Secretary of State Rex Tillerson is wrapping up a visit to Chad, Djibouti, Ethiopia, Kenya and Nigeria to talk with African leaders about counterterrorism, trade and investment on a continent rich in oil and natural resources, according to the State Department.
Absent from his agenda were human rights, democracy and the rule of law. Most African countries Tillerson was to visit, especially Ethiopia, are rife with human-rights abuses, despotism and corruption.
Ethiopia is slowly imploding. For the past two years, the Ethiopian people in Amahara and Oromia regions were waging massive anti-government demonstrations to challenge the ruling Ethiopia People Revolutionary Democratic party Front (EPRDF) party, dominated by the Tigrayan People’s Liberation Front (TPLF), stranglehold on power, some which have resulted bloodshed.
The TPLF draws support from Tigrayan people, who make up 6% of the population, but the faction controls most of the country’s economy, land, and top military and intelligence service posts.
After disagreement with top TPLF leadership over how to handle the discontent of the masses, the Ethiopia Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn recently has resigned. In a televised speech to the nation, Desalegn said that his resignation would open for the reforms the country needs. He also added, “People’s demands and questions should be met answered.”