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Geopolitics

Once A Famine Victim, Could Ethiopia Now Become An African Breadbasket?

Despite the largest livestock head count on the African continent, a series of nagging problems prevent Ethiopia from realizing its agricultural potential. But now, the government in Addis Abeba has a plan to turn the country from famine poster child to a

A Ethiopian bovine in Addis Abeba (Ben Witte)
A Ethiopian bovine in Addis Abeba (Ben Witte)
Vincent Defait

ADDIS ABEBA - The cross-bred "Dutch" cows have changed his life. Since the Ethiopian government gave him the black and white bovine, which are able to produce several dozen liters of milk a day, Kefne Bermeje has been able to make profits, buy other stock to fatten, build a new house and send his seven children to school. The change is revolutionary. In Debre Zeit, a one-hour-drive south from the capital, this farmer now oversees a herd and produces enough cereal to feed his family and save money.

His situation belies the spreading alarms about the coming wet season with lean production outputs expected for the Horn of Africa. Earlier this month, the US agency Famine Early Warning System Network (FEWS NET) warned that "the severity and scale of food insecurity can rise very quickly."

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Geopolitics

The Days After: What Would Happen If Putin Opts For A Tactical Nuclear Strike

The risk of the Kremlin launching a tactical nuclear weapon on Ukraine is small but not impossible. The Western response would itself set off a counter-response, which might contain or spiral to the worst-case scenario.

An anti-nuclear activist impersonates Vladimir Putin at a rally in Berlin.

Yves Bourdillon

-Analysis-

PARISVladimir Putin could “go nuclear” in Ukraine. Yes, this expression, which metaphorically means “taking the extreme, drastic action,” is now literally considered a possibility as well. Cornered and humiliated by a now plausible military defeat, experts say the Kremlin could launch a tactical nuclear bomb on a Ukrainian site in a desperate attempt to turn the tables.

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In any case, this is what Putin — who put Russia's nuclear forces on alert just after the start of the invasion in late February — is aiming to achieve: to terrorize populations in Western countries to push their leaders to let go of Ukraine.

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Central to the tragic absurdity of this war is the question of language. Vladimir Putin has repeated that protecting ethnic Russians and the Russian-speaking populations of Ukraine was a driving motivation for his invasion.

Yet one month on, a quick look at the map shows that many of the worst-hit cities are those where Russian is the predominant language: Kharkiv, Odesa, Kherson.

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