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International community should help to secure peace in conflict-ridden Horn of Africa region

By Joseph G Muthama | November 29th 2021
It behoves the international community to wake up and smell the coffee before the devastating effects of insecurity in the Horn of Africa spill over to Kenya and other East African countries. [iStockphoto]

Sanctions against Eritrea’s Defence Force and Eritrean President Isaias Afwerki’s political party for their involvement in Ethiopia’s northern Tigray region were expected.

Whereas Eritrea has opposed the US sanctions, the inalienable truth is that since the civil war broke out last November, the Eritrean forces have been accused of the massacre, looting, sexual assault and blocking critical aid, hence the humanitarian crisis in Tigray region.

Needless to mention, Eritrea was once a province of Ethiopia before secession in 1993. Notably, in 1991, the Eritrean People’s Liberation Front defeated the Ethiopian government forces and in the same year, Eritrea celebrated its first anniversary of independence.

The bitter feud over territory between the two nations left more than 70,000 people dead. For more than one year, the fight between Ethiopian troops and TPLF in the Tigray region has resulted in hundreds of deaths, injuries, and displacements.

In fact, new threats of violence have threatened the peace talks, hence the infiltration of Ethiopian refugees into neighbouring countries, including Kenya.

On the other hand, Sudan is experiencing political and economic turmoil after the military takeover last month. The anti-coup demonstrations have been the order of the day as the Sudanese security forces remain vigilant at all times to disperse the protesters.

At the moment, Sudan’s economy is in the doldrums due to prolonged civil war under the Bashir regime, the Covid-19 pandemic, US sanctions, and the 2011 secession of the oil-rich South Sudan. Unfortunately, Somalia and South Sudan are other powder kegs waiting to explode.

Al Shabaab, for example, is responsible for high-profile attacks in Kenya and Somalia while prolonged acrimony and adversarial relationship between President Salva Kiir and his vice-president Rick Machar have left South Sudan on the verge of catastrophe.

Due to the oppressive political climate, unfettered violation of human rights, and reign of terror, over the years, many South Sudan citizens have been flooding neighbouring countries in search of livelihood, peace, and security as the African Union, the United Nations, and international community watch.

Without a doubt, violence and atrocities in the Horn of Africa have profoundly precipitated a humanitarian crisis and have left a bitter taste in many citizens’ mouths.

It behoves the international community to wake up and smell the coffee before the devastating effects of insecurity in the Horn of Africa spill over to Kenya and other East African countries.

Letter from Joseph G Muthama, Kiambu

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