Council on Foreign Relations -Daily News Brief, Nov. 3, 2022

Top of the Agenda

Ethiopian Government Agrees to Truce With Tigrayan Rebels

After two years of fighting, the Ethiopian government and rebel Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) agreed to end hostilities (WaPo), disarm, and restore “law and order,” said Olusegun Obasanjo, the Horn of Africa envoy for the African Union (AU). The AU-mediated truce has raised hopes for an end to a war that has killed tens of thousands of people and displaced millions (Reuters).  The AU stepped in to mediate after a cease-fire declared by the government in March fell apart after five months. Obasanjo said the AU will monitor the implementation of the new peace deal, which stipulates that Ethiopia’s government will take control of Mekelle, the capital of the Tigray region, and that the TPLF will once again be recognized as a political party. Eritrea, which sent troops to fight alongside the Ethiopian government’s forces, was not part of the talks. 

This is a huge breakthrough that involved major concessions from both sides, even if the parties punted the thorniest details to future peace talks,” the International Crisis Group’s Alan Boswell tells Reuters. “If they do stop fighting, then today will just be the start of what will surely prove a very bumpy, long, and difficult peace process.” 

“The African Union-mediated deal in Ethiopia is important for watchers of regional organizations & world order. While too early to celebrate, AU shows the way when European regional institutions are weakening or busy fighting each other,” American University’s Amitav Acharya tweets. 

For the Africa in Transition blog, CFR’s Michelle Gavin explains the challenges that have hindered the AU-mediated negotiation process.
Pacific Rim

U.S. Says North Korea Is Sending Artillery Shells to Russia

U.S. National Security Council spokesperson John Kirby said the shipments are disguised to appear bound for the Middle East or North Africa. Declassified intelligence seen by CNN said the shipments show Russia’s conventional arsenals are dwindling amid the war in Ukraine. 

Canada/China: Canadian public broadcaster CBC News said it is closing its Beijing bureau because the Chinese government would not renew its journalist’s visa. CBC had operated the bureau for more than forty years.
South and Central Asia

Myanmar Military Court Hands Former Politician 148-Year Prison Sentence

Win Myint Hlaing’s sentence on terrorism charges is the longest (AP) given to a member of ousted civilian leader Aung San Suu Kyi’s party since the military took over Myanmar’s government in February 2021. He had already received prison sentences totaling twenty-five years. 

Kazakhstan: An explosion caused by a methane gas leak at a coal mine in central Kazakhstan killed at least five people (AFP), officials said.
Middle East and North Africa

Report: More Tunisians Crossing to Europe Than After Arab Spring

More than forty-five thousand Tunisians have attempted or succeeded in (Bloomberg) crossing the Mediterranean Sea this year, a Tunisian advocacy group said, nearly nine thousand more than during the 2011 uprisings often referred to as the Arab Spring.  

U.S./Egypt: More than fifty Democratic lawmakers signed a letter calling on U.S. President Joe Biden to urge the Egyptian government to release political prisoners (Al-Monitor) before Egypt hosts a major UN climate conference, COP27, next week.  This In Brief lays out what to expect at COP27.
Sub-Saharan Africa

Kenya to Deploy Over Nine Hundred Troops to DRC

The Kenyan troops will join an East African mission (RFI) combating rebel groups, including the March 23 Movement (M23), in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).

G7 to Talk Price Cap on Russian Oil

Foreign ministers from Group of Seven (G7) countries are meeting in Germany (WaPo) to discuss food and energy strains related to the war in Ukraine. They will discuss the details (Reuters) of price caps on Russian oil that the G7 and European Union will implement on December 5. 

United Kingdom: The Bank of England raised interest rates (The Guardian) to their highest level since 2008 in an effort to calm inflation. The bank said the country has entered what could be a “prolonged” recession.

Pro-Bolsonaro Protesters Call for Military Intervention

Thousands of demonstrators called for Brazil’s military to intervene (AFP) to keep far-right President Jair Bolsonaro in power after his election loss. Bolsonaro yesterday told demonstrators to stop blocking streets (AP) in the country.  For Foreign Affairs, Brian Winter writes that Bolsonaro’s influence will continue after the election

Ecuador: Police arrested twenty-eight people (The Guardian) after a string of car bombings and killings of police officers prompted President Guillermo Lasso to declare a national emergency earlier this week. 
United States

Biden: Election Results Deniers Endanger DemocracyIn an address to the nation, President Biden said groups that encourage political violence and push false information about rigged elections are unlawful and un-American (NYT).  For the Renewing America initiative, CFR’s Christopher M. Tuttle writes that next week’s midterm elections will show how American democracy is faring.
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