i looked around & couldn't find one

anyway here's something promising out of nowhere https://www.bbc.com/news/world-africa-44376298

Ethiopia 'accepts peace deal' to end Eritrea border war

Ethiopia's governing coalition has announced it will fully accept and implement the peace deal that ended its border war with Eritrea.

It says it will accept the outcome of a 2002 border commission ruling, which awarded disputed territories, including the town of Badme, to Eritrea.

This will end a dispute with Eritrea that sparked Africa's deadliest border war in 1998.

Tens of thousands of people were killed in two years of fighting.

The two sides have remained on a war footing as Ethiopia had, until now, refused to accept the ruling of the border commission, which was set up as part of a peace deal.

As a result, Ethiopia had refused to withdraw its troops out of the disputed areas - leading Eritrea to accuse Ethiopia of forcefully occupying its territory.

"The Eritrean government should take the same stand without any prerequisite and accept our call to bring back the long-lost peace of the two brother nations as it was before," the ruling Ethiopian People's Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF) wrote on Facebook.

Eritrea had refused to hold any talks with Ethiopia until it agreed unconditionally to the border commission's findings.

Ethiopia's new Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed had promised to make peace with the country's northern neighbour after taking power earlier this year.

BBC World Service Africa editor Will Ross says if Ethiopia does now remove soldiers from the disputed land, it would show it is serious about seeking peace.

bless the horn, down in Africa
im ready to read all the horn of africa discussion
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to some extent i wonder whether the border territory is just less important to the Ethiopian government these days. grabbing a few extra ill-gotten chunks of land for northern Tigray probably doesn't mean the same thing today as two decades ago; Ethiopia has been one of the fastest-growing economies of the 21st century, with much of that growth centered around urban centers expanding economically, demographically, and geographically

a few different visualizations of Addis Ababa, for example

Addis Ababa: Spatial Determinants of Growth (2014)

The Challenge of Urban Mobility: A case study of Addis Ababa Light Rail (2018)

The Evolving Urban Form: Addis Ababa (2012)

the encroachment of urban centers into surrounding countryside and villages has been one of the factors fueling the protests by Oromo communities in recent years, connecting it to broader systems of Abyssinian supremacy.

the social unrest culminated in the resignation of PM Hailemariam Desalegn and the inauguration of Abiy Ahmed, the first ethnic Oromo PM, in April. since assuming the position, he's been vocal about setting aside arms and building positive relations with Eritrea.

so, changing conditions at the base have propagated up into the superstructure, which brings me back to the first point about shifting priorities.

it's cool stuff, i wanna learn more. let's all learn more.

Edited by Constantignoble ()

the new PM apparently wants to privatize many sectors, thanks wikipedia
good to read some horn of africa discussion
Where is the website to donate to the somali coast guard, again?
just to further document the development (now with Document):


Joint Declaration of Peace and Friendship between Eritrea and Ethiopia

Conscious that the peoples of Ethiopia and Eritrea share close bonds of geography, history, culture, language and religion as well as fundamental common interests;

Recognizing that over the past decades, they were denied the opportunity to build a bright future for their peoples on the basis of their common heritage;

Determined to close this very costly chapter, which also had a detrimental role in the Horn of Africa, and to make up for lost opportunities and create even bigger golden opportunities for their peoples;

The governments of Ethiopia and Eritrea have reached the following joint agreement which reflects the desires and aspirations of their peoples:-

1. The state of war between Ethiopia and Eritrea has come to an end. A new era of peace and friendship has been opened.

2. The two governments will endeavor to forge intimate political, economic, social, cultural and security cooperation that serves and advances the vital interests of their peoples;

3. Transport, trade and communications links between the two countries will resume; diplomatic ties and activities will restart;

4. The decision on the boundary between the two countries will be implemented.

5. Both countries will jointly endeavor to ensure regional peace, development and cooperation.

Both governments express their gratitude to all friends of Eritrea and Ethiopia and call on them to redouble their solidarity and support.

Done in Asmara, July 9, 2018

For the State of Eritrea
President Isaias Afwerki

For the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia
Prime Minister Dr. Abiy Ahmed Ali


Ethiopia army chief shot dead in 'coup bid' attacks

The chief of staff of the Ethiopian army, Gen Seare Mekonnen, has been shot dead by his own bodyguard in the capital, Addis Ababa.

He and another officer died trying to prevent a coup attempt against the administration in Ethiopia's northern Amhara region, PM Abiy Ahmed said.

In Amhara itself, regional governor Ambachew Mekonnen was killed along with an adviser.

The government says the situation is under control after arrests were made.

The prime minister has gone on TV to urge Ethiopians to unite in the face of "evil" forces set on dividing the country.

The US state department has warned its staff in Addis Ababa to stay inside.


The government says it has reason to think the attack was linked to the assassination of the governor of Amhara a few hours earlier in the region's capital, Bahir Dar.

Mr Ambachew was killed at a meeting in his office along with his senior adviser, Ezez Wasie, while the region's attorney general was wounded.

Lake Ayalew has now been appointed as the region's acting governor.

The prime minister's office accused Amhara's regional security chief, Brig-Gen Asaminew Tsige, of plotting the coup attempt. It is unclear whether he has been arrested.

details are still fairly sparse, guess we'll see where this all lands in a few days

it makes me think about the situation in eritrea; observers have been wondering for the last year, "well if there's peace with ethiopia why haven't they axed their forced conscription program" and the typical response is "let's wait to see if abiy consolidates his power such that this can't all be reversed in one bad day," and this situation does add some credibility to that thought

also if anyone is interested in some light "i went to a place" journalism on eritrea, here are a couple of recent pieces by a ugandan academic writing for a kenyan publication:

Eritrea, the 'police state' where there are no cops to be seen

Ignore the naysayers, Asmara is not reclusive and is open for business

[account deactivated]
generally a safe bet, yeah.

just outside of the Horn proper, but probably shouldn't be overlooked:


Sudan protesters accept Ethiopia plan for political transition

Protest leaders in Sudan said on Saturday they have accepted the creation of a civilian-majority governing body for a political transition in the country, as proposed by an Ethiopian envoy.

The compromise blueprint suggests the creation of a 15-member governing body - comprising eight civilians and seven members of the military - that would install a civilian administration, according to AFP news agency.

"We think that our acceptance of the proposal is a major leap towards meeting the goals of the revolution, which are freedom, peace and justice," protest leader Babiker Faisal told reporters in a statement, AFP reported.

"It will put the country on the right track to create the transitional period that would usher in sustainable democracy."

The ruling Transitional Military Council (TMC) has yet to give its decision on the Ethiopian proposal.

although the true horn of africa is, of course, the vuvuzela,
Attempting to get a sense of the state of ethnic conflict in Ethiopia right now. obviously last summer was particularly bad, contributing a big chunk of the 1.5 million internally displaced just in 2018. nothing much has been resolved or eased since then.

here's a summary of the major sites of conflict, and in another piece that same author considers the federal dimensions of the problem. it's kind of nice to see at least someone thinking about why this is happening, rather than simply that it is happening (or not at all), though it's obviously far from a complete account of the contradictions at play. unfortunately, weighty reckonings of the status of class struggle in Ethiopia are pretty hard to come by (in English, at least). there isn't even an Ethiopia page on bannedthought

maybe some deeper analysis could be a project for a future date, when i've done more actual studying. for the moment, i'll leave it at linking some recent news:

Big deathtoll in Amhara in May, more than 200 dead:

More dead in the last day or two over Gumuz/Amhara conflict:

Sidama talking about declaring themselves semi-autonomous:

finally: Foreign Policy is blaming it on Abiy’s amnesty, among other things, though it says right in the piece that said policy was a plan that predated his rise to PM. makes gestures at the breakup of Yugoslavia, but i figure it’ll be the role of the imperial core that determines the final validity of that comparison. all in all, just FP doin' FP

Edited by Constantignoble ()


UN rights chief says war crimes may have been committed in Ethiopia after CNN reveals Tigray massacre

(CNN)The UN's high commissioner for human rights has called for an independent investigation into human rights violations that may amount to war crimes in Ethiopia's Tigray region, days after CNN published an exclusive report about a massacre in a village there.

how impressive that CNN was the one to determine this was Eritrea's doing! especially during an ongoing peace process, and at a time when the fascist, ethnic-supremacist TPLF is on record as having conducted a number of gruesome door-to-door indiscriminate killings in the region! the same TPLF that the USA funneled support to for decades. (supposedly we stopped earlier this century but lol)

Massacre in the mountains
They thought they'd be safe at a church. Then the soldiers arrived

A group of Eritrean soldiers opened fire on Maryam Dengelat church while hundreds of congregants were celebrating mass, eyewitnesses say. People tried to flee on foot, scrambling up cliff paths to neighboring villages. The troops followed, spraying the mountainside with bullets.

A CNN investigation drawing on interviews with 12 eyewitnesses, more than 20 relatives of the survivors and photographic evidence sheds light on what happened next.

The soldiers went door to door, dragging people from their homes. Mothers were forced to tie up their sons. A pregnant woman was shot, her husband killed. Some of the survivors hid under the bodies of the dead.

has the requisite luridness to capture the western imagination, for sure

Many of those abuses have been blamed on Eritrean soldiers, whose presence on the ground suggests that Abiy's much-lauded peace deal with Eritrean President Isaias Afwerki set the stage for the two sides to wage war against the TPLF -- their mutual enemy.

The US State Department, in a statement to CNN, called for Eritrean forces to be "withdrawn from Tigray immediately," citing credible reports of their involvement in "deeply troubling conduct." In response to CNN's findings, the spokesperson said "reports of a massacre at Maryam Dengelat are gravely concerning and demand an independent investigation."

Ethiopia responded to CNN's request for comment with a statement that did not directly address the attack in Dengelat. The government said it would "continue bringing all perpetrators to justice following thorough investigations into alleged crimes in the region," but gave no details about those investigations.

CNN has reached out for comment to Eritrea, which has yet to respond. On Friday, the government vehemently denied its soldiers had committed atrocities during another massacre in Tigray reported by Amnesty International.

The TPLF said in a statement to CNN that its forces were nowhere near Dengelat at the time of the massacre. It rejected that the victims could have been mistaken for being TPLF and called for a UN investigation to hold all sides accountable for atrocities committed during the conflict.

Still, the situation inside the country remains opaque. Ethiopia's government has severely restricted access to journalists and prevented most aid from reaching areas beyond the government's control, making it challenging to verify accounts from survivors. And an intermittent communications blackout during the fighting has effectively blocked the war from the world's eyes.

let's review: Ethiopia and Eritrea are fighting a common enemy, which is nothing the US state department ever wanted to see. the latter has a snappy response to this tragedy, being Troubled and Concerned, and knows exactly what should happen: Eritrea should withdraw. in support of this, they "cite" "credible reports" (no citation), which is definitely not just a textbook case of laundering their narratives through a news outlet haha.

regarding the players on the ground: Ethiopia: made a noncommittal statement, indicating they're not particularly eager to point a finger at Eritrea. Eritrea: made no statement, which plays into the hermit-kingdom-type narratives about it (my guess: CNN probably made the barest of perfunctory efforts to reach one low-level official or something and then ran with that). TPLF: made a statement to CNN. pretty impressive! a non-state actor in the region, ready with a statement for the US press. an org that received our backing with an emphasis on opposing Eritrea, wow. wonder what that means.

finally, there's the admission that no one knows what's happening on the ground, several paragraphs after they seeded the idea and anchored the expectation

the rest of the piece just goes over the grisly stuff in greater detail so brown-moses types can beat off, not even gonna bother reproducing it

Edited by Constantignoble ()

thanks for maintaining this thread poster Constantignoble. at some point the events you are discussing will become important to many TV crackers and then your thread will be drenched in the virtual blood of posting battle.
PM Abiy has issued a call for all able citizens to join in the fight against the TPLF

NAIROBI, Aug 10 (Reuters) - Ethiopia's government on Tuesday urged citizens to join the fight against resurgent Tigrayan forces now pushing beyond their own region in a nine-month-old war that has sparked a major refugee crisis.

easier-to-read transcription with some typos: https://www.fanabc.com/english/statement-by-pm-office-on-current-affairs-and-a-national-call/

Our country Ethiopia has maintained its independence and sovereignty by overcoming the challenges of the past and all the forces of evil that have engaged us. Our heroic mothers and fathers have brought both foreign invaders and treasonous locals to their knees and left us today’s Ethiopia by gambling away their lives.

In a coincidence of history, even today, traitors that bit the hands that fed them and turned their backs on the Ethiopia that breastfed them, are conspiring with those near and far to weaken and dismantle the country.

At this crucial period in time when our country has embarked on discarding the tattered shawls of poverty and instead is heading towards our inevitable path of prosperity, our historical enemies are feverishly organizing to deter us from our path.

The TPLF terrorist enterprise that has been piping a tune of “If don’t rule Ethiopia, then let it be destroyed” has become a willing accomplice for our enemies and drumming destruction and instability.


They have made it their full-time job to sabotage rebuilding efforts by disrupting the distribution of humanitarian assistance and the resumption of infrastructure repairs, destroying health and education facilities, brutally killing members of the interim administration, and disrupting agricultural activities. The international community has turned a deaf ear, influenced instead by forces that seek to aggravate the problem. It has refused to recognize the complex nature of the process and the destructive nature of the terrorist group, abandoning truth and echoing the voices of the perpetrators. Some members of the international community, which have been silent on the group’s brutal history of human rights abuses and destruction of the lives of millions while it was in power, have chosen to ignore the Government’s positive efforts, rather seeking to resuscitate and use the terrorist group for their own agenda.


The killings and looting of communities in neighbouring Amhara and Afar regions continue. They have prevented farmers from cultivating their lands. They even robbed monasteries. They barred aid trucks from entering Tigray. The terrorist group has banned the distribution of food in Meketle to those who would not join their fight. Although our National Defence Forces and Regional Special Forces have complied with the Government’s decision of a unilateral humanitarian ceasefire, the terrorist group boldly continued to commit crimes.

Its leaders have arrogantly declared that the TPLF’s goal and purpose is to disintegrate Ethiopia. With the help of foreign support, they have chosen to pull the trigger for further destruction.


Our Defence Forces, Regional Special Forces and Militia are directed to halt the destruction of the treasonous and terrorist TPLF organization and the machinations of foreign hands once and for all. Now is the right time for all capable Ethiopians who are of age to join the Defence Forces, Special Forces and militias and show your patriotism.


The battle is not with Tigray, but with the terrorist forces that have found hiding in Tigray. Hence, we are battling to liberate the people of Tigray, that are being used as an instrument by TPLF, and the whole of Ethiopia from the terrorist group; to maintain the peace and unity of our country.

Our struggle is against the forces near and far, which are behind the terrorist TPLF to dismantle our country and destroy Ethiopia’s existence. Therefore, all patriots should stand with all their hearts to protect their sovereignty today, as in the past, with determination to defend the dignity and glory of their country.

Indeed, Ethiopia will forever stand honored through the efforts of her children, while our names will remain written as heroes in the records of history.

bolding mine, partly to draw attention to how no one could possibly miss that it's decrying the TPLF and not the Tigrayan ethnic group, unless your paycheck depends on it:

(see also the quote up at the top of the post)

Edited by Constantignoble ()