- The Biden administration has lost another campaign, this time in Ethiopia, in East Africa. However, unwilling to realize or even accept the developments, it has increased diplomatic and counter mobilization in support of the TPLF.
- Ethiopia and Eritrea, being in close proximity to the Red Sea and Bab al-Mandab strait, are strategically located countries in the Horn of Africa region.
- The USA is now making Eritrea’s involvement in Ethiopia a point to set a foothold in the region. The US has its reasons to do what it is doing.
- Djibouti said its territory cannot be used by the U.S. for attacking other countries, and now, the Biden administration has been left embarrassed.
The U.S. never really had an edge over the Horn of Africa. That is precisely why the Biden administration is stoking conflict in the crucial region, which is the passage between the West and the East. By dominating the Horn of Africa, the U.S. can dominate the Bab al Mandeb Strait, which connects the Red Sea with the Gulf of Aden, and through which much of global trade passes. The U.S. can dominate this strait only if it controls the Horn of Africa, and to establish that it is pushing Ethiopia into a civil war.
Ethiopia is currently facing a rebellion in its northernmost region of Tigray. The rebellion is led by a group called the TPLF. The Biden administration claims that Ethiopia’s forces and officials are committing human rights violations in Tigray, and therefore, the U.S. must get involved with a ‘humanitarian intervention’. The U.S. commander of Combined Joint Task Force-Horn of Africa, General William L. Zana recently confirmed the U.S. was looking to intervene in Ethiopia if the situation worsens. According to reports, Washington has been considering using its base in Djibouti to launch attacks on Ethiopian forces and assets. This will help the TPLF in its endeavor to capture the capital city of Addis Ababa and begin a cultural genocide on all non-Tigray people.
Ethiopia enters endgame as the US goes all out to destabilize it
The Biden administration has lost another campaign, this time in Ethiopia, in East Africa. However, unwilling to realize or even accept the developments, it has increased diplomatic and counter mobilization in support of the TPLF (Tigray People’s Liberation Front). The United States has been supporting militants from the TPLF, who have been fighting the Ethiopian government in Tigray’s northernmost province. Except for the United States, no one wants to back the TPLF fighters in their attempt to split up Ethiopia. Even a US ally, the United Arab Emirates (UAE), is supporting Ethiopia against the Tigray fighters.
Now, due to increasing security situations, the United States is encouraging all of its people in Ethiopia to leave “as soon as practicable.” The US embassy in Addis Ababa issued a security notice on Friday, advising Americans to leave the country as soon as possible and offering aid in securing plane travel from Bole International Airport. The kind of scare the US and its affiliates are creating regarding the Ethiopian government is a sort of psychological warfare, which could be followed by the US entering the fray in totality.
Reasons for US involvement
The US is getting very actively involved in the region. The Biden administration supports the TPLF, even though Ethiopia is decimating it. The Biden administration is hounding Ethiopia with sanctions and looking to embolden the TPLF.
The US has its reasons to do what it is doing. The US has a very limited presence in the Horn of Africa, a strategically crucial region that offers access to Yemen, the Gulf of Aden, and the Red Sea, apart from serving as the source of the River Nile. As the Horn of Africa embraces an era of peace and prosperity, and Ethiopia and Eritrea marginalize the TPLF, the US is getting nervous, and Biden is increasingly trying to drum up support for the TPLF.
The current situation
Since Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed sent soldiers in to subdue rebel rebels in the country’s Tigray region a year ago, fighting has raged in the north. According to the United Nations, all parties to the conflict have broken international humanitarian law, citing reports of killings, gang rapes, and ethnic cleansing.
The warning comes as Secretary of State Anthony Blinken urged all parties involved in Ethiopia’s conflict to begin peace talks. “The US is concerned about reports of arbitrary detentions based on ethnicity in Addis Ababa,” Blinken said, adding that heated language on all sides of the issue “pushed a peaceful resolution further away.”
He addressed a forceful message to all parties involved in the crisis, urging the Ethiopian government to end its military assault, Eritrea to withdraw its forces from Ethiopia, and Tigrayan rebels to halt their approach on the capital. While he was trying to be politically correct, it is amply eared that he is scared by the fact of stability in the region, as it will rove the US influence and interest in the Horn of Africa region. Now as the fighting intensifies and the US finds itself on the losing side, it is getting the ground ready for the end game, and to destabilize the region further.
Eritrea is what Biden really wants, Ethiopia is just a pit-stop
Ethiopia and Eritrea, being in close proximity to the Red Sea and Bab al-Mandab strait, are strategically located countries in the Horn of Africa region. Both nations share friendly relations under present governments, and that’s what driving the US’ urge to intervene in the region. The other factor behind the USA’s involvement in the region is its limited presence in the region.
Hence, banking on its blatant attempts to further destabilize the region, the US is hoping to ratchet up its connivance in the Horn of Africa. That explains why the US is now going all guns blazing against Eritrea after imposing sweeping sanctions on the Ethiopian government, which is battling the secessionist army of the US-backed Tigray People’s Liberation Front.
USA’s recent sanctions on Eritrea
As we mentioned above, the friendly relations between Eritrea and Ethiopia are what stand in the way of the US becoming the most influential player in the region. So, the US went ahead with sanctioning the Eritrean army and the country’s ruling party for “contributing to the crisis and conflict” in Ethiopia.
“We condemn the continued role played by Eritrean actors who are contributing to the violence in northern Ethiopia, which has undermined the stability and integrity of the state and resulted in a humanitarian disaster,” Director of the Office of Foreign Assets Control Andrea M Gacki said in the statement.
All in all, the Eritrean Army’s involvement in Ethiopia’s fight against US-backed TPLF is what prompted the USA’s sanctions against Asmara. This is a clear indication of the USA’s hidden agenda of driving a wedge through the friendly Ethiopia-Eritrea relations.
Why is the US rattled on Eritrea?
In April this year, Eritrea had formally acknowledged its military involvement in the country. Ethiopia is fighting TPLF forces to rein in its ambitions of carving out another sovereign out of Ethiopia’s territories under its Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed. The US fully backs TPLF forces and has so far imposed hefty sanctions on Ethiopia.
But Ethiopia is not alone in fighting out the Tigray forces. TPLF is a shared enemy of both Ethiopia and Eritrea. Eritrea and TPLF have had even fought a war back in 1998 when Ethiopia used to be ruled by TPLF. TPLF governed the country till 2018, and relations between both the countries remained strained till the current Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed was not in office.
With Abiy Ahmed’s blistering streak to the helm of the affairs in Ethiopia, relations between Eritrea and Ethiopia again became friendly nations. He replaced the TPLF and also and got the Eritrean-Ethiopia peace deal concluded, for which Ahmed was given the Nobel Peace Prize. He even promised to accept the 2002 boundary commission, which got vehemently welcomed by Eritrea.
Therefore, when TPLF went to war with Ethiopia, Eritrea decided to back Ethiopia and sent in its troops. This was also a result of Eritrea’s history of betrayal with the TPLF and a desire to consolidate its position in the region. The TPLF, on the other hand, is not backing off because of its ultra-nationalist ideology. For years, TPLF has evoked sentiment of ultranationalism and ethnic pride combined with a false notion of victimhood amongst the Tigray people. TPLF thus effectively gets reduced into a militant group perpetually in war to ‘protect’ its people.
Why does the USA want debilitating ties between Eritrea and Ethiopia?
The USA is now making Eritrea’s involvement in Ethiopia a point to set a foothold in the region. The US has its reasons to do what it is doing. The US has a very limited presence in the Horn of Africa, a strategically crucial region that offers access to Yemen, the Gulf of Aden, and the Red Sea, apart from serving as the source of the River Nile
The US is fast losing ground to its rival Russia in the region. Russia has become a major arms supplier to the region, while China has become a leading investor. Saudi Arabia and the UAE too are enjoying close ties with the Horn of Africa nations. Also, Eritrea seems to be firmly in control of its leader Isaias, who is a long-time dictator.
Similarly, Ethiopians back their leader Abiy Ahmed who saved the country from civil war and is introducing staggering reforms to tackle ethnic conflict and the Christian-Muslim divide in Ethiopia. Meanwhile, regional conflicts are also dying down with Eritrea’s leader Isaias normalizing ties with Somalia and Ethiopia.
Isaias is also looking to mediate the Nile dam dispute between Egypt, Ethiopia, and Sudan. Eritrea’s efforts thus threaten to side-line the US. As the Horn of Africa embraces an era of peace and prosperity, and Ethiopia and Eritrea marginalize the TPLF, the US is getting nervous, and Biden is increasingly trying to drum up support for the TPLF.
Hence, the US’ anxiety and unnerving are understandable. If the US manages to stymie Eritrea’s efforts to usher in an era of peace in the region, it will help the US shore up its stakes in the Red Sea and the region around the Bab al-Mandab strait. Unlike Ethiopia, Eritrea shares its border with the vital trade route between Asia and Europe; hence the US is striving to take Eritrea back in its influence by further destabilizing the region.
Djibouti Says No
All was going as planned. But then, Djibouti stepped in with a simple no. It said its territory cannot be used by the U.S. for attacking other countries, and now, the Biden administration has been left embarrassed. Djibouti’s Foreign Minister Mahmoud Ali Youssouf tweeted that the US will not be allowed to strike Ethiopia from its military bases inside the country. He said, “Gen. William Zana the Commander of the camp Lemonier gave an interview to the BBC explaining how the American forces in Djibouti were carrying out a mission of fighting terrorism and the protection of their nationals in the unlikely event of an evacuation.”
The Foreign Minister added, “Some expressed the concern about Djibouti’s territory being used for hostile intervention in the neighboring countries. That is not going to happen for The Djiboutian Government is attached to its relations with its neighbors.” If that was not enough, he also said, “Djibouti appreciates its strategic partnership with the United States” but “this partnership is not oriented against any country whatsoever”.
The Horn of Africa Against Biden
Djibouti has become the latest country to resist Washington’s plans of plunging the region into a war it never asked for. It becomes the latest entrant in a list of countries that want nothing to do with the U.S., leave alone the likes of Somalia and Sudan, even Eritrea is least interested to entertain Washington’s lust for bloodshed in the Horn of Africa. Eritrea has deployed its soldiers to aid Ethiopia’s forces in their fight against the TPLF.
Sudan, meanwhile, has come to rest squarely in the lap of Russia, and will not extend any help to the United States. As far as Somalia is concerned, the U.S. has bombed the hell out of it, and Washington is simply not in a position to use its territories for operations against Ethiopia. What we therefore have is a region that has united against the U.S. and is not willing to let itself be consumed by Washington’s thirst for conflicts.