Friday, December 2, 2022

US-Africa Leaders Summit

 Politico published on 2 December 2022 an article titled "No One-on-Ones Yet Scheduled Between Biden and African Leaders Heading to D.C." by Alexander Ward, Nahal Toosi, and Phelim Kine.  

The article notes that there are apparently no bilateral meetings scheduled between President Joe Biden and the African leaders who are attending the US-Africa Leaders Summit.  Although there will be a dinner for all the leaders and other bilateral meetings, this is seen as a missed opportunity.  

Eritrean Forces Reportedly Killing Tigrayan Civilians

 The Associated Press published on 2 December an article titled "Eritrean Forces Still Killing Tigray Civilians, Report Says" by Cara Anna.

According to information compiled between November 17 and 25 by the Tigray Emergency Coordination Center (ECC), regional government offices, United Nations agencies, and non-governmental organizations, Eritrean military forces killed 111 civilians and injured another 103 in eastern Tigray.  There were also 39 kidnappings and widespread looting by Eritrean forces.  As a result, Tigray forces say they will hand over their heavy weapons to the Ethiopian government only after Eritrea's military leaves Tigray Region.  

Indian Publication Offers Hopeful but Cautious Analysis of Ethiopian Peace Agreement

 India's Frontline Magazine published on 30 November 2022 an article titled "Peace Deal between Government of Ethiopia and TPLF a Welcome First Step" by John Cherian.

The article offers a review of the conflict in Tigray Region and provides a cautiously optimistic assessment of the peace deal going forward.  

Thursday, December 1, 2022

Ethiopia: Disarmament Talks Underway But Eritreans Must Leave First

 The Associated Press published on 1 December 2022 an article titled "Ethiopian Government Says Disarmament Talks with Tigray Forces Have Begun."

While talks have begun in Tigray Region between central government and Tigrayan officials, the Tigrayan side says disarmament of their forces cannot begin until Ethiopia has removed fighters from Eritrea and neighboring Amhara Region.

Sudan Wants China and Russia to Become IGAD Partners

 The Sudan Tribune published on 29 November 2022 an article titled "IGAD Should Establish Partnerships with China and Russia: Sudan's FM."  

As Sudan assumes the presidency of the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD), Sudan's foreign minister said the organization should establish partnerships with China and Russia.  Most support for IGAD comes from Western countries.  The foreign minister added that "Sudan seeks to find other partners, we do not want to rely on a certain party.  We want to create a balance in our international relations between East and West."

Comment:  Being an IGAD partner primarily means providing financial support for the organization.  Lots of luck in getting financial support from Russia.  

Djibouti Faces Debt Service Issues

 The China Global South Project published on 1 December 2022 an article titled "Djibouti Has a Very specific Debt Problem" by Cobus van Staden.  

Djibouti has reportedly suspended debt service to its two largest bilateral creditors: China and Kuwait.  Almost 90 percent of Djibouti's debt service is owed to China and 6 percent to Kuwait.  

Wednesday, November 30, 2022

China's Digital Surveillance in Africa

 Routledge published in 2022 a book containing a chapter titled "The Spread of Chinese Surveillance Tools in Africa: A Focus on Ethiopia and Kenya" by Bulelani Jili.  

The author challenges the conception that China seeks to export a model of surveillance.  Chinese companies operating in Africa such as Huawei and ZTE tend to adapt to local business practices, rather than follow Beijing's supposed geopolitical strategy.  The evidence suggests that China helps fortify the political and social processes that were already in place in Ethiopia and Kenya.  

Tigray Conflict: Need for Dialogue Platform to Build Trust

 Eurasia Review published on 30 November 2022 an analysis titled "Ethiopia Needs a Peace Coalition To Underpin Its New Accord" by Tegbaru Yared, Institute for Security Studies in Addis Ababa.

The author urges the creation of a dialogue platform for stakeholders from Tigray, Amhara, and Afar Regions to build trust and inspire acceptance of the peace agreement.  

Ethiopia: Increased Humanitarian Deliveries to Tigray Region

 Fana Broadcasting Corporate published on 30 November 2022 an article titled "Humanitarian Aid Being Delivered to Tigray Region Within 3 Corridors: GCS."

Humanitarian assistance deliveries to Tigray Region have picked up significantly in recent days through the Gondar, Kombolcha, and Semera corridors.  

Africa During Xi Jinping's Third Term

 The Africa Center for Strategic Studies published on 29 November 2022 an analysis titled "China's Deepening Ties to Africa in Xi Jinping's Third Term" by Paul Nantulya.  

The author suggests China's efforts to enlist African support can be expected to intensify during Xi's third term.  The new foreign policy team will be supervised by outgoing Foreign Minister Wang Yi, who knows Africa well and was promoted to the Politburo as the new director of the CPC Central Foreign Affairs Commission.  

Xi wants to instill Chinese values and governance norms as alternatives to the West and as part of a party-driven foreign policy.  There will be an emphasis on "discourse power," which means China will make maximum use of its propaganda and media infrastructure.  The CPC wants to remain Africa's most important destination for education and training and will ramp up this effort after it defeats COVID-19.

China's Military and Security Developments in Africa

 The U.S. Department of Defense recently published its 2022 Annual Report to Congress titled "Military and Security Developments Involving the People's Republic of China."

This 196-page report contains a number of references to Africa.  The most significant ones are:

--China's efforts to develop the Digital Silk Road (pages 24-25).

--The impact of the PLA Navy's expanding fleet on operations at Djibouti and beyond (pages 51-52).

--The PLA Navy Marine Corps presence at Djibouti (page 57).

--China's satellite receiving stations in Namibia and South Africa (page 72).

--Naval deployments in the Indian Ocean, PLA vaccine diplomacy, counterpiracy efforts, and peacekeeping operations (pages 134-137).

--China's military base in Djibouti and other basing possibilities.  The report concludes: "Beyond its base in Djibouti, the PRC is very likely already considering and planning for additional military logistics facilities to support naval, air, and ground forces projection."  It adds that the PRC has likely considered Kenya, Seychelles, Equatorial Guinea, Tanzania, and Angola among other places as locations for PLA military logistics facilities and has probably already made overtures to Namibia (pages 143-145).

--Summarizing the PLA's military diplomacy, the report concludes that "outside of the Indo-Pacific, China sees Africa as a region of particular opportunity because African governments are highly receptive to China's engagement and assistance" (page 164).   

Tuesday, November 29, 2022

Role of Provinces in China-Africa Trade and Investment

 The China Global South Project published on 29 November 2022 an interview with Eric Olander by Geraud Neema.

China's central government is stepping back to make room for sub-national actors including private companies, major cities, and, most importantly, provincial governments.  In Africa, the most significant provincial actors are Hunan, Zhejiang, Shandong, Guangdong, Hainan Island, and Chongqing.

Accountability in Aftermath of Ethiopian Conflict

 Just Security published on 23 November 2022 a commentary titled "The Ethiopia-Tigray Permanent Cessation of Hostilities Agreement and the Question of Accountability for International Crimes" by Owiso Owiso, an international lawyer.

The author argues that an African Union tribunal is the most viable option for criminal accountability for the international crimes committed in the Tigray conflict.  It is imperative that the AU create a process for establishing a criminal accountability mechanism for crimes committed during the conflict.  

New Chinese Leadership Puts Focus on Security

 Discourse, an online journal published by the Mercatus Center at George Mason University, published on 15 November 2022 a commentary titled "The China Challenge: New Leadership Focuses on the Struggle for Security" by Guoguang Wu.  

A remarkable feature of China's new Politburo leadership is the disproportionate number of members with security-related backgrounds.  The author argues that the composition of the new leadership indicates that security issues will be a high priority on the Communist Party's agenda over the next five years.  

Comment:  Although the analysis focuses on national and state security within China and makes no mention of Africa, it raises the question if there will be more attention given to security issues in China's foreign policy, including Africa, especially in the case of Chinese personnel and interests.    

Monday, November 28, 2022

China Pursues Low Profile in Horn of Africa Disputes

 The South China Morning Post published on 27 November 2022 an article titled "Is China Ready to Take a Front Seat to Help Resolve Conflicts in the Horn of Africa?" by Jevans Nyabiage.

China has taken a back seat in efforts to end conflicts in the Horn of Africa, including the one in Ethiopia's Tigray Region, South Sudan, and the Greand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam.


Saturday, November 26, 2022

Can Ethiopian Peace Agreement Achieve Its Goals?

 The Addis Standard published on 24 November 2022 a commentary titled "In Depth Analysis: Can Ethiopia Peace Agreement Resolve War in Tigray and Bring Lasting Peace to Its Devastated Population?" by Beka Atoma Boru.

This account reflects considerable skepticism that the Ethiopian peace agreement signed in Pretoria and Nairobi can achieve its goals.

Friday, November 25, 2022

India-China Rivalry in the Indian Ocean

 India's Chanaka Forum published on 16 November 2022 an analysis titled "Rising Rivalry in the Indian Ocean" by Jay Maniyar.

The article discusses growing Indian and Chinese naval competition in the Indian Ocean.  India is countering China's "string of pearls" strategy with its "double fish hook" strategy designed to strengthen New Delhi's naval presence in both the western and eastern Indian Ocean.  

Hurdles Confronting Ethiopian Peace Agreement

 Ethiopia Insight published on 25 November 2022 a commentary titled "Many Hurdles to Peace in Tigray Remain after Pretoria and Nairobi Deals" by Patrick Wight, senior editor at Ethiopia Insight.

Tigrayan disarmament, withdrawal of Eritrean forces from Tigray Region, the ambiguity of the status of Western Tigray, and accountability for atrocities by both sides are among the most significant obstacles to real peace in Ethiopia. 

Russian Invsion of Ukraine Disrupts African Supply Chains

 The Standard (Kenya) published on 18 November 2022 an article titled "War in Ukraine Has Big Impact on Kenya, Africa" by Protus Onyango.

Russia's invasion of Ukraine has driven up prices of energy, fertilizer, and grain and disrupted supply chains across Africa.  Kenyans, for example, have shifted to charcoal from the DRC, South Sudan, and Uganda, which threatens the future of the rainforest.  

Thursday, November 24, 2022

China-India Naval Competition in Western Indian Ocean

 Swarajya published on 9 November 2022 an article titled "India Deploys P-81 Aircraft at France's Reunion Island for Third Time in Three Years as China Increases Presence in Western Indian Ocean."

The Indian Navy deployed a maritime surveillance aircraft to France's overseas department of Reunion in the Western Indian Ocean for the third time in four years.  These deployments are driven in part by China's growing naval presence in the region since 2008.

Communist Party of China Political School in Tanzania

 The Ankara Center for Crisis and Policy Studies published on 14 November 2022 a commentary titled "China's First Permanent Political Party School and Africa" by Goktug Caliskan.  

In 2022, the Communist Party of China opened its first political party school in Africa.  Classes focus on how the party is governed and how and in what ways the party leadershp can be strengthened.  

US Calls for Quick Implementation of Ethiopian Peace Agreement

 The Sudan Tribune published on 23 November 2022 an article titled "U.S. Urges Speedy Implementation of Ethiopian Peace Deal" by Tesfa-Alem Tekle.

In a telephone call with Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed, U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken emphasized the need for a speedy implementation of the peace agreement with the Tigray People's Liberation Front.  

Wednesday, November 23, 2022

Implementing the Ethiopian Peace Agreement

 The International Crisis Group published on 23 November 2022 an analysis titled "Turning the Pretoria Deal into a Lasting Peace in Ethiopia."

The International Crisis Group has proposed steps for implementing the Ethiopian peace agreement signed in Pretoria early this month.  

US Sanctions and Restrictions on Ethiopia and Eritrea

 Foley & Lardner LLP posted on 21 November 2022 a notice titled "Navigating U.S. Sanctions and Restrictions on Ethiopia and Eritrea" by Ahmad Murrar and Parker White.

This piece outlines the sanctions and restrictions placed on Ethiopia and Eritrea by the United States as a result of the conflict in northern Ethiopia.  It then reviews the impact of the peace process on these decisions.  It concludes by noting that Foley & Lardner can (for a fee) help interested parties navigate these sanctions and restrictions.  

Tuesday, November 22, 2022

US Priorities in Sudan

 The Middle East Institute posted on 21 November 2022 an analysis titled "US Priorities in Sudan: Stability or Democracy?" by Jihad Mashamoun.

The author concludes that the Biden administration has pursued both stability and democracy in Sudan at the same time, calling for a new civil-military partnership.