Special Envoy to the Horn of Africa, Mike Hammer headed to the region yet again to try and broker an end to hostilities between Ethiopian forces and fighters loyal to the Tigray People’s Liberation Front. Mike Hammer is the third such special envoy to the HOA in less than one years time. The high turnover rate of Special Envoys is indication of inconstancy in policy. Recently, the TPLF broke the humanitarian truce by launching a military offensive towards the Amhara and Afar regions of Ethiopia. This coming after a week of fighting that saw TPLF fighters struggle to gain territory towards the west and the south. Recent aggressive tone by TPLF leaders subsided in the latter half of the week, although the group continues to disparage African Union led peace efforts. Some attribute this to TPLF’s stymied battle strategies as well as to the group’ mistrust in the AU’s leadership, putting it at odds with the continental body. Moreover, recent report by Bloomberg highlighted the involvement of Ethiopian Ex-UN peacekeeper linked to the TPLF in the battle to control the Humera -Welkait corridor, a highly sought after territory by the rebels.
On a separate note, Prime Minster’s office announced interest in opening up Ethiopia’s banking sector to foreign direct investment, stating, “Ethiopia’s domestic financial sector, which had been a highly protected industry would start to gradually open up to foreign banks interested in investing in the nation’s financial sector”. Nonetheless, continued conflict in the country could make attracting foreign capital to the financial sector difficult.