Ethiopia Issues - 2023


Disputes - international

Ethiopia-Eritrea: Eritrea and Ethiopia agreed to abide by the 2002 Eritrea-Ethiopia Boundary Commission's (EEBC) delimitation decision, but neither party responded to the revised line detailed in the November 2006 EEBC Demarcation Statement

Ethiopia-Somalia: While border clashes continue in the al-Fashqa (Fashaga) area, the US views the 1902 boundary treaty between Ethiopia and Sudan as being in force; the undemarcated former British administrative line has little meaning as a political separation to rival clans within Ethiopia's Ogaden and southern Somalia's Oromo region; Ethiopian forces invaded southern Somalia and routed Islamist courts from Mogadishu in January 2007; "Somaliland" secessionists provide port facilities in Berbera and trade ties to landlocked Ethiopia; 

Ethiopia-Sudan: Ethiopia's construction of a large dam (the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam) on the Blue Nile since 2011 has become a focal point of relations with Egypt and Sudan; as of 2020, four years of three-way talks between the three capitals over operating the dam and filling its reservoir had made little progress; Ethiopia began filling the dam in July 2020; civil unrest in eastern Sudan has hampered efforts to demarcate the porous boundary with Ethiopia

Refugees and internally displaced persons

refugees (country of origin): 416,308 (South Sudan), 284,955 (Somalia), 165,450 (Eritrea), 13,513 (Sudan) (refugees since 15 April 2023) (2023)

IDPs: 2.73 million (includes conflict- and climate-induced IDPs, excluding unverified estimates from the Amhara region; border war with Eritrea from 1998-2000; ethnic clashes; and ongoing fighting between the Ethiopian military and separatist rebel groups in the Somali and Oromia regions; natural disasters; intercommunal violence; most IDPs live in Sumale state) (2023)

Trafficking in persons

tier rating: Tier 2 Watch List — Ethiopia does not fully meet the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking but is making significant efforts to do so; efforts included prosecuting more potential trafficking crimes, convicting more traffickers, increasing training for law enforcement officials, drafting regulations to create a victim protection fund, and conducting awareness campaigns at the federal and regional levels; however, the government did not demonstrate overall increasing efforts compared with the previous year to improve its anti-trafficking capacity; corruption and official complicity in trafficking crimes remained significant concerns; protection services for victims remained limited and the government continued to rely on civil society organizations to provide most victim services without financial support; officials continued to focus mostly on transnational trafficking rather than on internal trafficking crimes, including domestic servitude and child sex trafficking; many officials continued to conflate human trafficking and migrant smuggling; government efforts to protect Ethiopian trafficking victims abroad remained minimal, and protection services for returning victims were inadequate; therefore, Ethiopia remained on the Tier 2 Watch List for the second consecutive year (2022)

trafficking profile: human traffickers exploit domestic and foreign victims in Ethiopia, as well as Ethiopians abroad; girls from rural areas are exploited in domestic servitude and sex trafficking within the country and boys in forced labor in weaving, construction, agriculture, forced begging, and street vending; girls are exploited by brothel owners in Addis Ababa; traffickers fraudulently recruit vulnerable populations and exploit them in forced labor; several million internally displaced persons are vulnerable to trafficking; nearly 60,000 Ethiopians fleeing conflict in northern regions to seek asylum in Sudan and other neighboring countries are increasingly vulnerable to trafficking; international organizations report armed actors, including Eritrean forces, regional forces, Ethiopian National Defense Force, and the Tigray People’s Liberation Front have committed human rights abuses and gender-based violence against women and girls in Tigray, including potential trafficking crimes; Ethiopian girls are exploited in domestic servitude and sex trafficking in neighboring countries, particularly Djibouti and Sudan; Ethiopian boys face forced labor or criminal activity in Djibouti; Ethiopian women and children are exploited in forced begging in Saudi Arabia, and some women suffer forced labor in Romania’s hotel industry; Ethiopia hosts more than 840,000 refugees and asylum-seekers, mainly from South Sudan, Somalia, and Eritrea, who are increasingly vulnerable to trafficking; Cuban medical professionals in Ethiopia may have been forced to work by the Cuban government (2022)

Illicit drugs

transit hub for heroin originating in Southwest and Southeast Asia and destined for Europe, as well as cocaine destined for markets in southern Africa; cultivates qat (khat) for local use and regional export, principally to Djibouti and Somalia (legal in all three countries); the lack of a well-developed financial system limits the country's utility as a money laundering center

NOTE: The information regarding Ethiopia on this page is re-published from the 2023 World Fact Book of the United States Central Intelligence Agency and other sources. No claims are made regarding the accuracy of Ethiopia 2023 information contained here. All suggestions for corrections of any errors about Ethiopia 2023 should be addressed to the CIA or the source cited on each page.

This page was last modified 10 Nov 23, Copyright © 2023 ITA all rights reserved.