Hilary Matfess

Nota: Este archivo abarca los artículos publicados por el autor desde el 1 de diciembre de 2008. Para fechas anteriores realice una búsqueda entrecomillando su nombre.

Ethiopian deacons stand by the coffin of the army's chief of staff, Gen. Seare Mekonnen, who was shot by his bodyguard on June 22. (Baz Ratner/Reuters)

In Ethiopia, a wave of assassinations has renewed fears of political turmoil. On June 22, gunmen burst into a meeting, killing the president of the Amhara region, Ambachew Mekonnen and two aides. Shortly thereafter, a bodyguard killed the army chief of staff, Gen. Seare Mekonnen, along with retired Gen. Gezai Abera.

Two days later, Ethiopian special forces killed Gen. Asaminew Tsige on the outskirts of Bahir Dar. The government alleges that Asaminew was the ringleader of this violent conspiracy and released a tape recording of Asaminew saying, “we have taken measures . . . because the regional ruling party leaders have sabotaged the people’s demands.”

The political reforms Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed initiated in 2018 created an opening for liberalization but also provided opportunities for divisive ethnic politics.…  Seguir leyendo »

After a year of political upheaval and mass protests, Ethiopia’s autocratic government has been suggesting that it might be willing to transform its elections-for-show into elections that are genuinely free and fair. Within the past year, the government has freed its political prisoners. Its prime minister resigned. The ruling coalition held its first-ever contested elections to replace him — and selected the protesters’ choice of Abiy Ahmed, the first time that a prime minister had come from the Oromo ethnic group.

In July, while visiting Washington, Abiy told a group of thousands of expatriate Ethiopian dissidents that his “ultimate goal is to ensure that a democratic election takes place in Ethiopia.”

But many obstacles block that path.…  Seguir leyendo »

From left, Fatima Abdu, 14, Zahra Bukar, 13, Fatima Bukar, 13, and Yagana Mustapha, 15, four schoolgirls who escaped from a Boko Haram attack on their school, sit at the home of a schoolmate at Dapchi town in northern Nigeria on Feb. 28. (AFP/Getty Images)

The recent Boko Haram abduction of 110 schoolgirls in Dapchi, Nigeria, drew immediate comparisons to the 2014 abduction of more than 270 girls from a school in Chibok. Beyond the media spotlight, what do we know about Boko Haram’s efforts to abduct — and recruit — women and girls?

A lot of the media reporting on Boko Haram misses the roles of women and girls in this conflict. As I describe in my book, “Women and the War on Boko Haram: Wives, Weapons, Witnesses,” though thousands of girls have been abducted by the insurgents, many others joined voluntarily.

Media reporting puts Boko Haram in the global spotlight

In the Dapchi and Chibok abductions, insurgents seized scores of schoolgirls.…  Seguir leyendo »