Ethiopia’s Tigray region asserts that fighter jets have bombed locations around its capital, Mekele, aiming to force the region “into submission”, while Ethiopia’s army says it has been forced into an “unexpected and aimless war”…
On Thursday, the deputy army chief said the “country has entered into unexpected war” after Ethiopia’s lower house of parliament approved unanimously a six-month state of emergency in the region which is ruled by the opposition Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF).
Ethiopia having a war or food shortage is perhaps the only consistent thing in the country, aside from international aid. Those of you who have been paying attention to things outside of the US know that trilateral peace talks between Sudan, Egypt and Etheopia over the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam on the Nile River have been tenuous at best. The Nile supplies roughly 90% of Egypt’s water and for good reason is seen as an existential threat. Etheopia has ‘crowd funded’ the construction cost of the dam, but Chinese banks have supplied the hydroelectric turbines and the required power transmission systems. Coupled with their investment in the Omo River Dam, the Chinese investment in Ethiopian and African infrastructure as a whole are staggering.
Like all things, the price of financial investment and cheap Chinese goods come at a steep price. The unrest that is a staple of sub-Saharan Africa is a concern for not simply the Chinese but the local African oligarchs as well. Unrest such as the current conflagration threaten those investments and invite foreign intervention. Much of it can be done under the guise of UN peacekeepers, but as China slowly recolonizes the Dark Continent there will be a larger and larger financial pull for them to get involved very personally in African politics and exert the soft power they are accruing at an ever more frequent pace. It is possible the current internecine fighting will be sufficient, but as Chinese investment grows they will continue to act more and more aggressively to protect those investments. A weakened, shutdown US economy and an electorate currently engaged in a cold civil war will provide little resistance to this expansion. It also makes you wonder about NEXEN and the nice people at Sinopec in the Canadian oil industry. Speaking of which, perhaps a good exercise is to start making a list of Chinese owned utilities and infrastructure in the US. Food for thought while we are all distracted by the fake and lame election rigging.