AU Summit in Addis Ababa Raises Concerns Over Ethiopia’s Internal Conflicts

The annual summit of the African Union (AU) in Addis Ababa has drawn attention to Ethiopia’s internal conflicts, raising questions about the AU’s muted stance on the situation. The summit, which began on Thursday, aims to address issues of regional integration and peace and security.

Despite the AU Commission Chairperson Moussa Faki Mahamat emphasizing the importance of continent-wide solidarity and unity during a presummit session last month, there was no mention of Ethiopia’s internal conflicts, particularly the recent hostilities in the states of Tigray and Amhara.

Ethiopia has been dealing with internal strife, including a two-year civil war with the state of Tigray that officially ended in November 2022 but has seen ongoing tensions and conflict. Additionally, the federal troops are currently engaged in military operations against rebels known as the Fano militia in the state of Amhara.

The hostilities have also affected Ethiopia’s relations with neighboring countries, particularly Somalia, after a controversial port deal with the autonomous region of Somaliland. This development has strained relations between Addis Ababa and Mogadishu.

Analysts have raised concerns about the AU’s relatively passive stance on the atrocities in Ethiopia, questioning the strategic reasons behind such a stance. The AU officials, over the years, have refrained from addressing the internal conflicts in Ethiopia, with some even seemingly supporting the government’s actions.

The AU’s lack of vocal condemnation during the Tigray conflict in 2020 and subsequent events has raised eyebrows, considering the magnitude of the humanitarian crisis and alleged human rights violations. Researchers estimate that the Tigray conflict is one of the deadliest of the 21st century, with an estimated 600,000 civilian deaths.

As the AU summit unfolds in Addis Ababa, the absence of a strong stance on Ethiopia’s internal conflicts may continue to raise questions about the organization’s commitment to addressing issues of peace and security within its member states. The AU’s response, or lack thereof, may impact perceptions of the organization’s role in resolving conflicts on the continent.

Source:AL Jazeera




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