The Washington Foreign Law Society
Armed Conflict in the 2020s: The Crisis in Ethiopia’s Tigray region
Thursday, March 4th, 2021
from 5:30 to 6:30 PM ET
Although headlines have been largely dominated by the COVID-19 pandemic since the beginning of 2020, new or recurring armed conflicts have nonetheless caused even greater suffering in large regions of the world. The Washington Foreign Law Society is proud to present “Armed Conflict in the 2020s“, a new virtual series that will look at some of the major conflicts erupted or continued over the past year, while attempting to explore root causes and implications under international law.
The first installment of the series will focus on the conflict that has arisen in Ethiopia’s Tigray region, where the federal government and regional forces have been engaging in belligerent confrontation since November 2020. The ensuing violence has reportedly killed hundreds and displaced at least ten times as many people, with no obvious end in sight and the potential to further destabilize the Horn of Africa.
Prof. Alex DeWaal (Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy) and prof. Awet Weldemicheal (Queen’s University) will dissect the conflict, addressing its origins and placement in the context of Ethiopian domestic politics while discussing implications and opportunities for U.S. foreign policy in the region. Among other topics, prof. DeWaal and prof Weldemichael will analyze whether actions by parties to the conflict constitute violations of international humanitarian law or of other international instruments; what role is currently being played by the African Union and other regional powers, such as Eritrea and Somalia; and how humanitarian concerns with respect to the civilian population are being addressed.
The panel will be moderated by the Washington Foreign Law Society’s President, Giuliana Canè.
Alex de Waal is executive director of the World Peace Foundation, Research Professor at the Fletcher School of Global Affairs, Tufts University, and Professorial Fellow at the London School of Economics. He has worked on the Horn of Africa and on humanitarian issues since the 1980s as a researcher and practitioner. He was a senior advisor to the African Union High Level Panel on Sudan and South Sudan. De Waal’s recent books include: The Real Politics of the Horn of Africa: Money, War and the Business of Power (Polity 2015), Mass Starvation: The history and future of famine (Polity 2018).
Awet T. Weldemicheal
Awet T. Weldemichael is Professor and Queen’s National at Queen’s University in Kingston, Ontario. He studies contemporary history and politics of countries of the Horn of Africa. He authored/edited several books and journal articles on the topic. Most recently he wrote Piracy in Somalia: Violence and Development in the Horn of Africa (Cambridge, 2019). He has a PhD in history and LL.M. in public international law. He is a member of the Royal Society of Canada, College of New Scholars.