PROF. Terrence Lyons from George Mason University speaking at a panel discussion organized by Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) about Ethiopia ahead of President Obama’s trip to the region.
Prof. Lyons said Ethiopia’s ruling EPRDF is getting increasingly authoritarian but for the policy makers in Washington, the EPRDF is known instead as a ‘friendly authoritarian’ regime.
Prof. Terrence also mentioned that the recent really quiet astonishing bellicose statement made by PM Hailemariam Desalegn against Eritrea are really the ground work for what could be an escalation of that conflict (the Ethiopia-Eritrea conflict). And that it would be very useful for the United States and President Obama to say directly to the highest levels of officials in Ethiopia that the U.S. won’t be on board with them on that. Crossing the border into Eritrea would be a catastrophe and shouldn’t do it to make sure there is no ambiguity on that point.