Ethiopia is Africa’s second most populous country and its oldest independent state. The United States considers the Ethiopian government to be an important development and regional security partner, but also a source of concern regarding human rights and democracy. Good relations with the United States are rooted in cooperation on efforts to counter terrorism and respond to instability in the volatile Horn of Africa region, and on shared efforts to alleviate Ethiopia’s endemic poverty. The country has been plagued by frequent drought and chronic food insecurity and is one of the largest recipients of U.S. foreign aid, primarily in the form of health, food, and other humanitarian assistance. Ethiopia plays a key leadership role in the region and on the continent. It hosts the African Union (AU) and contributes significant numbers of troops to U.N. peacekeeping operations. Ethiopian peacekeepers play a critical role along the volatile Sudan-South Sudan border and in the U.N. Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS). Ethiopian forces also play a critical role in efforts to counter the Al Qaeda-linked terrorist group Al Shabaab in Somalia. As a member of the East Africa regional body known as the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD), Ethiopia hosts various peace negotiations, including the ongoing dialogue between the governments of Sudan and South Sudan and talks between Sudan and its armed opposition groups. An Ethiopian diplomat is the lead mediator for talks between the opposing sides of South Sudan’s civil war.
Date of Report: 5/5/2015
Order Number: IF10185
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