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Ethiopia’s Neighbors on High Alert as Fighting Intensifies

Kenya’s government has announced the tightening of security along its 800-kilometer northern border with Ethiopia. Police have also set up additional roadblocks to monitor the movement of firearms and foreigners who may try to enter Kenya illegally. Local communities and the government fear an influx of Ethiopian refugees, as the war raging in the country’s northern Tigray region spills into other areas of Ethiopia and Tigrayan fighters and their allies advance on the capital, Addis Ababa. Northern Kenya is already home to the refugee camps of Kakuma in the northwest and Dadaab in the northeast. They are among the world’s largest refugee settlements. The conflict in Ethiopia seems to have indirectly weakened the implementation of a peace deal in neighboring South Sudan. Ethiopia, in recent years, has played a mediating role between the rival factions of President Salva Kiir and the former opposition leader Riek Machar. South Sudan’s two main peace deals, signed in 2015 and 2018, were both negotiated in Ethiopia.