Turkish failed actions supporting Ethiopia has global repercussions

Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed visited Turkey in August 2021 which was initiated by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. Ethiopia purchased weapons including technology not allowed to be shared outside NATO.

As the Tigray Defense Force begins the final motions of capturing Dessie and Kombalcha international chaos affecting much more than Ethiopia is becoming evident. Turkey’s attempt to change the course of the Ethiopian Tigray war may in the end not only fail but cost it much in relations with other NATO members.  The Ethiopian Tigray genocidal conflict has cost existing and future partnerships and investment with many Western democracies for Ethiopia and Turkey.

The expulsion of many Western diplomats from Turkey today in response to their public denouncement of the arrest and detention since 2013 of a prominent Turkish businessman and philanthropist, Osman Kavala,  is the latest in a deteriorating relationship between Turkey and fellow NATO members. Through NATO confidential technology used in weapons systems including combat drones was shared with Turkey to allow them to share in producing NATO weapons. However Turkey has taken advantage of these technological secrets to sell weapons to participants in conflicts outside those normally allowed such as Ethiopia. Members of Congress in the USA have called for blocking further technology transfers.

Acquisition of weapons from Turkey, Iran, and possibly North Korea is also resulting in further deterioration of USA and other NATO members with those countries as well. Yesterday the Ethiopian Air Force tried to trick Mekelle Air Defense systems to mistakenly shoot down a UN aid flight. They did an airstrike on Mekelle while the UN flight was approaching to land. Although this did not happen, the Ethiopian government has caused the UN aid flights to be suspended. However, this flagrant and provocative action will only further increase calls for sanctions against the Ethiopian government.

 

Author: Professor Tony Magana

Professor Tony Magana is Head of the Department of Neurosurgery, School of Medicine, College of Health Sciences at Mekelle University in Mekelle, Ethiopia. He directs a neurosurgery residency and training program as well as neuroscience research.

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