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Ethiopia And the Ghosts Of The Ancien-Regime

For the last few weeks, a spate of heightened unrest engulfed the Ethiopian Oromiya region protesting against urban encroachment on farmlands and expressing fear instigated by land-grabbing investments. Simultaneously, another unrest was raging in the Amhara region; it is related to the identity demands of the Qmant people. In both areas scores of people lost their lives and many protesters and security personnel were wounded.

Ethiopia just emerged from weeks of demonstration led by students in many localities, mainly in the Oromiya region, where universities and assertively demonstrating students were unheard of until 1991. The recent demonstrations is considered the worst unrest since the 2005 election related riots that claimed the lives of almost 200 people. Reports from Ethiopia indicate that the unrest has now subsided. However, if the grievances that ignited the protests are not resolved, it’s likely that a new cycle of demonstration will flare up again.

The recent unrest focused in the rejection of the  “Addis Ababa Integrated Development Master Plan” which threatened to continue swallowing large swaths of farmlands from the Oromiya region. The fast developing Addis Ababa is the capital city of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia as well as the capital city of the Oromiya state where it is called Finfine, its original Oromiffa name. Minelik, the king of Shewa had camped with his troops in Finfine for a few years in the late 19th century. In 1891 he became the King of Ethiopia and made Finfine his capital city and renamed it Addis Ababa.

Until 1991, the Oromo people, the most populous nation in Ethiopia, were so much oppressed and lived under the mercy of feudal lords and “Neftegna” settlers who grabbed their lands. Under the ancien-regime, while the Oromo peasants were impoverished, the ruling class and the nobility benefited from their land and toil.

Under the Derg rule (1974-1991) and its policy of “Land to the Tiller”,  the condition of the Ethiopian peasants was marginally improved. However, very soon Ethiopians were ordered to leave their farmlands and be organized as militia forces; tens of thousands of peasants perished fighting in the Derg’s wars in many places, mainly in Eritrea where the people were waging a struggle for self-determination.

In 1991, a joint EPLF (Eritrean) and EPRDF (Ethiopian) force defeated the Derg regime–while the EPLF produced an authoritarian regime, the EPRDF established a broad-based federal government. For the first time in centuries, Ethiopians began to rule their regions and as empowered citizens they started to challenge government decisions and reject policies advanced by elements from the political elite of the country who maintain a strain of right wing tendencies.

The recent demonstrations by the Oromo people who reject the “Addis Ababa Integrated Development Master Plan” is a new phase of Oromo assertiveness as well as the awareness of other Ethiopians in protecting their rights. As of now, the unrest has subsided, however, there remains other issues beyond the master plan that should not be ignored–issues of governance and historic injustices await proper resolution.

The Oromo rejection of the Master plan is understandable considering the fact that in the last twenty years, Addis Ababa has expanded outside its limits so much that it has totally swallowed towns like Dukem. Old vacation spots of Addis Ababa residents, like Bushuftu, have become part of the bustling capital city. In the wake of Addis Ababa’s wild expansion, large swathes of farmlands have disappeared from the landscape; the victims are mainly Oromo farmers.

Naturally, if the Oromo had the upper hand in disposing off their land for their own benefit, much of the problems would have been averted, but the land fell into the hands of real-estate speculators and financial brokers who either swindle the farmers of the real value of their land or systematically evict them from it. The land-grabbing craze that is ignited by the Ethiopian economic growth and the expansion of Addis Ababa has increased the magnitude of corruption and office abuse in the region.

As the national economy grows, it is natural that urbanization will be accelerated, however, the duality of Addis Ababa/Finfine, as a national capital and as a regional capital of the Oromo state complicated the matter. Maybe reorganizing Addis Ababa/Finfine as twin cities, partly administered by the Oromiya region and partly by the Addis Ababa administration would channel income equitably as well as give the two administrations an upper hand in the cultural, environmental and other aspects of the twin cities that they can coordinate to jointly develop.

Ethiopian Diaspora Opposition

Much of the fanning of the crisis is carried out on social media by groups with vested interests who do not see a benefit in resolving the issues unless they overthrow the EPRFDF government. Facebook campaigns are full of inciting messages, tickling raw nerves along ethnic and racial lines. In addition, the urge of some young Ethiopians who wish to have a minute of fame by posting anything a cell phone can record has blurred the line between real news and propaganda. Unfortunately, while Ethiopians are facing difficulties at home, and fighting for their constitutional rights, opposition members in Western countries are trying to capitalize on it by fanning the unrest.

Last week, the Ethiopian Broadcasting Corporation (EBC) stated that the Master Plan project office was closed in 2014. The statement accused the officers of issuing periodical press and video statements and related announcements that gave the impression the project office was still in operation. The statement read by EBC indicated that the office doesn’t represent neither the Addis Ababa city administration nor the Oromo region’s administration and that statements and declarations by the defunct project office do not have validity. It further indicated the government’s plan to investigate the matter and  if necessary take legal measures against officials of the Master Plan project office.

The Qmant Issue

Heading north, away from the unrest created by the fear of land-grabbing and in opposition to the master plan, there was another hot spot: a crisis that has been brewing in the areas where the Qmant people live.

Qmant, also known as Agaw-Qmant, reside in the areas around Gonder, mainly to the west and northwest of the city. An ancient people who lived in the area since the biblical times, the Qmant have lived for centuries under segregation and oppression. In addition, the primordial stigma attached to them has hastened the eradication of their culture and religion. Regarded as an ancient Jewish group, according to the 1994 census the Qmant numbered around 174,000, but they were not included in the 2007 census. That exclusion caused the apprehension of the Qmant and signs of unrest began to appear.

While some scholars put the number of Qmat people to around one-million, others consider them part of the Agaw who are estimated to be around five-million people in all of Ethiopia. The Qmant, who live close to the Bete-Israel (known as Falasha) preferred to stay put in their ancestral lands while tens of thousands of Ethiopian Jews were airlifted to Israel; only a few Qmant migrated to Israel.

Over the years, due  to the stigma attached to Qmant, many of them have either adopted the Orthodox religion and Amharic as a language, or  fully assimilated into the Amhara culture of Begemider.

In recent years, the Qmant crisis has attracted the creativity of the Ethiopian Diaspora opposition who were busy fanning that crisis as well. Known proponents of the hegemony and forceful unity that led to the thirty-year bloodshed between Eritreans and Ethiopians are now championing the Qmant rights. Ironically also, the Eritrean ruling party is the major ally and financier of those entities.

Based on the Ethiopian constitution, the Qmant are now recognized as a minority group in Metemma and Chilqa districts of the Amhara region though they are still pursuing a struggle in order to be able to protect and develop their culture in other districts. However, the Qmant should not allow their grievances and their cause to be hijacked by the Diaspora opposition groups.

Manipulated Maps

Recently, the Ethiopian Diaspora opposition claimed that the EPRDF has incorporated major regions of Qmant homelands and other districts to the Benshangul region to deny the  Amhara region access to the Sudan. According to the claim, the Benshangul region now borders both Tigrai and Gambella regions, a design they claim was to encircle the Amhara region and provide control of Benshangul and Gambella to the Tigrai region. The image above shows the map 1) the current state boundaries of Ethiopia, and 2) the map that an Ethiopian Diaspora opposition is spreading. As evident, the genuine federal map shows that the all the regions of Tigrai, Amhara, Oromiya, Gambella and Benshangul maintain borders with Sudan.

For a region that has seen a devastating war over such a map in 1998-2000, map manipulations are very dangerous and are very effective agitation tool when associated with ethnicity. Regardless, many observers expect the parallel security steps and public meetings, as well as the legislative consultations and measures, will extinguish the Ethiopian crisis by finding a lasting solution for it. At the end, the Qmant are likely to have their identity protected and continue to live peacefully in their districts within the Amhara region.

Finally, it is visible that Ethiopia is experiencing serious bangs in developing its federal system and its citizens have become conscious of their rights that they are expressing their objection to government decisions that doesn’t reflect their choices. Ethiopians have reached a stage where citizens cannot be coerced into submission anymore; this is what Ethiopians should celebrate. However, the government should be less heavy-handed and more thrifty with its “terrorism” rhetoric. At the same time, the people should stay within the bounds of the constitution, the law of the land, and pursue their demands in a civil and peaceful manner. Those Ethiopians who have a stake in the affairs of their country should fight for more space to carry out their activities inside Ethiopia. But if they choose to remain professional opposition in the Diaspora, they shouldn’t gamble with the livelihood of Ethiopians for their own selfish political aspirations.

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  • Music Novice

    Greetings Tihtina,

    So you know about Tela bets. Is this your only credential?

  • Hope

    Dear Ali:
    BTW: The message was not for you and the ones for/.to whom it was addressed ,and who understood it, got the message.

  • Hope

    Dear Ali:
    Coz you did not want to understand the facts and the truth.–simply coz I mentioned PFDJ/GoE.
    I could have done it in Tigrayat,or Blin or Arabic but I have no access to Ge’ez and Arabic downloaded Computer.
    But sorry I am not fluent in Saho and Afari but some kunama.Which one would you prefer though?

  • WEDI JOMO

    SGJ, the article is significant. As Eritreans, it is important to know what is going on south of the border. We need facts and the article has addressed them well. And of course as a person or persons we can give our opinion but in a condition that the opinion itself must be based on facts.
    The article in its end , indicated opinion which I believe missed some facts. SGJ says ” the Ethiopian Diaspora”. Does he mean the Diaspora that reflects all? The title says ” ghosts of ancient regime”. It is clearly telling us about the existence of one dominant ethnic group in Ethiopia in the past. So SGJ should match his opinion with the title he chose to give, thus, the Ethiopian Diaspora, should read , the Diaspora which represents that ancient regime. In other words does it mean it includes all Ethiopian ethnic groups and most importantly, do the groups have one common agenda?
    And I see Face Book reference is not credible, unless we are quoting, a statement of a politician or a public opinion leader or unless we are gathering info to conduct a research which will lead us to credible result . Other wise we shall rely on authentic references such as books, periodicals, researches and seminars.
    But nice article though and I wish our commentators below stick to the topic that the article is addressing.

  • Dear Hope,
    Another (similar but slightly different) information I found is that hepatotoxicity (toxicity to the liver) may ensue from contamination of grains by fungal (mold) growth on grains stored during the rainy season for later use. The molds contain Aflatoxins, substances that are toxic to the liver. It has been found that the fungal growth affects not only Teff, but also sorghum, wheat and other grains as well. Moreover, as we all know, when injera is stored at room temp. for days, it easily develops molds (the white stuff we see on injera). The fungus (mold) on the grains is therefore the culprit and not Teff or any other grain as such. Even then, nobody is sure, because the amount and frequency of the noxious substance ingested and other known and unknown factors all play a role. The take-home message for all Ethiopians and Eritreans is to store injera in a fridge, avoid the molds and enjoy their injera, especially during the Habesha holidys.

    • Abi

      Hi Horizon
      I like the scientific explanation. Your recommendation is killing me. Horizon, you need to go back home before the end of the year. You have forgotten what Ethiopia looks like.
      A fridge? How about a microwave to warm the cold injera ?
      Horizon, bemote nigeregn, how many people in Ethiopia afford a fridge? Are you talking about the 1%of 1% ( .01%) of Ethiopians who can afford a fridge? Well, it seems they are the only ones who can afford teff injera anyway.

      • Dear Abi,
        When I wrote all Ethiopians and Eritreans, I had in mind all Ethiopians and Eritreans in the diaspora. Sorry for being unclear. How can I recommend fridges and the rest, when millions are in need of food aid, and only about 20% of the population has electricity? In addition, where is the injera in the first place for many of our people?

    • Hope

      Epic,Horizon.
      If you find the Article I was talking about,which I forgot to add,quoted and added exactly,what you said,which even makes more sense than mine,which I could have mixed up things as it has been 25 yrs ago or more since I read that Article.
      Thanks a ghezillion, and hope MN will rest his case “against me” now,as your English is more plain and coherent than mine.
      Am sure he will pop up and appreciate you.

      • Dear Hope,
        Aflatoxin contamination of stored grains seems to be a common problem in Africa, due to poor storage methods, humidity and warm climate. I could not find the article by Prof Biedmariam, nevertheless, if it interests you, I have attached this link which shows that the fungus attacks different farm products.

        https://ejhs.ju.edu.et/admin/Volume-11-Num1/2_Survey%20of%20Aflatoxin%20Contamination%20%20…%20page%2017-26.pdf

        • Hope

          Thanks Horizon,a man of Reason and Principle(minus the Baduma for Aseb wish).
          This Article was published 7 years after I left Ethiopia/AAU but the Article in 1985 or so by Prof B et al was similar but focused on hepatology as he was/is or his Canadian wife was/is a Gastro-enterologist by Speciality..
          Either way,it answered all the questions by MN.
          Case closed.
          The right term was ” Aflatoxin”.
          Hey The Big Frog with Clusterbrain,aka MN:
          You got it now?
          No,I am not an “Attention Seeker” but an An Attention Destractor”,focusing on those,who are belittling and destracting Eritreans!

  • No Drama

    Selamat,
    Thank you AT for this perspective. I don’t preoccupy myself much with the details of the politics that’s going on in Ethiopia, I have much more to worry about within our boarders. Unlike the sycophants of the Eritrean dictator, I do not wish ill any African nation, let alone Ethiopia. Suffice to say that I know the country is doing fairly well although not everything is great. Sure, I am happy for our cousins south that their nation is advancing, perhaps one step at time, but undinabily into the right direction none withstanding the crocodile tears of those ” known proponents of the hegemony and forceful unity” to use AT’s label. Nation building is a marathon and not a sprint and the world knows Ethiopians are champions at long distance. I am also grateful to the Ethiopian people in general and the Tigrayan people in particular for the care and refuge that they have provided to my people fleeing the barbaric regime strangulating my beloved land.

    I think rights of the people to complain and voice their concernes should be respected and uphold, in Ethiopia like any where else. The Ethiopian government will be well advised not to commit the mistakes of his predecessors and let this voices being heard and their issues addressed. However, Ethiopians by an large should also categorically denounce and get rid of themselves of the remnants of bygone era that has left the country bloody and ruined. The “known proponents of the hegemony and forceful unity” don’t give a shit about the people. They are busy fuelling any discontent into a full fleged riots as a way back to power. They are losers and they will remain so.

    Happy Holidays to all,
    ND

  • Music Novice

    Greetings Hope, Hiope,

    Nitricc is Chief of Staff and Major General. So, are you his faithful Sancho Panza in this delusional game you invented?

  • Music Novice

    Greetings Hope,

    Don’t you think the Scandinavian Republic of Eritrea fits as an example of a country that practices the democracy you defined?

    Hope, is there any hope that America will follow the lead example of Eritrea soon?

    Do you live in Eritrea or are you sheltered in a White man’s land?

  • Music Novice

    Greetings Hope,

    Remember logic 101?

    They cheated you. If you paid for the course, which is unlikely, you need to ask for a refund.

  • Music Novice

    Greetings Hope,

    I think you are a desperate attention seeker.

    Keep on singing aimlessly until exhausted.

  • AOsman

    Dear Hope,

    OK we can move on and hope is it all for the best.

    You bought an interesting topic, the Red Sea dam. I guess it is to produce electricity by using the fluctuating tide. This one sounds bigger and more ambitious than the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam. You know it is an engineering feat, if not impossible…..could you please share the relevant article.

    Soon we will have #1 Dam in the world after the years of refining the art construction through those experimental model micro-dams tested all over Eritrea.

    Regards
    AOsman

    • Hope

      Addendum and Correction:

      For AOsman:

      Red Sea, the Natural Dam of Eritrea

      Concept for Eritrea’s Sustainable Economic Development.
      By Professor Hosanna(not Hanna) Solomon,of Eritrea,Associate Professor of Economics at the Univ of US Virgin Islands

      Journal of International Environmental Science and Development;Vol 4;No 4;Aug 2013

      Abstract:

      —The Danakil Depression is located in Eritrea, a

      few kilometers inland from the Red Sea coast and sinks 120

      meters below sea level. This concept paper attempts to explore

      Eritrea’s ability to develop a hydroelectric and potable water

      generation capacity from the Red Sea. Unlike many countries

      with access to seas and oceans, Eritrea is endowed with a

      natural hydro dam because of its geographical location and

      topography. The Red Sea can be used as a resource for the

      production of energy as hydro dam and potable water source

      through desalination. The availability of cheap, clean and

      environmentally safe energy and water sources will enable the

      country to eliminate poverty and stop environmental

      degradation, thus contributing to reduce or minimize the global

      warming problem.

      few kilometers inland from the Red Sea coast and sinks 120

      meters below sea level. This concept paper attempts to explore

      Eritrea’s ability to develop a hydroelectric and potable water

      generation capacity from the Red Sea. Unlike many countries

      with access to seas and oceans, Eritrea is endowed with a

      natural hydro dam because of its geographical location and

      topography. The Red Sea can be used as a resource for the

      production of energy as hydro dam and potable water source

      through desalination. The availability of cheap, clean and

      environmentally safe energy and water sources will enable the

      country to eliminate poverty and stop environmental

      degradation, thus contributing to reduce or minimize the global

      warming problem”.

      Source:

      The International Jouranl of Environmental Science and Develoment,by Professor Hosanna(not Hanna) Solomon.Vol 4,No 4,Aug 2013

      Concept for Eritrea’s Sustainable Economic Development

      Red Sea, the Natural Dam of Eritrea

      Abstract:

      —The Danakil Depression is located in Eritrea, a

      few kilometers inland from the Red Sea coast and sinks 120

      meters below sea level. This concept paper attempts to explore

      Eritrea’s ability to develop a hydroelectric and potable water

      generation capacity from the Red Sea. Unlike many countries

      with access to seas and oceans, Eritrea is endowed with a

      natural hydro dam because of its geographical location and

      topography. The Red Sea can be used as a resource for the

      production of energy as hydro dam and potable water source

      through desalination. The availability of cheap, clean and

      environmentally safe energy and water sources will enable the

      country to eliminate poverty and stop environmental

      degradation, thus contributing to reduce or minimize the global

      warming problem.

      few kilometers inland from the Red Sea coast and sinks 120

      meters below sea level. This concept paper attempts to explore

      Eritrea’s ability to develop a hydroelectric and potable water

      generation capacity from the Red Sea. Unlike many countries

      with access to seas and oceans, Eritrea is endowed with a

      natural hydro dam because of its geographical location and

      topography. The Red Sea can be used as a resource for the

      production of energy as hydro dam and potable water source

      through desalination. The availability of cheap, clean and

      environmentally safe energy and water sources will enable the

      country to eliminate poverty and stop environmental

      degradation, thus contributing to reduce or minimize the global

      warming problem”.

      Source:

      The International Journal of Environmental Science and Develoment,by Professor Hosanna(not Hanna) Solomon.Vol 4,No 4,Aug 2013

  • Nitricc

    Hi to all Ethiopians; I have a qeustion for you. Do you agree with this woman’s opinion. can some one revoke or grant your nationalities? what do you think about Jowar?

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QhRlhxzSKpQ

    • Amde

      Nitricc,

      How did you jump from unfriending to Facebook to revoking nationalism?

      As to Jawar, a couple of years ago he was threatening to chop off the heads of Christians in a conference of Ethiopian Muslims. He is supposedly now no longer a Muslim, but in any case – he is now positioning himself as a strategist and political engineer. This interview is quite interesting and revealing (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CqoSjNTuYCc) – he goes into the nuts and bolts of the recent events. He says he is just supporting the movement that has its origin and leadership internally, but his ego is such that he leaves one with little option than to to make the audience conclude he is the one pulling the strings.

      He is just one of those personalities that have huge political ambition, and was lucky enough to find the Oromo cause to latch on to. Such personalities can be devastatingly dangerous unless they are constrained by institutional limits.

      Amde

      • Nitricc

        Hi Amde, the reason i brought up is, I can not make up my mind weather it is good to ignore such insane person or opposed it strongly in populace. if this woman won’t talk about it i wouldn’t know who Jowar was but for the fact she talked about it, i come to know who this person is. sometimes; it is better to ignore such insane idea and people so they wouldn’t get the attention they crave. so, Amde, in large that is what i was thinking. for instance; one thing the USA does wrong is, popularizing the criminals. when some crazy person shoots in school, his/her name is all over the news and talked for days; this kind of popularizing will encourage the next person to get their names and picture to be talked about. i have always advocate for not mentioning the name of the shooter or showing his/her photos that way the next shooter be knows what the deal is, no fame.

        • Amde

          Nitricc,

          Be honest – is your Amharic good enough for you to have listened to the whole 40+ minutes of that interview?

          I don’t think he is crazy or insane. Far from it. Maybe he suffers from a combination of some narcissism and megalomania, but then that is almost a minimum psychological requirement for any politician from Obama to Wed-Afom. There are very legitimate issues he is advocating for – democracy in Ethiopia, unresolved Oromo questions, class issues such as the recent farmer grievances.

          He just seems to me to be boundlessly ambitious, and willing to use the latest tools to make his dreams come true. If it was the 19th century, he would be out there as a shifta fighting until he is recognized and promoted with some feudal title, land, and a wife from an aristocratic family. If it was the 20th century, he would be If a professional Marxist-Leninist revolutionary cadre, using its theoretical analyses to form his own party and rule through the politbureau. He is using the 21st century American political analysis he learned in Stanford and Columbia to do opposition politics in the age of social media.

          He is for sure refreshingly different in his analyses etc Check this out http://gadaa.com/oduu/?p=2917.

          In any case, I feel like I can’t pin down what ultimately his goals are, and thus I find I cannot trust him. But crazy he is not.

          Amde

  • Music Novice

    Greetings Hope,

    The logic 101 seems to be messy, as in the case of a scatterbrain. I did not ask you where the man is exiled and who put pressure on him.

    Can you answer my question in English? I only speak plain English.

  • Music Novice

    Greeting Hope,

    Where did you learn logic 101? Whoever said to have taught you have cheated you.

    Let me repeat the question for you.

    What was the conclusion of the article on the association between teff and hepatitis?

  • Abi

    Hope Nefse
    I’m taking about a lasting solution for a recurring problem.

  • Music Novice

    Greetings Hope,

    What was the conclusion of the article on the association between teff and hepatitis?

  • Hope

    Disclaimer: i used the above nick as I was blocked by the Moderator/AT-per the disqus warning.I will reclaim my old nick,Hope,if allowed.

  • Nitricc

    Hi Ermias; I know you need more training like the one you shared with us, you know like you close your eyes and they tell you something and you open your eyes. Why don’t you stick that kind of stupid staff than running your mouth in here?
    . First and for most; leave AT out of this depression of yours. You have all the symptoms of depressed religious thug. I thought that was the real reason for religion to exist; for delusional people like you to hang on it. Now, Why are you beating on them? All they did is tolerate you with your endless nick names,endless goodbyes; endless complains, and endless beiching. How about you show some class and give them the respect they deserve. I have told you long time ago, stop beating on AT and go do what you do best, as usual go beat your wife. losser!
    Oh yes, please take care your kids and spend some time with them than worrying about Nitricc!

  • sara

    Dear awate
    Few weeks ago many here were not happy Eritrea has leased ASAB port to Saudi Arabia and Emirates
    even the prime minister of ethiobia complained he was not consulted etc , today i read ERITREA has joined the Saudi Arabian led coalition of ISLAMIC states, anti-terror alliance.
    I also read somewhere here and other ethiobian press releases that ethiobia is fighting against terrorists, in fact the recent upheaval is instigated or fed by terrorists according the ethiobian news releases,then will this make ethiobia by default a member of the coalition of Islamic states? by extension does this mean eritrea and ethiobia are in the same loop.

    • Dear sara,
      Both al Qaeda and IS (more to come in the future), are Frankenstein monsters that were created in the laboratories of Saudi Arabia and other oil-rich Gulf States like Qatar, UAE and Kuwait. These monsters are going to devour their own creators, and scared as they are, these countries are running around to form a coalition of Islamic States to save themselves. The last time I read about the coalition, Eritrea (an observer member of the Arab League) was not mentioned in the list of countries, let alone ethiobia. (please give us the link). The Ethiopian government can call the last unrest a terrorism act, nevertheless it was a political unrest, having nothing to do with Islamic extremism. Ethiopia is a secular country and she is not an Islamic State, and there is no reason she will ever be part of this coalition of Islamic States. Ethiopia had been fighting terrorism in Somalia since 2008, and today she is part of AMISOM which is under the AU.

      • Hope

        Selam Horizon:
        As you said it correctly,the few Gulf States are turning themselves into a nightmare and quagmire they created themselves,
        But a State does not have to be an Islamic State to be part of the Anti-Global Terrorism Coalition.
        FYI and for the record,Russia,USA,France,Britain,Israel and Turkey(Both Direct Terroist States by all standard like their Major Aliance in the West),who are equaly responsible for creating the ground for terrorism-(Hint:read Fareed Zakariah of the CNN) but are experiencing the same fate the so called Islamic States are experiencing),
        More over,there is one major fact you have to know and admit:
        That Eritrea has been a VICTIM of MAJOR Terrosim since Zemene Orit..and by the same Islamic States and the Western Powers,including your own Ethiopian Regimes until this minute,which are shedding crocodile tears now!
        Hence,Eritrea,being the major victim of victims of such a dangerous terrorism and as a top Actor agaisnt Tsince her Inception as an Independent State,has the RIGHT and even an obligation,to make any kind of Coalition or Alliance with any one,including the Devil,for her BEST National Security Interest,by all means possible.

        • Dear Hope,
          Nobody is denying Eritrea the right to make any sort of alliances with anybody she wishes. Ethiopia is doing the same thing (under the AU and other world powers), but it is not going to be with the so-called coalition of Islamic States, where religion seems to be the main amalgamating factor. It is Saudi Arabia and the Gulf States who gave the coalition a religious garb. That is where the problem lies. This
          anti-terrorism coalition for one reason or other is presented as an Islamic Endeavour, while terrorism is a common problem affecting all humanity. It could have been a regional coalition of one sort or other, where Ethiopia as a member of a geographical region could have found it difficult not to participate.

          • Hope

            Dear Horizon,
            The issue of the “Islamic States” Coalition has its own motive and goal,and as such, it is their own problem created by their own with the West’s blessing and to me,it is a cover up for their own “mistake” and Irresponsible hegemony of their radical political ideology,not that of the decent Religion of Islam that I know and grew up with/in,which has hit them bac very hard.
            as far as the role of Ethiopia is concerned,read the recent history and that of ustaz AOsman’s reminder about the negative role of your own Ethiopia’s hegemony.
            As much as the same short-sighted and mercenary arab dictators messed up the Region sponsored and backed up and blessed by the same West,which is panicking now due to its own hegemony,make sure that you admit and face the problem your TPLF Mercenary messed up Somalia and Eritrea in the name of this and that but in reality,ONLY to appease the Neo-Colonialists’ Agenda and to make few peenies and to stay in Power.
            Had your own TPLF abided by International Rules,Laws and Normes and strictly followed the AU Charter and IGAD’s Noble cause,the Horn of Africa would not have been in the situation it is now.
            make no mistakes that the TPLF wil pay the price,one way or another,no matter what,as as Tigrniya proverb says,” id tsenahit,Shenahit”!

          • Peace!

            Dear hope

            TPLF had an opportunity to reform and revamp its policies and strategies to win the hearts and minds of Ethiopian people and to avoid the imminent social quest for change that potentially causing the country to crumble. It is a lesson TPLF failed miserably to understand that oppressed and marginalized people by politics and from economics will definitely rise when the situation is matured. I am afraid any effort to win its future might be too little too late given the demand for real representation and participation and no to TPLF economic and political monopoly is gaining ground to a point where cannot be reversed.

            regards

    • PTS

      Sara,
      As you may know our dictator is in Saudi Arabia since Saturday. His media hid this until yesterday. And yesterday while still in Saudi, Isaias, using the MoFA nickname, issued a statement of support for the Saudi coalition. The question is why did he bother to do that. He has an absolute power, he can do whatever he likes to do. So what’s the point of his press release when he doesn’t really need to tell us anything. Unless his hosts demanded he make it public.
      This snake man tells the world behind close door that the national service is back to 18 months. Now that is what we need official statement on

    • V.F.

      Sara, you should be easily able to figure out that IA is holding on to dear life. The Saudi’s are no angels either. They have big fears of Iran and the Yemeni houthis. With Eritreas proximity to Yemen, they can use it for a little while and recycle it. Ethiopia and Eritrea will only be in a coalition to destroy each other. If ISIS declared war on Ethiopia, IA would jump and allow them any base. He is an extremely desperate man and to lengthen his power, he will do anything even if that means more sanctions to his regime or even the Eritrean people. He is a disgrace. He calls the weyanes beggars but who is begging left and right, Emirates, Saudi, Qatar, Germany, the list goes on. He has absolute contempt for Eritreans, more so for his supporters but stupidity abounds in Eritreans, specially diaspora, these days.

      • Semere Andom

        V.F;

        What is wrong you are kind to IA 😉

        The idea of giving base to IS if they declare war on Ethiopia with all its risks for us is really understandable, it is survival issue of IA and CO. But PFDJ will not stop at that, and with risk of being accused as dramatic I would also add that IA will be willing to prostitute women, sell organs and slave trade Eritreans to finance his love affair with IS.

        One of the problems with the oppositions even those who are vocal and want IA to be removed is that they have not internalized the how far IA and his groupies would go to survive. Once one understands that they would not talk about reforming IA, they would not rest in their laurels, they would not be afraid from seeking the help of Ethiopia, they will not shy away from the “by any means necessary”, they will not throw their guns when deserting because it belongs to the martyrs, the martyrs would want them to point it to PFDJ and they would not hesitate to go to the Sudanese border and point their guns at the conspirators of PFDJ, the Rashaidas with the attitude of no hold bars, and they would shy away from telling PFDJ the gloves are off. The ambivalence of the different stripes of the opposition, the soft spot for IA and PFDJ,”yehwatna endiyom’ is the old moronic stance that has been with Eritreans since time immemorial and IA has seized on this vulnerability since the 1970 without he reciprocating in kind

    • Rule of Law

      Selam “Sara”
      When the PIA applied for membership of the Islamic rabita in the 90s, Eritrea was rejected on the ground that its not arab enough even though the arabic language was introduced from scratch. Now that the gulf nations have immersed themselves in a war quagmire they can’t win, they needed canon fodders like the sawa conscripts and Isayas has taken advantage and joined the party. የጨነቀው እርጉዝ ያገባል / ዝጸገሞ ጥንስቲ ይሙርዖ’. You said that the PM of “ethiobia” complained that he was not consulted when the port of Assab was rented out to BOTH SA and the UAE (this sounds oxymoronic) the remote likelihood that two nations can rent a single port that’s less profitable. You are not making sense and I thought your style was childish.

    • AOsman

      Dear Sara,

      Is IS part of the coalition of ISs?

      If Eritrea and/or Ethiopia join the coalition just align to power and money, do they need to create bogus terrorists at home to beat and show that their solidarity and that they are suffering from the same problem.

      I see Hope is excited about this development, not knowing that such a move is likely to bring the problem home.

      Horizon is using Somalia as an example even though Ethiopia intervention is what exacerbated the situation there. The Union of Islamic Courts where only dealing with the warlords (internal affair) before Ethiopia decided to push them, Alshebab was then the result of that debacle.

      Regards
      AOsman

      • Hope

        Selam Ustaz AOsman:

        Did you say risks?

        I beg your pardon,Sir?

        With all due respect,SIR,hasn’t Eritrea, as a Nation, been the most affected Nation and placed under all risks under the Sun?

        Yes,indeed,the GoE or the PFDJ or the STATE OF ERITREA,has done its/ their best to play a positive role through the IGAD and the AU and the UN.

        It is a well documented fact that Eritrea, as a Nation, has been a victim of all evil tactics,threats,sanctions,sabotage,etc–one can imagine and you are telling us Eritrea as a Nation does not have a RIGHT to make Alliances and to join Coalitions to get out of all the above threats,etc—

        if other countries and neighbors have that right and joined the same Coalitions and Alliances for their best National Security Interest.

        Yeah,since Eritrea is ruled by the PFDJ,you care less if it becomes the victim of all these and that threats…FULLY KNOWING the risks of being isolated,sanctioned,contained and threatened from right and left on a day light..

        Huh.?
        When it comes to Eritrea and when things are done by Eritrea,things become” Illegal and abnormal” but when others do it,it becomes a NORM and LEGAL and acceptable.
        Is this a Political or Intellectual Acrobatism or Bankruptsy,when you just wish Eritrea to sit idle and remain the victim of all these evil tactics and threats?
        Pick one!

        Common sense,please.

        There is NO perfection or pefect and ideal rules in Politics and Security related issues.There is NO perfect Diplomacy or Policy either.!
        Pros and Cons should be evalauted and assessed when dealing with such kind of sensitive issues of high importance from National Security Interest point of View.
        The PFDJ is doing what it is doing after it ran away from better options,at least fromits pint of view and based on the facts on the ground.
        If we believe or think that there are better options for Eritrea’s National Security Interest,we have a RIGHT and OBLIGATION to forward them clearly and coherently rather than just blaming the PFDJ and its policy.
        Yeah,I know you will tell me that it is all due to the PFDJ Policy and hegemony.I know that but i am telling you that we as Eritreans as a People and Eritrea as a/our Nation, are also victims of external interference right and left and to the maximum.
        There should be a comprehensive, organized,well coordinated and solution-oriented approaches to our complex,intricate and mutifactorial problems,which are created in/by a ” well coordinated,complicated,well organized and comprhensive ” ways.

        There are No permanent friends but Permanent Interests.

        I wish the PFDJ succeeded earlier in doing what it is doing now…

        But I AGRREE completely with you on the following statement of yours though:

        “Horizon is using Somalia as an example even though Ethiopia intervention is what exacerbated the situation there. The Union of Islamic Courts where only dealing with the warlords (internal affair) before Ethiopia decided to push them, Al’Shebab was then the result of that debacle”.

        • AOsman

          Dear Hope,

          It looks like you were answering at Semere, from you long answer you are saying Eritrea is doing it just to survive, the threat that you mention is pointed at Ethiopia and Ethiopia will make the same case about Eritrea. You know the coalition is to fight non-state actors (deqi hidirtina if in Eritrea).

          My question was simple, let me put it another way then. To join the coalition, do you have to create a terrorist at home or where home grown terrorist is not an issue are you going to send Eritreans to fight elsewhere to support with the coalition?

          Whichever way you look at it, it will cause problems, don’t you agree. I am all ears, tell me what tickled you with this new move from Eritrea. Since I am not saying it is good for Ethiopia, no point bringing it to the discussion.

          Regards
          AOsman

    • Peace!

      Dear Sara,

      Unfortunately TPLF has its own internal challenges, and until and unless the real Federalism is implemented, the ruling regime remains the top enemy of the Ethiopian people, not terrorism. Plus with Djibouti is now facing uprising, the role of Ethiopia, if choses to join the coalition, will be pretty much insignificant.

      regards

  • Music Novice

    Greetings Art,

    The TPLF are a bit paranoid because of past experience. For a long time, they had been marginalised, made to starve and beg. With the help of the EPLF, they kicked out the evil, corrupt and cancerous Derg through hard work and sacrifice. But they need to build more trust, despite the hate campaign that is being conducted against them.

    You said: “The Oromos have been subjugated under successive Ethiopian govts.”

    I do not accept this false claim. Are you saying the Oromo are oppressed because they did not continue their invasion and impose their Gada system? The Oromo advance northwards reached all the way to Tigray and Gonder, and if it was left unchecked it would have reached Eritrea.

    By the way, do not get me wrong, I love Oromos. When they are not angry, they are lovely and generous people. In particular, I love their beautiful ladies, and I always dreamt of marrying ten of them. After all, there is only one life, which is in this World; it is better to live happy.

    What I dislike is this perpetual hankering back to past perceived injustices and cling to the simplistic, black and white only, OLF narrative. The Oromo should abandon the inferiority complex filled mentality and should move on to achieve greater things. This simplistic approach has not helped Black Americans.

    If we look closely, the Oromo have been part of the intricate fabric of Ethiopian society for many centuries. They should admit certain undeniable facts about their history.

    During the ‘Era of the Princes’, the Oromo were the king makers. Starting from Menelik’s time, the Oromo were responsible for building the modern Ethiopian State. Menelik, Ras Mekonen, Haile Selassie and various Shoa ruling elite were Amharigna speaking Oromos. So were Ras Gobena Dache, Fitawrari Geresu Duki, Dejazmach Balcha Safo, Dejazmach Jagama Kelo, Ras Mikael,
    Fitawrari Abba Gomol, King Ali AbaJiffar and the famous head of Ethiopia’s Ministry of Defense Fitawrari Habte Giorgis.

    • Abi

      Hi MN
      I thought Fitawrari HabteGiorgis Dinegde ( Abba Mela) was Gurage. Do you know he started as a domestic worker and worked his way all the way to the top? He single handedly crowed Haileselassie.
      Talk about a king maker . He should have been the king himself. I hope he is in heaven.

      • Music Novice

        Greetings Abi,

        Fitawrari HabteGiorigis is from a mixed Oromo-Gurage family. You are right, he started from a low position. It is said that, as a young man, HabteGiorgis was captured by Menelik in one of his campaigns in the South. He rose through the ranks through sheer ability (natural intelligence).

  • Yoty Topy

    Dear Awate writers,

    A well measured analysis of the current unrest in the Oromo and Amhara regions.I need not add not even a word as everything that ought to have been said has already been said, but for the sake of minute keeping let me recap the gist of the article.

    At the core of the problem EHADEG seems to be a victim of its own success. The Growth and Transformation Plan (GTP) which is in its second year five years plan has enabled cities to register rapid economic growth which has contributed to the current tension. Paralleled with the aforementioned point is its succfull agenda to empower nations and nationalities has also awaken a sense of hyper-nationalism which has inspired nationals to fight for their rights wherever they see injustices.

    The $64K question is how to achieve compromise in a society that often sees zero-sum game as the only way to justify end results. That is to say, the protesters end goal cannot be removing a legitimate government and on the other hand killing should not be available as an option to the government to aaddress people’s discontents.

  • Mahmud Saleh

    Selam awatistas

    I came across this very interesting speech by Prof. Lumumba, which is somewhat related to the topic we are discussing. Credit goes to A.Sayed Bohashem who shared it on Facebook. I’m using a link from youtube for convenience. Angafaw abi will have a lough when Eritrea is mentioned, but the message is really important. The professor laments, and rightly so, why Africa continues to falter on securing food security. Enjoy.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-qL0XTvjvPQ

    Regards.

    • Abi

      Hi Vet Mahmud
      I agree with the professor 100%. I have argued in this forum if Ethiopia is to avoid famine in the future, we have to focus in producing more corn than teff. Corn can be used in so many ways than teff. It is a high yielding crop, cheaper than teff, with a very rich byproduct that is perfect for animal feed. We can produce over100 quintal of corn per hectare , it is not labor intensive, and can be produced multiple times a year. Teff? Not more than 10 quintal per hectare and extremely labor intensive, and used ONLY to make injera . Time to switch to CORN and drop teff.

      Mahmud, I laughed when the professor mentioned coffee and Eritrea in the same sentence. As we know Eritrea was once upon a time a major coffee exporter in the galaxy. Watch dawit is coming to demand for evidence for the ” urban myth ” as he calls it.

      • Rule of Law

        Abi
        I have always argued that Teff must be eliminated from agrarian Ethiopia due to the fact that it’s labor intensive to harvest second, it’s a once a year low yielding season bound crop. As many revers as there are in the south, Rice must be introduced as an alternative to Teff.

        • Music Novice

          Greetings Abi and ROL,

          I have heard that teff is also suspected of being a major cause of hepatitis (which strand I am not sure) in Ethiopia by researchers. Do you have any information on this?

          • Ted

            Hi MN,
            Teff cause hepatitis? it sounds like jealouse Bultuge Eating Eritrean would say;-) In serious note, you were adamant in your analysis – no third world guerilla fighter can ever establish Democracy except to create chaos and mayhem-. In light of current Ethiopian unrest, What has changed to make you think external factors as opposed to failure of the Gov( former guerilla fighters) responsible for the Unrest.

          • Music Novice

            Greetings Ted,

            I have asked Abi about a claim related to teff. Do you know anything about it? Yes or no? Case closed.

            First, do you accept my claim that guerrilla liberation movements will never deliver democracy? If you answer yes, you will be my disciple, but if you answer no you have to justify your answer.

          • Abi

            MV
            You are asking the wrong person. Professor, Philosopher Tes is the right person to ask.

          • Music Novice

            Greetings Abi,

            I hope tes notices these conversations and be able to help me get an answer.

          • Nitricc

            hi MN;what is democracy?

          • Music Novice

            Greetings Nitricc,

            Here is a long winded description of democracy:

            Democracy is based on the three pillars – the rule of law, a free press, and an independent judiciary.
            Furthermore, in a democracy, the electorate should not only be able to choose their representatives, but also to change/recall them.

            By the way, I do not believe Eritrea is ripe for democracy in the Western sense.

            I hope I have given you a satisfactory answer, and please continue having a dialogue.

          • Hope

            Greetings Mr. Reasonable MN,
            You miserably MISSED the Core and Contemporary definition of Democracy:
            Let me save you from the wip of the Chief of Staff,Major General Nittric.
            “Equal Social Justice for all Citizens and adequate and inclusive representation of all Citizens of the/a Nation”.

          • Music Novice

            Greetings Hope,

            If Nitricc is your Chief of Staff, then you must be his deputy.

            To me you sound like two little frogs in a well dreaming of a parallel Universe.

            You bragged about a contemporary definition of democracy, but what you delivered is a whimper in the shape of “Equal Social Justice for all Citizens and adequate and inclusive representation of all Citizens of the/a Nation”.

            Can you provide an example of a country that represents your quack definition of democracy in practice?

          • Ted

            Hi, MN, Most probable no relation to teff, you missed the humor.
            I cant generalize and say yes or No. Some might create chaos and some can make it work for their country how they see it fit .
            I like you to answer my question if you can – In light of current Ethiopian unrest, What has changed to make you think external factors as opposed to failure of the Gov( former guerilla fighters) responsible for the Unrest.

          • Music Novice

            Greetings Ted,

            The current problem is a mixture of many things. There are many factors, no one side is innocent.

          • Ted

            Hi, you claimed in strong words the Ghedli and EPLF as a lost cause for the reason ” Liberation front never deliver democracy” and you account Ethiopian problem “The current problem is a mixture of many things”. I feel it is bias and unfair analysis..

          • Music Novice

            Greetings Ted,

            Am I wrong to assume that you were in Ethiopia when the TPLF, with a friendly help from the EPLF, marched on Addis Ababa? Can I also safely assume that you supported the TPLF at that time?

            You remember, that the TPLF were received with a mountain of hostility. People hated tigrayans more than they hated the killer and corrupt Derg. Do you think this is rational? With all their shortcomings, haven’t the TPLF tried to accommodate many idle and lazy bone organisations such as the OLF into power sharing? I am not claiming that the TPLF are democratic here.

            On the other hand, weren’t the EPLF received with open arms and a lot of good will. Didn’t the EPLF squander all that good will?

            You see, these are two totally different situations.

          • Ted

            Hi MV, you didn’t answer my question, moving on, the reception of Ethiopians for TPLF were unpleasant to say the least The derogatory words around Addis were hurtful, as if people expected them to hand power over to someone else and move back to to Tigray. They have to fight tooth and nail to stay in 4 kilo, unfortunately they still do. They rub many groups in a wrong way doing that including Eritrea. How they go from here is critical for them and Ethiopia.

          • Music Novice

            Greetings Ted,

            Your question has been answered. You need to improve your clarity of thinking to get to the gist of what I said.

            You said: “They rub many groups in a wrong way doing that including Eritrea.”

            Don’t you think it is fair to say that both the EPLF and TPLF, coming from a similar tradition, rub each other the wrong way?

            As far as guerrilla movements delivering democracy is concerned, you said: “I cant generalize and say yes or No. Some might create chaos and some can make it work for their country how they see it fit.”

            Do you have concrete examples to support your timid conclusion?

          • Ted

            Hi, MN, timid aside, i give you Veit cong. With all atrocities and war crime perpetrated by both sides(south and North) not to mention US’s all out involvement, 30 yrs now, Vietnam is stable and growing beautifully.
            If it makes you feel better, Ethiopia can pass this minor glitch if TPLF is willing to give space for those asking for it, other than that what TPLF did to Eritrea has no bearing whatsoever how Eritreans see things in Ethiopia. TPLF never been an issue but its handlers.
            Now, Eritrea has turned the corner for the better, and wish the best for Ethiopia.
            TPLF? it is its call; compromise or die trying to keep the status quo.

          • Music Novice

            Greetings Ted,

            Have you lived in Eritrea after independence?

            Am I right to say that you used to live in Ethiopia and you owned a property there? If my assumption is correct, it is you who have an interest, one way or another, about the fate of the TPLF. Personally, I have no connection whatsoever.

            So, according to you, the murderous Viet Cong ushered democracy and prosperity. You are a brilliant observer. Given the choice, would you like to live in Vietnam?

          • Ted

            Hi MN, yes i lived in Eritrea after independence.
            If you are looking for a fight, i won’t give you. You will win, you are more purposeful than me.
            My interest in Ethiopia is simple, TPLF vacate my land. it is strange you said ” I have no connection(TPLF) whatsoever”. although it to be hard to comprehend, I take your word for it. what is important to me, for the sake of discussion, is what you feel about Eritrea -i don’t care for the people and land of Eritrea even it breaks away and drifts into the ocean-ring a bell?
            PS. it is tiring you keep responding comments with more questions. We talked about it before. it is off putting.
            It goes like this
            “”You’re stupid”, “I know you are but what am I” “You’re dumb”, “I know you are but what am I”.. “What a jerk”, “I know you are but what am I”, “Jerk”, “I know you are but what am I”…

          • Music Novice

            Greetings Ted,

            Now then, according to you, the murderous Viet Cong ushered democracy and prosperity.

            Do not be shy, why do you go far to South East Asia, why don’t you just say PFDJ ruled Eritrea is an example of your democracy?

            You said: “My interest in Ethiopia is simple, TPLF vacate my land.”

            This is a laughable statement. You are a liar and a hypocrite. The truth is that your are irritated with the TPLF because of what they have done to you or your relatives in the heat of the war environment.

            Tell me, and be honest with yourself for a change, what can a nobody, a person of low calibre can do to make the TPLF vacate occupied Eritrean land? Either you are a delusional muppet deceiving yourself or you are ranting to vent your frustration on an internet forum about some confiscated asset of yours by the TPLF.

            From your input on this forum, I do not believe that you care either about the people of Eritrea or the land. What is bugging you is your own personal affairs with the TPLF.

            You said:

          • Ted

            Hi, MN calm down, did i touch a nerve. I didn’t mean to. I don’t know about “liar and a hypocrite” but i give you more to add to my ” nobody..low caliber” status that i believe in God. The good bible says ‘ let it go” (not disney song) that i forgave TPLF for what you assumed did to me or Eritreans. I don’t assume what you want or wish for Eritrea, just listen what you have to say. If you care to know if i care for my people, yes i do. I don’t mean to upset you but the country you don’t give a hoot about has turned the corner. The worst is behind us. What is left is creation of rule of law , with God’s help, it will happen.

            Vietnam is doing excellent, too bad it didn’t fulfil yr expectation then again it could be due to combination of problems”a mixture of many things” as TPLF of Ethiopia, as you reckon.

            About PFDJ going for democracy, i don’t know what works for specific country but i will assure you the rule of law is paramount that we need it desperately. Breath 10X before responding…..:-)
            Awet ni hafash!!!!

          • Music Novice

            Greetings Ted,

            Who is upset? Me or you?

            Are you, as usual, trying to project your personal problems onto others in order to comfort yourself?

            You can repeat slogans umpteen times to give the impression of being a nationalist, but you need to answer my question in relation to what work you have done in Eritrea to help ordinary Eritreans.

          • Ted

            Hi MN, i can tell you didn’t breath;-) If i decide to respond to Semere A’s garbage article ,it will be in kind,Garbage. “Who is upset? Me or you?” when you call me -liar hypocrite, no body,low caliber- naturally i assume you were mad. If it is the normal yourself, how am i supposed to know but it doesn’t feel right.
            Back to vietnam , democracy? who is to say they have to subscribe for Democracy and all that jazz. They are happy and prospering after grueling civil war with their socialist single party ruling.
            Helping Eritrea? I do everything i can, details not important in this scenario. let’s move on.

          • Music Novice

            Greetings Ted,

            Trademark of skirting past questions. But what can you do, if you have limited ability, the safest path is to skirt.

            In the first instance, you need to prove Semere A.’s articles are garbage. Secondly, if logically constructed, your rebuttal does not have to be garbage. Your current posts are already garbage, so you response to Semere A’s articles cannot be worse. While you are doing now is throwing garbage and self declaring victory.

            You need to rise up above personal grudges and write a well planned article on the way forward for Eritrea. You seem to hate the TPLF more than you love Eritrea and its people.

            Now, back to my questions.

            Did the Viet Cong murder at least few hundreds of thousands of people? Did the Viet Cong deliver democracy? Yes or no?

            You claimed you lived in Eritrea. In what capacity did you help the ordinary people of Eritrea while you were there?

          • V.F.

            MN and Ted, damn, you guys are meaner than junk yard dogs to each other. Let it go. That thread went from Teff and Hepatitis to guerrilla fighters and democracy. The answers are simple in both cases:

            How much teff must one eat before they have enough toxicity to affect their liver? For the ordinary habesha people, they will never have enough to even remember how it tastes like. So even if it has some toxicity, it is probably of least impact and could never cause any sort of epidemic problems.

            Guerrilla fighters and democracy? This reminds me of a question a westerner asked Mahatma Gandhi years ago. The question to Gandhi was: “what do you think of western civilization?” His reply was: “it would be nice.” There you go. It would be nice if any guerrilla fighters could deliver democracy. Maybe that would set a good precedent for Medrek, in case they end up in power by force or not because they were mostly guerrilla fighters in their past life.

          • Music Novice

            Greeting V.F.,

            These chaps, such as Nitricc, Ted and the rest, are people one is unlikely to associate with in real life. They are from the lower strata which you can tell from their mannerisms, language and depth of understanding.

            Here we are, the internet has put us in the same classroom. So, it is a hard job, but I am using this opportunity to train them. Please, don’t laugh at me.

          • Nitricc

            Hi Ted: when are you going to get it? It is not why say or do; our cousins are in deep shhhht. The Oromo and the Amara are negostioting who gets what. The Oromo wanted the Weyane heart to rip it from its cage. And the Amara wanted the head of the weyane as is. On this kind of situations; how do you want them to act? They are done.
            Time has arrived Beseferut Quna Mesefer.
            So please understand.

        • Dear RoL,
          Teff is becoming a super food and the crop of the future that would feed the growing world population, and yet you and Abi are condemning Teff to extinction. Have pity on poor old Teff. It is said to be rich in protein, minerals (especially iron and
          calcium) and it is gluten free. Teff flour is made in to biscuits, porridges and other items, and it replaces wheat and rice for people sensitive to gluten. Moreover, cheap electricity in Ethiopia will solve the problem of deforestation.

          Quinoa is another super food, but unlike Teff it is very difficult to cultivate outside the region it normally grows, while Teff grows over many latitudes. Future technologic innovations in farming surely will improve yield and solve other problems. I vote for Teff, even though I have a long time to eat enjera, unfortunately.

          • Rule of Law

            Hi Horizon, Amde and all
            I wish Teff could efficiently be produced in a way that the farming community is able to meet the excessively high demand of our growing habesha consumers but I think even in the 21 century this supper grain is being harvested by way of labor intensive ancient farming methods which is why its price has been skyrocketing to the point majority of the low income population can not afford it for this reason Teff has become a luxury to the affluent segment of the Ethiopian society. I will be surprised if modern machinery such as combiners are utilized in the Teff farming sector. Had this been the case, a hundred kilo of Teff wouldn’t have fetched $100. I reckon Teff is highly nutritious so much so that you can live on it without additional nutrients however the fact that there has not been a breakthrough in modern farming technology to increase its yield is making the ratio of supply and demand all the more out of whack. I recall not very long ago, the Ethiopian government had banned the export of Teff due to the fact that the grain is in short supply even to meet local consumption.

        • Amde

          Rule of Law,

          Teff gets compared to crops that have had two centuries of agricultural science and engineering behind them and gets dismissed. Not fair.

          Amde

        • Abi

          Hi Rule of Law
          Any crop with high yield will do . I care less As long as we are not hungry.
          Rule of Corn !

      • ወቸጉድ

        Selam Abinet,
        How come you are too much into corn? Nutritionally, corn is nowehre close to Teff. They have even started calling teff superfood. (የጤፍ እንጀራ በሽሮ እና ጎመን ከበላህ ሌላ ምንም አያስፈልግህም)There is no need to change from teff. What we need is modern agricultural practices and we will do just fine with teff. እንጀራችንን ለቀቅ አድርግ እባክህ

        • Abi

          Selam Weche Gud!
          “Hodin begomen bidelilut,
          gulbet bedaget yilegmal”

          Corn is core
          Maize is Amazing !
          Teff is for the rich
          Beyond our reach.
          Teff super food
          For those who can afford
          Deha yibla beqolo
          Endihon melelo!
          Weche Guuuuuud!!!!!!!

      • AOsman

        Abi,

        Why you laughing about our coffee, you know it is a rare type that we do not export (jealous as always). I don’t think you can afford it, #1 in the world only for Eritrean consumption.

        Do you know in Canada teff is horse feed, you can import it at cheap price while switching to corn. Teff injera can then be for the rich only.

        Regards
        AOsman

        • Abi

          Merhaba AOsman
          Tes was lamenting that his mother in Eritrea could not afford coffee. I think you export everything you harvest to the West. All 2 quintal of coffee a year.
          As you said, I’m jealous.

  • Semere Andom

    Hi V.F:
    It worse than that for Nitricc. He knows many Eritrean souls, but he cannot stor information about what is going on in Eritrea in his one celled brain, He is happy to be enslaved in the USA army and he happily recites what PFDJ has encoded in his chipset regarding TPLF

  • Addis Alem

    I am still waiting for you to post my comment… what you posted here is only my reaction to the jihadi “arrested” main comment. lol

  • Addis Alem

    The contempt we have for you is paid in full by your fear of the flow of non-jihadi ideas. lol

    • PTS

      Addis Yelem,
      Something is wrong with you. Are you unstable?
      Why can’t you discuss issues like everyone else?

      • Addis Alem

        They arrested my main comment, and only posted my protestation of the arrest … lol

        • PTS

          Addis,
          Well did you start with salutation? They are kind of strict on that. Also, no insults.

          • Addis Alem

            I did salute … properly … lol I swear I did.

          • PTS

            alright. We are getting somewhere with my invstigation. Was your post about the article or the was it the usual ‘Sudanese nomad’ thing? lol

        • Abi

          Hi Addis Alem
          Funny, they arrested your comment but released your protest.

          • PTS

            Abi,
            lol. That’s what annoyed him. The mods can be humorous sometimes.

          • Abi

            PTS
            The wardiyas over here are arresting comments while the wardiyas in my country are killing my people.

          • Addis Alem

            If you are the Abi brother Samson was speaking of, thanks for the sweet Amharic poem.

            I had a feeling that if they are tolerating you over here, it had to be at the high price of having you defile everything the Ethiopian gov. is doing on their behalf. That’s what they live for. They need the obsessive hatred of Eth. to exist, just like God needs mankind to exist. They would kill to have the usually fiercely nationalist Amharas reduced to the rank of perpetual complainers to slow down the habesha nation. Like those DC esat morons. Don’t fall for their cheap trick.

  • Addis Alem

    You Sudanese nomads have no integrity, no heart, no intellectual confidence in your jihadi propaganda! lol

  • Addis Alem

    What now? already back to your jihad?
    lol

  • Hope

    Hello All!
    Over all,in my opinion,the analysis is ok but quite softer and at times,it sounds a bit partial as if the lives of 75 people is worthless!

    Few observations and my naive Opinion:

    I thought there are less brutal ways of dispersing the protesters.

    -The Oromo Revolution is as old as that of the TPLF or even older!

    –The Oromo Student Protests have been there and have been mishandled with brutality.

    -The Land issue ,specially in Ormomiya and Amhara Region has a long history as far as the way it has been handled by the TPLF .

    -The Article conveniently ignored the TPLF ‘s ambitious expansionist history including its invasion of Adi Murug of Eritrea besides incorporating large ERITREAN Sovereign land into its Abay Tigray Map ,not to mention the annexing of some parts of Gonder and Afar Regions of Ethiopia to Tigray!

    -The conspiracy of building the Nile Hidassie Dam close to the Sudan Border and the alleged annexation of the Benshangul area and some parts of Gojjam towards Tigray and thereby depriving the Amhara Region from it border with the Sudan has been disputed and debated since yrs ago,not just yesterday !
    The motivation? To keep the Dam in Tigray???
    Sounds a dream and impractical but considering the expansionist ambition of the TPLF,it is possible!
    Therefore people have the right to speculate based on history!

    -While the Article accused the GoE for sponsoring the ESAT to propagate about the Qmant Protest ,etc…, you failed to mention the role of TPLF sponsored TV and Radio Wegahta against Eritrea and in support of the ERITREAN Opposition!

    As Vet Mahmud Salih lamented,you failed miserably not to mention the TPLF Sponsored politically motivated Anti-Terror Law,which literally has been intended,passed as a Law and practiced to terrorize the innocent people,Human Rights Activists ,Independent Journalists and Legitimate Student Movements!

    Hence,I am afraid thatb all the above will discredit the Article’s seemingly biased analysis and question its credibility!
    This is my opinion!

  • Rule of Law

    Greeting Aate and all
    The TPLF has utilized its divide and rule policies which has been in place for the lost 25 years which has been a useful tool in asserting total control over the polarized ethnic groups much of which have been indoctrinated in line with the ruling party’s dogma (curse) of ethic federalism.

    The TPLF has been “clever” especially at fabricating and empowering a rival copy against its adversaries that it deemed “dangerous” all the while it has built a facade of pseudo democracy in a bid to maintain a presentable political image before the outside world. Up until the demise of the brain behind the facade, the late Meles, the group’s ideologue up on which the TPLF has solely depended for guidance – whose shrewd leadership also gave group a false sense of invisibility, every day went business as usual. But nowadays the once powerful empire appears to show signs of crack. Now that the matriarch hyena has disappeared indefinitely, the pack is finding it difficult to survive on its own.

    You may ask “what makes you think that the TPLF’s total grip on power is unraveling?” Notice the recent demand by the demonstrators which was met in no uncertain term in which the ruling party was forced to shelve the ambitious master plan. This is unheard of in the status quo and in the future, the people of Ethiopia in general will use the opportunity as a leverage to ask for more. TPLF’s demise is a matter of time and the clock is ticking.

    They took up arms chanting “liberation” and used the common people to support their cause until they got ahold of power, the subsequent phase was never about meaningfully compensating/ empowering the people. It’s all about liberating themselves from poverty. And to that end, they have done a great job amassing massive amount of wealth in secret accounts. Not only that, they control the country’s economy through their business empire EFFORT. Oh! those looters!! Any armed group whose acronym includes the letter “L” which ostensibly stands for “liberation” is ultimately not for the people. It’s a lie. This is the best analysis I have read by an author who command a deep knowledge in the Ethiopian political affairs and thank you.

  • sara

    Dear awate,
    Ok I change my comment to – you are the awate we know and love, and with this fine article you look taking the path of
    Tshreen on line.

  • Nitricc

    Hi All
    Reading AT’s fine walking and soft analysis; I can’t help it but once again the main point is missed. It is not about Addis master plan all these things are happening. It is the collection of events that happened against the people of Oromo. Say I am an Oromo from Jimma or wellega; when the government comes and deforest every inch of my land destroying 100’s years old of trees in the name of development and the land is given to foreigners that I am getting nothing out of it; what am I supposed to do?

    ““I do believe that where there is only a choice between cowardice and violence I would advise violence”””

    you better believe it, I am defending my land and my forest or die trying. That is happening between the lords; the Weyane and the Oromo people. The greedy Weyane are destroying what the Best Ethiopia has to offer. We are not even talking about the Welkayit case. That case in its self is a nuclear bomb ready to go off. They are openly declaring that by saying we are not Tigryans. They want the land to be returned as well as their identity as Ye-Gonder Amara. Not to mention the land that belongs to Gonder was given to Sudan silently as bribe.
    The up rising is on and Ethiopia under Weyane will never be the same. The only thing the way out of this is if Egypt tries to attack Ethiopia, then only the then the Ethiopian people are united.

    • tes

      Hi Nitricc,

      Unfortunately you are not from Oromo. You disqualified to talk on behalf.

      It is really funny to see Peace! Ted, Nitricc and Hope to talk on behalf of Ethiopians while opposing any move from outside that talks about Eritrea. Worse now Niticc is assuming himself as Oromogna. What more these PFDJ agends can say?

      tes

      • Peace!

        tes my man,

        No. It is the other way around. When people rise up, you as a justice seeker should support and stand by them otherwise if your “injustice” vocabulary only applies to PFDJ then you are a politician. There are no boundaries to injustice and persecution.

        regards

        • tes

          Dear Peace!

          I think you missed my point. I didn’t shy to express the bravity of those who voice their voice. In case you missed my previous post (under Semere Andom’s article) reads;

          “I feel sorry for those who lost their lives but FREEDOM can not be achieved without paying a precious price.”

          Here is what I agree with when people raise for their justice.

          Plus, I put as follows: “I believe that the demo in AA is a sign of democratization process after fear was defeated. What else can a citizen gain more than avoiding fear.”

          Is there any line then that opposes the demand of these people for their rights?

          For more, my post is right there. You may re-read it or read it in case you didn’t.

          tes

          • Peace!

            tes may man,

            Got it, thank you! I am more hopeful than ever PFDJ will face a united opposition once TPLF and its stooges are buried once for all. It has not been easy for opposition groups to partnership with TPLF that never interested on stable and democratic Eritrea.

            regards

    • Music Novice

      Greetings Nitricc,

      Who is more greedy, the PFDJ or the Woyane, on the richter scale?

      • Nitricc

        MN, all governmnets are greedy by their nature; the only difference is how they hold up in meeting the least things that people demand. it can be said, PFDJ is greedy by far but they rob you to give it to the less fortunate and they feed their children. the problem with your Weyane is they rob every one to keep it for the few self. I could have listed you the properties that are owned my TPLF and former TPLF leadership but i don’t want the likes of Kokob and Semere came after me.
        so to be brief, PFDJ is more greedy but with their greed they feed their children and no General owns 150 miilion birr in middle of Asmara while the TPLF thugs rob everyone and they keep it for themselves while their own children starve to death. that is the difference. question for you; can you tell me the former Ethiopian air force boss, Jobe, his net asset is? just to give a hint, i said a former now.

        • Music Novice

          Greetings Nitricc,

          You are right, many of the TPLF leadership have found corruption to be irresistible. How is it possible for someone on a government salary to turn into a millionaire purely by magic? Amazing!
          In so far as the issue of corruption is concerned, the TPLF have have failed miserably.

          But, on the other hand, your claim that the PFDJ robs to give it to the less fortunate is false. The PFDJ have sucked the oxygen out of the economy, strangling private enterprise.The facts on the ground also indicate that the ordinary, but proud, people of Eritrea have been reduced to begging. Other than businessmen connected to powerful Generals, it is only those people who have relatives abroad that are able to survive in the current economic climate.

          Furthermore, the PFDJ Generals have become zonal warlords with unlimited access to free labour and a tight grip over the black market economy, siphoning off money to numbered accounts abroad.

          • Nitricc

            Hi MN: What all Ethiopians and some thankless and gutless Eritreans failed to understand is that Eritrea and her leadership are the only once who taker care their veterans. Even the great USA, failed what Eritrea do exceptionally. In the USA, when you are in-service and holding gun; you are a hero and every one thanks you for serving. Once you are out of the service and the gun; you are homeless; you addict, ill from PTS, and ultimately commit suicide. You will be amazed how many veterans are suffering and committing suicide and the Government is doing nothing with its wealth. As poor as Eritrea is; she is taking care of her veterans. Eritrea provides free books and free uniforms for the kids who their parent can’t afford. Eritrean leadership is not stashing the money like the weyane are doing it. There are some values the government that should be measured and evaluated on. You sound Tigryan; tell me the truth, do you think the people of Tigray should be starving? After all what they did to bring those corrupted leaders on to power? Worst; the majority of Ethiopians think that the people of Tigray are benefiting because the leaders are from Tigray! So, when I say PFDJ shares its resources with the people at least the people have a clean water to drink and something to eat

          • Music Novice

            Greetings Nitricc,

            You are right that some of what the EPLF/PFDJ has done is good while there are also many bad things they have done. They had a potential to achieve even higher, but they ended up blundering left and right. But still, with some reform, they can put things in order.

            The issue of veterans in the West is very sad. In short, it can be characterised as ‘use and throw’.

            You asked if I am Tigrayan. The answer is no.

            You seem to be cherry picking when talking about facts related to the EPLF/PFDJ. Am I wrong to say that you have lived neither in Eritrea nor in Ethiopia? Are you originally from Outer Mongolia?

          • No Drama

            Eritrea taking care of its veterans, really? Unless you are you born after DIA ordered the sun to never rise up again in Baduma, you wouldn’t utter such nonsense this casually. The hands of the dictator and his errand boys’ are still wet with blood for the callous murder of unarmed disabled veterans in Mai Habar in July 1994.

          • Music Novice

            Greetings No Drama,

            “to take care of” can also mean to kill or dispose of someone. For example, in Mafia lingo, “to take care of” or “to whack” someone means to execute them.

          • Nitricc

            Hi MN it is funny a begging African can make fun of Sicily. For that matter about anyone. The only thing I can tell you is that I am not Tigryan and I don’t bagge. I don’t have to major in History to be good in English. Besides when good at bagging you need a good English to get what want. I get it.

          • Music Novice

            Greetings Nitricc,

            I am not making fun of Sicily. I am making fun of you.

            I am not a Tigrayan. If the Tigrayans make you feel hot under the collar, feel free to go and fight them rather than vomiting illiterate junk day in day out; this is not changing the reality.

            Why don’t you do something practical, such as going to night school to learn English (we will not call it begging, but self-improvement), and read decent books?

          • Nitricc

            Hi MN a monkey from Africa can not make a fun of Sicily. The end of the story. Obviously you have no idea. Dedebit.

          • Music Novice

            Greetings Nitricc,

            “monkey from Africa”? Me or you?

            I can see, I am making you cry.

            Have you now joined, in desperation, the ‘KKK’?

            Nitricc, who do you prefer the TPLF or the KKK? Honest answer, don’t be shy.

          • Nitricc

            hey MN, every one knows how bad my writing is but for you to bering than what every one knows and commented about it, it shows your littleness. one more, when i need to convince the white man to feed me and feed my people; i will make sure to master his language but for know i am at peace with myself. having said that i understand for you the monkey from Africa mastering your masters language is a matter of survival, i get it, but don’t assume every one has to beg your masters for survival. however; i do understand you are roots and culture so, you are understood. in that not go jump in lake, i have entertained you more than you deserve. don’t bother; I have moved on. I can waste my time with professional baggers.
            thank you!

          • Music Novice

            Greetings Nitricc,

            When you use Ad hominem attack on others, which is a logical fallacy, you are also inviting a similar attack on yourself. Do you understand what I just said?

            You are still calling me monkey, beggar, Tigrayan, Dedebit etc., although I am none of these. You think I am like Hayat when name called? No, I will make you cry for mercy.

            Oh my god, Nitricc, you have again missed your night classes! Self-reliance, self-improvement is the slogan.

    • Biniam Fikadu

      Nitricc – you are 100% accurate, The ehitiopan people always need a comonn enemy to unite.

  • Mahmud Saleh

    Selam aron
    I agree that authorities have the duty of ensuring public safety. Please understand that I’m referring to peaceful demonstrations and not violent ones, or riots. There have been accounts where police would use overwhelming force to disperse demonstrations quickly and away from public/international views; where police shot and killed unarmed demonstrators when it could use a less lethal force…etc. While I recognize that the state has the responsibility of ensuring law and order, I also understand that unrestrained actions of the state forces people to get more militant. Fortunately, Ethiopian societal values don’t permit for hooligans to steal a genuine public demonstrations; our culture is similar. In most cases, we listen to organizers, elders, religious leaders, village elders, educated figures of the community…etc. Therefore, if there is a will by the state to let demonstrators express their views peacefully, the police can exploit these social values where people can police themselves while conducting the peaceful demonstrations. The reason why people (in some cases cities and regions) resort to an organized confrontation is because they have concluded that constitutionally guaranteed peaceful demonstrations would not be allowed unless they do it according to the state’s DEFINITITON and INTERPRETATION, not necessarily according to what an independent court would define and interpret them. Experience has taught them that either they have to protect themselves while demonstrating or forgo the right of doing so because they have lost faith in the police force. This is the result of a case where the law enforcement has become heavily politicized; that’s the police has become a political instrument of the ruling party instead of safeguarding the constitutional rights and safety of citizens.
    I sympathize with some communities/migrant minorities where they were threatened by thugs, where they have to be guarded by federal forces in their country. My question is why? Why were some regions pushed to the brink where it seemed to them that the only way that they could assert their voice would be through organizing militantly? I think that’s the result of a long experience with state heavy handedness. They have concluded that the police would attack them if they were to go out carrying the demands they wanted heard according to the way they wanted them carried out, i.e. expressing them without mincing words, or raising them as loud as the gravity of those demands warrant.
    The state has the responsibility of upgrading its riot control mechanism. It has the responsibility of upgrading the capacity of its police force. For instance, there was news of an unarmed mother protecting the arrest of her son who was shot to death along with her son, high school kids shot at, or clubbed to death…etc. Those news bother me dear aron. Therefore, it is a responsible thing to pressure authorities to change their behavior.
    Regards.

    • aron

      Hi Mahmud,
      I have no problem with pressuring Govt when they mess up or dialogue to get better results. I actually have no problem with people protesting to make their grievances heard. In this case the people have real concern tha t the city is expanding into their villages. I hope the government will solve the problem to the peoples satisfaction. I also hope the people won’t stand in development’s way just because they want to hold on to an old and backward way of living. What I dislike is the opposition that could not and would not find one issue they could agree with, so much so if the people demand the master plan be implemented tomorrow, the opposition will flip flop in one day and demand the plan be implemented, take advantage of the public unease and turn it into complete crisis. The Government should also recognize heavy handed dealing could backfire and apply some wisdom. May the cool heads win.

      • Mahmud Saleh

        Selam aron

        Thanks for the reply. Yes, may the cool heads win! Amen. You said, “I hope the government will solve the problem to the peoples satisfaction. I also hope the people won’t stand in development’s way just because they want to hold on to an old and backward way of living.” That should be everyone’s hope, not a total unrest where always the poor, women and children lose the most. The powerful are always protected by multilayered interests.

        By the way, read GoGo’s interesting input. Plus, the issue of land and the push-pull of interests involved as illustrated in the quoted portion of your reply above are issues developing countries grapple with. Gogo mentions Markakis as thinking that “… the federal configuration as the right step in the right direction if it is followed by meaningful devolution of power to the peripheries.”
        So, there, we see the concepts of empowering peripheries, which implies empowering citizens at local level.
        I also want to commend you for your levelheaded comments which hold one to get straight up when issues such as this occur. As you might have observed, I’m not after any political scoring. I always choose not to compare and contrast Ethiopian and Eritrean governments. In fact, before this article showed up, I urged people not to make that mistake when debating the issues concerning solely Ethiopia. They should be debated in their own since the primary driving dynamics are the result of the relationship between the people and the government of Ethiopia.
        It is by nature that I tend to relate to subjects; I grew up seeing people abused by authorities, be it Ethiopian or Eritrean; I sympathize with all the people of Ethiopia because they sympathized with Eritreans during our struggle (as evidenced by the moral, political, military relations their rebel groups had with Eritreans; during our independence….during the worst episode and lowest point of relation between these two people when tens of thousands of Eritreans were uprooted from their homes in Ethiopia and made to walk across the heavily militarized border, during which Ethiopians showed their sympathy and decency to the victims by helping out innocent Eritreans (I know there were zealots who were doing the dirty job, but they don’t define the character of Ethiopian people). It is within this line that I sympathize with Tigreans, who might have migrated peacefully to the affected areas, have now found themselves hunted down by thugs. Therefore, I carry no bias towards certain social group. It’s about people versus authorities, applicable everywhere.

        • Abi

          Hi Vet Mahmud
          I can not thank you enough. Your last sentence says it all.
          It is all about the poor people. The rich and the connected will always be alright.

  • Peace!

    Dear all,

    Given the fact that the ongoing unrest is a result of bad governance that the Ethiopian people are fed up with fake elections, fake parliament, fake economic booming, fake president, fake prime minister, and fake political parties, how material the propaganda claimed in this article is to have an effect on flaring up the situation? Well, for the oppressed poor people of Ethiopia, any attempt to observe consciousness in decapitated TPLF head is meaningless.

    regards

    • Music Novice

      Greetings Peace!,

      So, you care about the oppressed people of Ethiopia more than you care about the liberated people of Eritrea? What a comedian!

      • Peace!

        Greeting MN,

        I think the article is about Ethiopia so is my comment. Speaking of Eritrea, I have said it many times that sustainable change will only come from within, so please help your people rise up and claim their destiny instead of praising TPLF and belittling Eritrean History which what you and the notorious cadres have been doing in this forum. I know you are a nice guy and I know where your heart is except that you keep falling into a trap with the sellouts.

        regards

        • Music Novice

          Greetings Peace!,

          I am notorious? And I am a cadre?

          What an airhead you are!

          You said: “I have said it many times that sustainable change will only come from within …”

          OK!

          By the same reasoning, let the Ethiopians bring sustainable change from within.

          • Peace!

            Greeting MV,

            Where did I say you are notorious cadre? I only said “you and the notorious cadres” does that mean you are notorious cadre? No. you are not and you can’t even be given your history knowledge on both countries is limited. But I can safely say you are an orthodox extremist.

            regards

          • Music Novice

            Greeting Peace,

            I am an Orthodox extremist? By what deduction?

            You just confirmed that you are an airhead.

  • Semere Andom

    Dear All:
    Ethiopia is very far from accomplishing a truly inclusive democratic systems with fiercely independent intuitions, think tanks and vibrant free press that scrutinize the excess of the government in every aspect of policy, favoritism, corruption. Only the naïve, the TPLF lackey can say that Ethiopia under the helm of EPRDF, whose core is TPLF is a government that is governed by the letters of rule of law.

    But when we judge the current Ethiopian affairs in the last 25 years as human being we have a bias and our terms of reference is the history of Ethiopia’s former dictators, HS and Dergi. How these two, the first a backward feudal system whose King doled “birr” in the streets to a lined up subjects depending how low they bowed and the later, a blood thirsty, lunatic who cruelly is in par with Pol Pot and Gadhafi and Saddam. So when in 1991 TPLF dawned and it implemented policies that were in stark difference with the last two by creating EPRDF to save the county from disintegration, no one was looking for perfection and the ethnic federalism that many are bitching about is what kept Ethiopia intact for the last 25 years. All the imperfection, the excess that EPRDF exudes was anticipated as the country both refines its it Federation and distributes power, wealth and the equality to those who were left behind by the former regimes.

    TPLF started to lift the Tigray people from the a century old destitution when they went hungry while some ethnic groups prospered, when they died prematurely when others were enjoying longevity, when they became slaves in their home lands, in the land where Ethiopia was invented. And to its credits TPLF has somehow succeeded, where Eritreans and Ethiopians mocked Adi-Grat, now this village is home of a higher learning, a university. And the other remembers of the EPRDF also had their own people to lift. So first and foremost the cardinal goal of EPRDF was not to appease those who lost their “gord gord” and “tire Siga” but to bring those in the bottom to be able to eat at least some boiled grain (TituQo), first and lift them somehow. TPLF, EPRDF, Tigray centric government, take your pick must be commended for keeping Ethiopia intact for 25 years, for lifting some people, for lighting the darkness in Tigray for creating a stable government.

    This article by AT that many are pooh-poohing for its bias has done a good job for admitting that the Ethiopian have become conscious of their rights and demanding it when their government showed excess and took them for granted. The fact that they were able to organize and demonstrate is an eloquent testament to the budding tolerance and the seriousness of the government to break ranks with the dictators of Africa, notwithstanding the unfortunate deaths of course.

    Ethiopia an otherwise rich country that can feed its people is still famous for hunger and famine and it she is the best has been, whether its bests days are ahead will depend on how the government lives up to its promise of a fully fledge democracy. No one can tell the future, for we all know a lunatic leader can plunge the nation to ethnic strife. Its diversity, both a blessing and a curse must respected and must not be tinkered with for pleasure.

    But AT has courageously penned this piece and as usual it stayed away from the Eritrean crowd mentality. Way to go AT!

    The hogwash that we hear is from two sides, the PFDJ lackeys who are angry that Ethiopias has nto integerated so far as their prophet IA has said and those whose are mad that some Tigrayans and others are able to eat tire Siga

    • Eyob Medhane

      Semere,

      I would have agreed with you, if you were not too condescending and your penchant about pontificating over things you know and understand very little about. The Ethiopian government IS NOT Tigray centric government. I know you really want to believe that, and propagate it just like “PFDJ lackys”. It is your cake. Believing that fallacy is in your blood. I really do understand that you’ll NEVER want to abandon it, no matter what the fact is. Just like last time you arrogantly pontificated that “Ethiopian Muslims should speak Arabic”. I see you can’t help about blabbering things you know very little to none about… Eich….

      • Semere Andom

        Hi Eyobay
        I did not say it was Tgray centric, read carefully,

    • Kim Hanna

      Selam Semere Andom,
      .
      I am really impressed by your above post. It is to the point and there is no malice in it. Yes, I can pick a word here and a word there to challenge a point, but why, when the picture you drew is compelling.
      .
      I have to tell you it is a double shocker for me to read the analysis of the Awate Team’s, uncharacteristic neutral and somber article of the current Ethiopian problem. This is a normal behavior of a neighbor. It is a fact based analysis and information without the “miTmiTa”, as selam, a former commentator used to say.
      .
      I guess, my expectation from years of experience is the usual excited anticipation and hope of Ethiopia’s fall on bad times. Those folks who carefully craft their statements to hide their true feelings, (and there are many) by shading their crocodile tears, forget that we know each other very well. Most of grew up together. Their attempt to fan trouble on behalf of their soul brothers the Oromos and the Amharas is sickening to say the least.
      .
      Mr. K.H

  • Amde

    Selam awatistas,

    If this statement “The statement read by EBC indicated that the office doesn’t represent neither the Addis Ababa city administration nor the Oromo region’s administration and that statements and declarations by the defunct project office do not have validity. It further indicated the government’s plan to investigate the matter and  if necessary take legal measures against officials of the Master Plan project office.” does not represent the depths of political cowardice I don’t know what does. The office was tasked with a master plan for the city, and professionals were paid salaries from the government coffers and they brought a proposal which in the long term will be shown to have been a good proposal, and that could in fact be amended to also include farmer protection going forward. The professionals are not at fault – it is the politicians and bureaucrats who decided not to do their job ( which is to be the conduit between the government and the people).

    Amde

    Ps. Bishoftu is not part of Addis. It is very much an Oromiya city. But it can now be considered almost part of the Addis Ababa metropolitan area.. Much like people refer to Dallas when they actually mean the Dallas-FortWorth metroplex and the numerous smaller towns within it.

  • Music Novice

    Greetings Ant,

    Power is obtained through struggle and sacrifice. Did you ever struggle against the evil Derg, that was shading the blood of Eritreans and Ethiopians alike with impunity? When the Derg was spilling blood like water during the Red Terror, did you lift a finger? What price did you pay to liberate a single town or village from the clutches of the Derg?

    I know, for example, two criminals called Mesfin Woldemariam and Messay Kebede who used to work at Addis Ababa University. The former was aiding and abetting the Derg in its crimes while the latter was an active cadre whose arrogance knew no bounds. Now, these two call themselves Human Rights activists and Democrats, talking about freedom with a straight face as if they were not suppressing freedom in the past. They are also tirelessly fishing for signs of trouble all over the country in order to fan its flames.

    In general, there are three type of opponents of the current EPRDF government:

    1) Those who hate the Tigrayans with venom just for being Tigrayans

    2) The clueless OLF elite who do not know where they are coming from and where they are going

    3) Those opportunists who jump on any bandwagon in the hope of grabbing some slice in the confusion

    It is to be recalled that the Oromo elite led MEISON allied itself with the Derg and participated in spilling the blood of innocent Ethiopian youth. This so called Oromo land was not liberated by the OLF from the Derg. How long were the Oromo on the land they currently occupy? At best this land can only be called disputed land.

    If there is a will, there is no problem that cannot be solved through dialogue and compromise. But, with ill wishers around that are stoking the fire, every little problem will be magnified by a huge scale factor.

    • Ant

      Mr Music Novice,
      This is exactly the problem with us Africans in general and Eritreans/Ethiopians in particular. You overthrow a repressive government through whatever means (usually through violent means) and then you become oppressive yourself. It is just a vicious cycle. If that government is somehow good for you or your ethnic group, you don’t care about the suffering of others. In the end, the oppressed people rise up and most probably will repeat the same vicious circle.
      No sane person would deny that Derg was evil. Of course, Tigrians and Eritreans have sacrificed a lot and played a great deal in overthrowing the Derg. But, that does not give them the right to subjugate others once they are in power.

      • Music Novice

        Greetings Ant,

        The EPLF and the TPLF kicked the backside of the cruel and corrupt Derg, and amazingly they did not take revenge on anyone.

        The TPLF/EPRDF went even further: they tried to solve the long standing ethnic problem by using the federal model. I think, by any standards of past Ethiopian governments they are civilised. It is those Ethiopian chauvinists who still call the Tigrayans bandits and shifta, who are backward.

        The Oromo are part of the fabric of Ethiopian society, any attempt by the OLF to hanker on past injustices and have a death wish will only bring mutually assured destruction. Why would the Oromo choose chaos, when they have their land, autonomy, national anthem, flag are are free to practice their language and share in economic prosperity, which is a unique opportunity in Ethiopian history?

        • Eyob Medhane

          MN,

          National anthem? Belew!!!! 🙂

          No region in Ethiopia has its own national anthem. 🙂 There is only one national anthem of Ethiopia with lame lyrics, but nice melody.. 🙂

          • Music Novice

            Greetings Eyob,

            What do they sing when they raise their colourful flag?

            But still, this is a minor point to argue about compared to the major historical gains they achieved at no cost.

          • PTS

            MN,
            Of course they sing Ethiopian national anthem. Every country has only one national anthem. That’s why the 50 American states do not have their own…

          • Music Novice

            PTS,

            You miss the point.

            The 50 American States are not constituted on ethnic or language basis, so your analogy is not that good.

            But, if you are telling me that you know as fact that they sing the same national anthem in every region, then I have no problem accepting this fact.

          • PTS

            MN,
            No I don’t know what they sing. I am just saying there is no country that has more than one national anthem, not to confuse singing the the national anthem in different languages within a country.

          • Music Novice

            PTS,

            I think I have a counter example.

            Wales is part of the United Kingdom and Northern Ireland, but I suspect their national anthem is

            ‘Hen Wlad Fy Nhadau’ (Land of My Fathers) rather than the British Union ‘God Save The Queen’.

            By the way, the Welsh are the more original people of Britain and potentially they could claim the whole of England to be returned to them (with a zero chance of getting their land back). The English being Germanic people (A mixture of Danish, Norse & Swedish Vikings and the Angles and Saxons from Germany proper.)

        • Shan

          Hi MN,
          kindly ask someone in Ethiopia about the sufferings the Oromos are going through and have a clue.
          Thanks

          • Music Novice

            Greetings Shan,

            Ask someone? You mean buy the inferiority complex ridden narrative of the OLF.

            Why don’t you ask the former OLF leaders Lencho Leta and Ababiya Abajobir. They have rejected the simplistic OLF narrative.

            Who is Oromo? The Oromo are part of the intricate fabric of society.

          • Shan

            Hi MN,

            No I didn’t mean that one and I don’t want you to buy OLF’s Narrative. Yes! I believe Oromo is part of the fabric of Ethiopia.

            But you said ‘Why would the Oromo choose chaos, when they have their land, autonomy, national anthem, flag and are free to practice their language and share in economic prosperity, which is a unique opportunity in Ethiopian history?’

            Is demanding ones right synonymous with choosing chaos?

            Yes! the Oromo have their land but shouldn’t they protect it from being taken by others against their will? Do you think they have to be shot to death for protecting their land?

            M N go to every single major Ethiopian prison cell and you will not believe what you see and hear. You would witness heartbreaking (if you have good heart) cases of Oromo youths who are languishing there without any verdict. MN a great deal of my friends are in those prison cells and don’t ask me what I am feeling right now.

            Did you say Economic Prosperity? Wait a minute…my people is dying out of hunger and we all know that! No further debate on this.

            I am an Oromo and equally I am an Ethiopian. I don’t want to be traumatized for being an Oromo and demanding my rights. I want to express my thoughts openly and candidly but right now I cannot do that or I might join my friends in the cell. Even I feel the trauma at this right
            moment while writing.

            MN Have you ever experienced the feeling of a trauma? I don’t think so. That is
            why I kindly asked you to have a clue.

            Thanks!

          • Music Novice

            Greetings Shan,

            I understand you position and your suffering. But this is what happens when there is a cycle of mistrust and violence. It is called a cycle because in goes on and on cyclically non-stop. Somebody needs to have the courage to stand up and confront the problem and break the cycle.

            The Oromo, as the pillar of Ethiopian society have a big stake in the country’s future. In particular, they should be aware of the vultures circling above. They should be critical of those who egg them on into confrontation to provide proof that they have their interest at heart and ask whether they are leading their own people with fairness and justice. Those who are cruel to their own people cannot be good friends to the Oromo.

          • Shan

            Dear MN,

            You are absolutely right, there is a cycle of mistrust and violence and it has to be stopped. But I don’t think we are on the right track to solve it. The problem gets deeper and worse through time. The view is clear we are heading to a bigger problem.

            There are two players here… messing and ruining everything. Both of them are extremists who don’t know how to compromise things. For me the government and the OLF sympathizers are the two players. They simply categorize you as either as OLF or Naftegna.

            For both of them you can’t have your own view and idea. Either your idea is theirs or it belongs to the opposite. If you oppose the government’s policy it is because you are OLF or its sympathizer. The same token goes with the OLF. Both of them are not shy to shoot who stands on their way. They have the weapon and the media. Their political elites and Medias are playing their role in aggravating the cycle of mistrust.

            We are the people; we want peaceful coexistence with other nations. These nations are
            our flesh and blood. We cannot live without our flesh and blood. Ethiopia is our home and we cannot run away from our home that is impossible or it is a disaster. But we are not being heard. That is where the problem lies. The media is either with the government or with the OLF. If we
            speak louder to be heard both will shoot us. This is the crux of the problem for the Oromo.

            Thanks
            Shan

          • Music Novice

            Greetings Shan,

            I agree with you that the ordinary people are trapped between two extremes. In such a situation, to diffuse a problem, society must dig deep into its culture and historical heritages. Such heritages could be the traditions of negotiation, reconciliation and compromise.

            For example, If there is respect for traditions and the role of senior citizens in the community, the problem of cycles of mistrust and violence can be broken. I think the Oromo issue, unlike that of the Somalis, as they are part of the intricate fabric of society will lend itself to a peaceful resolution.

            But the biggest obstacle, as you mentioned, is the dictatorial tendency of guerrilla movements, who are hostile and denigrate traditional norms of behaviour of the community. Asserting abstract revolutionary principles without regard to their context and concrete application will lead to a disaster.

    • Amde

      Selam Music Novice,

      I was drawn to this sentence “How long were the Oromo on the land they currently occupy anyway? At best this land can only be called disputed land.”

      I believe in a few years (once identity hopefully stops being a political tool), it will be conclusively shown through genetic and other historical evidence that the people that are currently Oromo speakers have always been living there but as non-Oromiffa speaking Tewahdo or Muslim cultures.

      These peoples were for the most part defeated by Oromo speaking bands of warriors from the Bale/Arsi area. Wikipedia (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oromo_migrations) and what we were taught as children refers to this as “migration”, but I personally find it impossible to think that in just 500 years so many of these people migrated that they ended up settling the largest territory and becoming the largest ethnic group from basically very humble beginning. I don’t think it is mathematically supportable given the geography/climate etc of the area.

      What likely happened was a cycle of conquest and assimilation of existing peoples. On conquest, some run away to safer areas, while of those that remain, the men get killed off, and the children and women are forcibly assimilated into being Oromo. “Being Oromo” was not just about speaking the language and recognizing a new master, but through the process of what are called Gudifecha and Mogassa, they were adopted into the clan lineage as a kind of second class “affiliated” clan members (this kind of second class clan is referred to as “Gebaro” – note the cognate with the semitic Gebar, and the current Eritrean political division between the Tegadalay and the Gebar). This cycle of conquest and assimilation continued northward until it was stopped at Gonder by Susenyos (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Susenyos_I) who was raised by the Oromo and thus knew the secrets to their phenomenal military success.

      In any case, most of the Oromo speakers of today are not alien to the land, but have always been living there, but not as Oromos until about 450 years ago. This history to me is quite fascinating and worthy of research, but it also underlines why many people are nervous about a militant Oromo Nationalism that can be on the march again.

      Amde

      • Music Novice

        Greetings Amde,

        That is a possible and good explanation.

        • Eyob Medhane

          MN,

          Your understanding of the Ethiopian society contrary to many, particularly the old unitary system advocates of Ethiopia is very much impressive. The way a lot of people misunderstand the Oromo is amazing. They take the entire Oromo as a homogenous people, which is far from the reality. The reason after over forty years OLF couldn’t draw significant support from the larger Oromo population is because it’s base is confined in relatively tiny areas of Oromia. (Mostly western and small south western of Oromia.) As you said the elder leaders of this organization, who happened to to be founders of it in the first place, people like Obbo Lenco Leta abandoned its founding principles. And now, it doesn’t have much leg to stand on. If you go a bit deeper into the current protests, as large as Oromia is with over thirty million inhabitants, the disturbances are in rural towns and in tiny enclaves. The agitators inspire these disturbances by exacerbating boogy man like the master plan and some local good governance issues. Hence, these riots and disturbances get put down easily after just few weeks. (The heavy handed mathod of the government not withstanding and indeed needs to be condemned)

          Consider this, after the protests and the brouhaha, Ethiopian government is confident enough to announce this today…

          http://www.capitalethiopia.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=5589:expansion-of-lrt-will-commence-in-2016&catid=54:news&Itemid=27

          Imagine these areas (Legetafo and Gelan) are part of the master plan…

          P.S..I was just picking on you on the ‘National Anthem’ I know it is a minor issue. To answer your question, though, Kilils, when they raise their flag, they sing “yezeginet kiber” the country’s national anthem…

          • Music Novice

            Greetings Eyob,

            This is information I learned from books and from people while I was in Ethiopia long ago. By the way, do you have any information on the maverick Ethiopian nationalist of Oromo origin, Colonel Abdisa Agga? I heard he was in prison in Italy during WWII, and that he escaped to join the Yugoslav partisans who were fighting the Nazis. Is this true? How and why did he go to Italy in the first place?

          • Eyob Medhane

            Hi MN,

            Aside from what my 5th grade book says about Col. Abdisa Aga, I am not very much authoritative to detail about his biography 🙂 But, yes. He was in Italy as a prisoner of war. Like many other famous Ethiopian like Selamawit Gebru…Here is a full biography of Abdisa Aga..

            http://www.fettan.com/Documents/Abdissa_Aga_an_Ethiopian_Hero.doc

          • Music Novice

            Thanks Eyob.

            He was amazing. His life story is Hollywood film material.

          • Eyob Medhane

            MN

            No problem. I am a history buff like yourself. One of the Ethiopian prisoners of the time Martha Nessibou is still alive living in South of France. If you want her interview, I can link it for you..

          • Music Novice

            Greetings Eyob,

            It will be good if you provide a link. Thanks.

          • Eyob Medhane

            MN,

            Here it is.

            Except her short description of her stay at Italian prison the rest is her life story. I brought it up, because Col. Abdisa was also one of the prisoners in Italy at the time. But, please listen to both part of the story. Its amazing you will like it…

            http://m.amharic.voanews.com/a/a-53-2007-11-13-voa1-93030649/1458366.html

  • sara

    Dear awate..
    is this really you? i hope you are not heading towards the path taken by asmarino.com

  • Mahmud Saleh

    Selam AT

    Thank you for the article. I find this AT article to have been extremely conservative, and in most part supportive of Ethiopian government’s narration of the situation. Here are some factual errors/ommissions.
    1. Parag 2: “Ethiopia just emerged from weeks of demonstration led by students in many localities, mainly in the Oromiya region, where universities and assertively demonstrating students were unheard of until 1991.”

    a. There is no mention of how those demonstrations were clamped, in a rather brutal ways. AT should have mentioned the government brutal suppression of peaceful demonstartions; AT should have given more voice to the students, writers, bloggers…politicians…organizations….who tried time and again to criticise the government peacefully yet ending up in prisons labelled terrirists. As an opposition site, awate.com should be hard on the authority that’s depriving people to voice grievances. The PM has said numerous times that citizens should oppose peacefully and legally. The question is who defines what is peacefully and legally way of opposing? In a normal world where the institutions of justice are independent and competent, it would be the court that would interpret what is “peaceful and legal” and what not. However, in situations such as Ethiopia where there is no space for a genuine opposition, the laws are made by a parliament which is 100% of the ruling party (therefore, you have laws that allows the governemnt to label any entity it feels challenges it as a terrorist), and the courts that are supposed to interpret whether those laws are constitutional, or whether an act is legal or not…are not independent and/or competent.

    b. It is factually incorrect to state that demonstartions such as this have not been known since 1991. The Revolution of 1974 (Derg) and the demise of the King were the results of demonstrations. All Ethiopian opposition rebel groups, including TPLF, were the result of people’s resistance and demonstrations. It appears this was inserted to insinuate that TPLF brought the concept of demonstrations to Ethiopians. Ethiopians have been demonstrating, writing, rebelling against the divisive and opportunistic policies of this government which pitted social groups against each other. It will be a grave injustice if Eritrean justice seekers don’t underline this fact. It is not the making of diaspora opportunists or the designs of Eritrea that trigered these unrests (it’s facinating, why are those opposition groups in the diaspora, in the first place? Don’t they have the right to oppose the government the way they see it fit? Who has the right to label who is genuine and who is not? Does this ring familiarity?); it is not AA master plan, that master plan is just the last straw that broke the camel’s back. Regions and communities not related to the master plan have erupted. I think the government has been more forthcoming in assessing the situation and I hope it assesses it objectively as it exists. The following is why these things will happen again and again.

    1. The governemnt chokes genuine opposition. It monopolizes the politics

    2. The government wants citizens to follow laws that it passes through its monopolized machinations.

    3. When citizens pose their opposition based on what the constitution grants them, the government becomes the interpreter instead of independent courts.

    4. The government labels peaceful opponents as terrorists.

    5. It suppreses episodal demonstrations quickly and in a typically brutal ways.

    6. The grievances continue simmering below raddar.

    7. When an opportunity such as the AA Integrated Master plan arrives, it becomes a flshpoint.

    The solution is simple. The government should allow genuine opposition. It should look for a strategic positioning rather than short term benefits. It could manipulate things through its economically previleged growing middle class, but it will not suppress people’s grievances forever.

    2. “… Ethiopians began to rule their regions and as empowered citizens they started to challenge government decisions and reject policies advanced by elements from the political elite of the country who maintain a strain of right wing tendencie”

    Comment: Believe me empowered citizens could not have 100% the same vote. We would have seen a pariament that reflects the different empowered sections of the diversified Ethiopian government. We would have seen a government that listens to its “empowered citizens” by not arresting empowered citizens who oppose it peacefully. We would have seen a vibrant political landscape that reflects the empowered citizen. And you have supported this by the following:

    “Naturally, if the Oromo had the upper hand in disposing off their land for their own benefit, much of the problems would have been averted, but the land fell into the hands of real-estate speculators and financial brokers who either swindle the farmers of the real value of their land or systematically evict them from it.”
    Why would an empowered citizen allow land grabbers and swindlers?

    3. It is very sad to see an opposition website to tarnish in general terms organizations that could have legitimate existence. There are many Ethiopian opposition organizations, some of them as old as TPLF, if not older. As an Eritrean how do I decide which ones are legit and which ones not? Do I have the right to bash them in general terms. AT did not make in most of the entries any distinction as to which ones are legit and which ones are not. It calls them “Diaspora Opposition.” Don’t, for instance, the Qmant people, who AT believes have a right cause, have the right to organize in diaspora and hence have a diaspora based opposition? How about the long standing grievances of the Oromo people? Have not the wrioters visited the Oromo communities around the corner?
    At any rate, God Bless the people of Ethiopia.

    • Abi

      Selam MahmuDAY
      You brought a bright light to the shady article. As always, you stood for the voiceless people.
      What the leaders fail to realize is there is a limit for everything including the patience of the people. No one party can swindle its way out all the time. Besides, the fake election and it’s fake result is not a mandate to keep abusing the people and their resources.
      EPRDF showed it cowardice by killing the peaceful protesters. Where is the courage to show the magnanimity that is decorated by the 100% winner mandate?
      Yeqebyeley.

      • welde

        hi Abi,

        Is burning Ambulance and public properties are part of a peaceful demonstration. what you are confirming is the “Addis Abab master plan” was used by the diaspora hopeless opposition as a pretext to destroy the fabric of the society. They will never settled down even to the extent of Ethiopia destroyed like Syria if it helps their ambition, grab power. The problem is by then there will be no recognizable Ethiopia to govern.

        Abi, for the 100% election blame it on first past the post election system, the people have decided in May 2015 general election, you lost live with it. If the opposition have an iota of idea how to to improve the lives of the people , all they have to do is convince the electorate to give them the mandate to govern, otherwise making destructive demonstration won’t help them realize their ambition. Instead of building their political base for the next 5 years, preparing for the 2020 election. they are destroying whatever credibility they may have among the people of Ethiopia as an alternative, by this destructive action.

        Awate team as always great analysis.

        regards,

        • Eyob Medhane

          Ante Welde,

          Darn it! 🙂 Where did you come from? You just took it away from me and said everything that I was going to say to Abi.. Get out of my head.. 🙂 I agree 110% of what you said… (y)

          • Abi

            Ato Eyob Medhane
            Shame on you!
            You and I were at AAU when the same brutal, inhuman thugs used live bullet to disperse the peaceful protest. You know their reasons. They didn’t have the right tools to handle the situation. Fast forward 25 years, the same government with 100% winning record killed more than 75 people. And you Eyob and Welde are worried about the burned ambulance . Really? Only in Ethiopia people lives are less important than an ambulance. Where is your humanity? You are blaming the victims.

            Welde, I already predicted the 2025 election results. Another meto bemeto . How do I know? The government has already started killing. Preemptive killing. Way to go. Democratic Front BS.

    • Amde

      Selam Mahmoud,

      Very well said. Not much I can add.
      Thanks you.

      Amde

    • Gogo

      Selam Mahmud,

      A cursory look at Ethiopian opposition sites and casual conversation with Ethiopian friends gives one a general sense that what ails them is starkly similar to what ails us. Admitting that the scale of the problem in our case is way too big, a run over of the laundry list of popular grievances in both countries unveils problems of the same nature. The epistemic garb and rhetorical outfit with which they are articulated are too palpably alike that one
      is left wondering whether someone is plagiarizing the other. Ironically the similarity does not stop there. The manner in which some of our respective opposition groups try to defend the incumbent governments is also disappointingly the same. I think this is driven by pragmatic estimation of the opposition forces in their bid to gain leverage vis a vis the regimes they are fighting and dictated by the all too familiar real-politik dictum of befriending the enemy of thy enemy. It might be naïve but one wishes for some sort of reconfiguration of alliances where those who are fighting for democracy in the region join hands against oppression and marginalization in any one country.

      Pertinent to the topic at hand I would like to share two materials which I think give reasonably good understanding of the land issue and attendant political and social ramifications in Ethiopia.

      One is John Markakis’ latest book Ethiopia: the Last Two Frontiers where he, in great detail, describes how the center-periphery dichotomy is by and large kept intact in Post-Derg Ethiopia with the Amhara/Tigray historical Abyssinian core holding the reign of power and the rest consigned to the margins. Markakis notes EPRDF’s innovation in creating auxiliary classes within each region whose interest are symbiotically attached with the center and who at best look the other way or at worst actively participate in suppressing dissent against the status-quo. The political inequalities inherently translate into cultural and economic imbalances and this in turn occasions occasional outburst of public anger as witnessed in the last few days. Markakis thinks the federal configuration as the right step in the right direction if it is followed by meaningful devolution of power to the peripheries.

      The second material is an article jointly written by Cornell University Eritrean professor Fouad Makki and Charles Geisler titled “Development by dispossession: Land Grabbing as New Enclosure in Contemporary Ethiopia” contextualizes the land issue in a broader frame of a developmentalist state locking hands with global capital in commodifiying land and thereby resulting in massive depeasantization of people who have been historically marginalized. This is paralled by “a profound erasure of sedimented cultural practices and historical memories” and propped by justifying discourses marking a huge swath of land as terra nullius or claiming its inefficient/unproductive use by the local population.

    • Solomon Haile

      Dear MaHmud,

      I, like others, have noticed pro Ethiopian government slant as well. There is a rational that for fear of any counter act by the Ethiopian gov’t assertive critique is indicative of perhaps of slow and planned claim by any press to become raw and unapologetic about criticizing lacks of a mandated or chosen “stabilizing force ” in “Mr. Robinson’s Neighborhood…” I Will be reengaging soon on with regards to steering mechanisms and more. …. And God Bless the people of Togo.

      Data sciences, field work and more is holding back “zAEgol” Analytics Inc.

      tSAtSE

  • tes

    Dear AT,

    Waw, this is hilarious. Thank you. Oh my critical observation posted in relation to Ethiopian current issues has many coincidence with this article.

    I thank you again. I may come with more detailed observation later following the ongoing discussions.

    tes

  • Kokhob Selam

    ሰላም ንዓኹምን ንኹሎም ተሳተፍትን – ደቂ ሃገርን – ኩሎም ፍጡራትን :: ክቡር ኣምላኽ ምስጋና ይብጸሓዮ ::

    ግሩም ሓበሬታ ሓዘል ዓንቀጽ ! ኣይትሰኣኑ እንዳ ዓዋተ:: ሓበሬታታት ብኸሚዚ ዝኣመሰለ ካብ ፖሎቲካዊ ጸጊዕነት ፈንተት ኢሉ መርተዖታት ተሓንጊጡ ክቀርብ እንከሎ ሰተት ኢሉ እዩ ዝወሓጥ :: ንፖሎቲካዊ ህልኪ ዝቀርቡ ጽሑፋት ፈንጣሕትን ዘረግትን ኮይኖም ኣብ ህዝብታት ንሁከትን ናዕብን ካብ ምጉሁሃር ሓሊፎም ዝህብዎ ጥቅሚ የብሎምን እሞ ኣትኩረና – ለውጢ ብተዛማዲ ኣዘራርባ ስለ ዝግለጽን ጉዕዞ መስርሕ መወዳእታ ስለዝይብሉን ሓልዮትን ጽፈትን ብዝመለኦ ሓልፍነትዊ ኣገባብ ክተሓዝ ምኽትርታትና ክንልገስ እንከለና – ደረጃ ንቅሓትና ክብ ምባሉ እዩ ዘመላኽት ::

    ኣብ ከምዚ ዝኣመሰለ ህዝባዊ ናዕቢ – ኩሎም ካብ ‘ቲ መግስቲ ዝደሓሩ ተረፍ መረፍ ዝሓለፉ ስርዓታት ‘ውን ካብ ውጽኢት ድርሻ (ግደ ናይ ታ ቅጫ ) ንምርካብ ኣብ ‘ታ ናይ ለውጢ ጃልባ: ክውጥሑ እዮም ዝጓየዩ :: ዕቱብ ናይ ለውጢ ኣመሓዳሪ ሰልፊ ኣብ ዘይብሉ ኩነታት ከኣ እቲ ጠለባት ሓፋሽ ህዝቢ ዘይኮነስ እቲ ድልየታት ናይ ካለኦት ይማላእ – ወይ ውን እቲ ኣሞንግ ኣብ ስልጣን ዘሎን እዞም ሓይልታትን ኣብ ዝፍጠር ምፍጣት ሓፋሽ ጸረ ጥቅሙ ግዳይ ዘይተደላይ መስዋእቲ ደቂ ሰባትን ግዜን ንብረትን ይኸውን::

    እምበኣር ለውጢ ብርግጽ እቲ ዝድለ ዓይነት ኮይኑ መእንቲ ክርከብ ሲ ነቲ ተበጺሑ ዘሎ ደርጃ ለኪሙ ከይከይድን ኣብ ሾንኮለል ደማዊ ጎንጺ ከይበጽሕን ብጥንቃቀ ክተሓዝ ይግባእ :: ህዝብን መንግስትን ኢትዮጵያ ኣብ ዚ ጉዳይ ነገራት ብልቦና ክተሓዙ ከምዘለዎም ክፈልጡ ኣለዎም::

  • A thousand thanks A.T., for this well researched, educational and balanced article.

    • Fekre selam

      Horizon
      It is descent except of allegation about Eritrea gov and qemant connection…
      Is awate allergic to providing source of information?

      • Dear Fekre Selam,
        I fail to see any direct reference to any relation between the Eritrean gov and the Qmant crisis. From what I could understand, the writers are saying that the Eritrean gov. is financing some Ethiopian opposition groups (which is a known fact), who are exploiting the Qmant problem and are fanning their grievances for their own unholy purpose.

  • Kaddis

    Well done team Awate..

    This is the kind of analysis and objective reporting we miss here in Ethiopia. And partly – the closed media environment contributed to the unrest and loss of lives. Its the ruling party fault to stiffen the media so much – people are forced to listen to outlets like ESAT – a very violent media inciting chaos at any given time. But people have no choice. They want to balance what they hear from the government and pro-government media. They end up listening to ESAT, OMN ( oromo media net..) and anything, regardless of fact, written on the social media.
    The government is losing the media battle big time.

    I don’t know why they (EPRDF) think there are no well intentioned political and media analysts who can share the audience and reduce part of the society prone to incitement.

    Nice reporting again Awate.com

  • Berhe Y

    Dear all,

    Where is the prime minister in this? Did I completely miss it, have he said anything at all with this unrest?

    I would think it would make a huge difference if he comes out and calm things down?

    Something like “I am sorry fit the loss of life and unrest this has caused…,my government will take full responsible and it will investigate for the loss of life and those responsible will be brought to justice. It’s the right of our citizens to peacefully demonstrate and exercise their rights, that’s what we fought for.
    As of today I have asked my senior advisors and ministry responsible for the master plan to put a stop. We will will local government representatives, elders, religious leaders students and professionals and opposition parties in how to navigate this delicate and sensitive issue and move forward for brighter future for the people of this country and the economic benefits that we have been achieving for the past few years.”

    Gash Eyob, you guys can do better, best way is to be honest and do really care about the loss of life and show understanding and WIN the people over by genuinely believe in what you say and do what you believe.

    Berhe

    • Eyob Medhane

      Berhe.

      Darn! Are you the PM’s advisor or something? 🙂

      Because, yes indeed he has spoken out on the issue and he sort of said what you paraphrased above.. 😉

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hK9msQoLUDE

  • AOsman

    Dear AT,

    Thank you for the analysis, it gives us good insight for those who know little. I tried to read about the challenges of slums and how major cities attempt to manage the transition to modenize and improve the living standard in the slums, but could not access the academic papers relevant to Addis Abeba. I guess internally the focus is on providing basic services (electricity, water and sewage drainage), while the demand is managed by expansion. Just looking at Addis on Google Map (OMG – Abi don’t take the job) It looks technically a daunting task and the closure of the Master Plan project office sounds that it is also a political landmine.

    Even tough the issue of slums is not a big problem in Asmara, integration of neighboring villages is one that will need to be dealt with care. I heard that in the past, straight after the land proclamation, some villages were smart enough to act swiftly and distribute as much land to their villagers before the government took control. Some living on the outskirt of Asmara were able to build homes by selling half of their land and constructing the other half, which benefited both parties. Now the buyers are at risk of loosing their properties as the sale was not done/allowed in accordance to the law. Some have even lost their properties when the government decided to demolish them. Whilst we discuss Ethiopia, it will be interesting to link it to Eritrea as land management is an issue that will haunt us too.

    Regards
    AOsman

  • Amanuel Giorgis

    There is a typo in the article. ” in 1991 he became the King of Ethiopia and made Finfine his capital city and renamed it Addis Ababa” should read 1891.
    Few months ago, I was watching a youtube video where of some Kimant people talking to government officials. The language they were speaking was almost 100% similar to the Blean language of Eritrea. I could understand all what they were saying unlike to the agew language spoken in Sekota (Wello) or Agewmidir (Gojjam.) Interesting to know how they were related to the Blean of Eritrea.

    • Eyob Medhane

      Amanuel,

      That is very interesting.Many people (Including me) thought that Awi (formerly known “Agewmidr” ) is much more close to blin than Qmant. Their biggest fear of the dying of their language. because their young chose to speak Amharic rather than the language of their ancestors. From what you are saying, I see hope for their language to survive extinction, since a large ethnic group like blin speaks it….that’s pretty good…