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Months after truce with Tigray region, US official insists Eritrean troops still at Ethiopian borders

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Months after peace was brokered between crises involving the Ethiopian government, Eritrea, and the Tigray Peoples Liberation Front, a senior United State official has revealed Eritrean troops are still in Ethiopia although they have moved back the border.

The United State Ambassador to the United Nations, Linda Thomas-Greenfield, said at a news conference during a visit to the Kenyan capital Nairobi, that “with respect to Eritreans we understand they have moved back to the border and they have been asked to leave.”

The alleged presence of the Eritrean troops contradicts Ethiopian authorities’ position on the departure of the Eritreans who fought alongside the Ethiopian military and allied militias in the two-year conflict that pitted the Ethiopian government against rebellious forces in the northern region of Tigray.

Meanwhile, the allegation has been denied by a senior Ethiopia military officer briefing foreign officials on Saturday.

“There is no other security force in the Tigray region except the FDRE Defense Forces,” Major General Teshome Gemechu said, using an acronym for the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia.

The Ethiopian government nor any of its officials have made official reactions to the allegations. The government spokesperson Legesse Tulu, Redwan Hussein, national security advisor to the prime minister, and Colonel Getnet Adane, spokesperson to Ethiopian Army also did not respond to requests for comment on claims by Thomas-Greenfield and Getachew.

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Musings From Abroad

US Vice President, Kamala Harris to visit 3 African countries as new scramble continues

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The scramble for Africa between the global South and West has continued as the United States continues to push to have its place in Africa re-established.

The US Vice President, Kamala Harris has begun a weeklong visit to Africa to pitch against China and Russia both of which have invested heavily in the continent over several decades.

During the visit, Harris will be in Ghana from March 26-29, then in Tanzania from March 29-31. Her final stop is Zambia, on March 31 and April 1.

She will meet with the three countries’ presidents and plans to announce public- and private-sector investments.

The United States lately has been on a quest to revamp its relations with Africa as China and Russia’s influence continues to grow in the country. Russia has been India’s largest weapons supplier since the Soviet Union days.

One of Harris’s destinations is Zambia, which was the first African country to default on its sovereign debt during the COVID-19 pandemic, and is working with its creditors, including China, to reach an agreement.

According to senior U.S. officials said, the US is concerned about China’s engagement in technology and economic issues in Africa as well as its involvement in debt restructuring.

“We’re not asking our partners in Africa to choose,” said a senior official, describing the competition with China, although he added that the U.S. has “real concerns about some of China’s behavior in Africa” and its “opaque” business dealings.

The US is strengthening relations, in 2022 President Biden announced at US-Africa Business Forum, announced over $15 billion in two-way trade and investment commitments, deals, and partnerships that advance key priorities, including sustainable energy, health systems, agribusiness, digital connectivity, infrastructure, and finance.

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Musings From Abroad

Like Italy, US worried President Saied’s style creates ‘enormous concern’ over Tunisia

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Following the sit-tight regime of President Kais Saied of Tunisia, the United States Assistant Secretary of State Barbara Leaf has claimed that the president’s style of leadership has caused “enormous concern” over the country.

Leaf told newsmen on Thursday that after years of efforts to build democracy “what we’ve seen in the last year and a half is the government taking Tunisia in a very different direction.”

“There have been a number of moves over the past year by the president that frankly have weakened foundational principles of checks and balances,” she said.

She said many Tunisians were dissatisfied by the years following the 2011 revolution that brought democracy, but said “to correct those deficiencies you don’t strip institutions of their power”.

“I can think of no more important institution than an independent judiciary,” she added.

“These were comments that created a terrible climate of fear but more than that actually resulted in attacks on these very vulnerable people, attacks and a tidal wave of racist rhetoric,” Leaf said.

Earlier in the week, Italian Foreign Minister, Antonio Tajani remarked on Sunday the IMF, the United States, and other international caution to stop bailout talks demanding Tunisia’s far-reaching reforms. He said Italy is worried that International Monetary Fund’s block on a $1.9 billion loan to Tunisia might lead to a new wave of migrants toward Europe.

Since the beginning of his sit-tight reign, President Saied has sacked the government, suspended parliament, and seized a string of powers in July 2021.

Since 2021 when he dismissed the government of Hichem Mechichi, he has also moved to rule by decree before writing a new constitution that he passed last year.

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