Ethiopia

The civil war in the northern Ethiopian region of Tigray entered a new phase over the last few weeks when Tigrayan rebels recaptured Mekele, the regional capital, and forced the federal government forces to retreat. The swift defeat of the Ethiopian forces was a stunning reversal in a civil war that has led to the displacement of nearly two million people in the Tigray region, widespread hunger and atrocities on all sides.

At 3am on Wednesday, November 4, Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed appeared on state television to declare a six-month state of emergency in the country’s northern Tigray region. According to Abiy, the Tigray regional security forces had committed ‘treason’ by attacking federal military bases in the regional capital Mekelle as well as Dansha, killing and injuring an unspecified number of soldiers in the process. This announcement set in motion a chain of events which could eventually lead to the breakup of Ethiopia itself with far-reaching consequences for the Horn of Africa.

GERD workers

There is a crisis flowing downstream towards the mouth of arguably the world’s longest river. The Nile has been the source of Egypt’s water supply – and therefore the basis of agriculture in the country – for many thousands of years.

As food prices soar world-wide it was reported recently on the BBC that ‘Ethiopia has launched an urgent appeal to international donors for more than $300m (£154m) of emergency aid’. According the news item, ‘a total of 4.6 million people are now thought to need food aid’.