Eastern [African] Exposure: Ethiopia, Ethnicity, and other Kindling for Tigray’s Backstory | WHAT REALLY HAPPENED X-Frame-Options: SAMEORIGIN

Eastern [African] Exposure: Ethiopia, Ethnicity, and other Kindling for Tigray’s Backstory

There’s a whole mess of bloody messes around the world that few Americans care about. In fact, they could form a whole category of conflict labeled: "Top Ten Violent Hot Spots You’ve Never Heard Of (But Should Have)." The list might include, for starters, Nigeria’s resource war between herders and farmers (six times deadlier than the country’s well-publicized Boko Haram conflict in 2018); South Sudan’s dormant – for now – civil war (400,000 killed from 2013-18); and the Indo-Pakistani contest for Kashmir (70,000 dead in just the internal conflict over 30 years). Recently, I wrote four columns about another prime candidate – the Armenian-Azerbaijani war for Nagorno-Karabakh that isn’t so likely to be thrown back in the ice box with the other “frozen conflicts” this time around.

Yet another top prospect for our list might best be branded "Ethiopia’s melange of maelstroms" – most recently personified by the month-long (and not quite finished) war between the federal government and the ethno-regional northern state of Tigray. Only Tigray ain’t the half of it – though the conflict does touch on most of the others. Ethiopia is plagued by various internal ethno-religious squabbles; Somali separatism in its Ogaden region; ongoing military interventions in Somalia itself; an on-again, off-again war with Eritrea; and a brewing Nile River conflict with Egypt. Most Americans haven’t heard much about most of this – for a few reasons, often common to the other forgotten conflicts listed above.