Africa File

A biweekly analysis and assessment of the Salafi-jihadi movement in Africa and related security and political dynamics.   Each edition begins "At a Glance." Country-specific updates follow.

Ethiopia Crisis Update: Ethiopia’s conflict risks humanitarian crisis in Sudan

[Notice: The Critical Threats Project frequently cites sources from foreign domains. All such links are identified with an asterisk (*) for the reader's awareness.]

Spillover from the Ethiopia conflict risks creating a humanitarian crisis in Sudan. Roughly 2,500 Ethiopians have entered Sudan since the conflict between the Ethiopian federal government and Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) erupted on November 4. The people fleeing into Sudan include civilians and regional troops from Tigray’s neighbor, Amhara state, that joined the fight against the TPLF. Sudanese authorities are preparing for an influx of Ethiopian refugees, with aid groups warning of an impending humanitarian crisis. Such a crisis will challenge Sudan as it undergoes a tumultuous political transition.

Ethiopian federal forces claimed advances in Tigray. Federal forces claimed seizing an airport and several towns in the region on November 10. However, confirming these claims is difficult because communication lines into Tigray *remain cut.

Even if federal forces are advancing, a quick victory is unlikely, and the conflict is deepening divisions between the Ethiopian state and its Tigrayan population. Fighting and air strikes have caused hundreds of casualties in Tigray thus far. Ethnic Tigrayans have also faced discrimination across Ethiopia since the fighting began, including targeted arrests in the capital.

The Tigray conflict also threatens to draw in Eritrea, which fought a war with Ethiopia’s then-TPLF-led government in 1998–2000. The TPLF’s leader accused Eritrean forces of entering Tigray on November 9. Eritrea’s foreign minister denied the claim.

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Nov '20
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