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And yet another 'caliphate':



After weeks of fighting, an Islamist and jihadist alliance led by Ansar al-Sharia--a group with ties to Islamic State (formerly ISIS)--has taken control of Benghazi and declared an "Islamic Emirate." The developments in Libya have come as a shock to the Egyptian government, which considers an Islamic state on Egypt's 720-mile long western border an immediate threat to Egypt's national security.


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I guess they want to be caliph instead of the caliph









I used to love that. It was fricking hilarious. :)


Cant we just convince the Zulu's to deal with them?



Haha! In all seriousness SA is a bit busy in the DRC at the moment, check this out:



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  • 2 weeks later...


YOLA, Nigeria – Witnesses say the Islamic extremists of Boko Haram are seizing more towns along Nigeria's northeastern border with Cameroon and adopting a new strategy of encouraging civilians to stay as they carve out an "Islamic caliphate" under their black and white flag.



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  • 1 month later...
  • 1 year later...

Burundian and Gabonese UN troops are suspected to have abused their status and raped lots of people in the Central African Republic.





Probe into sexual abuse in Central African Republic must 'leave no stone unturned' UN rights chief (UN)


The UN investigation into these sickening allegations, which suggest sexual abuse and exploitation of a large number of women and girls, must leave no stone unturned, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra'ad Al Hussein said .

We are taking these allegations - some of which are particularly odious - extremely seriously. It is vital that the victims are protected and receive all necessary care.


Most of the allegations relate to Burundian and Gabonese contingents present in the Kemo region between 2013 and 2015, as well as to the separate French Sangaris force stationed in the same region in the same period. Allegations of abuse in other parts of the country are also continuing to be investigated.


The States to whom these troops belong must do more to stop the abuse happening, to punish those committing these acts with appropriate sentences, and to prevent further violations, Mr. Zeid said. Otherwise this awful cycle of abuse will never end....

Surprisingly soldiers with a lack discipline and underpaid get bad ideas when they think they can get away with it.

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Sudan recently lost some southern territory as it became a new country called South Sudan. Maybe a western portion called Darfur is trying to do the same.


UNITED NATIONS An escalation in fighting in Darfur has forced 138,000 people to flee their homes since mid-January and there is no end in sight to the 13-year conflict in Sudans vast western region, the U.N. peacekeeping chief said Wednesday.


Herve Ladsous painted a grim picture to the U.N. Security Council of the upsurge in fighting in Darfurs Jebel Marra area between Sudanese government forces and rebels loyal to the Sudan Liberation Armys founder Abdul Wahid Elnur. The government has blocked access to the joint U.N.-African Union peacekeeping force known as UNAMID and humanitarian organizations, so the number of casualties is unknown, he said.


The Security Council briefing follows a report from U.N. experts monitoring sanctions against Sudan dated mid-December that has been circulated to council members but not released because of Russian objections to some recommendations. The report, obtained by The Associated Press, said armed groups in Darfur are capitalizing on gold mined in the region to illicitly raise funds.


Darfur, which is the size of Spain, has been in turmoil since 2003, when ethnic Africans rebelled, accusing the Arab-dominated Sudanese government of discrimination. Khartoum is accused of retaliating by arming local nomadic Arab tribes known as the the janjaweed and unleashing them on civilian populations a charge the government denies. The United Nations says at least 300,000 people have died in the conflict and 2.6 million have fled their homes.


Ladsous, the undersecretary-general for peacekeeping, said the security situation in other parts of Darfur remains fragile with persistent conflicts between local tribes over land, water and other resources.


He said the political process remains polarized and urged the government and Abdul Wahid to immediately stop fighting in Jebel Marra and start peace negotiations without conditions.


The pursuit of political objectives through military means over the past decade has only contributed to the prolonged suffering of the civilian population, Ladsous said.


Despite the volatile security environment, Ladsous said a referendum is scheduled to take place from April 11-13 on whether Darfur should become a single region or retain the current division into five sub-regions. He cited a controversy over the criteria for voter eligibility and concerns about what some call the unsuitable timing.


Sudans U.N. Ambassador Omar Dahab Fadl reiterated the governments call for an exit strategy for UNAMID and called Elnurs forces criminals. He said the government has documented evidence that the rebel leader and his movement have threatened to kill citizens in Jebel Marra if they refuse to pay the ransom imposed on them under duress.


The panel of experts said it is certain that another rebel group the Abbaka Rezeigat Militiamen of North Darfur control the Jebel Amir artisanal gold mines, one of the largest sites in Darfur. It said it is almost certain that at least 400 mines are being exploited by the rebel group.


The panel said it is also certain that a substantial part of the gold taken from the mines is collected in Darfur and flown to Sudans capital Khartoum for illegal export to the United Arab Emirates.


The experts said they are almost certain the Abbaka rebels have the potential to earn $54 million annually from levies on prospectors and businesses, direct mining of gold and its illegal export. They said they are certain that an entity controlled by janjaweed leader Musa Hilal gets a substantial revenue stream from illicit levies on gold mining in Jebel Amir.


The panel is almost certain that other armed groups, who impose illegal levies on prospectors, also control most artisanal mines of Darfur, the report said.


An analysis of trade data by the panel found that around 48,000 kilograms (105,821 pounds) of Darfur gold was potentially smuggled from Sudan to UAE from 2010 to 2014. It said this equates to an additional income of $123 million to armed groups in Darfur.


In other sanctions violations, the panel said it found small arms in Darfur manufactured after 2005, which violate a U.N. arms embargo. They also obtained evidence clearly showing that the Sudanese Air Force possesses cluster munitions, and that government forces in Darfur possess Typhoon armored personnel carriers, also in violation of the arms embargo, the report said.


Edited by JasonJ
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Darfur splits off? Wellll, worked out great for south Sudan that is now entangled in tribal/civil wars.



french soldiers seem to have taken part in the "applied love of children" as well:





In May and June 2014, several boys described sexual abuse by French troops to UN investigators in CAR capital Bangui. The French defence ministry said it was informed in July 2014 of the accusations, and French prosecutors opened a preliminary investigation.

And a guy working for the UN gets stomped on for reporting:




Edited by Panzermann
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At the beginning it was mostly firstworlders participating in UN peacekeeping missions, now it's mostly thirdworlders - 5 biggest contributors are Bangladesh, Ethiopia, India, Pakistan and Rwanda. What the UN pays is quite a big money for them.


Obviously there would be some misconduct of the troops involved in both cases, the problem is the scale.

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  • 3 years later...

Russia is back in the Central African Republic(CAR).

In a military training base located on former palace grounds southwest of the capital Bangui, hundreds of Russian fighters, described as army reservists, are training Central African government soldiers in preparation for deployment along the country's border. The CAR government hopes to regain control of the country, which is torn by sectarian violence and the operations of 14 rebel groups. CAR, formerly colonised by France, is rich in strategically important minerals, diamonds, and gold. Russia has sought influence in CAR before when the Soviet Union developed ties during the reign of former President Jean-Bedel Bokassa before he was overthrown in 1979. In 2017, CAR President Faustin-Archange Touadera reached out to Russian President Vladimir Putin on the sidelines of a UN General Assembly meeting, asking for help. It was a meeting that stunned many on the Security Council, especially France, who had advised the the presidents of CAR for years. Valery Zakharov, a former Russian intelligence official, stepped in as adviser to CAR's president. Zakharov gave Al Jazeera access to the military base, where three Russian journalists were killed investigating the potential involvement of the Russian private security company, the Wagner Group. He denies accusations that Russia will exploit resources or cause instability, and told Al Jazeera that Russia hopes to end conflict in the country. "My job is to deal with national security, I help restore the army, police and all sorts of questions regarding national security," he said. "The Russians came here to bring peace. To arm government troops is one of the tasks so in the future these soldiers can occupy the borders and peace can be brought here in the end, and police take care of internal security." While Russia did help broker a peace deal that was signed by the 14 armed groups in February 2019, some are still concerned that Russia is playing a geopolitical chess game in Africa, which involves China and the United States who have already established bases in places like Djibouti. Just a 10-minute car drive away from the presidential palace is the mainly Muslim PK5 neighbourhood, which is effectively dominated by Seleka fighter Nimery Matar Djamous aka 'General Force', who is accused of war crimes including torture, rape, and extortion, and has evaded arrest by the United Nations security forces. He views the arrival of the Russians with deep suspicion. "I trust the president of the Central African Republic, it's us who elected the president, in a difficult moment ... He worked well, but there's ... the politics that exceed him," he said. "The Russians are not here to help, they want our gold, diamonds and minerals. They are here to exploit and replace the French. What they want is obtain France's position here." There are other concerns of interference. Gunshots were fired after Karim Meckassoua, then-president of the CAR National Assembly, was dismissed of his position in a vote of no confidence. He believes Russia orchestrated the move. "Because I was bothering them, putting up obstacles. They are ignoring our constitution. Only the national assembly can be in charge of the country's wealth, in other words no licence to mines or financial contract or timber exploitation can be delivered without the consent of the national assembly. Who is trying to brush our laws aside? The Russians," Meckassoua said. Najat Rochdi from the UN peacekeeping mission, MINUSCA, said that peacekeepers welcome involvement from all member states, but says that they must abide by some rules. "The presence of the Russian, you know, this country needs the support of everybody, really, of everybody in terms of member states. Every single member state is more than welcome to support the country, while it comes also with some obligations. And the obligation is to be part of the international community and of the partners and to play the game by the name."



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CNN — When anti-government protests erupted in Sudan at the end of last year, the response of President Omar al-Bashir came straight from the dictators' playbook -- a crackdown that led to scores of civilian deaths.

At the same time, a more insidious strategy was being developed -- one that involved spreading misinformation on social media, blaming Israel for fomenting the unrest, and even carrying out public executions to make an example of "looters."

The author of this strategy was not the Sudanese government. According to documents seen by CNN, it was drawn up by a Russian company tied to an oligarch favored by the Kremlin: Yevgeny Prigozhin.

Multiple government and military sources in Khartoum have confirmed to CNN that Bashir's government received the proposals and began to act on them, before Bashir was deposed in a coup earlier this month. One official of the former regime said Russian advisers monitored the protests and began devising a plan to counter them with what he called "minimal but acceptable loss of life."

While the documents do not come from official Russian agencies, they were essentially a blueprint for protecting the Kremlin's interests in Sudan and keeping Bashir in power.

The documents seen by CNN, which include letters and internal company communications, are among several thousand obtained and investigated by the London-based Dossier Center, run by exiled Russian businessman Mikhail Khodorkovsky.

The Dossier Center receives data, documents and other information from a variety of sources, often anonymous, and shares them with journalists. Khodorkovsky ran afoul of President Vladimir Putin after alleging widespread corruption in Russia and spent several years in prison for alleged tax fraud -- which he has always denied.

CNN has assessed the documents to be credible. They are also consistent with the accounts of witnesses who say Russian observers were seen at the recent protests in Sudan.

Sudan has been Moscow's template for expanding its influence in Africa and around the globe: A hybrid of private and state interests that rewards both oligarchs and the Kremlin. It's a low-cost strategy that gives Moscow a foothold in strategic places, without the commitment of regular forces or major investment by the Russian government. Instead it uses companies that supply private contractors in return for commercial concessions.

Indeed, the documents seen by CNN originate from a St. Petersburg-based company, M-Invest, which has an office in the Sudanese capital, Khartoum. M-Invest lists as its core business the "extraction of ores and sands of precious metals." As CNN has previously reported, the company was granted concessions for a gold mine in Sudan.

But its activities seem to have gone far beyond mining.

What the Dossier Center's documents show

President Bashir cultivated a close relationship with the Kremlin, visiting Moscow in 2017. Russia supplied modern Su-35 fighter jets in the same year. Put simply, Russia had placed a big bet on Bashir. As protests against the regime gathered steam, that bet was at risk.

According to the documents reviewed by CNN, M-Invest drew up a plan to discredit and suppress those protests.

One document from early January, reviewed by CNN, proposes spreading claims that protesters were attacking mosques and hospitals. It also suggested creating an image of demonstrators as "enemies of Islam and traditional values" by planting LGBT flags among them. And it proposed a social media campaign claiming that "Israel supports the protesters."

The strategy also suggested the government "simulate a dialogue with the opposition and demonstrate the openness of the government" in order to "isolate leaders of the protest and gain time."

M-Invest proposed ways to make the government look good -- through widely publicized "free distribution of bread, flour, grain, food."

But most of its focus was on the protests. It recommended fabricating evidence "of arson by protesters against mosques, hospitals and nurseries, [and] stealing grain from the public store."

It also suggested blaming the West for the protests and using "extensive media coverage of the interrogation of detainees, where they admit they arrived to organize civil war in Sudan." And it even proposed "public executions of looters and other spectacular events to distract the protest-minded audience."

CNN made multiple efforts to reach M-Invest. Its phone number in St. Petersburg did not work. An Arabic speaker answered a call to its office in Khartoum but hung up. CNN visited the address but was told the space was leased to a Russian company called Mir Gold.

Another company document recommends the arrest of protest leaders the day before demonstrations are due to take place -- and spreading disinformation by saying that protesters were being paid to take part. Also recommended: Show how "security forces detained a car with weapons, foreign currency, propaganda materials operated by foreign citizens."

M-Invest also proposed building social media teams to attack the protest movement, "starting disputes with users and voicing alternative agenda...The optimal number of accounts working in parallel -- 40-50."

In some ways the playbook is similar to that deployed by the Internet Research Agency, accused by US authorities of trying to disrupt the 2016 US election campaign.

Prigozhin -- kown as "Putin's chef" for the catering contracts he held with the Kremlin -- was one of 13 Russians charged as part of the investigation into Russian election interference by US special counsel Robert Mueller. The US alleges that fictitious social media sites were set up to polarize voters with inflammatory and, in some cases, fake information. Prigozhin has denied any involvement in election meddling, and has denied any connection to the Internet Research Agency. Calls to his main company, Concord Management and Consulting, went unanswered.

The documents reviewed by CNN do not indicate that official Russian security agencies were directly involved in trying to suppress the protests in Sudan.

Foreign Ministry spokesman Maria Zakharova said at a press briefing in January: "We are informed that some employees of Russian private security firms, who have no relation to the Russian government authorities, are indeed working in Sudan. But their functions are limited to personnel training."

Time starts to run out

Sources in Khartoum have told CNN that Bashir's government did try to begin implementing some of M-Invest's plans.

For example, it began detaining students from the Darfur region and accused them of trying to foment civil war -- one of the ploys recommended by M-Invest. The sources say Russian advisers from a private company were placed in several ministries and the National Intelligence Service.

But it was too little, too late.

In a letter to Bashir, drafted on March 17, Prigozhin complained that the Sudanese government's "inaction" had "provoked the intensification of the crisis." And he added, with unknowing prescience: "The lack of active steps by the new government to overcome the crisis is likely to lead to even more serious political consequences."

Another letter from Prigozhin, dated April 6, praised the longtime Sudanese ruler as a "wise and far-sighted leader" but urged immediate economic reforms to solve the crisis.

Five days later, Bashir was deposed.

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  • 1 year later...

Putting this here pending emergence to a level warranting its own topic.


Clashes in Ethiopia’s Tigray Region Put Horn of Africa on Edge

By Simon Marks and Samuel Gebre

7. November 2020, 06:00 MEZ

Almost a year after winning the Nobel Peace Prize for forging an end to two decades of animosity with neighboring Eritrea, Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed has sparked international concern after resorting to force to quell internal dissent.

Accusing the regional government in the northern Tigray state of attacking an army base to steal equipment, Abiy ordered the military to strike back. Heavy fighting between the army and forces loyal to the region’s ruling Tigray People’s Liberation Front claimed dozens of lives this week, according to two foreign diplomats who spoke on condition of anonymity as they’re not authorized to speak to the media.

Air strikes were carried out on arms depots in Mekelle, Tigray’s capital, and rocket launchers and other military hardware were destroyed, Abiy told state television on Friday.

The showdown spurred calls for restraint from United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, the U.S. and Germany. It also spooked investors, who’ve been pouring money into Ethiopia since Abiy took power in 2018 and began opening up the state-controlled economy.


Relations between Tigray and the federal government have frayed since Abiy took office and sidelined the TPLF, once Ethiopia’s pre-eminent power broker.

Abiy blamed the violence on the “criminal hubris and intransigence” of the TPLF leadership, while indicating that military operations would be limited in scope. A state of emergency came into effect in the region on Friday that will give a military task force the authority to disarm the security personnel in Tigray, impose curfews and use “proportionate force” to maintain order.

“The federal defense forces are determined to bring an end to this criminal enterprise, with the least possible cost to the civilian population in Tigray and the rest of Ethiopia,” Abiy’s office said in a statement on Twitter.

The odds of an escalation in hostilities nonetheless remain high, with Debretsion Gebremichael, Tigray’s president, warning that the region has the capacity and resolve to destroy those who attack it. More than half of Ethiopia’s armed forces and mechanized divisions are situated in Tigray, according to the International Crisis Group -- a presence that was built up during Ethiopia’s conflict with Eritrea, which border on Tigray.

“Hopes for a surgical in and out are probably misplaced,” said Connor Vasey, an East Africa analyst with the Eurasia Group. “Tigray is among the most militarily organized and equipped regions, and the TPLF has gained a lot of grassroots support which could come into play as the conflict evolves.”

There’s also a risk that turbulence could spill over into other restive regions that have been dogged by protests and violence this year, or into neighboring states including Eritrea, whose relationship with Tigray has remained frosty despite the peace deal it reached with Abiy.

Sudan, Djibouti and Eritrea have all shut their borders with Ethiopia, citing fears of a widening conflict.



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Date 14.11.2020

Ethiopian cities hit by rockets from Tigray forces

Two cities in the Amhara region have been struck by rockets fired by forces from the neighboring Tigray region, the government has claimed. Hundreds of people have been killed so far this month in a spiraling conflict.

The Ethiopian government said on Saturday that fighters from the northern Tigray region had fired rockets at the cities of Bahir Dar and Gondar in the Amhara region.

According to a tweet from the special task force set up to provide information about the government's operations in Tigray: "In the late hours of Nov. 13, 2020, a rocket was fired towards Bahir Dar and Gondar cities."

The statement also said that the airport areas in both cities had "sustained damage" as a result of the attack.

The Amhara region's troops have been fighting alongside government forces against soldiers loyal to the Tigray ruling party, the Tigray People's Liberation Front (TPLF) in a conflict that erupted earlier this month.

Debretsion Gebremichael, leader of the TPLF, told AFP that while he did not know anything about an attack, "any airport used to attack Tigray will be a legitimate target."

The airports in both Bahir Dar and Gondar are used for military as well as civilian aircraft.

Residents reportedly heard gunfire on Friday night, however, this has not yet been confirmed. 

A doctor at a hospital in Gondar, speaking on condition of anonymity to AFP, said that "there were at least two dead" and "10 to 15 injured." He said the injuries he saw came from an explosion rather than bullets adding that there were "no civilians at all" among the dead or injured.

A statement from the Amhara regional government said that "the situation was controlled within a few minutes" and "our cities are in peace."


Hundreds of people have already been killed in the clashes and more than 14,500 people have already fled into neighboring Sudan.

On Thursday, Amnesty International confirmed reports of a "massacre" of civilians in the Tigray region. Following Amnesty's report, UN rights chief Michelle Bachelet called for an investigation into the alleged mass killings.

"If confirmed as having been deliberately carried out by a party to the current fighting, these killings of civilians would of course amount to war crimes," Bachelet said in a statement on Friday.

Tigray has been under a communications blackout since the operation began, making it difficult to verify claims from both camps about the situation on the ground.




Date 14.11.2020

New clashes in Western Sahara threaten decades-old cease-fire

Renewed clashes between Morocco and the Polisario Front threaten to unravel a decades-old cease-fire in Western Sahara. The UN has expressed grave concerns and urged each side to show restraint.

The pro-independence Polisario Front on Friday said a 30-year-old cease-fire in disputed Western Sahara ended after Morocco launched an operation in a border area.

"War has started, the Moroccan side has liquidated the cease-fire," senior Polisario official Mohamed Salem Ould Salek told the AFP news agency.

The Moroccan military early on Friday started an operation to clear the road in the Guerguerat area, linking to neighboring Mauritania, which it said had been blockaded for weeks by supporters of the Polisario Front.

The road, located in an UN-monitored buffer zone in the far south of Western Sahara, links the Morocco-controlled territory to neighboring Mauritania.

Rabat said the operation was launched to "put a stop to the blockade" of trucks traveling between the Western Sahara and Mauritania and restore movement.

A Polisario official accused Moroccan troops of firing at innocent protesters and said Polisario fighters came to their defense, prompting "intense clashes" on Friday.

"Sahrawi troops are engaged in legitimate self-defense and are responding to the Moroccan troops," Ould Salek said.

The Polisario Front said the 1991 cease-fire, which it warned this week was hanging by a thread, came to an end with the Moroccan military action.



Edited by BansheeOne
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Date 15.11.2020

Rockets fired from Ethiopia's Tigray hit Eritrean capital, diplomats say

Several rockets have hit near the airport in Eritrea's capital city of Asmara. The rockets, fired from Ethiopia's Tigray region, are the latest escalation in a conflict that threatens to destabilize the Horn of Africa.

Multiple rockets fired from Ethiopia's northern Tigray region hit the capital of neighboring Eritrea on Saturday, five diplomats have said, as the conflict between government forces and a separatist group spilled beyond Ethiopia's borders.

At least two of the rockets hit the Asmara airport on Saturday evening, three of the diplomats said.

However, the United States embassy contradicted those reports, saying there were "no indications the airport was struck."

Nevertheless, it did confirm reports of "a series of loud noises" in the vicinity and told US citizens in Eritrea to remain in their homes on Sunday.

The leader of Ethiopia's Tigray region confirmed the rocket attack to Reuters. President Debretsion Gebremichael added that his forces have been fighting Eritrean forces "on several fronts" for the past few days.

Eritrea accused of aiding Ethiopia

Gebremichael's ruling party, the Tigray People's Liberation Front (TPLF), has accused Eritrea of providing military support to the Ethiopian government and sending troops across the border, allegations that Eritrea has denied.

"We are not part of the conflict," Eritrean Foreign Minister Osman Saleh Mohammed told Reuters news agency.

Earlier on Saturday, a senior member of the TPLF had threatened retaliatory "missile attacks" on Asmara and the Eritrean port city of Massawa "to foil military any movement."

The rocket strikes happened hours after the TPLF, considered a rebel group by the Ethiopian government, claimed attacks on two airports in the neighboring Amhara region of Ethiopia.

"Yesterday evening we've inflicted heavy damages on the military components of the Gondar and Bahir Dar airports," Getachew Reda, a spokesperson of the TPLF, said in a statement Saturday.

"As long as the attacks on the people of Tigray do not stop, the attacks will intensify," he added.

Both airports in the Amhara region are used for military as well as civilian aircraft.

The federal government acknowledged the attacks, saying the airport areas have sustained damages. A doctor said that two soldiers were killed and at least 15 people were injured.



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No oil in Eritrea or Tigray so no problem. 

Ethiopia was ruled by Amharas for centuries. Emperor Haile Selassie was overthrown by a Marxist military dictatorship (also Amharas). The dictatorship was overthrown and Meles Zenawi (a Tigray) was elected. The Tigrays ran Ethiopia until recently when Abi Ahmed, from the same political party, was elected after Meles death.  Abi says his parents were both Oromos (the largest Ethnic group). Some people think his mother was an Amhara. The Tigrays are not happy about losing control of the country which has lead to the current unrest. This is different from previous unrest/riots of the last few years which were caused by Oromos ethnically cleansing their section of the country of Amharas, and by Moslems exterminating Christians.  (Sometimes both at the same time).
  Tigray is next to Eritrea and is ethnically the same. Eritrea was part of Ethiopia until the Marxist dictatorship was deposed. 

  The Ethiopian government troops operating in Tigray seem to be federal troops (could be of various nationalities) and Amhara militia (whom I haven’t heard much about previously). 

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