Ethiopia moves to re-engage with Eritrea and Djibouti & What is to be done? Gregory Copley, Defense & Foreign Affairs.

Aug 12, 2018, 01:14 AM


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Ethiopia moves to re-engage with Eritrea and Djibouti & What is to be done? Gregory Copley, Defense & Foreign Affairs.

The Red Sea Emerging as a Key Global Strategic Dynamic Thanks to a Revolution Begun in Ethiopia Analysis. By Gregory R. Copley, Editor, GIS/Defense & Foreign Affairs. It is now necessary for all major trading states to begin revision of strategic concepts surrounding one of the most vital global arterial sea-lanes and theaters, the Red Sea-Suez. The rapidly-evolving events and changing strategic balance center around the new Ethiopian Government of Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed Ali, 41, who came to office on April 2, 2018. Much now depends on the political — and physical — survival of the Prime Minister. The result of Dr Abiy’s appointment as Prime Minister is that the strategic framework in the Horn of Africa and Red Sea regions has begun to undergo its most profound change since the coup against Emperor Haile Selassie I of Ethiopia in 1974, during the Cold War. The changes to the regional balance caused by the 1974 coup, as well as the impact to the security of global trade routes, were lost in the global swirl of the Cold War. As a re-sult, the importance of that event is only now beginning to become evident as we see the rapid return to a core strategic framework which had existed for most of the past 2,500 years. The long-term impact of that 1974 coup is now starting to be reversed, or returned to “normalcy”. It was not surprising then that Dr Abiy said on June 1, 2018: “We should build our naval force capacity in the future.” He had already taken key initiatives with regard to neighboring states in the region; this signaled his intention to return Ethiopia to its maritime mission. ...

Dr Abiy’s reforms already show the promise of further economic growth and stability, and it should be expected that this process would soon receive the fillip of restoration of the vital foundation for economic growth: the return of private property ownership, cou-pled with the time-consuming challenge of reforming the bureaucracy. He will find con-siderable resistance among many of the old socialists and marxists of the various fac-tions of the Ethiopian People's Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF) Coalition Gov-ernment. At home, Dr Abiy, a Protestant Christian and former Muslim, and of both Oromo and Amhara parentage, has moved quickly to reinstate the teaching of Ethiopian history, banned when the pro-Soviet Dergue seized power in 1974, and to restore respect for Ethiopia’s two-and-a-half millennia of Solomonic lineage, tying the country to its roots in the union of King Solomon of Israel and Queen Makeda of Saba (the Queen of Sheba).