The Horn of Africa represents an area of strategic importance for the United States, and the current peace process in Ethiopia is an example of the positive role that U.S. engagement can have in the region. Ambassador Mike Hammer, the U.S. special envoy for the Horn of Africa, discusses his meetings with USIP’s Red Sea Study Group, how the cessation of hostilities agreement in northern Ethiopia came to fruition, and the latest U.S. efforts to ensure a lasting peace in Ethiopia through humanitarian assistance, accountability for human rights violations and a host of other avenues for bringing stability back to the region.

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Taking Ethiopia-Eritrea Tensions Seriously

Taking Ethiopia-Eritrea Tensions Seriously

Friday, December 15, 2023

By: Michael Woldemariam

The historically fraught relationship between Ethiopia and Eritrea is deteriorating once again. A seemingly momentous peace deal that brought the two sides together in 2018 now appears to have been a brief interlude in a longer arc of enduring rivalry. The sources of recent tension include Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed’s public posturing around sea access and dynamics seeded by the 2018 peace deal itself. Neither side can afford escalation, but open conflict remains a possibility and even outcomes well short of direct hostilities — perhaps a return to the “no war, no peace” situation of preceding decades — would be disastrous for the two nations and the broader region.

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The Latest @ USIP: Women’s Inclusion and Transitional Justice in Ethiopia

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Monday, April 24, 2023

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During Ethiopia’s disastrous two-year civil conflict, women were subjected to countless acts of conflict-related sexual violence by security forces on both sides. Now that a peace process has begun, securing true transitional justice will require women’s participation and leadership throughout the negotiations. Filsan Abdi, founder director of the Horn Peace Institute, discusses her decision to resign from her prior position as Ethiopia’s minister of women, children and youth in protest of the violence, why women’s participation is so vital to the long-term success of peacebuilding and democracy in the Horn of Africa, and why the current peace process gives her hope despite its shortcomings.

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Peace for Ethiopia: What Should Follow Blinken’s Visit?

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Friday, March 17, 2023

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Secretary of State Antony Blinken’s talks in Ethiopia and his announcement of new U.S. aid this week advance vital steps for building peace in the country and greater stability in East Africa. Yet those tasks remain arduous and will require difficult compromises on all sides in Ethiopia’s conflicts. U.S. and international policymakers face a tough calculation over how to mesh critical goals: restoring full trade and economic assistance to help Ethiopia meet its people’s needs while also pressing all sides to advance justice and reconciliation to address the atrocities committed and damage caused during the war.

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Ethiopia’s civil war is raging. How can it get on track toward peace?

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Tuesday, October 18, 2022

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In August, the devastating conflict in northern Ethiopia resumed, effectively ending the March 2022 humanitarian truce between the Ethiopian federal government and Tigrayan forces, which many hoped would pave the way for a negotiated cease-fire and peace talks. This week, the African Union’s chairperson called for an immediate cease-fire and U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken also called on the parties to cease hostilities and participate in talks organized by the African Union. What comes next in Ethiopia will have major implications for its people, the strategically vital Red Sea arena and for U.S. interests in the region. Stepped up, senior-level U.S. engagement is direly needed to get Ethiopia on a path toward peace.

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