Thus Italy can help the fragile peace in Tigrè. The point of Thirty

The agreement signed on November 2 is fragile, but if the parties commit themselves, a lasting peace can be reached and Italy must work towards this. The point of Elisabetta Trenta, defense and security expert and former Minister of Defense

In these times of war, the novelty that at least on one scenario a window to peace is opened should be taken into great consideration, but the ceasefire agreement between the Ethiopian government and Tigrinya militias signed in Pretoria is important for many more reasons.

I go back to when I flew to Addis Ababa as Defense Minister to sign the collaboration agreement with the Ethiopian government, we were leaving the nightmare of another and longer war, that between Ethiopia and Eritrea. I remember the beginning of this war, the contacts with the representatives of Tigray in Italy to reassure them about the clauses of the agreement with Ethiopia that would have blocked any eventuality of Italian support against them, and then the solicitations to the minister Lorenzo Guerini to keep memory and faith of those clauses. I remember the urges to the Tigrinya representatives not to lose faith in the diplomatic rather than military resolution of their affair.

Now after two years, marked on the ground also by horrible episodes on both sides, and failed attempts at truce, it finally seems that a consistent ceasefire has been reached; the signatories appear to be convinced of this, that is, the contenders and mediators, the representatives of the African Union and the UN Secretary.

The agreement signed on November 2 in Pretoria, after ten days of negotiations, provides for an immediate and permanent halt to the fighting, provisions relating to the demobilization, disarmament and reintegration (DDR) of TPF fighters in the Ethiopian army; the restoration of public services, the increase of humanitarian assistance and the implementation of transitional measures to restore constitutional order in Tigrè.

The fragility of the peace agreement

Of course, the agreement could easily be severely tested by the difficulties of its implementation, by the mistrust between the TPLF and the Ethiopian government and by the presence of third parties, the Amhara (or Fano) militias and the Eritrean military forces. Also because in no way does it try to put an end to the historical ethnic origins of the conflict. Therefore, violence could always explode again. This is why it is very important that there is a strong initial peace hold that will make the reopening of the humanitarian corridors likely and will facilitate the launch of a stronger peace negotiation between the Ethiopian government and the TPLF, laying the foundations for post-war national reconstruction. .

Between war in Ukraine and peace in Ethiopia

Among the factors that led to the negotiations in Ethiopia there are also the repercussions of the war in Ukraine, first of all, for the effect of this on the cereals market, which has led to an increase in hunger in every part of the third world and , more dramatically, in the theaters of war. Ethiopia and Tigray cannot continue fighting mainly because both their civilian populations and their soldiers are starving.

The role of Wagner

Furthermore, Ethiopia and Tigray do not have the same drive to fight as they had before due to the drainage of fighters and weapons caused by Ukraine. In fact, the trainers who arrived in Addis Ababa together with the armaments in these two years were the omnipresent emissaries of the Russian militia Wagner di Yevgeny Prighozin, already active in neighboring South Sudan. But with the collapse of the Russian lines in Ukraine, the Wagners stationed in Africa have suffered an abrupt recall from Moscow. In Ethiopia, due to the low cost of local labor, in retreating they saw fit to bring with them the local elements deemed most valid, and these desertions induced by the Ethiopian army further cracked the willingness to continue the hostilities of that government. So, let’s hope so!

The role of Italy for a lasting peace

If the conditions are not yet ripe for achieving Peace on the hottest front in Europe, it will be appropriate to follow the enlightened indication of the Holy Father, to seize opportunities for peace wherever there are, wherever there are men of good will willing to build it. And the concentration of militias and instruments of death on a single front, almost inevitably, will create ideas for peace in many other contexts that have needed it for a long time, in Africa, in Asia, in South America.

And after the first step, peace must be strengthened and then we must build upon it: by staying in Ethiopia and Tigrè Italy has done so much in the Ethiopian area to improve its agriculture and artisan industry; much can be done to diplomatically resolve the water problem that is tied around the disputed use of the Gerd dam, a significant engineering work that Italy has built; it can do much more by extending its gaze to the Horn of Africa and the Red Sea, to surrounding areas to which it has secular historical debts and from whose collaboration there can only be mutual benefit.

Among other things – it should always be kept in mind – from hunger and wars in these areas many of the migratory and refugee flows towards the Mediterranean and the EU arise, whose path we limit ourselves to observing (or perhaps trying to repress). lastly, while identifying, discussing, treating historical problems in the areas of origin, favoring development and cooperation, would only be convenient for everyone.

Thus Italy can help the fragile peace in Tigrè. The point of Thirty