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Jan 14, 2022
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Ethiopian War: China Wins

The Chinese military presence is expanding where it is necessary to protect the interests of the country

The events in Ethiopia, where the authorities of the northern state of Tigray rebelled in the fall of 2020 and took up arms against the federal government, once again highlighted the obvious fact that the West does not miss the opportunity to stir up confusion and support those who are ready to drown the country in blood, if this answers it. interests.

By mid-November 2021, the advance detachments of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Tigray (TPLF) were only 200 km from Addis Ababa. One of the immediate tasks was to seize the key transport artery of Addis Ababa – Djibouti, through which 95% of imports go, and blockade the communications of the Amhara state in order to divide it in two and create a buffer zone. And the main task was to overthrow the central government; The TPLF’s list of demands, which included a “transitional government,” did not envision any political future for Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed. Federated Ethiopia was faced with the threat of the collapse of the state and a large-scale civil war on the principle of all against all. The TPLF separatists found many situational allies among such “freedom fighters” (in fact, this is the fifth column): the Oromo Liberation Army, the Gambella Liberation Army, the Kemanta Liberation Movement and other armed groups advocating “self-determination” , that is, the dismemberment of the country.

The activity of these “fighters” finds support from outside. In addition to the long-standing territorial dispute with Sudan over the territory of El-Fashgah (Mazega), Addis Ababa has had sharp disagreements with Sudan and Egypt over the construction of the grandiose dam of the Great Ethiopian Renaissance on the Blue Nile. The United States openly took the side of the rebels in the conflict and took active steps in their support. The Biden administration imposed sanctions on September 17 against Addis Ababa, and on November 12 against Eritrea (for helping Ethiopia). A similar position was taken in Brussels: formally calling for a ceasefire, they immediately declared that “it would be much more effective if European countries got together and talked about the consequences”. That is, about EU sanctions against the legitimate government.

At the same time, the leading Western media (BBC, CNN, New York Times, Washington Post, Financial Times, The Economist, etc.) launched a war in the information space, presenting materials in an openly distorted form. They ignored the fact that it was the TPLF that started the fighting, while demonizing the federal government in every possible way and accusing the Ethiopian army of genocide.

As usual, it was not without the UN commissions on refugees and human rights. Their leadership is based in Geneva, but it seems that they report not to the UN headquarters in New York, but directly to the White House in Washington. In their reports on the situation, these “human rights activists” went so far as to force the Addis Ababa authorities to revoke their accreditation and expel from the country three UN employees who particularly distinguished themselves in disinformation. During the hostilities, there were indeed civilian casualties (according to estimates, more than 50 thousand people died), and there were also numerous cases of looting. The command of the Ethiopian army is struggling with this – about 30 military personnel appeared before the tribunal and received prison terms. At the same time, the war crimes committed by the “rebels” remain unpunished, and “UN international experts” do not notice them. Meanwhile, in just one day on November 10, 600 local residents were killed in Maykadra, and this was done by bandits from Samri, the youth wing of the TPLF. This is not an isolated case, but the West is stubbornly trying to place all responsibility on the authorities in Addis Ababa, even though UN humanitarian convoys sent to help the population of Tigray state were plundered by TPLF fighters.

Diplomatic support to the central government was provided by China and the Russian Federation, which did not allow the adoption of resolutions prepared by the West in the UN Security Council, and in which the conflict was considered completely one-sided. On December 1, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi visited Addis Ababa and said: “China opposes any interference in Ethiopia’s internal affairs”. The host party noted that Wang Yi’s arrival at this extremely difficult time “demonstrates China’s confidence in Ethiopia”. On December 19, the Permanent Mission of the Russian Federation to the UN Office and other international organizations in Geneva stated that with respect to Ethiopia “there is a politically motivated decision of individual states”.

Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed, having absolutely legal powers (the ruling Prosperity Party has 410 out of 436 seats in parliament), appealed to the peoples of the multinational state with an appeal to protect the country’s unity and said that he would personally lead the troops at the front. The atrocities committed by the rebels in the areas they occupied in the neighboring states of Afar and Amhara also contributed to the rallying of the anti-Tigray forces. The mass support of the population and the personal example of the head of state visibly encouraged the federal Ethiopian army.

The most important role was played by the military-technical support provided to the government of A. Ahmed by a number of friendly countries. So, drones appeared in service with the Ethiopian army Mohajer-6 Iranian-made, and on August 18, 2021, an agreement was signed on economic and military cooperation with Turkey, involving, among other things, the supply of UAVs Bayraktar Tb2 and Anka-S. Turkey is one of the largest investors in the Ethiopian economy, but China is in the lead here. Beijing has already invested more than $12 billion in Ethiopian projects as part of the One Belt, One Road global strategic project and is making it clear that it does not intend to abandon its plans.

Another unpleasant surprise for the United States in Ethiopia was that the PRC has gracefully used the UAE, a country that is considered a satellite in Washington, for its own purposes. Meanwhile, Abu Dhabi appears to be weighing options for the future. In November 2021, more than 90 flights of transport aircraft were carried out from the UAE, which delivered various military supplies, including Chinese strike aircraft, to Addis Ababa. UAV Wing Lung.

At the end of November, the federal troops completed their mobilization and, after regrouping, launched a powerful counteroffensive. Under their blows, the rebel formations left all previously occupied territories, government forces regained control over more than 40 settlements in the states of Amhara and Afar.

The TPLF leadership initially stated that it was “tactical retreat for the sake of a strategic victory over the government”. However, the offensive of the Ethiopian army destroyed all the plans and hopes of the rebels. The previously announced alliance of the TPLF with other anti-government groups also ceased to exist, and the “fighters for independence” themselves, fearing attacks from government troops, again went underground. By December 22, the federals took the city of Alamata in the territory of Tigray.

The situation at the front as of December 6, 2021

The situation at the front as of December 23, 2021

The situation at the front as of December 6 and 23, 2021

The tone and content of the statements of the leadership of the TPLF changed dramatically – they requested a truce and negotiations, and on December 19 a letter of peaceful content was sent to the UN Secretary General. In particular, it was reported about the order to withdraw the TPLF troops to the province – after they had already been driven there by force.

TPLF letter to the UN TPLF letter to the UN

The Ethiopian authorities said that a full-scale military operation in the territory of Tigray is not yet included in their plans, but they do not show any intention to negotiate with the TPLF, which is considered a terrorist organization in Addis Ababa.

Ethiopian army soldier tramples the Tigray flag

Ethiopian army soldier tramples the Tigray flag

In early January 2022, the Ethiopian government announced that the Renaissance Dam was 82% complete, turbines had already been installed, and test power generation would be conducted soon. This caused positive comments in the Chinese media, and it is not surprising – the launch of this largest energy facility in Africa will give a new impetus to the development of the One Belt – One Road project. And the experience of the events in Ethiopia will help build up the Chinese military presence where it is necessary to protect the interests of the country. In addition to the naval base in Djibouti commissioned in 2017, Beijing is considering the possibility of placing similar facilities in other countries.

Cover photo: southfront.org

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