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Global fact-checkers find strength in numbers amid dual challenges of politics and COVID-19 – Poynter

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Factually is a newsletter about fact-checking and misinformation from Poynter’s International Fact-Checking Network & the American Press Institute’s Accountability Project. Sign up here.

Fact-checking is a form of journalism, and journalism is, at heart, a competitive sport. But when faced with this year’s dual fire hoses of political and COVID-19 misinformation, fact-checkers have had little choice but to work together.

The Paris Peace Forum, a yearly gathering of world leaders and nongovernmental organizations working to solve global problems, highlighted this fact when recognizing the work of the CoronaVirusFacts Alliance in the fight against COVID-19 misinformation.

“Fake news kills, so the CoronaVirusFacts Alliance is providing one of the remedies to that,” said Justin Vaïsse, the forum’s director general, during the forum’s closing ceremony.

The alliance, a collection of more than 100 fact-checking organizations from more than 70 countries who so far have produced over 9,000 fact-checks about COVID-19, will receive ongoing mentorship from the forum to help it expand and scale up over the next year.

Over the weekend, fact-checkers in Brazil revamped their collaboration from two years ago to help cut down on the amount of mis- and disinformation in the first round of that country’s local elections.

“The defense of democracy needs to be a constant exercise. We cannot imagine this fight without this broad alliance,” Marco Faustino, editor-in-chief of the Brazilian publication e-Farsas, told IFCN Associate Director Cristina Tardáguila.

A similar collaboration is taking place in Ghana, where fact-checkers and media organizations are forming a verification network to protect that country’s December elections.

When we see multiple fact checks of the same falsehood, it’s a powerful message that reinforces the truth. At the same time, with so much misinformation out there, fact-checkers have to band together to avoid getting drowned by the tide.

– Harrison Mantas, IFCN

  • One main takeaway from the Senate Judiciary Committee’s grilling of Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg and Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey Tuesday is that “Washington’s scrutiny of Big Tech isn’t going away any time soon,” wrote The Washington Post’s Cat Zakrzewski. Here are some other takes from top U.S. tech journalists:
  • Speaking of content moderation, BuzzFeed News reported that Facebook’s labels on false posts from President Trump do little to slow their spread.
    • Craig Silverman and Ryan Mac quoted a company data scientist as saying that the labels decrease reshares by about 8% but that given the number of shares Trump has on any given post, “the decrease is not going to change shares by orders of magnitude.”
  • Michigan public radio reporter Kaye LaFond explained how an election error in one northwestern Michigan county was exploited by disinformation agents seeking to create doubt about the 2020 election nationally.
  • Dr. Perri Klass, a physician who writes for The New York Times, talked to a number of pediatricians about how they are dealing with patients and parents when it comes to COVID-19 myths.
    • Many of the doctors she spoke with found that their patients believed misinformation at both ends of the extreme, making them either overly fearful of the virus or overly sanguine about it to the point where they were not taking enough precautions.
  • Four political scientists found in a recent survey of U.S. adults’ beliefs regarding COVID-19 that people showed a higher level of support for conspiracy theories than they did for medical misinformation about the virus.
    • “This suggests that potentially dangerous health misinformation is more difficult to believe than abstract ideas about the nefarious intentions of governmental and political actors,” the authors wrote in the Harvard Misinformation Review.

You might have heard the one about how President Donald Trump really won the U.S. election with 410 electoral votes, including those from the reliably blue state of California, and that election servers seized by the U.S. Army in Frankfurt proved it.

It sounds outlandish because it was, but the hoax, which appears to have started with a tweet in Germany, was given oxygen by Rep. Louie Gohmert of Texas on the conservative news site Newsmax and by the pro-Trump news network OANN. Then it was quickly debunked by The Associated Press, Reuters, PolitiFact, and Truth or Fiction.

But the hoax-busters at Maldita.es in Spain were there first, and thus get our pick this week for what is just the latest in a series of fact checks quashing falsehoods about the U.S. election.

Maldita.es dove into the story when it was asked about social media posts and stories from far-right media outlets falsely claiming that the U.S. Army had raided a Spanish company, Scytl, to seize equipment used in the U.S. Nov. 3 election. Scytl itself also put out a statement.

What we liked: In the time it took for the falsehood to make its way across the Atlantic, it morphed from a German hoaxer’s tweet into Trump winning California. It was like a game of telephone on top of a conspiracy theory. Fortunately, Maldita.es had already laid the groundwork for the truth.

– Susan Benkelman, API

  1. FiveThirtyEight’s Kaleigh Rogers wrote about how false information about voter fraud was seeded into the American political consciousness.
  2. PolitiFact’s Daniel Funke wrote about how a fake screenshot from Parler created a hoax about Tucker Carlson leaving Fox News.
  3. Applications are open for the next round of MediaWise’s Teen Fact-Checking Network focused on misinformation on YouTube.
  4. There have been a number of fact-checks, of sorts, of the latest season of The Crown on Netflix. This one from the Guardian’s Simon Jenkins, calls it “a cowardly abuse of artistic licence.” Ouch.
  5. Sometimes, fake news is just the result of a big mistake.

Thanks for reading. We’re going to take next week off because of the U.S. Thanksgiving holiday. In the meantime, feel free to send ideas and feedback to factually@poynter.org.

See you Dec. 3.

Harrison and Susan

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“Roadkill” Offers the Fantasy of Politics as Usual – The New Yorker

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David Hare’s “Roadkill,” starring Hugh Laurie, is comfortingly old-fashioned.Illustration by Mojo Wang

On Election Night, I was on the live-streaming Web site Twitch, helping a French friend try to make sense of the incomprehensible for an audience of his compatriots. It was two in the morning across the Atlantic, then three, then four, and still viewers stayed tuned. “This is better than a TV show,” one commented, as we puzzled through various disaster scenarios that seemed equal parts outlandish and plausible. Suspense, villainy, pettiness, infighting, gimmicks galore: the reality-TV politics of our reality-TV President have had us mercilessly hooked, from slow-rolling attempt at a coup to dripping-hair-dye debacle. Spare a sympathetic thought for television writers. How can they hope to compete with the present?

Such is the challenge faced by “Roadkill” (on PBS’s “Masterpiece”), David Hare’s new political thriller in four episodes. Watching it now is like chasing the double tequila shot of the real with a milky cup of tea. The show is set in England, which Americans continue to imagine as a land of escapist sanity, despite recent evidence to the contrary. “You have to forget about Brexit,” the Tory transport minister, Peter Laurence (Hugh Laurie), tells a caller to the radio talk show on which he regularly bloviates. “It was a national trauma, as you call it, but it’s a trauma we came through. It’s over.” That reassuring fantasy of politics as usual is one that “Roadkill,” with its small-bore scandals and Victorian twists, faithfully upholds. It’s risk-averse in a way that is itself a kind of risk—comfortingly old-fashioned, at the cost of staying one cautious step behind the present that it aims to represent.

As the show opens, Peter has just had a triumph in court. After a newspaper accused him of profiting from his government position—by consulting for an American lobbying group when he was a junior minister of health—he sued for libel and won. Much like Brett Kavanaugh’s confirmation hearing, the Laurence case seems to have come down to a question of calendars; Charmian Pepper (Sarah Greene), the journalist who wrote a story placing Peter at the lobbyists’ Washington, D.C., headquarters, was forced to recant, after Peter’s team presented an official diary scrubbed of the offending visit. “They’re always the best cases,” Peter’s young barrister (Pippa Bennett-Warner) brashly tells a colleague, as the courthouse crowd spills onto the sidewalk around her. “The ones you win when you suspect your client is guilty as hell.”

Peter’s victory, and the scandal it conceals, is merely the first plot plate that Hare sets spinning. Soon his trusty, bumbling aide, Duncan Knock (Iain De Caestecker), spirits him to Shephill, a women’s prison, where an inmate (Gbemisola Ikumelo) insists that she must talk to him about his daughter. The daughter who doesn’t speak to him, or the other one? Peter asks. No, a third, the heretofore unknown offspring of a youth spent in drunken philandering. Peter has just enough time to take in this dubious revelation before he must rush off to 10 Downing Street, where he squirms before Dawn Ellison (Helen McCrory), the fearsome Prime Minister, who looks like a dyed tulip in her form-fitting powder-blue suit and has the air of a cat about to pounce. A Cabinet reshuffle is planned; Dawn dangles the possibility of a major promotion, and Peter, blinded by ego, steps obligingly into her trap.

“Roadkill” is a stylish show, with a handsome title sequence that calls to mind the great Saul Bass, and a traipsing score, by Harry Escott, that casts a playful, mysterious mood. We get lots of dark wood, dark suits, and dark corporate cars that glide, unimpeded, down glistening gray streets. Much of the show’s appeal lies in its embrace of the familiar. The gruff, macho newspaper editor (Pip Torrens); the fragile, neglected wife (Saskia Reeves); the chafing, unsatisfied mistress (Sidse Babett Knudsen)—we know them well. But Hare, dazzled by the buffet of tropes available to him, can’t keep himself from loading up his tray. It’s not enough for Peter’s illegitimate child to claim his attention after twenty-odd years; his bratty daughter Lily (Millie Brady), resentful and entitled, must be photographed by the tabloids snorting cocaine. Charmian Pepper, her name taken straight from Dickens’s reject pile, is given an alcohol problem to underscore her instability. (One depressing rule of thumb for this sort of show is that the diligent journalist working to uncover the politician’s dirty truth must be a young woman, the better to be objectified by her bosses and prove her worth as a go-getter even as she trades on her sex appeal. A second depressing rule of thumb is that she must be disposed of, preferably by means of a blunt collision—recalling the hurtling subway train that put an end to Kate Mara in “House of Cards.”) We get riots in prisons, vodka glasses thrown at heads in the heat of domestic anger, and vague, faceless foreign calamities. “It’s about Yemen,” a conniving politico tells the Prime Minister. Isn’t it always?

What kept me watching was Laurie, who floats through the action with a bemused, obliging look on his wonderful lean, lipless face. There is something gentle and appeasing about his Peter, who prides himself on his working-class background, and is susceptible to maverick pricks of conscience—he alienates his party, and seemingly all of Britain, by championing prison reform. (“The British like locking people up. It’s in our character,” the Prime Minister tells him—a line that makes an American feel a little less alone.) In the street, Peter is accosted by selfie-seekers, but at home—where Hare, a seasoned purveyor of female melodrama, unsubtly surrounds him with a pack of women who peck and nag—he is merely baffled, wondering what he’s doing neck-deep in this mess.

Political reputations are made to be won and lost. Private disgrace is harder to grapple with, now that it can be turned public with a click and a swipe. The violation of digital exposure is the subject of “I Hate Suzie” (on HBO Max), a destabilizing, off-kilter show created by Billie Piper and Lucy Prebble. Piper stars as Suzie Pickles, an actress who, like Piper herself, found teen-age stardom as a singer and is now entering the career descent of early middle age. (Action shows in which she runs from Nazi zombies are her bread and butter.) She lives in a cozy house in the English countryside with her husband, Cob (Daniel Ings), and their young son, who is deaf. After her phone is hacked, nude photos of her are splashed all over the Web, in flagrante delicto with a man whose cob is visibly not Cob’s. “There is a penis of color in the pictures,” she is informed by an indignant audience member at a sci-fi convention—an absurdist phrase, at once respectful and rude, that typifies the show’s tart tonal mix.

“I Hate Suzie” has a strange, strong flavor, a briny funk with a surprising undercurrent of sweetness, like Scandinavian licorice. At first, I was repulsed. Then dislike turned to craving. Each of the show’s eight episodes is named for a stage in coping with trauma: we start out with “Shock,” “Denial,” and “Fear,” before progressing through “Shame,” “Bargaining,” and “Guilt” to “Anger” and “Acceptance,” but the artificiality of that structure is undercut by the show’s genuine, exploratory weirdness.

Berated by the furious, wounded Cob, Suzie goes off the rails. Woozy camerawork and screeching, witchy strings take us into a mind altered by drugs, alcohol, and anxiety, but it is Piper’s raw, comical performance as a not so smart woman on the verge that stands out. Suzie mumbles, makes excuses, and tells incompetent lies as the camera shows her aging face in merciless closeup; she is a creature of haphazard instinct and ruinous libido. One excellent early episode looks at desire from within, flashing through an array of Suzie’s sexual fantasies as she and her savvy manager, Naomi (Leila Farzad), analyze them together like critics at a screening. “We’ll sort it out like grownups, like in a Woody Allen film,” her oblivious lover (Nathaniel Martello-White) tells her, a reminder that adulthood is itself a performance, however derivative and imitative, that Suzie, like the rest of us, must make her own. ♦

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AMP Presents Round Table Discussion on Medical Cannabis in the Focus of German Politics with Dr. Wieland Schinnenburg, MdB (FDP) – Canada NewsWire

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ERFURT, Germany and BERLIN, Nov. 30, 2020 /CNW/ – AMP German Cannabis Group Inc. (“AMP”) (CSE: XCX) (FSE: C4T) (ISIN: CA00176G1028) is proud to present the second episode of its “Round Table” series with Dr. Wieland Schinnenburg, MdB of the FDP, who provides an up-to-date overview of the political issues and challenges facing the medical cannabis in Germany. In addition, the discussion panel will share their views on how the industry will change for companies operating in the sector over the next decade.

Episodes of the Round Table Series can be found on AMP’s website: www.amp-eu.de/roundtable (in German with English subtitles), AMP’s YouTube Channel and by all major podcast platforms (in German).

AMP Round Table Series, Episode #2: “Politics and Medical Cannabis in Germany

Medical cannabis has been an important political issue even before Germany legalized its use three years ago and is becoming even more relevant in current politics.

The majority of the political parties in Germany are in agreement that medical cannabis has a role in benefiting some medical conditions. However, German politicians and the public would agree that policies enacted since legalization have room for improvement. Open issues like patient access, medical conditions covered, guaranteed health insurance coverage for medical cannabis prescriptions and sources of supply still need to be addressed.

In AMP Round Table Episode #2, Dr. Wieland Schinnenburg, MdB, spokesman for drug and addiction policy of the Free Democratic Party (FDP) and a well-respected medical cannabis expert joins Dr. Stefan Feuerstein to discuss the politics of medical cannabis as well as the opportunities and challenges facing medical cannabis companies like AMP.

Dr. Schinnenburg will discuss how the government will address the aforementioned issues in the near future in addition to:

Summary of Topics Discussed

  • How do the political parties’ views differ on medical cannabis in Germany?
  • How do the German federal government and the sixteen German states view medical cannabis?
  • Can supplying the growing demand for medical cannabis in Germany be better managed?
  • What can be learned from the first domestic cultivation tender in regard to how the process was conducted and in meeting the growing demand for medical cannabis?
  • What role can imported medical cannabis play in meeting the current and growing demand for medical cannabis?
  • Could an increase in imported medical cannabis improve competition in Germany and lower prices to health insurance companies and private patients?
  • How are policies at the Cannabis Agency at German’s Federal Institute for Drugs and Medical Devices (BfRaM) being made?
  • How will the medical cannabis industry develop in Germany over the next five to ten years from now?

Panel Members

Dr. Wieland Schinnenburg MdB, (FDP)

Dr. Schinnenburg studied dentistry from 1978 to 1984 at the Medical University of Hannover and the Westphalian Wilhelms University in Münster. After his state examination, he received his doctorate in 1985 and worked as an employed dentist from 1984 to 1987. From 1987 until his election to the German Bundestag in 2017, he ran his own practice in Oststeinbek near Hamburg.

In addition to his work as a dentist, he began studying law at the University of Hamburg in 1989, which he completed in 1994 with the First State Examination; in 1997, he took the Second State Examination at the Higher Regional Court of Celle. During his studies, he completed study visits and internships in Port-au-Prince, Los Angeles, Chiang Mai, Jerusalem and Washington, D.C. In 1998, Dr. Schinnenburg opened a law firm in addition to his dental practice. Since 2006, Dr. Schinnenburg has been a specialist lawyer for medical law and since 2007 a mediator.

Dr. Stefan Feuerstein (AMP)

Dr. Feuerstein is Director and President of AMP and has over three decades of experience in facilitating and leading investment opportunities from within and outside of Germany. Dr. Feuerstein served as managing director of IIC Industrial Investment Council GmbH, which acted as an investment promotion agency for the five Eastern German States, including Berlin. He also served as managing director of the TLW Thüringer Landeswirtschafts-Förderungsgesellschaft, Erfurt, or the German State of Thuringia Economic Department.

Mr. Holger Scholze (Round Table Moderator)

Mr. Holger Scholze is a German television stock market analyst, lecturer, and presenter. Mr. Scholze became known to a large audience primarily through his more than 5,000 live broadcasts as a correspondent for the German national news channel, n-tv. Mr. Scholze has been dealing with the international financial markets for thirty years and has been regularly assessing the current market situation for two decades for various TV and radio stations.

About Jushi Europe (Round Table Sponsor)

Round Table Episode #2 is sponsored by Jushi Europe SA, the European subsidiary of Jushi Holdings Inc. (CSE: JUSH, OTCMKTS: JUSHF) and headquartered in Switzerland. Jushi Europe’s strategy is focused on building large-scale production in Portugal for export to the European medical cannabis market. Jushi Europe represents geographic diversification of the Jushi portfolio and an entrance into early-stage cannabis markets through long-term investments.

About AMP German Cannabis Group

AMP German Cannabis Group is licensed to import European Union – Good Manufacturing Practice (EU-GMP) medical cannabis from Europe and elsewhere into Germany. AMP sources, stores, transports, delivers, and sells medical cannabis products to pharmaceutical distributors or pharmacists directly, the only point-of-sale for medical cannabis to German patients with a physician’s prescription. For more information, please visit: www.amp-eu.com

AMP social media links:

Media Kit: www.amp-eu.com/media-kit

Neither the CSE nor its Regulation Services Provider (as that term is defined in the policies of the CSE) accepts responsibility for the adequacy or accuracy of this release.

This news release contains forward-looking statements that are based on the Company’s expectations, estimates and projections regarding its business and the economic environment in which it operates, including with respect to its business plans and milestones and the timing thereof. Although the Company believes the expectations expressed in such forward-looking statements are based on reasonable assumptions, such statements are not guarantees of future performance and involve risks and uncertainties that are difficult to control or predict. Therefore, actual outcomes and results may differ materially from those expressed in these forward-looking statements and readers should not place undue reliance on such statements. These forward-looking statements speak only as of the date on which they are made, and the Company undertakes no obligation to update them publicly to reflect new information or the occurrence of future events or circumstances unless otherwise required to do so by law.

SOURCE AMP German Cannabis Group Inc.

For further information: Mr. Alex Blodgett, CEO and Director, Telephone: +1 236-833-1602, Email: [email protected]

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www.amp-eu.com

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Conflict between Tigray and Eritrea — the long standing faultline in Ethiopian politics – The Conversation Africa

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The missile attack by the Tigray People’s Liberation Front on Eritrea in mid-November transformed an internal Ethiopian crisis into a transnational one. In the midst of escalating internal conflict between Ethiopia’s northernmost province, Tigray, and the federal government, it was a stark reminder of a historical rivalry that continues to shape and reshape Ethiopia.

The rivalry between the Tigray People’s Liberation Front and the movement which has governed Eritrea in all but name for the past 30 years – the Eritrean People’s Liberation Front – goes back several decades.

The histories of Eritrea and Ethiopia have long been closely intertwined. This is especially true of Tigray and central Eritrea. These territories occupy the central massif of the Horn of Africa. The Tigrinya are the predominant ethnic group in both Tigray and in the adjacent Eritrean highlands.

The enmity between the Tigray People’s Liberation Front and the Eritrean People’s Liberation Front dates to the mid-1970s, when the Tigrayan front was founded in the midst of political turmoil in Ethiopia. The authoritarian Marxist regime – known as the Derg (Amharic for ‘committee’) – inflicted violence upon millions of its own citizens. It was soon confronted with a range of armed insurgencies and socio-political movements. These included Tigray and Eritrea, where the resistance was most ferocious.

The Tigrayan front was at first close to the Eritrean front, which had been founded in 1970 to fight for independence from Ethiopia. Indeed, the Eritreans helped train some of the first Tigrayan recruits in 1975-6, in their shared struggle against Ethiopian government forces for social revolution and the right to self-determination.

But in the midst of the war against the Derg regime, the relationship quickly soured over ethnic and national identity. There were also differences over the demarcation of borders, military tactics and ideology. The Tigrayan front eventually recognised the Eritreans’ right to self-determination, if grudgingly, and resolved to fight for the liberation of all Ethiopian peoples from the tyranny of the Derg regime.

Each achieved seminal victories in the late 1980s. Together the Tigrayan-led Ethiopian People’s Revolutionary Democratic Front and the Eritrean front overthrew the Derg in May 1991. The Tigrayan-led front formed government in Addis Ababa while the Eritrean front liberated Eritrea which became an independent state.

But this was just the start of a new phase of a deep-rooted rivalry. This continued between the governments until the recent entry of prime minister Abiy Ahmed.

If there’s any lesson to be learnt from years of military and political manoeuvrings, it is that conflict in Tigray is unavoidably a matter of intense interest to the Eritrean leadership. And Abiy would do well to remember that conflict between Eritrea and Tigray has long represented a destabilising fault line for Ethiopia as well as for the wider region.

Reconciliation and new beginnings

In the early 1990s, there was much talk of reconciliation and new beginnings between Meles Zenawi of Ethiopia and Isaias Afeworki of Eritrea. The two governments signed a range of agreements on economic cooperation, defence and citizenship. It seemed as though the enmity of the liberation war was behind them.

Meles declared as much at the 1993 Eritrean independence celebrations, at which he was a notable guest.

But deep-rooted tensions soon resurfaced. In the course of 1997, unresolved border disputes were exacerbated by Eritrea’s introduction of a new currency. This had been anticipated in a 1993 economic agreement. But in the event Tigrayan traders often refused to recognise it, and it caused a collapse in commerce.

Full-scale war erupted over the contested border hamlet of Badme in May 1998. The fighting swiftly spread to other stretches of the shared, 1,000 km long frontier. Air strikes were launched on both sides.

It was quickly clear, too, that this was only superficially about borders. It was more substantively about regional power and long standing antagonisms that ran along ethnic lines.

The Eritrean government’s indignant anti-Tigray front rhetoric had its echo in the popular contempt for so-called Agame, the term Eritreans used for Tigrayan migrant labourers.

For the Tigray front, the Eritrean front was the clearest expression of perceived Eritrean arrogance.

As for Isaias himself, regarded as a crazed warlord who had led Eritrea down a path which defied economic and political logic, it was hubris personified.

Ethiopia deported tens of thousands of Eritreans and Ethiopians of Eritrean descent.

Ethiopia’s decisive final offensive in May 2000 forced the Eritrean army to fall back deep into their own territory. Although the Ethiopians were halted, and a ceasefire put in place after bitter fighting on a number of fronts, Eritrea had been devastated by the conflict.

The Algiers Agreement of December 2000 was followed by years of standoff, occasional skirmishes, and the periodic exchange of insults.

During this period Ethiopia consolidated its position as a dominant power in the region. And Meles as one of the continent’s representatives on the global stage.

For its part Eritrea retreated into a militaristic, authoritarian solipsism. Its domestic policy centred on open-ended national service for the young. Its foreign policy was largely concerned with undermining the Ethiopian government across the region. This was most obvious in Somalia, where its alleged support for al-Shabaab led to the imposition of sanctions on Asmara.

The ‘no war-no peace’ scenario continued even after Meles’s sudden death in 2012. The situation only began to shift with the resignation of Hailemariam Desalegn against a backdrop of mounting protest across Ethiopia, especially among the Oromo and the Amhara, and the rise to power of Abiy.

What followed was the effective overthrow of the Tigray People’s Liberation Front which had been the dominant force in the Ethiopian People’s Revolutionary Democratic Front coalition since 1991.

This provided Isaias with a clear incentive to respond to Abiy’s overtures.

Tigray’s loss, Eritrea’s gain

A peace agreement between Ethiopia and Eritrea, was signed in July 2018 by Abiy and Eritrean President Isaias Afeworki. It formally ended their 1998-2000 war. It also sealed the marginalisation of the Tigray People’s Liberation Front. Many in the Tigray People’s Liberation Front were unenthusiastic about allowing Isaias in from the cold.

Since the 1998-2000 war, in large part thanks to the astute manoeuvres of the late Prime Minister Meles Zenawi, Eritrea had been exactly where the Tigray People’s Liberation Front wanted it: an isolated pariah state with little diplomatic clout. Indeed, it is unlikely that Isaias would have been as receptive to the deal had it not involved the further sidelining of the Tigray People’s Liberation Front, something which Abiy presumably understood.

Isaias had eschewed the possibility of talks with Abiy’s predecessor, Hailemariam Desalegn. But Abiy was a different matter. A political reformer, and a member of the largest but long-subjugated ethnic group in Ethiopia, the Oromo, he was determined to end the Tigray People’s Liberation Front’s domination of Ethiopian politics.

This was effectively achieved in December 2019 when he abolished the Ethiopian People’s Revolutionary Democratic Front and replaced it with the Prosperity Party.

The Tigray People’s Liberation Front declined to join with the visible results of the current conflict.




Read more:
Residual anger driven by the politics of power has boiled over into conflict in Ethiopia


Every effort to engage with the Tigrayan leadership – including the Tigray People’s Liberation Front – in pursuit of a peaceful resolution must also mean keeping Eritrea out of the conflict.

Unless Isaias is willing to play a constructive role – he does not have a good track record anywhere in the region in this regard – he must be kept at arm’s length, not least to protect the 2018 peace agreement itself.

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