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Monday, December 05, 2022

Peace in Ethiopia is a victory for African unity

Georgia Meloni and Abiy Ahmed meet in the framework of the United Nations Conference on Climate Change

The so-called Horn of Africa is of central importance in world politics. Most trade between Asia and Europe passes through the Bab el Mandeb strait, between Yemen and Djibouti. Except for the aforementioned former French colony, the other three countries in the region (Somalia, Ethiopia, and Eritrea) have been involved in border or civil wars for three decades, which have led to the deaths of millions and the emigration of hundreds of thousands of refugees, who are living in Sudan and Try to reach Italy via Libya. Therefore, even more important is the peace agreement that the Ethiopian central government and the Tigrigna People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) signed on 2 November through the African Union.

The accord not only restored the unity of the state, but also closed a lucrative source of income for refugee smugglers, some of the NGOs working with them and the United Nations Organization for Refugees (UNHCR) and gave a strong impetus to interventionist policy. signaled defeat. United States of america. Africa not only solves its own problems by rejecting the intervention of the Great Powers, but also helps solve Europe’s problems.

A few days ago, on the sidelines of the United Nations Climate Summit “COP27”, held in Sharm el-Sheikh (Egypt), and attended by about 120 heads of state and government, the President of the Council of Ministers of Italy, Giorgia Meloni of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia Had a bilateral meeting with Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed. In addition to the desire of both sides to “consolidate historical bilateral ties and strengthen economic ties”, Italy and Ethiopia have been linked for years by a common destiny: peninsular colonization until 1941 and immigration from the Horn of Africa to southern Europe. ,

In short, at a time when Meloni is confronting European NGOs who are pressuring Italy for a safe harbor to evacuate immigrants, the Tigrigna People’s Liberation Front’s dedication represents a historic event that will give Rome Takes off from a strong ballast. Since 2004, the organization has built four reception camps in its province for refugees from neighboring Eritrea, accompanying them to Sudan and managing their flow into the central Mediterranean. In fact, most of the victims of the Lampedusa tragedy of October 3, 2013, where a ship full of refugees sank, killing 359, came from the same Tigre reception camps. In practice, the TPLF used Eritrean refugees as a media and financial instrument to overthrow the neighboring country’s arch-enemy government.

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Agreement Ends Emigration Of Hundreds Of Thousands Of Refugees
Agreement ends emigration of hundreds of thousands of refugees

Ethiopia is a country of just over one million square kilometers in East Africa, without access to the sea, with an ancient cultural tradition, inhabited by 108 million inhabitants, mostly belonging to the Oromo people, but with a significant Tigrinha minority and many others. with people. Homo sapiens probably originated there and important influences for the emergence of ancient Egyptian culture and monotheism originated from that region. In Ethiopia, the first African state was also organized 2,400 years ago. Already in the 4th century it adopted Christianity as its official religion. This country and Liberia were the only countries in Africa that maintained their independence throughout the colonial period, although Ethiopia was colonized by Benito Mussolini between 1936 and 1941. Like Italy, it had colonies in Eritrea and Somalia between the end of the 19th century and World War II. , , the whole region is closely related to the southern European peninsula.

When the aging Emperor Haile Selassie (1930–36 and 1941–74) was deposed in 1974, a socialist republic was established which was overthrown in 1991 following the collapse of the USSR. After Eritrea’s independence in 1991 and until 2018, Ethiopia was governed by a coalition of small ethnic groups led by the Tigrinya.

Abiy Ahmed restored the majority Oromo government in 2018, but in November 2020 the Tigrina People’s Liberation Front launched a war against the federal government, causing hundreds of thousands of deaths and displacing millions. After a five-month ceasefire, in August 2021 TPLF militiamen attacked the Ethiopian army, capturing cities such as Kobo and Almata in the Amhara region. However, in fierce fighting, the federal army drove them back towards Tigray and managed to liberate cities such as Shire, Axum and Adua in a short period of time.

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Ethiopia Is The Oldest State In Africa And One Of The Most Important In The East Of The Continent.
Ethiopia is the oldest state in Africa and the most important in the east of the continent

The TPLF’s military defeat, especially the conquest of the Shire, was a severe blow to the United States, which had sponsored, financed, and encouraged them for 29 years. In fact, in order to protect them, they put a lot of pressure on the Abiy government, even imposing various sanctions on it. However, the Prime Minister of Ethiopia responded by occupying all air bases in Tigray: “These measures are necessary not only because of the Tplf’s repeated attacks, but also because of its active collusion with hostile foreign powers,” he announced at the time. It is that, under the pretext of providing humanitarian aid, several organizations funded by Washington landed at the airports of the region carrying war material.

Finally, on 2 November, almost by surprise, a peace agreement was reached between the Ethiopian federal government and the Tplf in Pretoria, in an initiative promoted by the African Union and chaired by former Nigerian President Olusegun Obasanjo and former Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta. which provides for the total disarmament of Tigrinya militiamen.

This peace agreement brings an end to the TPLF era in the Horn of Africa, its divisive policies, hatred between ethnic groups and militarization of the entire region. Their defeat marks the end of the youth exodus from the Horn of Africa and is a relief for Italy. With the Tigrinya front, the US also loses its main base of operations in the east of the continent. It is an unexpected success of “African solutions to African problems”, a precedent that bodes well for Pan-Africanism and a breakthrough towards a multipolar world free from colonial alignments.

*Opinions expressed are the sole responsibility of the author(s) and do not necessarily represent the position of the agency.

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