Ethiopia faces test on unity, ahead of referendum on breakaway region
02 October 2021 | 6:05 am
Residents of Ethiopia's southern Kaffa zone have faced what many see as over a century of underinvestment by authorities in Addis Ababa. But Kaffa's leaders plan to fix it with a referendum that, if successful, would carve out a new South West region, Ethiopia's 11th, and funnel more federal cash their way, as well as control over how it is spent.
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There has been a sustained diplomatic push trying to bring peace to the Tigray region, with the conflict parties holding talks in neighboring Djibouti. Just days ago, the Tigray People's Liberation Front said it was ready for a ceasefire. But now there is more violence again.
The vast Casamance forest region in Senegal is known for its rare woods: rosewood, and the Cayor pear tree, among others. Officially they are protected, but armed independence fighters smuggle the wood on the black market. These groups often raze entire plots of land and then export the wood, mainly to China via neighbouring Gambia. Clashes with the fighters have killed several people this year.
UN chief Antonio Guterres warned Monday that the situation in Ethiopia was "spiralling out of control" as fighting raged in the north of the country and the government vowed to seize control of airports and other sites in Tigray.
'Situation in Ethiopia is spiraling out of control'
The warring sides in Ethiopia's two-year-long brutal conflict head to South Africa for peace negotiations, although the talks are pushed back to Tuesday. Staying in South Africa, President Cyril Ramaphosa submits his "action plan" in response to the Zondo Commission's report into graft and fraud in the public sector under his predecessor Jacob Zuma.
Peace talks aimed at ending the two-year-old conflict in the Tigray regions of Ethiopia have begun in Pretoria. The negotiations follow a surge in violence in recent weeks.
Every party involved in the war in northern Ethiopia has committed crimes against humanity, Amnesty International said on Wednesday, calling for a probe into abuses in the nearly two-year conflict.
The World Health Organization warned that hospitals are running dangerously low on medical supplies, as fighting between federal and Tigrayan forces intensify following a lull in the conflict between March and August.
Despite being on trial for corruption charges, Israel's longest-serving prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, is hoping to make a comeback as Israelis vote in their five election in less than four years. The conservative leader was ousted just 16 months ago by a diverse coalition that united against him but ultimately fell apart.
The African Union has been mediating an end to the two-year conflict. The deal came hours after Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed claimed his forces were close to "winning".
The Ethiopian government and Tigrayan forces formally signed a truce Wednesday, raising hopes that two years of devastating war that threatened to tear apart Africa’s second-most-populous country might be coming to an end.
One day after Ethiopia's historic truce agreement, we get all of the reaction as Addis Ababa and Tigray look ahead to a renewed path of understanding and cooperation. World powers are now voicing cautious optimism for the country's future but a long road of recovery lies ahead.
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