10 January 2018

Ethiopia: To Shield Yemeni Crisis Domino Effect


The ongoing crisis in Yemen has a considerable repercussion on its neighboring countries and beyond. It has altered the security dynamics at one of the world's busiest sea passages-Gulf of Aden and the Red Sea.

No doubt, the war and the expanding Saudi-Iranian rivalry could have serious repercussions to Horn countries including Ethiopia.

The dictatorial Eritrean ruling is taking advantageous to get training, and other financial aids that directly and indirectly benefit its military by leasing the Assab Port for the Saudi-led coalition.

This has been what the developments and magnitude of the conflict in the past couple years have demonstrated. Yemeni's crisis has not been limited within its territory alone. Rather, the protracted war has been causing tensions in the Middle East countries in terms of geopolitics, economy and resource, triggering proxy war in the process while changing the security dynamics of the Horn.

As a result, Yemen has become a burden for neighboring countries in terms of resources. With a rapidly growing poor population, the pressure on already thin resources and on the provision of goods and services are bound to become untenable.

The situation in the country has also aggravated the refugee crisis in the region where the most vulnerable and affected parts of the world.

Most importantly, besides jeopardizing the country's legitimacy and stability, the situation left the coasts of Yemen vulnerable to piracy and smuggling.

This undoubtedly makes Yemen a transit point for weapons explosive devices, drugs and illegal workers from East Africa to the Gulf region. Empirically, this site is potentially engendering the regional and international security.

Truly, Yemen's crisis has domino effect within the region and beyond. That is why, many regional players, the Coalition of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) states (excluding Oman), took military intervention.

Located at the periphery of the Horn of Africa region, the ongoing war in Yemen has its own threats on Ethiopia with regard to its national security and stability, international relations and economic interest.

Not only that, but some countries like Eritrea may take the crisis in the Yemen as an opportunity to disturb Ethiopia's national security and stability. Therefore, what happens in Yemen harbors an indirect impact on Ethiopia.

As the crisis left the country in a state of lawlessness, the vacuum can create a fertile ground for Al Qaeda, Al Shabaab or any other violent groups for their disruptive act.

The situation makes Ethiopia vigilant more than ever to play irreplaceable role in ensuring peace and security in the region. Notably, as per the changing circumstances of the region, Ethiopia's position in handling its national security need to be in a way to protect any devastating happening and in tandem with changing security dynamics.

More to the point, parallel to this, Ethiopia should further strengthen its economic performance and address internal peace and security challenges. It must not be a hotbed for possible insurgency.

For obvious reasons, peace is the mere prerequisite for the auspicious development in Ethiopia. It is a case in point what peace and stability can do for its people though the region is turbulent. Thus, protecting peace and stability at any cost is a real time concern to Ethiopia to advancing its journey to renaissance.

Therefore, Ethiopia needs to play an active role in terms of promoting peace and security issues within the Horn and beyond through strengthening diplomatic relations. To this end, Ethiopia should display its rich experience in handling the situation with potential actors in the region with all possible means including its engagement at the United Nations Security Council.


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