Viewpoint

Is Ethiopia coming together or falling apart?

Abiy and his Amhara supporters are in the ascendancy—but Ethiopia’s future is by no means assured.

Nominally in an effort to restore law and order, the federal government led by Ethiopia’s peace prize-winning premier is engaged in a brutal conflict with the defiant erstwhile leaders of Tigray region.

Tens of thousands of refugees have fled, militias have hacked civilians to death, and an unknown number of lives have been lost.

Despite Abiy Ahmed’s quick-win claims, he has plunged the country into what is likely to be a prolonged civil war that may exacerbate others and even tear the country apart.

Late on 3 November, with the world glued to the U.S.’s electoral theatrics, Abiy said Tigray’s forces attacked the military, and he adapted the Powell Doctrine for limited war. He informed Ethiopians that he sent federal forces in with clear, limited, and achievable objectives to restore the rule of law and constitutional order.

While sudden, the outbreak of full-blown conflict did not surprise observers of Ethiopian politics.

The long-simmering tensions between the premier and the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) were there for all to see. The parties had openly prepared their forces for armed confrontation.

The question is, why has Ethiopia returned to war to settle political disagreements?

Mismanaged transition

Two years ago, a popular uprising, mainly in Oromia and Amhara regions, brought the country to the brink of collapse. To avoid the Ethiopian state’s disintegration, the reform architects agreed for the transition-to-democracy to be led by the ruling party itself, with new faces taking the helm.

Hence, from the outset, it was apparent that the change would be nothing but ‘old wine in a new bottle’.

“Reform from within” was preferred to “revolution” to avoid a state collapse since TPLF controlled the national intelligence, military, and various state apparatus. Hence, if “revolution” was chosen, the architects, such as Jawar Mohammed, believed, it would have proved to be bloody, tearing apart Ethiopia.

The 2018 (s)election of Abiy as coalition leader and prime minister initially engendered hope. Impressive steps were taken to open the political space, suggesting the country was finally on the road to democracy.

However, the premier failed to reconcile and reintegrate the Tigrayan political, security, and economic elites into the ruling structure, and thus they felt disenfranchised and targeted.

Hence, the trust deficit between the federal government and Tigrayan elites complicated the fragile relationship, embroiling the country in armed conflict.

Is that all? No. Reasons abound.

The trust deficit between the federal government and TPLF boils down to two crucial factors: power and ideology.

Both Abiy and TPLF want to shape Ethiopia’s future but they have clashing visions—hence, the power struggle.

Although the ruling Ethiopian Peoples’ Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF) was a coalition of four parties, the TPLF, representing under 10 percent of the Ethiopian population, had been in the driving seat since 1991. Unwilling to accept its new junior status in Ethiopian politics, the party embarked on an attempt to discredit Abiy.

According to the government, TPLF undermined Abiy’s rule, incited conflict and peddled hatred, conducted regional elections (for right or wrong), and, more importantly, showed interest in reclaiming the power they lost in the name of championing a federalism they had trampled upon.

Abiy, perhaps convinced by his mother’s prophesy, was also in pursuit of power at all costs.

Naturally, they clashed.

The following Amharic adage captures the situation:

ሊሆን የማይችል ነው ሁለት ጌታ ከቤት፤

አንዱ ተሸንፎ ካላለ አቤት አቤት!”

“No possibility, under the same roof,

 Housing dual powers, being led by masters

 Unless one defeated and a subject he becomes.”

The second contradiction stems from the type of government system. Again, there exist two irreconcilable camps.

MEGA Camp—the right wing

The right-wing group, primarily drawn from the Amhara and urban elites, wants to bring back a centralist system. They consider the current system as the mother of all political problems and the cause of its instability. Abiy, especially after losing his Oromo nationalist credentials, subscribes to this camp, and both are associated with the “Make Ethiopia Great Again” “የኢትዮጵያ ከፍታ” slogan.

MEGA is for Abiy a means to an end: his self-aggrandizement. For other elites, MEGA is a return to yester-year, to Ethiopia’s cultural and political monopolization by Amhara. Ethiopia`s continuity, unity, and stability depend on cleansing it from TPLF and its political legacies, meaning the ethno-federal system.

Make Ethiopia a Real Federal State Camp—the federalists

The federalist group, favored by nine out of the ten regional states, firmly supports the current federal arrangement that gives regional governments autonomous power.

When Amhara elites shout the MEGA slogan, federalist forces hear “Make Ethiopia Amhara Again.”

Members of this camp trace Ethiopia’s political quagmire to its imperial roots and see the constitution and federal system as right for establishing Ethiopia as a democratic state since most Ethiopians never attained full citizenry status under past systems due to formal discrimination. They see a call to past “greatness” by the right-wing camp as an invitation to renewed servitude and dispossession.

For them, Ethiopia’s stability, unity, and continuity depend on the full implementation of the constitution and the federal system.

Abiy tacks right

Abiy went through two phases since coming to power.

In the first, he was the champion of Oromo nationalism. “Oromo not only knows how to lead a nation but also how to build it. Together, we can build East Africa and the entire Africa. No force on earth can stop us (from doing this),” said Abiy, speaking to his Oromo comrades in Jimma on  18 March 2019.

Hence, Oromo elites started to think of themselves as the saviors of not only Ethiopia but also the Horn. The troubled Horn of Africa will heal by “Kushitic” panacea, the Oromo elites asserted.

But alas, their hopes were dashed quickly following the killing of the famous singer Hachalu Hundessa and Jawar Mohammed’s arrest, a heavyweight politician who challenged Abiy’s leadership of the transition.

Oromo elites are now among Abiy’s fiercest critics, costing some their lives and others their freedom.

Displaced from the Oromo camp by politicians with better nationalist credentials such as Lemma Megersa and Jawar, Abiy pitched up in the right-wing camp. He embraced the pan-Ethiopian agenda and tipped the balance of power in favor of the anti-multinational federalists, starting his second phase.

To this end, Abiy established the Prosperity Party (PP)  in 2019 by dissolving three ex-EPRDF parties and five allied parties ruling the so-called “developing” states. The death of EPRDF, established by TPLF largely to do its bidding, sealed the end of TPLF hegemony.

One might also argue that Abiy has not joined any of the camps but has his own agenda.

For instance, as the Amhara inherited the Tigrayan thesis of Ethiopianism and wrote their antithesis; similarly, the Oromos synthesize the modern-day Ethiopia of the Menelik II mold. Maybe Abiy is infusing new Oromo energy into the synthesis again, so that what Oromos lost could be reclaimed, mutating Ethiopia into a new Oromo-tinged kaleidoscope.

Why crush TPLF?

Unsatisfied with prominent Oromo politicians’ jailing, the right-wing camp eyed their most significant prize—to crush the TPLF, a force behind the federalist camp.

Three motivations stand out.

  1. Control of contested lands

The Amhara thought it was an opportune time to re-control contested areas they lost to TPLF in the last three decades: Raya and Welkait. This Amharic expression aptly describes their intent “ተከዜ አፋፍ ላይ ካልሰራኹኝ ቤቴን

እኔም አልተወለድኩ መሀን ናት እናቴ”  (Equivalent poetic translation could be as follows)

Until built by all means,

My house towering on Tekezze hills,

Higher up, till standing on its cliffs,

Consider I, never been born,

Appraise my mother arid and barren.

  1. Erasing TPLF and its legacies

The Ethiopian ethno-federal constitution is the key target of Amhara elites. For them, TPLF introduced it to undo the nation-building project of their ancestors, pit Amhara against other nationalities, and sow the seeds for the undoing of the country.

  1. Return to glory

The Amhara elites are determined to avenge the humiliation they suffered at the hands of the TPLF and its cronies for the last three decades and take their ‘rightful’ position in Ethiopia`s politics.

A replay of 1979?

Who thought Abiy would survive after imprisoning Jawar? And after taking on his biggest threat, the TPLF?

Now, it seems a rerun of 1979 with Abiy taking Colonel Mengistu Hailemariam’s role. Colonel Mengistu emerged victorious from both internal and external threats against his rule. However, the initial victory did not save Mengistu from his final defeat; and it prolonged Ethiopians’ misery.

Similarly, Abiy and Ethiopia’s future has not been sealed by the federal control of Mekelle, nor by the capture and killing of TPLF leaders. Instead, it all depends on how Abiy plays the emerging multi-dimensional chess game, taking into consideration:

  • the interests of the West that does not want a failed state in Ethiopia
  • forging an alliance with Eritrea, thus amalgamating the military and intelligence machinations of both countries
  • decimating the pro-TPLF forces, and;
  • building it on empowering the Oromo alliance under the Shewa Oromo mould. This approach will either prolong his reign or hasten his demise—with the possibility of both Ethiopia’s integration or disintegration.
Potential Scenarios 

Ethiopia’s ideal case would be to bravely look the facts and for the warring political tribes to reach a consensus before the 5 June election. That is, however, unlikely given the current context.

Instead, below are the three most likely scenarios for Ethiopia’s future under Abiy:

  1. PP and new party-state

Abiy’s government will manage internal rivalries and mitigate external pressure.

The election will take place amid high security and some turmoil, especially in Oromia, Tigray, and Southern Nations. Opposition parties will likely share around a quarter of federal seats to make the election plausible and enhance the government’s legitimacy.

However, there is also now the likely non-participation of the main Oromo opposition parties. If this happens, the legitimacy of the state suffers a big dent.

Regardless, with any kind of majority, Prosperity Party would probably attempt to negotiate a new federal arrangement not based on ethnicity so that the empire state of Ethiopia shall continue with the ‘right’ amount of change and continuity.

  1. Expansion of civil war

The second scenario would emerge alongside genuine regional state power. The shift of power from the north to south Ethiopia would contribute to the early retirement of the Abyssinian empire

Another factor pushing this scenario is the Amhara reaction to incidents. The Amhara, the self-proclaimed custodians of Ethiopia’s empire state, are nervous, for instance, about the existence of paramilitary security forces that they think empower regions to defy the central government. But if there is federal over-reach in this area, it could well cause a violent and destabilizing backlash.

More so, Amharas, unlike other major ethnic groups, live in all parts of Ethiopia. Emotions stemming from the targeting killings of Amharas in other regions, if not tamed, would re-energize other groups’ grievances, pushing the country closer to widespread civil war.  We can see this playing out in Benishangul-Gumuz already. Further instability may also be prompted by the sorry state of the Ethiopian economy, with youth unemployment rising even pre-pandemic.

  1. State of Emergency

An internal power struggle coupled with external pressures from Sudan and Egypt may develop into a wider regional war that urges the country to proclaim another national State of Emergency (SoE), leading to the incumbent’s continuation for an unspecified time.

The risk here is unbearably high. However, the war would be an excellent chance for Abiy to stay in power and crush remaining opponents

The result of this would be unpredictable but has comparable opportunities for disintegration and unity. For instance, what if the army takes control to ‘save’ the country from collapse, as happened in Egypt in 2013?

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About the author

Ahmed Hassen

Ahmed is a development worker with over a decade of experience working in Ethiopia and the Horn of Africa. He can be reached at ahmesau3@outlook.com

35 Comments

  • If sane minds win and all #ethiopians meet at a round-table as equals there is no reason for #ethiopia not to come togather.

  • , if people agree
    that reconciliation is also about looking
    forward rather than just arguing about the
    past. It is time to talk about the common
    challenges that every Ethiopian faces, not only
    concentrate on particular, group-based
    grievances.

  • የአብይ አህመድ ደጋፊዎች Urban Amhara ሳይሆኑ ኦርቶ-ጉራማራዎች ናቸው። በተለምዶ አአን ጨምሮ በትልልቅ ከተሞች የሚኖሩ አማራ የሚመስሉን (አብዛኛዎቻቸውም ማንነታቸዉ ወደ አማራ ስለሚጎትቱ) ጉራጌ ናቸዉ። የአብይ አህመድ ቀንደኛ ደጋፊዎች እነሱ ናቸው።

  • The writer precisely captured the status quo and possible scenarios that may come to play as Ethiopia nears the polls. With the fall of TPLF it’s a different ball game. The likelihood of external aggression from Egypt will exasperate things to fall apart further ….. time to watch for the unfolding scenarios but for sure the old hegemonies are now swept int0 the historical past …. the future can only be secured by change of tact to bring each and every Ethiopian onboard…. times have changed so are aspirations of the youthful population that are yearning for change. Ethiopia is not a secluded island, the earlier meaningful changes are embraced to enhance inclusion and participation the better…

  • Ethiopia was never at a ‘… brick of disintegration…’ due to the Amhara and Oromo protests. Nor is it now. protests happen in any country – it doesn’t mean they disintegrate. the so called ‘balkanization’ narrative came with the TPLF and shall be laid to rest together. I find it funny ኮሽ ባለ ቁጥር some think the country is going apparat. even marriages don’t fall like that

  • ”..there is also now the likely non-participation of the main Oromo opposition parties. If this happens, the legitimacy of the state suffers a big dent.” It sounds to happen and then guess what will happen in the region.

  • Other countries with many cultures managed to solve their problems in democratic and practical ways.

    In Ethiopia, whenever the idea of dealing with diversity, while maintaining a strong central government is introduced, it is automatically assigned the ‘Amhara’ label.

    Wasn’t it a strong center that enabled the various ethnic groups to come together and defeat European invasion? There would have been no nationalities to talk about ethnic federalism today if that central covenant defended it.

    We can still celebrate our diversity and try to encourage cultural understanding without having to resort to identity politics. Ethnic federalism is the ultimate identity politics.

  • “Although the ruling Ethiopian Peoples’ Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF) was a coalition of four parties, the TPLF, representing under 10 percent of the Ethiopian population, had been in the driving seat since 1991. Unwilling to accept its new junior status in Ethiopian politics, the party embarked on an attempt to discredit Abiy.”

    The only meaningful statement I found in the article.

  • “Abiy and his Amhara supporters”: The title tells the goal behind the message. Supporters can be from any where. What is the purpose to devide the supporters of Abiy? The details end up talking about the goal of the writers. Looking for confused people or supporters. Internal division is burried with your junta. As already observed, pass to the border countries for a time being. They will also come to the same understanding of the shrewds. Then where will you go?

  • I couldn’t agree more with what the author has stated. Is this because I am from the South? Not only that, but I am living with the reality and fear for where we are heading. It is obvious the writer touches some chord that angered the Amhara elites. Because as Obboo Lencho Leta aptly put it: ‘when they [Amhara] praise me l know I did something wrong because they only praise you when you sell out your people.’ I think the Amhara should tame their emotion and accept Ethiopia belongs to all, and the yesteryears have gone not to return again. Make Ethiopia Amhara Again is a pipedream!

    • The idea of `Making Ethiopia Amehara again’ is something on the mind of those which are drawn into fear from there own mind blackout which is quite far from the reality which is Ethiopia can never ever be represented by one ethnic group.

  • The reading of this prolonged viewpoint was a waist of time for me. Presenting no evidence the author tend to fantasise without a proper understanding of the events. He lacks a clear understanding of well functioning federal democracies like Germany for example. Regarding the conflict in Tigray he is not able to accept that simple fact – it needs two for a tango. Comparing the PM Dr. Abiy Ahmed with the Derg is ludicrous and does injustice of the Derg victims. To conclude – you don’t have to be able to read between the lines to see Mr. Abiy’s vision of Ethiopia – a democratic, modern and prospering federal republic, where everyone can live and work anywhere, without discrimination on the grounds of race, creed or religion.

    • In other words you mean #amhara should be the superiors again as no one is gonna compute with the most educated #amhara – the education they userped during their long time colonial rule. No we prefer on our own – the federalism. May be one day we get as many Professors as you and then we talk about this madamar thing.

  • Despite the fraud author, let me react to someone who has been maintaining his interest over Ethiopia. “Ethnic federalism” is the awful combination of words ever in world history. It’s gonna be highly repugnant. You can not tie federalism with tribe!! please try to study more about federalism. Try to dissect and figure out authentic meanings about tribalism, federalism, nationalism ethnicity.
    The word “Amhara” doesn’t exist in the Amharic dictionary at all, these are your imported and important conjunctions for your hodgepodge instructions to your “Federalists”. Lastly, it seems like you’re prepared to launch a civil war when you suggest military overtaking of power, as there are already regional armed forces who have been attempted to confront the national army.

    • Your false narative again!
      I don’t care if tribal federslism existed before. I want it now to protect myself from you! Peroid! Do you get it?

  • Oromos want to destroy Ethiopia and recreate it in their own image. They want to replace Amharic with Oromiffa. That actually will never happen because tge rest of Ethiopis know what the Oromo (and the writer) are up to.

    • Dear Eth

      There is no culture of dictatorship, domination, conspiracy and forced assimilation in Oromo society and genealogy. You and millions who lived with this community can testify that truth. Please avoid your blind hate to this people and any other diverse groups of Ethiopians for your inner peace and health. Believe in the fact that our diversity is our beauty.

    • Why not? Arn’t they the majority and isn’t democracy by the majority? Or is that you want to rule by some other order?
      Explain your self!

    • Why not? Arn’t they the majority and isn’t democracy by the majority? Or is that you want to rule by some other order?
      Explain your self!

  • You are trying to discredit the idea of Ethiopianess by cleverly trying to make it equivalent Trump’s right wing
    movement of Make American Great Again. Hence your term Make Ethiopian Great Again or MEGA.

    Actually, “Make Ethiopian Great Again” sounds great.

    Let us look at the so called “federalist” camp.

    Oromo “federalists” stand forMake Oromia Great Again or MOGA or Oromuma.
    TPLF “federalists” stand for Make Tegray Great Again or MTGA? Better, still Make Axum Great Again (MAGA!)

    Neither the Oromo or Tigray nationalist elite are for genuine federalism or democracy, and the ethnic federalism they want is just a way for them to dominate Ethiopia politically. It worked for while for TPLF and now Oromos think it will work for the.

    The Oromo elite or the MOGA crowd believe it is their turn to dominate Ethiopia politically, but unfortunately for them, they don’t have the numbers because Oromos are only 34% of the population. This right wing Oromo elite hate the powerful idea of Ethiopianess because it is attractive to not only to Amharas, but also to Agaw, Afar, Anuak, Nuer, Somalis, and especially Southerners, such as Sidama, Gurages, Silte, Wolliata, Kembatta, Gamo, Gedeo, Hadiya, Kaficho. These ethnic people combined can form a majority political block that will prevent rule and domination by the Oromo minority.

    What the Oromo elite don’t want to accept is most non-Oromos believe in Ethiopianism because it is very inclusive, and liberates everyone from their ethnic enclaves, the bantustans. In order to dominate Ethiopia, the Oromo elite try to discredit Ethiopianism by saying it is about Amhara culture and language They completely ignore all the non-Amhara peoples that defend Ethiopianism more than Amharas. Non-Oromos don’t have a problem with Ethiopianess, because Ethiopianess is a cultural and religious construct they can identify with. Ethiopia is meaningful for the Orthodox Christians and the mostly Protestant Southerners because Ethiopia is in the bible, stretching her hands out to God. Ethiopia is the land of the son of Sheba and Solomon and of Philipos. For Ethiopian Muslims, Ethiopia is the blessed land of Al Nejashi, the land where the earliest followers of Prophet Mohammed set foot.

    The Oromo elite think they can de-Ethiopianize Ethiopian by segregating and locking up ethnic groups into 83 different ethnic prison cells or Bantustans under an ethnic federalism system They also want to kill Amharic as a common language so Ethiopians can not communicate each other. The goal is to physically and linguistically separate Ethiopians from each other so Oromo elite can manipulate them easily. They call this self-determination. But the Oromo elite don’t realize that Ethiopianess is not a language, but an idea that has become ingrained too deeply in the hearts and identity of most Ethiopians. . Actually, I think Oromo elite do realize this is a current problem for them, which is why their youth units keep attacking Southerners such as the Gedo, Gamo, Gurages, Somalis and Dorze. Who can forget the first victims of the violent Oromuma youths were the Gamo and Gurages in the outskirts of Addis Ababa.

    In fact, the truth is Southerners and Somalis are trying to protect themselves from the divisive and agressive Oromo elite and Orumuma/MOGA by allying themselves with Amharas. They are very encouraged by the demise of TPLF.

    The majority of Ethiopians want a democratic secular federal system that promotes a common Ethiopian identity over time. They value each other, and believe in Ethiopianess.

    • I totally agree with your analysis. I also disagree with the author’s lame analysis which appears to have an elementary knowledge about or an intentional bias approach on the subject matter.

    • Dear Tesfa,

      You are vomiting your hate on Oromo people and its elite with false argument. It is the heroic leaders from Oromo who chased away Italians from Ethiopia together with other Ethiopians and kept the country intact. Oromo has no hate to Amharic and Ethiopia but wants to promote its language to Federal level next to Amharic as it is spoken nearly by half of the population in the country (if you include peoples who speak it in Amhara, Diredawa, Harari, Benishangul and other SNNPR region). All Ethiopians from all regions that you mentionrd (Sidamas, Somalis, Walaita, Kaffa, Hadiya, Gambela, Gumuz etc., ) unanimosly want self-rule and shared rule or a true and democratic multi-national federation (not the fake one abused by TPLF). So why you write completely false information (may be you don’t know the psychology and interest of those nations and nationalities.They don’t want past marginalization, injustice and exploitation advanced by few feudal lords or TPLF rulers in the past.

      Ethiopia is the sum total of its nations, nationalities, peoples, their culture, religion etc., and should not be limited to its rivers, mountains and boundary or cannot be the property of a given emperors or ruthless dictators. Each Ethiopians should be empowered, have equal or proportional representations in politics, the economy, and use of their resources for equitable and fair development and sustained democracy. ሌላ መጭበርበሪየህን እነ የድሮ ትርክትህን በዱሮ ጨጨቋኝ ስርዓት ከተቸነከሩት ወጭ በአሁኑ ግዜ የምሰመህ የለም።ተረማጅ እነ የአሁኑን ትውልድ የምመጥን ሐሳብ አቅርብ።

      • Dear Ammanuel,

        Oromos had an important role in the Battle of Adwa. The Oromo leaders and leaders who fought in Adwa with their Tigray, Amhara and Southern brothers fought as Ethiopians and not as Oromo nationalists.

        The Oromo nationalists elite, like the Tigray elite preach hatred towards Amharas , and their youth mobs and Oromo elite refer to innocent Amharas as neftegnas or neo-neftegnas, or as gunmen. That is why OLF Shene-which is just the armed wing Oromo nationalism- mass murder Amhara civilians ,including women and children in Wellega.

        Oromo nationalists also ethnically cleansed ethnic Somalis and Gedoes.

        All the various peoples of Ethiopia including Amharas want democracy and Ethiopianess, but the Oromo elite oppose democracy and prefer “self-rule” which is a code for segregation. In fact, “self-rule” is what right wing South African Whites used to promote under the old racist apartheid system.

        If Ethiopia had two languages only, it would work to have two federal languages such as in Canada (French and English). But Ethiopia has many languages, so it does not make sense to have two federal languages especially since Amharic is already spoken by almost all Ethiopians either as a first language or as a second language. Kenyans have Swahili, Ethiopians have Amharic. Oromos oppose Amharic out of spite.

        It was Amhara youth and army officers of the 1960s and 1970s who destroyed the old Amhara feudal rulers and overthrew their own Amhara emperor under the banner of “Land to the Tiller” in the name of justice for all Ethiopians. Oromo elite alway ignore this because it does not fit in with their narrative about Amharas. Southerners have not forgotten the Amhara students who stood up for them against the feudal class.

        Recently, it is Oromo youth joined by Amhara youth that overthrew Tigray dictator and a combination of Southerners, Oromos and Amhara officers who are leading the war against TPLF.

        Ethiopians reject the current plans of the Oromo elite for an Oromo dictatorship.

        No one in this day and age can have their culture and religion suppressed, and that is not what Ethiopianess is about. Ethiopianess is about sharing and integration of cultures. The many cultures of Ethiopia are similar anyway, and have overlapping traits. No one has a cultural shock when they go from Bale to Tigray, or from Somali to Gonder. Also, Ethiopia’s modern youths are influenced more by the global western culture (clothing, names, music, attitude), than anything else, so there is not much cultural difference between them. Oromo elite need to stop their fake arguments about “self-rule”.

        There are many proud Oromos who also believe in Ethiopianess and genuine democracy, but they are being brain washed or bullied by Oromo nationalists just like the Tegaru were by TPLF. That is why it is important to expose the Oromo extremist elite who want to alienate Oromos from their fellow Ethiopian brothers and sisters.

        Finally there should be political representation under a democratic system where the majority block governs, but minority rights are respected.

        • Thank you for your response to my reaction to your earlier inflammatory words which will not open room for a civilized debate as you started judging negatively the other groups/elites in a biased manner while the problem is from all sides and actors in this country who have no culture of dialogue s and peaceful settlement of disputes. I agree with some of the good points you raised while I disagree with those that are untrue (donot reflect the reality on the ground and practices) in other world in solving their complex problems specially on the issues of language and self rule. The solutions to such complex problems that stay with us for 50 or more years requires understanding of the root causes of the problems. You have to patiently put yourselves in other shoes and learn what was the causes before pointing fingers to the faults of others. No one can have a clean hand in messes we did in the past and hence we have to peacefully dialogue and find the middle ground for enhancing democratic and inclusive federal system that will not leave any one behind and that should be founded by the democratic principles of respecting majority rule and minority rights or even apply self rule and shared rule which equates all. Let us move forward instead of re-inventing the wheel at each historical episode. Let us not stuck to the past which is glory for some but misery for others. If
          we spent our time in the past 50 years in buildibg democracy, democratic institutions and rule of law like Kenya, Douyh Africa, Canda, Swizerland, USA etc., we could have no libration fronts by this time as democracy is tested in the world as the best solution/tools for addressing injustice, grievances and power imbalance when complemented with federalism.

        • Don’t try to create enemity between #oromo and #somalis. They are brothers and sisters. What happened was your doing – that they figured out and live now in harmoney!

          #oromo is the majority and we, #somali-ethiopians, support them. Better be prepared to be their subordinate. That is my advice to you!

  • I see a wrong message with a right passage in this essay. I disagree with your presentation and interpretation of facts ( both historical & political facts). Your analysis is based on subjective realities, not on objective facts. For instance, you have interpreted the fact that the Amhara’s ardent support of the PM to mean a struggle for regaining past land, power and glory. In a nut shell, you cannot show us an objective truth based on subjective facts.

  • Is this a dooms day conspiracy? Mr. Ahmed,
    Though I don’t agree with your views, I Thank you for sharing us your “insight” about the current situation of Ethiopia. I read your article on the subject. It tells more about your overbearing and biased attitude towards Ethiopia. Your article is meticulously prepared but found to be mendacious, insincere, misleading and spurious. I found your view, except a beautifully translated poem from Amharic into English, is skin-deep but subtly designed and stashed with hypocritical statements that could only serve a futile propaganda of the enemies of Ethiopia.

  • The three scenarios you highlighted were not deeply analyzed in view of the current situation in Ethiopia’s poletics withn the ruling party devision especially the two parties of oromo and Amhara

  • Mr. Ahmed Hassen, I may not agree with what you wrote but I cannot hide my admiration for your writing skills. I like how you translated the Amharic poem/saying into English. Great job! Hoping and praying the bloodshed in Ethiopia will stop soon and ppl will start questioning their leaders and not be consumers of government propaganda.

  • “Imagine either you or your family being hunted and killed just b/c you are from an ethnicity that you had no say in.”

    Sorry pal. The author is somali and no wonder somalis have been and are still targeted due to their ethnicity. Come with better argumebts or go home crying.

    Habeshas can NEVER defeat federalism weither they play victims or perpetrators. Period.

  • I don’t see any factual basis in your prolonged essay on the present situation of the country. You tried to show empathy for the TPLF junta group by exploring unrelated scenarios that you think is favorable. Ethiopia will not be disintegrated by ill-wish you have poised.

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