Our Struggles.com

Change comes from struggle. We shows the struggle towards the violated rights and freedoms by others body. By Behailu M.

……..Protests in Perspecive

How Ethiopia is ruled

The current Ethiopian government came to power in 1991 replacing the military regime that preceded it (1974-1991). Back then, it was viewed by much of the West as a government that would facilitate Ethiopia’s transition from an ex-communist country to a liberal democracy friendly to Western interests in the Horn of Africa. It is a government dominated mainly by elites from a single ethnic group, the Tigray, which constitute approximately six per cent of the peoples within Ethiopian boundaries. The Ethiopian Agazi special Commando force is almost entirely Tigrayan. The government relies on this ethnic army to stamp out the Oromo student protests. There are reports that the entire security apparatus, including the national army, is dominated by elites from Tigray. The Oromo, who are targeted by this Master Plan, constitute between 40-50% of the population.  Operating in a historical context whose political tradition is authoritarian and having ethnic Tigrayan aspiration to hegemony, the transition faltered and repressive authoritarianism continued regardless of the rhetoric of constitutionalism, rule of law, democracy, human rights, and free market. The history of uneven inter-ethnic relations and the increasing demand for equality and justice by the ‘other’ peoples of Ethiopia who never readily featured in the discourse on Ethiopia intensified the political tension while also polarising views on the interpretation of history, especially between the Oromo and the Amhara-Tigrayan Abyssinian core.

The government is known to block almost all websites it regards as forums for providing information

The current crisis cannot be understood apart from the ethnic dynamics at play in the policy of the Master Plan and in its response.  In the Ethiopian political, social and economic system, ethnicity is probably the most important factor influencing policy preferences and choices of different sectors or communities in Ethiopia. Over eighty ethno-linguistic groups exist in Ethiopia. This ethno-linguistic diversity was not always recognised. The elites from Tigray and the Amhara dominated the politics of the country. For a long time, the Ethiopian state policy on ethnic diversity was an involuntary violent incorporation of territories and involuntary assimilation of peoples into the dominant Abyssinian cultural core, often called by some historians the Geez civilisation. In response to the challenge of diversity (raised in the 1960s as the ‘Question of Nationalities’), ethnicity gained political salience in the process of restructuring the state since the current regime came into power in 1991. Consequently, a formal system of Ethnic Federalism, otherwise referred to as multinational federalism, has been instituted and written into the law as the centrepiece of the Constitution of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia. Oromia, where most Oromos reside, is legally recognised as one of the nine constituent states of the Ethiopian Federation.

In practice, however, all the key government positions and institutions are controlled by elites—directly and indirectly—that come from the Tigrayan ethnic group. Key positions in security sectors, including the military, are exclusively under the control of Tigrayan rulers. The system operates on the basis of patronage and a relationship of clientele with a select cadre of most of the ethnic groups who are co-opted to pose as representatives of the other ethnic groups in Parliament and in Government. While this Tigrayan-dominated regime uses this as a manifestation of its ‘just’ response to the ‘national question’ that long troubled Ethiopia’s politics the elite from this same group aggressively pursues policies that have drawn on the military might to forcefully remove Oromo peasants from their homeland over the last decade or more.  Situated in this context of a history of forced dispossession of land and the consequent displacement, this new Master Plan for Addis Ababa, is viewed and resisted by the protestors as one more chapter in implementing a disastrous policy that has already displaced thousands of the native peasants, and now officially aims to displace millions more. In keeping with their former legacy of sheer brutality, the Tigrayan ethnic armed force, the Agazi, responded to peaceful gatherings with a rain of bullets.

What crime is in protesting peacefully against a city’s ‘master plan’? Is that not how a responsible citizen… http://fb.me/2fXoYcd4m 

Destroying an identity


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This entry was posted on June 16, 2014 by in Home, News letters.
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