12/20 Understanding The Ethiopia-Tigray Conflict w/ Alex de Waal

December 20, 2022

Sam and Emma host Alex de Waal, Executive Director of The World Peace Foundation and Professor at Tufts University, to discuss the ongoing civil conflict in Ethiopia and how it is affecting the Tigrayan people. First, Sam and Emma run through updates on the US funding bill, GOP killing cannabis reform, the final DOJ criminal referrals coming out of the 1/6 committee, the USPS’ shift towards electric, and more on George Santos’ resume, before diving deeper into the January 6th committee, and the US’ long history of refusing to hold powerful white men to account. Alex de Waal then calls in as he gets right into walking through the long history of war in Ethiopia, beginning with tensions between the authoritarian leadership of Ethiopia (supported by the West) and the totalitarian regime of Eritrea, and the decades of war that came from it, culminating with the election of Abiy Ahmed as Prime Minister of Ethiopia, a shift away from the Tigrayan party leadership of the last few decades, who pushed for a security pact with Isaias Afwerki’s Eritrea. Parsing through this shift, Alex, Sam, and Emma tackle the progression of regional supremacy from the era of Haile Selassie’s Amhara leadership, through the Tigrayan decades, and into the recent turn against Tigray, as Ahmed and Afwerki used their pact to stamp out the Tigrayan political party that had dominated Ethiopian politics for the last few decades. After tackling the nature of this conflict as a battle for greater global/continental supremacy, de Waal walks through the differing perspectives on Tigray between Ahmed (who is largely taking a political opportunity) and Afwerki (who is seen to hold genocidal intentions), and how this resulted – despite strong defense from Tigrayan forces at first – in an attempt to starve out the Tigrayan people. After running through the massive devastation that came out of this genocidal endeavor between Ethiopia and Eritrea, Alex, Sam, and Emma explore how they got the rest of the African Union, and the world writ large, to look the other way, before wrapping up by tackling the recent treaties signed that put a stop to hostilities in Tigray, and why conflict in the country is not coming to a close despite them.

And in the Fun Half: Sam and Emma parse through the various holes in Congressman-Elect George Santos’s resume, and expand the conversation on the US’ refusal to hold their political leaders accountable. They also tackle the simmering beef between Lauren Boebert and Majorie Taylor Greene, dive into Greg Gutfeld having fun with the concept of child abuse, and discuss the failure of local news outlets to cover George Santos’ lies, plus, your calls and IMs!

Check out Alex’s writing at the Quincy Institute here: https://responsiblestatecraft.org/author/adewaal/

Check out the World Peace Foundation at Tufts here: https://sites.tufts.edu/wpf/

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