on June 8, 1980, at Alamata, Tigray, Ethiopia. He is an academic, lawyer, theorist, public intellectual and conflict analyst based in Washington DC. He has published several articles about legal pluralism, federalism, human rights, unfair trade practices and competition law, Ethiopian foreign policy and Sudan, and Somalia. Alemayehu received his Master of Science in Conflict Analysis and Resolution at George Mason University in 2016 and MA in Peace and Conflict Studies at the European University Center for Peace Studies, Stadtschlaining, Austria where he was also the Salzburg Global Fellow. In addition, he earned his Bachelor of Laws (LLB) at the Addis Ababa University, Faculty of Law, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. Highly regarded for his objective and critical analyses of the role of Ethiopian law and politics in affecting the country’s national security and foreign policy. Alemayehu writes regularly on Ethiopian politics. His book “Legal Pluralism in Ethiopia: A Critical Introduction”, was published by Lambert Academic Publishing, Saarbrücken, Germany, 2010. He was featured in several media outlets, and was asked to participate in briefings with the UN Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Religion and the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom.