Addis Ababa has followed in Cairo's footsteps and hired a US lobbying heavyweight. Worried his Egyptian rival will take the lead in the Grand Renaissance dam debate and concerned about his declining reputation over the Tigray conflict, the Ethiopian prime minister is working institutions, diplomats, and the media.
As soon as he arrived in power in 2018, the Ethiopian prime minister announced that he planned to reform the Ethiopian army high command, which he saw as a Tigrayan leadership stronghold. The reform, which was carried out quietly over two years, enabled Abiy to remove officers too closely linked to the Tigray People's Liberation Front.
The Emirati armed forces stationed at the Assab base in Eritrea since 2015 have discreetly been packing their bags in recent days. Their departure, which is connected Abu Dhabi's decision to withdraw from the conflict in Yemen, could have repercussions as far afield as Tigray.
Abiy Ahmed Ali has adamantly rejected any outside help in his confrontation with Tigray's leaders. That hasn't stopped Uhuru Kenyatta trying to establish himself as the leader of a pro-Abiy regional coalition that would put into play AU demands for moderation.
Breaking news, Monday 9 November 2020, 2:20 p.m. - Worried that they could be attacked by Eritrea to the north and the federal army to the south, Tigray's leaders have appealed for help from the chairman of the pan-African institution, South African president Cyril Ramaphosa.
Following the Cairo visit of the president of the Sudanese transition Abdel Fattah Al Burhan, Egyptian intelligence has opened a military liaison bureau in Khartoum. The stated objective is to prevent any Islamist rearguard action against the transitional government.
Since early November, no fewer than 64 senior executives at the military industrial complex controlled by the TPLF (Tigray People's Liberation Front) have been arrested on suspicion of corruption and human rights abuses. The Indian Ocean Newsletter has the inside