While the world’s gaze is largely fixed on the war in Ukraine, the conflict in Tigray is also huge, with three major armed forces, including two of Africa’s largest armies, those of Ethiopia and of Eritrea, battling on multiple fronts across a rugged region twice the size of Switzerland.
The latest fighting, featuring pitched battles, drone strikes and artillery barrages, has pulled in neighboring countries and involves hundreds of thousands of combatants, by most estimates. At least a hundred civilians have died and as many as 500,000 have fled their homes in recent weeks, a senior U.N. official said.
A diplomatic drive to end the war has also been hidden. An official peace process led by the African Union has been hobbled by disputes over mediators and money for most of the past year, officials say, prompting Western officials to try to carry the ball. Since March, the United States has held three secret meetings outside Ethiopia — in Djibouti and in the Seychelles — bringing together warring leaders for the first time since the war erupted in November 2020.
Details of the latest meeting on Sept. 9, which was attended by Abiy’s national security adviser, Redwan Hussien, and his justice minister, Gedion Timothewos, were provided by Western and Tigrayan officials who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss events that the Americans insisted should remain confidential.
A U.S. official confirmed that a U.S. Air Force Beechcraft aircraft had operated the flight across Tigray on behalf of the State Department.
Everything but tech support.
Not to worry. Lindsey Graham will be calling for the US to send 5 divisions and a fleet any minute now.