ESAT News (October 21, 2016)
Ethiopia is ranked the 4th unstable country next to The Maldives, Mauritania and Algeria, ranking first to third in that order, Newsweek said on Thursday.
Michael Rubin said in an opinion, which is also published on the American Enterprise Institute website, that repressive regime and poverty are only two of the factors making the regime fragile. “Two and a half times the size of California, Ethiopia is one of the world’s oldest countries but, despite an increasingly autocratic and repressive leadership projecting an aura of stability, it looks like it could be among the world’s most fragile states. While the economy has grown rapidly, poverty remains the rule as the population also booms,” Rubin writes.
Drought and Tigrayan domination were also cited as factors of instability in the country. “The agricultural basis of the economy makes Ethiopia susceptible to drought. State-dominated industries mean it competes poorly with the outside world. The country is incredibly diverse. In 1991, Eritrea successfully seceded after a decades-long civil war. While Eritrea had its own colonial heritage, many other ethnic groups are as resentful of Addis Ababa’s control and, specifically, ethnic Tigrean domination,” Robin continues to write.
The writer was also concerned about possible eruption of sectarian violence. “Of greater concern, however, is Ethiopia’s sectarian division. Muslims already represent a third of the population and are growing at a faster rate than the Ethiopian Christian population. Should ethnic and sectarian divisions erupt into open conflict, the resulting insecurity could make Somalia look like Club Med.”
The article put Ethiopia as one of ten countries that have the potential to explode into crises and which should certainly be on the next US administration’s radar screen.
Michael Rubin is a former Pentagon official whose major research areas are the Middle East, Turkey, Iran and diplomacy. He instructs senior military officers deploying to the Middle East and Afghanistan on regional politics, and teaches classes regarding Iran, terrorism and Arab politics on board deploying U.S. aircraft carriers. Rubin has lived in post-revolution Iran, Yemen and both pre- and post-war Iraq, and he spent time with the Taliban before 9/11. His book Dancing With the Devil: The Perils of Engaging Rogue Regimes examines a half-century of U.S. diplomacy with rogue regimes and extremist groups, according to his bio on published on Newsweek.