For the first time in years Ethiopia's ruling coalition faces real political competition from two parties within its own ranks. Can they usher in democracy after nearly 30 years of authoritarianism?
The growing Arab military, political and religious influence is only the latest example of an external force taking hold in the Horn of Africa.
Will the latest Ethiopia-Eritrea conflict spiral into a large-scale military confrontation? The odds are highly unlikely: neither side believes it would gain from such an eventuality.