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Hailemariam’s New Cabinet Includes Three Women

In a drastic overhaul of his government, Ethiopian Prime Minister Hailemarian Desalegn formed a new cabinet of 30 ministers. All previous ministers except nine left the cabinet.

On Tuesday, November 1, 2016, the Ethiopian parliament approved the new appointments to the cabinet which is believed to be the most ethnically diverse cabinet in the history of Ethiopia.

On October 31st, the government released around 2000 prisoners who were arrested after the declaration of the emergency law on October 8.

Nine of the newly appointed ministers are from the Oromia region, three ministers from the Amhara region, four from the South, and two from Tigrai region. The ministers also include one each from the Somali, Afar and Gurage regions. Three women were appointed as ministers in the new cabinet.

Three women were appointed as ministers in the new cabinet.

The formation of the new cabinet is a response to the unrest that engulfed the country for over a year, as well as, “a step to end appointments in ministerial posts based on party loyalty; the new cabinet is mainly made up of technocrats.”

Over the last six months, regions outside the capital Addis Ababa, specifically the Oromia and Amhara regions, witnessed violent popular unrest that claimed the lives of hundreds of people including in the Boshuftu festival incident on October 2, where dozens died.

Scores of foreign investment establishments were destroyed during the protests that initially started as an opposition to the Addis Ababa city Masterplan, which Oromo farmers considered a land-grabbing campaign to take their farms.

However, the protests that were initially a rejection of the Addis Ababa city master plan, developed into demands of political rights and national reforms. In addition, Ethiopian opposition, mainly the Diaspora groups opposing the EPRDF led a heightened campaign to agitate young Ethiopians, often spreading incendiary messages.

A considerable number of investment institutions were destroyed by the protesters, including factories, plantations, buildings, and vehicles. World Bank reports indicates, in 2015, foreign direct investment in Ethiopia reached $2.16 billion.

The Eritrean government funds some of the Ethiopian media outlets that operate in Europe and the USA. In 2013, Dr. Berhanu Negga, a leader of an Ethiopian Diaspora opposition group, stated that the Eritrean ruling party provided his group with $500,000 to support its media activities.

In response to the unrest, starting in September, the government has arrested thousands of people under the emergency law, and on October 9, 2016, it announced a six-month emergency law.

The Ethiopian electoral system allows parties with majority votes to win all the parliament seats, “now the government is planning to make it more equitable by allowing parties to win seats proportional to the popular votes that they get.”

Ethiopia’s President, Mulatu Teshome, and other government officials have indicated they will reform the current electoral system that denies the opposition of any chance to compete fairly.

All of Ethiopia’s 547 parliament seats are occupied by the ruling coalition party members. The opposition doesn’t have a single seat in the parliament.

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  • Amde

    Selam Awatistas,

    For those interested in this topic, Rene Lefort – a long time observer and chronicler of the Ethiopian political scene – has written a piece here (https://www.opendemocracy.net/ren-lefort/ethiopia-s-crisis).. (He includes a teaser that might of interest to the guests in this forum.. about the new generation of TPLF apparatchiks wanting to ressurrect the Tigrai-Tigrigni idea)

    The insularity and arrogance of the EPRDFites – of whichever faction – is stunning. Their dismissal of public concerns and yet their readiness to cynically utilize public dissatisfaction – even deaths – to leverage their faction’s position within the EPRDF pecking order is sickening. Here endeth Amde’s editorial rant.

    And now to the money quotes: (so much money..)
    “However, Hailemariam lacks what it takes to “fill the boots” of his predecessor. Most of his authority comes not from his own resources but has been handed down to him through a constellation of powers – baronies one might call them – characterized not just by their diversity, but also by the rivalry, or even conflict, between them. [u]In short, Ethiopia is left with a system of power tailored for a strongman and filled accordingly, but which now lacks a strongman.[/u] “Meles left with the password”, the joke goes.”

    “Three big sources of the crisis:

    The first source of the current crisis is the trial of strength between central authority and the peripheral powers that it originally created – a sort of bid for emancipation from the father – as well as between the peripheral powers
    The second source of the crisis relates to what might be called “democratic aspiration”. In this respect, Ethiopia’s leaders are right to talk about the price of success. Economic growth has brought the emergence of a new middle class, not just urban but also in the countryside, which has seen the rapid enrichment of an upper tier of farmers. In parallel, education has dramatically expanded. This upper tier has opened up to the outside world, in particular through social media. However, the aspiration for “individual rights” runs up against a system of power which, everywhere in Ethiopia, from the summit of the state to the lowliest levels of authority, from the capital to the smallest village, shares the same defects: authoritarianism, stifling control, infantilization.

    The third source of the crisis relates to collateral damage from super-rapid growth. Such damage is inevitable, but has been exacerbated by the type and methods of development pursued.

    – First, forced imposition through ultra-centralized and secretive decision-making, and brutal execution. “Land grabbing”, and more generally almost instant evictions with absurd levels of compensation, are commonplace.

    – Second, the overwhelming role of the ruling power through the “developmental state” has produced an ever more powerful and arrogant oligarchy embedded in the Party-State. The stakes in the crisis are not only political: they directly concern the mobilization, distribution and therefore the accumulation of resources in the hands of the ruling power, and hence the division of the cake between central and peripheral authorities and/or oligarchies, but also between these oligarchies and the population in general.

    The present crisis is particularly acute because these three factors reinforce each other.

    In this poisonous climate, the vigour and scale of the protest accentuated the “crisis of leadership”.[5] It was the first factor responsible for the government’s paralysis,…ascribed to …. first of all to pure and simple “power struggles”, leading to a tussle that is all the more confused in that these conflicts run through every regional party, the relations between those parties, and between those parties and the centre,

    …first of all personal in nature, based on local affinities, religious solidarities, family connections, not to mention business interests. However, the crisis triggered a new and crucial division, between “alarmists” and “complacents”, the former advocating a rapid shift from the status quo, the latter seeing neither its necessity nor its urgency.

    The “old guard” is the backbone of the “alarmists”. It consists of the survivors of the founding group of the TPLF, including the heads of the army and the security services, Samora Yunus and Getachew Assefa, plus some old comrades in arms such as Berket Simon, guiding light of the ANDM….. Concentrated in the centre, in Addis Ababa, most of them were sidelined from official positions as Meles imposed generational change. Returning in force behind the scenes after his death, they are the strongest backers of Hailemariam Dessalegn

    The “complacents” are usually described as “technocrats” and “careerists”. They are considered to be “apparatchiks”, lacking any political fibre, owing their position and the privileges and advantages – often undeserved – that they enjoy, entirely to it.

    They will only be able to conceal and perpetuate those benefits as long as the Party remains a bunker. Any opening up, any movement towards a little good governance, transparency, and accountability, would be the end of them. They are also haunted by the implacable rule of “winner takes all” that has accompanied every previous regime change. However, their attitude is ambivalent….

    On the one hand, they are tooth and nail defenders of the EPRDF’s monopoly of power, and therefore equally implicated in the repression.The ‘complacents’ will only be able to conceal and perpetuate those benefits as long as the Party remains a bunker.

    On the other hand, they ascribe responsibility for the crisis to excessive central power, claiming that it hinders regional authority. In order to reverse this imbalance, and thereby strengthen their own positions, they are taking advantage of the outbreaks of ethno-nationalisms, notably by attempting to exploit the corresponding popular demands to their own advantage, up to and including the serious slide into anti-Tigrayan sentiment.

    In Oromya, at least part of the OPDO, right up to leadership level, encouraged the opposition to the Addis Ababa Master Plan…. which triggered near universal unrest across the whole State.

    The same actors then did everything they could to prevent Oromya being placed under military command from Addis Ababa and then, having failed, to put a stop to it. At least locally, the authorities – necessarily members of OPDO – and the militias – under their sole control – went so far as to lend the protesters a hand. This ethno-nationalist outbreak contributed to the appointment of Lemma Megersa and Workneh Gebeyehu to the leadership of the OPDO, after the forced resignation of numbers one and two Muktar Kedir and Aster Mamo, who were seen as puppets of Addis Ababa. The new duo are long-time members of the security services, but are said to be protégés of Abadula Gemadah, the OPDO’s only strongman, hence formerly sidelined by Meles Zenawi. The main thing is that the OPDO was able to assert its autonomy by electing leaders without external pressure or diktat.

    In the Amhara region, it is equally unquestionable that the big initial demonstrations, though officially banned, were held with the support or tacit approval of part of the ANDM. At least at local level, the authorities and the security forces allowed “ethnic cleansing” against Tigrayans to take place, prompting 8000 to flee to Tigray.[10] Gedu Andergatchew, ANDM strongman, who is accused of having at least turned a blind eye, is still in place.

    Even in Tigray, the regional authorities – “TPLF Mekele” – are playing the nationalist card…..This firmness played a big part in the shift in at least part of Tigrayan opinion, expressed with rare vehemence by some circles. They vilified the “TPLF Mekele”, despised for its lack of education and impotence. They placed all their hopes in the Tigrayan old guard, “TPLF Addis”. [which apparently they also accuse of having] …doubly betrayed the Tigrayan people: by evolving into an oligarchy that neglects the latter’s economic aspirations; and by turning its back on their national interests…..
    Addis Ababa offers positions and advantages that Tigray, poor and small as it is, would be hard put to provide. The more the balance between centre and periphery shifts towards the centre, the more attractive these positions and advantages become. In short, the view is that the old guard has yielded to a centuries-old tradition of Ethiopian history: letting itself be “assimilated” by the centre and prioritizing the latter’s interests over those of the periphery.

    In consequence, these Tigrayans feel they have no other choice than to take charge of their own destiny and count only on themselves, i.e. something like building a “fortress Tigray”. It is up to the new generation to take over from the old, which has given up, even if this means embracing the “narrow nationalism”of which its critics accuse it. This goes as far as to see a re-emergence of the hope of reunifying Tigrayans on both sides of the Ethiopia/Eritrea border into a single nation state.

    The state of emergency was proclaimed in order “to deal with anti-peace elements that… are jeopardising the peace and security of the country”… But it adds little, whether to the existing legislative arsenal,[15] or to the operational capacities of the security forces since, in practice, they have never seen themselves as severely restricted by the law.

    The first objective is to instil fear and uncertainty, especially as several provisions are so vague that they can be interpreted in almost any way.

    The second objective is to give the military the legal sanction that army chief Samora Yunus was demanding as a condition of continuing to maintain internal order….The state of emergency places all the forces of order under the authority of a federal Command Post, with Hailemariam Dessalegn at its head and the Minister of Defense as its secretary. They thus control the mono-ethnic Special Regional Police in each state, who with 80,000 members far outnumber the Federal Police (around 40,000), and even more so the Army Special Force (the famous Agazi red berets, around 4000). The 500,000 or so militiamen also come under their authority. That is why the proclamation encountered ferocious opposition within the OPDO and ANDM.

    Essentially, however, the state of emergency is a show of strength. Not only to try to reassure increasingly nervous foreign investors,[16] but above all to convince the population of the regime’s determination to recover total control of the entire country by any means – the obsession of any Ethiopian ruling power worthy of the name – and, at the same time, to make its promise of reforms credible. Otherwise, it would have been perceived as a capitulation. Sebhat Nega, patriarch of the TPLF, explained that the purpose of the state of emergency was “to create a situation to make us able to reform”.

    Ultimately, the aim of the compromise reached within the party was to drive a wedge between the “violent, extremist and armed struggle” – to be repressed through the state of emergency – and the “democratic peaceful engagement” expressed by so many demonstrators – holding out a hand via reform.


    The main problem is deficiencies in implementation. In sum, things have gone off the rails because of human failings. Yielding to corruption, bad governance, lack of accountability, etc., “leadership at various levels of the government structure has miserably failed to fully and timely[sic] address the demands made and the questions raised by the people”.[20] The response to the crisis must therefore take two forms. First a massive purge at all levels of the Party, regional governments, the administration. Then, “to delineate” – the new watchword – the Party from the government, from the Assemblies, from justice, etc. in order to develop a system of checks and balances, since the self-correcting mechanisms within the Party have proved inadequate.

    The essential thing is “to discuss… with all stakeholders” in all possible and imaginable “debating platforms”, “assemblies”, “fora”, but with no specific goal or timetable, and under the sole authority of the EPRDF. A promise reiterated year after year, without impact.


    What emerges from all the interviews with nonofficial contacts is that the expectation of a symbolic gesture, one that would be significant and have immediate impact, proving that the regime had grasped the essence of the crisis and wishes sincerely to address it, has not been met.

    According to them, the regime is relying first on repression, and on reforms only as a “footnote”. Merera Gudina, a long-standing leader of the opposition, sums up the general sentiment: “too little, too late”.[23] Nothing has been done to reach out to either the main opposition forces, even the legal opposition, nor the civil society or the media, quite the contrary. This could be envisaged only after the end of the state of emergency, Hailemariam is said to have told one figure from the international community.

    The EPRDF sticks to the same age-old paradigm. Since Ethiopia is still at a precapitalist stage, the intelligentsia is the only social group capable of setting the path to follow and leading the way. The EPRDF contains its best elements. Ethnic identities continue to be society’s main structuring factor. The EPRDF alone represents them. As one senior official confirmed, it is not until the country enters a capitalist stage that pluralism will imposed itself: with the emergence of social classes, each will construct its own political party to express its interests. What the EPRDF is still seeking is not simultaneous development AND democracy, but development THEN democracy.

    In this respect, the arrival of technocrats – brandishing the indispensable PhD and with no major party position – was widely interpreted as evidence of a new openness in the cabinet reshuffle. Yet it perpetuates the monopoly rule of the “intellocracy”.

    Ethiopian history teaches that a regime only falls if its forces of repression, or at least part of them, turn against it. Today, apart from a few unconfirmed incidents, cohesion seems to be holding, say experts close to them. It might only break down if the EPRDF became divided to the point of being torn apart by centrifugal forces. However, the military command has always let it be known that it would intervene before this happened, as ultimate saviour of the regime. Under these circumstances, steady deterioration – a kind of rotting, seems a possible scenario….Ultimately, what might possibly occur is a classic scenario in Ethiopian history: the demise of one strongman, followed by a period of great disorder until a new strongman takes up the reins.”


    • Yoty Topy

      Hi Amde,
      Did not realize you referenced this article already 🙂

  • Dis Donc

    Dear Amde, Admas, Berhe, and the rest,

    Ever since I saw Amde’s writing about the elections and its results in the USA, somewhere below, I have been wanting to impart the following observation about the USA. In the USA every thing is set, by design, to make it difficult for those who do not do their homework, by him/herself or with the help by others! Nothing is free and easy, even when you have money! With the exception of university degrees, green card, and credit; which one can achieve easily if one has money or monetary equivalent payment. The whole system is designed to only work for those selected by nature, this thereby foments economic progress and help the country. One can study their electioneering system, tax system, financial system, justice system, security system, etc and you will notice that nothing is straight forward. The then little known senator Obi, the much vaunted Bush-Son, and now president-elect Trump all done their homework and said what everyone else wants to hear to get elected. Hilary thought she can win by a mere coincidence of becoming the first female. In addition, she wanted to ride her husbands popularity (due to his economic progress and deficit reduction;) much the same way as Gore did. However, all elected presidents found out that USA’s problems are much deeper and require total overhauling of the very three things that you can get easily by either paying money or other form of payment.

    University Education: It has been few decades now that USA’s economy has been turning into service industry-health, education, legal, and financial. Manufacturing businesses are wholesome by their nature and require all service industries as well as production services. But production sectors require fine-tuned engineers, at affordable wage. To help create jobs the government gave licences for anyone who wanted to open a university. And this in turn led to degree milling; with little or no regulation. In the end every university student, now days, is either a pre-med, pre-law, finance and accounting, or business management. Leaving the country to depend heavily on foreign imported human capital. It will be fascinating to see how Trump is going to curb this deficit!!! Remember that Bush-Son failed miserably after killing the blue chip industry in the hope that he wanted to replace them Indians by Americans. The indirect result was the emergence of India.

    Immigration: To bring back those manufacturing jobs, the US needs to compete with minimum wages with countries like India, China, Mexico, Central America and the rest. We all know that minimum wage hike is irreversible! He might think that he can offset this by lowering corporate tax and imposing custom (import) tax but then countries will retaliate by dumping his products. This will effectively means that the US withdrawing from WTO. Personally, I prefer this because I do not think that the world can afford another war like Rumsfeld, Cheney, and Co created; for smoke screen. What does this mean for those illegal migrants? Legal migrants? High-school teens and university students will be competing with them for jobs, even menial; meaning more money to American families. Foreign grad and undergrad students will be competing with them, this in turn spurs the attraction of the best and the brightest from overseas, for their universities. Personally, I do not think we will reach to all these because America will do what it has always done-spread freedom and democracy across the world.

    Credit and tax: Debt is an unwelcome guest at the table in many American households. The average U.S. household with debt carries $15,675 in credit card debt and $132,158 in total debt (consumer source). Let us leave this and focus on the gov’t as it relates Trump’s promises of renewing infrastructure. As its stands, the U.S. government spends $4.073 trillion; $441 billion higher than its revenue of $3.632 trillion (US 2016 balance sheet). A fourth of this spending is due to war on terror. War on terror comes in the form Military spending, economic and security packages to countries like Iraq, Egypt, Israel, etc. Central to foreign aids is to guarantee the survival and existence of Israel. One notices that these spending are a must and non-retractable. Thus, I would like to see how Trump is going to finance his infrastructural overhaul. Increasing tax on consumers? Nope, as seen above they are already saddled with debt. By borrowing more? Nope, it is already (19.6 in pure debt) $76.4 trillion in debts, liabilities, and unfunded obligations at the close of its 2015 fiscal year. This $76.4 trillion shortfall is 90% of the combined net worth of all U.S. households and nonprofit organizations, including all assets in savings, real estate, corporate stocks, private businesses, and consumer durable goods such as automobiles and furniture. Interest cost alone is $200 billion annually.

    Conclusion: Electioneering is one thing and delivering is another; with pure emotions and lack of substance. I would imagine that Obi and well meaning democrats must be very disappointed by the result of the election. Obi did learn that USA’s recovery will be very long and painful. I would hope Trump will as well. And the sooner, the better! I, personally, see, in the not so far future, that US resembling the UK; withdrawn from the world stage, with strong social orientation, but with strong multinational companies. But who knows, they might start another war…. In all this, what does this means for countries like Ethiopia and Eritrea? They have to cultivate well thinking and hard working citizens to face this dog-eat-dog Darwinian world!!!

    Finally, I see awate team similar to the creators of America, in which any one from any walks of life can come and contribute to these countries. For that I must thank them never-endingly!!!! I tried my best to compress the comment but there is no other way of compressing it further. Thus, sorry for the lengthy comment.

    • Simon Kaleab

      Selam Dis Donc,

      I am wondering if you are getting all these revelations through Crystal Ball gazing.

      For example, you said: “… resembling the UK; withdrawn from the world stage …”.

      You are mistaken, the UK has not withdrawn from the World stage. It is not even withdrawing from doing business with other European countries.

      What the UK has decided to do is to withdraw from the bureaucratic, over-regulated, inefficient, costly, open borders advocate EU. The EU is run by unelected, distant bureaucrats. The UK would like to do business with the other EU countries on a bilateral basis. Furthermore, leaving the EU will free the UK from EU regulations, allowing it do business with such countries as Australia, Canada, the USA, India [and many more] which it cannot do now without collective EU permission.

      Contrary to your erroneous assertion, the UK has made a bold decision to escape the EU prison and do business on the World stage.

      • Dis Donc

        Dear Mr. KaleAb,

        The US has not joined any union and certainly is not leaving any union. What they are having is trade problem (trade deficit to be exact) with the rest of the world. If the UK has left the EU to be like the US then I can only say, good luck to them! In the fiscal year ending in 2016, total UK public spending, including central government and local authorities, was £761.9 billion. In the fiscal year ending in 2017, total UK public spending is expected to be £784.1 billion (UK balance sheet). And never going to recede at this rate. And tax proceedings are expected to be around £716 (94%) billion in 2016-17. 65% of this contribution comes from sin-tax; on petrol, alcohols, cigarettes, etc. Good thing is that the UK produces and refines its own (and exports) petroleum, something the US is doing. So, I imagine (only guessing here and seeing him hanging out with Farage) that Trump would do the same; to help reduce the gap. Taking a lesser role in middle east politics.

        EU: My wife, although born in west indies, hails from a traditionally conservative Leeds. During Brexit, they voted and argued for stay while I (non-British) commented on a negotiable stay or exit if EU refuses to negotiate. To my disappointment, the EU’s stubborn refusal to even negotiate on sticky issues made it hard to support the stay campaign. The EU is riddled with myriads of irregularities, right from its infancy. Among these problems lies the immigration issue. The English and Welsh feel aggrieved on the overwhelming immigrants; EU, non-EU, and those at the Calais jungle. Much the same as Mexico is a buffer to migrate to the US. However, nothing is signed yet and no deals concluded. Moreover, the UK has to deal with the Scottish and Northern Ireland issues, yet, with respect to them not wanting to leave. The Scottish are restarting their referendum while Northern Ireland fears the chaos returning.

        But I have faith in both Trump and Theresa. The former is an astute businessman whole the latter is a very good politician. As with Trump, my only worry is who he surrounds himself with!!! History tells us that Bush-Son was a gentleman until he met Darth Veder ….

        • Berhe Y

          Dear Disc Don, Kibreab and all,

          The Trump administration is busy setting up the transition team and they need to hire 4000 public servants between now and January when they take power. That’s an enormous under taking specially if they haven’t really thought about it and worked on it until now. As messy and as ugly as it seems, but it does say that the Trump administration is not controlled by interest group who have readily available to list of candidates that they wanted put into place (as was done for Obama) by the banks.

          The corporate greed is really what’s hurting the middle class…although jobs are shipped across the world, but they have free access (using their free trade agreements) to dump the goods made abroad and sell in the US without paying anything, tariff or tax. So their profit margin had increased tremendous while the country / state are burdened to provide all public services.

          This I think is the fundamental problem in the developed world today…for example, Companies like Apple who make billions and billions of dollars selling their products in the US and world wide but all their production is outside the US and worst they stash away their cash in tax heavens.

          I think in all fairness, they need to pay taxes (in terms of tariff) if they are allowed to sell in the US on products made aboard. They call this and give different names, protectionist etc….but they can’t have have free trades with countries who do not have the same living of standards. If they do, the only people who benefit are the rich and wealthy who own those companies and corporations….In the last 20 years, the net worth of billionaires has been increasing exponentially while governments are sucked in debt …

          I think the UK case may be be similar, I don’t know much about it.


          • Dis Donc

            Dear Berhe,

            Middle class: Yes in this I agree but we are talking about capitalism and its sole purpose is profit driven. Trump will have to study hard to figure out how he can convince them to bring these manufacturing jobs back. Remember that less labor cost means reduced price of end product. This, in turn, means global reach to all customers; from the poorest to the richest countries and communities. For a company, the US market is much smaller than, say, India or China…. So what he can produce in the US can only sell in the US, due to higher wages, tax, regulatory expense, and environmental tax.

            Tax: Tax avoidance and Tax evasion. What is illegal in this case is countries offering companies tax free space-tax evasion. Because that is against WTO treaty. Corporate tax is another matter, which one can meander through the maze of the tax code-tax avoidance. Furthermore, companies in the future cannot stash away their money in off-shore banks. This is due the new money laundering law. Banks are required to provide data about customer’s accounts when they reach certain limit. Give Obi (Angela, Cameron, Bachelet, etc) his due credit. He had put many laws in place to combat seen and unseen crimes, while preserving and respecting companies. My only fear is that Trump might not follow it.

            Thank you all. One of these days I will get back to SAAY about civil disobedience and unionism, which Eritrea sorely needs.

          • Amde

            Sela Berhe,

            You made me think about which company is more “patriotic” – Apple or Walmart?

            Of course “patriotic” in this sense is meaningless – nonsensical even. But one could argue Walmart’s relentless drive for low prices is driven by competition with similar retailers. Apple’s product portfolio has no real competitor so their prices cannot be justified on competitive ground – one can argue they are quasi monopolistic. Neither manufacture much in the US – with both being noted for pushing production to be done overseas (mostly China)

            Walmart is reputed to have $76Bln stashed away in tax free havens. Apple’s number is $181Bln. Trump has made it fashionable for average people to admire those who skirt out of paying taxes. The joke is on his supporters though – the tax that the Apples and Walmarts don’t pay ends up being extracted from the average people who don’t have access to tax havens and expensive tax attorneys.

            I have been wondering lately whether the whole reason some countries exist as “severeign” entities is not for the interests of there people, but to allow some areas in convenient legal limbos.


          • Berhe Y

            Dear Amde and DD,

            There is no company that I hate as Walmart. If incan afford it and if I have my way, I never want to shop from this company. They are a parasite who suck the blood of their employees, the customers, the government, the society and they destroy the environment, by the amount of garbage of products they sell. If it wasn’t for the free trade and free access to sell their goods in the US and many developed countries, how on earth a company like Walmart which develop absolutely nothing can become so rich.

            In Canada for example, they make everyone work on part time hours and make sure they don’t get enough hours to be considered permanent employees so the people can’t get healthcare (as in pharma care and dental), and they pay minimum wage. In Quebec, there was one branch who successed to form a union and they’ve shut it down.

            I like apple products and I think they employ a good healthy number of American engineers and rest thousands of jobs, and I think they pay fairly good to their employees.

            Dear DD,

            I don’t have a problem with capitalism, but the free trade that this countries have is not for the benefit of the society at large. For example, I think free trade between Canada and US make sense because both have relatively same living standard and both can benefit, if there is slight difference that is negligeble. The same can be said in tge western countries. It’s fair playing ground.

            But the fre England trade between developed and less developed country can only benefit the less developed counties (even though they are exploited) but primary beneficiaries are those who own the campaniles.

            The politicians are in their pocket and do what ever they want to benefit the rich.

            I am not favoring Trump, actually he may even be turn out worst with his corporate tax cut plans but I don’t think Hillary was the best alternative. Don’t get me wrong, I liked Bill Clinton, I ink he did a lot of good things for the middle class, the blacks etc. Disaster started with Bush and his tax cut to the wealthy and the adventure of his war and the finiancial crises. I don’t think Obama had much choice, he may even saved the economy but the banks had so much control, and he allowed the disaster in Libya and S

        • Simon Kaleab

          Selam Dis Donc,

          I think this is too much writing that says very little.

    • Amde

      Selam Dis Donc

      With respect to debt and taxes, it has been the case that Republicans dismiss deficit concerns when in power, then wail about it when out of power. We will see what Trump’s plan for infrastructure spending, something the Democrats have asked for but denied by Republicans, fares with Republicans now that Trump – and more importantly his fervent supporters want it bad. This may be THE test on who Trump really is.

      I wonder if you have heard of Modern Monetary Theory… which says it is impossible for governments with sovereign power over its currency can never run out of money. This video might be of interest. https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=GXjWeucTyFU

      It is somewhat in the fringes, but has its strong adherents.


      • Dis Donc

        Dear Amde,

        Funny isn’t it? About the debt and tax! Reagan has tripled the Gross Federal Debt, from $900 billion to $2.7 trillion. Bush-Father handed Clinton a $269 billion budget deficit. Clinton handed Bush-Son a $127.3 billion surplus. Bush-Son handed Obama a $1.4 trillion deficit. Obama has reduced Bush-Son’s deficit to just $492 billion. Fiscal responsibility? However, the national debt grew the most dollar-wise during president Obama’s two terms. He added $6.494 trillion, a 56% increase, in seven years. I am not here to argue why he took this route to reduce the deficit. The only way you can reduce your debt is by decreasing deficit and eventually reaching surplus. Central to all this is that USA had avoided being in the green ever since Clinton left office. Now, Trump’s problem is not just the debt but the surplus because economies do not turn green overnight. Of the $3.8 trillion ($229 billion being interest payment plus principal) budget spending, $583 billion is borrowed, that is 22% combined. Thus, I can only see him cutting discretionary (29%) spending, which are military, education, housing & community, energy, etc. While the rest are mandatory spending.

        Sovereign power: This is a whole new uncharted territory. Simply because I do not know what Smith would say about it. With his Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations and such…. I see why folks are discussing about it, though. As well as those proponents of Gold-pegged. This means revaluing their goods and assets in the new currency as well as the trouble of having to work out with foreign debt. I would imagine parallel currency. Cuba had two parallel currencies. The Cuban peso (CUP, printed in Cuba) and the Cuban convertible peso (CUC, printed in Swiss) are both legal tender on the island, though neither is exchangeable in foreign markets. The CUC is pegged to the dollar and worth 25 times as much as the CUP. Whereas most Cubans are paid in CUP, nearly all consumer goods are priced in CUC. The system, which highlights divisions between those with access to hard currency and those without. You can only imagine how messy and unpopular it is. It might work for the US, as they are big and can insulate (with no or slow stock markets, foreign investment, etc) themselves from the rest of the world. Cuba could not and ….

  • Amde

    Selam Kaddis,

    Disqus is weird. I saw your post yesterday and was thinking of responding but then it disappeared. I even started to question myself haha…

    I think the OPDO issue is a tragic one for Oromos and the country. I believe the faction that won out is the one that Aba Dulla had developed and installed while he was President of Oromiya. There were two major problems with Aba Dulla and his network: firstly he himself is reputed to be among the most corrupt, and secondly his people were groomed with loyalty to him personally and not necessarily to EPRDF. Melles pulled him back to Addis to put him under a tighter leash with the title of Speaker of the House, and then proceeded with the – what else – “anti-corruption campaign” to weed out Aba Dulla’s people.

    With the current troubles consuming the attention of EPRDF, it looks like the people Aba Dulla groomed were able to use the opportunity to basically remove the ones Melles had put in place. This is happening at a very fast pace right now. So the new OPDO ruling faction is really rushing to “clean house” while they can. I know for a fact they have started with weeding out the Melles installed people, even if they were really competent at their jobs. They have the perfect excuse of the Oromo protests on one hand, and the threat of Jawar/OLF extremism on the other.

    So a more streamlined OPDO is a good news/bad news for the Oromo people. It is good it will be more effective, but it will also likely be more effective in the corruption business in which it had previously been implicated.

    There is no “ethnic” community as diverse in Ethiopia as the Oromo – no other ethnic group carries within it the religious, geographic, climate and livelihood diversity of Ethiopia. How Oromo politics evolves to accommodate its internal diversity is to me a major stage in the development of overall Ethiopian politics.

    There is an unspoken “good guy”(OPDO) vs “bad guy”(OLF) act that at bottom is driving events – a quest for organizational hegemony within the Oromo community, and Oromo hegemony within Ethiopia. (I got “Oromo Hegemony” term from Horizon – I think it is really good). They are not promising a resolution of the land issue for example (which started the Oromo youth riots), or of freedom from hegemonistic political organizations.

    The tragedy is that with the numbers and geographic spread of the Oromo there is almost nothing they cannot get peacefully by just insisting on a clean and fair electoral system. They can accommodate internal diversity that way, and it would be a wonderful project other Ethiopians can jump on board.

    And this would be a good segue into the Oromo diaspora activities. One of the things people were shocked by Jawar was when he mentioned the need to have an Oromo army. To me it was most interesting that one of the reasons he articulated the need for a common Oromo army was to “forestall intra-Oromo conflict”. As far as I am concerned this tells you everything you need to know about this dangerous lunatic. He is tacitly acknowledging Oromo diversity is such that different sections will feel the need to be armed to protect themselves from other Oromo groups. He is either very arrogant or extremely naive/ignorant to think that a conference or two will resolve differences of interests and outlooks that have built up over centuries. No – he wants to manufacture a fake consensus in a conference, then use that to create an army that will be beholden to the said conference, which he probably expects will crown him. I guess this weekend is when the big Oromo conference is taking place, and we will see how things go.

    The other shocking development is the birth of Amara nationalism and the mushrooming of Amara extremist groups that are claiming that they are engaged in terrorist acts in the country. It is fashionable in this site and others to equate Amara = Ethiopia but in my experience this has never really been the case. Amara nationalism did not exist before. Now it does.

    I find the rhetoric of these groups not too different from the Weyane one – basically it is “each ‘group’ comes to the table and we will deal”. In EPRDF’s eyes, an Amara extremist group is more legitimate than a legal organization that stands for a pan-ethnic Ethiopian agenda. For reasons I have written about before, EPRDF does not have the capability to include multiple organizations supposedly representing the same ethnic group – the franchise system will collapse if you can’t guarantee political monopoly within a territory. So its option is to co-opt these people as individuals members, or else to fight them. Which right now it is fighting.

    Not encouraging

    I would like to hear your perpective.


  • Amde

    Selam Awatistas,

    Checking in after some absence….

    Here is how I see the state of play in Ethiopian politics:

    1. EPRDF is in a state of …. um….flux.
    – TPLF is vertically split between the Addis and Meqele factions
    – ANDM is horizontally split – higher ups are trying to bring to heel lower cadres implicated in fanning and abetting the various disturbances/insurgencies currently at work in the region while the lower ranks accuse their higher ups of not standing up for Amara interests.
    – There are personality animosities between Tigray and Amara regional presidents, and unhealthy institutional competition between the TPLF and ANDM.
    – OPDO on the other hand, seems to have come through with its xxxx together. It has replaced the Oromiya president. It had also replaced the Oromiya cabinet, which now include a number of technocrats. OPDO even took some ministers from the federal level and put them in the Oromiya cabinet – this is rather surprising as the typical trajectory of ambitious/competent politicians/bureaucrats is to move to higher levels.
    – The relative dysfunction of TPLF and ANDM, compared to OPDO getting its act together, paid off in the increased representation of OPDO in the count of new ministers as indicated in the article, including the plum one of Minister of Foreign Affairs.
    – PMHD repeatedly postponed announcing his new cabinet, and I suspect it was to give time to TPLF and ANDM to provide him with candidates. It seems they couldn’t internally resolve their issues in time so he put a cabinet together with those he could.

    2. PMHD and his cabinet.
    – It is rumored PM Hailemariam really tried to get many more non-EPRDF technocrats and academics in his cabinet than he actually did, but he made some headway in that regard.
    – Perhaps I am naive and optimistic, but I think this cabinet represents the beginning of a shift of power from EPRDF central to the cabinet and the prime minster. There is now only one Deputy PM, compared to the three before – basically one for each of the other EPRDF parties. Each Deputy PM was in charge of a “cluster” of ministries – a kind of arrangement that supposedly would bring a holistic approach to the sector the cluster would target, but it would also undermine the authority of the PM. The whole cluster system is gone now.
    – It is not verified yet, at least to my satisfaction, but the “kitchen cabinet” of EPRDF grandees who were clustered in the PMs office with title of “Prime Minster’s advisor with ministerial rank” seem to also be gone. That must be excellent news to the actual ministers in the real cabinet.
    – Personally, while I agree academics do not necessarily make good administrators or political infighters, it is good to see a PM show he respects knowledge and learning. One of Meles’ infamous sayings that people would constantly repeat to you was when he said he didn’t care about the competence and skill of an official as long as the said official was loyal. Contrast that with PMHD going out of his way to show his appreciation for technical skills and knowledge. He himself was for many years dean of what is now Arba Minch University, at the time considered a very good technical school focused on water development and technology. So he may have missed surrounding himself with intellectuals and technocrats.
    – One new office set up under the PM is one tasked with democratization. Perhaps it was lip service, but maybe when PMHD declared that implementation of some kind of Proportional Representation would be a goal, he had this kind of office in mind to make it reality.
    – All in all, methinks he hit on a number of very promising notes.

    3. Issues
    – So the question is, do these things matter to the public at large?
    – The Oromiya protests started off as farmer protest against land dispossession, and have now become primarily identity politics. The Amara protests started off as a melange of identity and farmer land dispossession protests in the Welqayit region, and have morphed into identity driven insurgencies.
    – Arbitrary land dispossession in Addis is quite common – except that “middle class” people in cities are not generally the rioting kind.
    – PMHD making hay about the ethnic identity of his ministers is an attempt at addressing the identity politics part, a game EPRDF has been playing for over 25 years. I don’t think people buy it.
    – There is no mention of addressing the fundamental questions of land. There was a policy research “paper” produced which supposedly is advising on some guidelines on resolving land issues vs urban expansion. But there is no sign EPRDF is even willing to discuss the issue, so for now state possession of land remains as a valuable pillar of rural political control, and urban wealth extortion.
    – There are quite serious problems with vast competing corruption networks within the bureaucracy and EPRDF. It boils down to who gets the lucrative contracts for the large capital projects – roads, dams, railways, etc .. etc… The types of projects that require external expertise and capability create opportunities for foreign corruption.. mostly Chinese. “Ethiopianization” creates sub contracting opportunities for domestic companies which have the right connection to officials, who likely are getting kickbacks. If you hear of any official getting arrested for “corruption”, you can almost guarantee that the said official wouldn’t play ball and so angered a powerful network, or he/she is tied to another competing network. OPDO just announced it will conduct gimgema on 5,000 cadres for corruption, so you know the group currently on top feels strong enough to start chopping away.
    – It is quite known that a talented college graduate has no chance of career advancement unless they become EPRDF members. So the upshot is EPRDF is as of now composed mostly of cynical careerists who care mostly for protecting their positions and getting access into the corruption networks. The public has absolutely no leverage through the political or legal means.

    So this is where we stand. EPRDF is still mostly dysfunctional, riven with intra-party, inter-party and inter-network rivalries. The public does not believe EPRDF cares about them nor is even capable of addressing its own issues. Temporary “Peace” has been brought through a draconian state of emergency. Much was made of the 2000 released after being arrested, but nothing about the tens of thousands in different internment camps throughout the country. As far as I can tell, nobody is talking to the kids protesting in Oromiya, who have amazingly followed the rules of non-violent protests. Nobody is talking to the farmers in shoot-outs with the army in the Amara region, who tragically have nobody guiding them on the rules of non-violent protests. Meanwhile, we have diaspora based groups arguing that Ethiopia is already dead, or that there shall be no peace unless Ethiopia is dead.

    Ask me again in two months.


    • MS

      Selam AMDE
      As usual, very interesting. Time will tell that everything TPLF/EPRDF is doing is giving life support to the states quo. Bring the best brains in a corrupted culture and they have no chance of surviving let alone change the culture. The root cause is an ever expanding appetite of TPLF and its franchises of monopolizing Ethiopian affairs. Anything short of a new beginning where all stakeholders, including the opposition labeled as terrorists, have not participated in will remain to be a sort of covering a gashing wound with a band aid. At any rate, time will give its verdict.

    • Dear Amde,
      Nice to hear from you.
      if the pm is still under the influence of the old tplf/eprdf clique that tries to influence and sustain the status quo of divide and rule and rampant corruption, and the change is cosmetic rather than pragmatic, and he cannot shake off the white elephant from his back, then he has done nothing and he will fail in the end. people see and understand and they are no more naive and intimidated. they want real change asap. i hope he understands this for the sake of his government and the country. instead of beating around the bush, he should have announced his 100-days project, and follow it dogmatically (i would say). ethiopia is at a crossroad and it is a must that she takes the desirable turn towards peace, stability, economic prosperity for all, and of course, democracy and good governance.
      Some people demonize tplf day and night, (although its sins are many), nevertheless, tplf did not come to power or act alone or could rule the the country alone, if there were no enablers. therefore, saying tplf should disappear is not a panacea. we should make all change-seekers and peace-loving individuals and organizations stakeholders. those who change themselves will be on the new ethiopian bandwagon, and those who do not, will self-negate and disappear. moreover, we should be very careful of advices that come from all directions, for correcting one mistake by another mistake will take ethiopia nowhere, but to where these people want to take us – to chaos and the demise of ethiopia. they believe that their salvation depends on the demise of ethiopia. we should not forget that they come in all shapes and forms.

      • Amde

        Selam Horizon,

        Very well said and many good points.

        There are a few issues that I think are beyond his immediate control – at least right now.

        1. I doubt how much control and leverage he has over the military and security services. Those are still more or less TPLF run institutions. To make matters worse, the military senior officer corps has probably become quite used to enrichment through contracts via the military run Metec (Metals and Engineering Corp). So loss of military jobs could also be loss of access to lucrative government contracts. I think ultimately this is a problem for TPLF to resolve frankly, but it may be a few years in the future.

        2. As as I can tell, the public’s consensus on a national level is just on the political monopoly of TPLF through EPRDF, and the unchallengeable corruption of EPRDF cadres throughout the land. And that is it. Since the political sphere has been closed off, there has been little open public discussion on other issues. So it hard for me to see where PM Hailemariam can aspire to get public support beyond these.

        In any case, his cabinet composition is generally premised on improved efficiency of the status quo (typical engineer mindset lol) not necessarily addressing what the public wants.

        Who knows, perhaps in six months he and his cabinet may have been successful enough to start addressing some of these issues.

        One of the interesting points I picked up recently was a university professor (?) who indicated that no political organization has been as successful as EPRDF in implementing its policies. But EPRDF insists the problems are of execution and not of policies. A technocratic cabinet is congruent with the “better execution” argument. So the new cabinet’s value may be more in terms of widening the opportunities for other non-EPRDF parties rather than in necessarily creating a more efficient executive branch.

        Personally I see a gradual path out of this issue that will retain EPRDF and its constituent parties within the picture but open the path for others. But that is me.. as far as I can tell, even General Tsadqan who advised for free internationally monitored elections is still anathema among TPLF circles. Your point on TPLF and their enablers is spot on. I just hope they listen for their own sake – let alone the country’s.


        • Dear Amde,

          Please, try to come to awate.com more often.

          Tplf high ranking military officials’ practice of benefiting by controlling the economy through businesses run by the military (Metec), is a lesson learnt from the egyptian military. Having access to infrastructure projects with big money and handling hundreds of millions of dollars in military hardware purchase have opened a wide door through which they have enriched themselves with illegally earned money. Asset declaration should be obligatory for all high ranking military officials, and illegally obtained wealth should be confiscated. Siphoning money secretly into their pockets has lasted far too long, and it is time such businesses are under the full control of the central government and handled with transparency.

          Senior military officials are as strong as the soldiers and officers who are ready to execute their orders. Otherwise, they are impotent. Invigorating democracy and making the people owners of the wealth of the country is another way to disarm them. They cannot continue to be above the law. Enough is enough.

          In addition, accurate asset declaration, which can be verified by a third party, should also be obligatory for all government officials and the law should be unsparingly implemented.

    • Ismail AA

      Hi Amde,

      Very informative follow up survey of the situation. Thank you very much for the effort. One point that caught my attention is that the Prime Minister is trying his best to calm down the situation and create ground for resetting the ruling coalition to make it more accommodative by way of adopting a kind of proportionality in the framework of the EPRDF.

      This can be reasonably surmised from the representation of his new cabinet which seems to have given the OPDO adequate space to overhaul itself. As you have eloquently stated, the circumstances for the other two partners could be more tenuous. But, in my view, and due to the representational ground the OPDO enjoys, it could emerge as a central actor on the path of introducing measured reforms through changes in the electoral system (the board) and opening reasonable space for the opposition in future elections.

      Anyway, it is important for the peoples and the country, as well as the larger region, that Ethiopia stabilizes and moves in a direction of changes that safeguard its unity by way of devising a genuine federalism which accommodates the interest of all stakeholder.


      • Amde

        Selam Ismail,

        As someone who is a critic of EPRDF, I would say I really like PM Hailemariam and sincerely wish him all the very best. To put him in historical context, I think we would have to go back over 200 years to see a peaceful transfer of power before him. For a country that has had politics be synonymous with war, he has a chance to make a decisive and historic break with that. EPRDF would be extremely foolish to undermine him. This past weekend I was talking with a friend of mine who made the point that at this juncture it is in fact EPRDF which is at his mercy, rather than the widely perceived thinking that he is at EPRDF’s mercy. We are lucky he is a relatively decent man and in another good break break from recent tradition, a man of faith who is not ashamed to ask for people to pray for him.

        I appreciate your well wishes for Ethiopia in all your comments.


        • Ismail AA

          Dear Made,
          Thanks again, dear. You have succinctly characterized the relation of war and power in Ethiopian history. It is very hopeful prelude to a break with the trend of history you have described. It’s the wish of all well meaning Ethiopians, and others in the region, that the Prime Minister would succeed, and go down in history as the man who led the trend new beginning of civilized transfer of power.
          As you wrote, he has shown a lot of statesmanship since the time he took over after the departure of extremely dominant personality, the late Meles Zenawi. Despite a lot of unwholesome criticisms from many, especially the elite in the Diaspora opposition, he demonstrated a patience, and quietly stirred his way of leadership, which in my humble opinion, has been very sincere and patriotic so far.

    • saay7

      Selamat Amde:

      Thanks for the breakdown….We have to wait for two months for the next one?

      Reading you, it occurred to me that if Ethiopia were a regional federation and not ethnic federation, everything would have been described as the federated states vs central power. This is fairly common even in mature democracies like USA. So, all Ethiopia has to do is change its federation from regional to ethnic. It makes perfect sense because people move but land doesn’t and quite often one’s ethnic identity is overriden by regional. An Amara who lives in Oromiya for generations is… what in Ethiopia? EPRDF says Oromo and the person and common sense says he has Oromo identity.

      Your observation that nobody is talking to the “kids protesting in Oromiya….Nobody is talking to the farmers in shoot-outs with the army…” is worrisome. What is encouraging is what you said about the Prime Minister: “He himself was for many years dean of what is now Arba Minch University, at the time considered a very good technical school focused on water development and technology. So he may have missed surrounding himself with intellectuals and technocrats.”

      Perhaps the PM would review with fresh eyes his country’s land policy with the following in mind:

      Back in the mid 1990s, the University of Wisconsin-Madison published land tenure policies in Africa. It groups sub-Saharan African states by region–West (Francophone), East (Greater Horn) and South. It classifies land in these countries in the following categories:

      1) What is the official objective of land tenure in the country?
      2) What is the de facto dominant tenure type?
      3) How extensive is private ownership (Freehold) of land?
      4) State leasehold?
      5) Community based?

      The most control-freakish countries in Africa are Tanzania, Ethiopia and Eritrea. This is not only because they do not allow some form of private freehold, it is because the official objective of land tenure being state-ownership is not transitional/provisional but a long-term objective. Tanzania’s land policy was based on Nyerere’s “Ujamma” (which included villagization and forceful relocation) was deemed a massive failure—by Nyere himself.) Ethiopia’s land policy is a hold-over from Mengistu which is considered one of Africa’s “most successful” (by the collectivists.) As for Eritrea’s, read Ali Salim attentively with a caveat: those who are settling the Western regions of Eritrea are THEMSELVES displaced by government policy from their own land in the highlands.


      * Ah, I forgot that Emma will ask for the paper:)
      Bruce, John W. Country Profiles of Land Tenure: Africa, 1996
      John W. Bruce
      ISBN 0-934519-79-X

      • Amde

        Selam Saay,

        Wow you gave me a rich vein to mine. Thank you so much.

        I don’t know if you have read some of my postings on the type of federation Ethiopia should follow, but what you wrote ..እጠቅሳለሁ “Reading you, it occurred to me that if Ethiopia were a regional federation and not ethnic federation, everything would have been described as the federated states vs central power. This is fairly common even in mature democracies like USA. So, all Ethiopia has to do is change its federation from ethnic to regional. It makes perfect sense because people move but land doesn’t and quite often one’s ethnic identity is overriden by regional. An Amara who lives in Oromiya for generations is… what in Ethiopia? EPRDF says Amara and the person and common sense says he has Oromo identity.” የ ጥቅሱ መጨረሻ። could have been verbatim my position. It would really address political diversity whether expressed in ethnic or regional forms. The only caveat is to establish the federal states along the historical regional ones or at least make those a starting point. To me the ethnic federation basis had become an increasingly pointless exercise.

        Let me take a look at your other points on land. In any case, much of the public is now convinced EPRDFs land policy is just a cynical position for rural political control and for urban personal enrichment. The whole Addis Master Plan fiasco would have been a non-issue if the farmers around the city had guaranteed ownership of the land and economic benefits accruing from it – sell at a price they like, or rent it. Instead, it became a threat to the hundreds of OPDO cadres making lucrative deals simply snatching land from Oromo farmers at will and selling it to more than likely non-Oromo capitalists or middle class urbanites.


        • Saleh Johar

          Amde and Saay,

          Today I feel I can relate to many things that are being discussed. Let me add to your ethnic vs regional federation.

          A few years ago I stayed in a small hotel in Hawassa. There were about ten of us. A youn, brilliant man always stayed around and whenever a guest needed something, to call a shoeshineboy, buy Chat, ciggaretes, the young man was there to run the errands. There were also soldiers in the hotel and surroungings and about six of them who were guarding the hotels. One day I asked him why he couldn’t find a better job, even join the police force. He was young and intelligent–I think he said he finished eleventh grade. What he told me broke my heart and felt very sad for his fate. He said, “Gashie, amara negn, ezzih kilil ayqeTrugm.” What? You are Ethiopian? He said he was born and raised in Hawassa but if he had to get a job, he had to apply to the police force of the Amara region.

          I felt that was a disaster waiting to happen and I talked about it with some officials in a freindly setting. They were not surprised and told me that was the biggest problem the Ethiopian federation was going through. They were genuine to my knowledge and since that day skepticism rule my thinking on such an arrangement. I would hate to see such a situation in Eritrea and I hope Ethiopia resolves such serious problem that encumber citizens in their own country.

          • Amde

            Selam Saleh

            Thank you for the earnest wishes.

            You know, the irony is that the ultimate losers in such an arrangement are the smaller communities. I put Tigray and Tigrayans in such a category. They are better off in an open and welcoming community everywhere, rather than being boxed in a small entity. So would the enterprising Gurage and Hadiya. And the list goes on. There is a happy medium where national citizen rights can be augmented by community and ethnic protections. The current arrangement will only get worse with population growth.


          • Dear SJG,

            It is too late, and we can do nothing but live with ethnic federalism until its expiry date. Nobody knows if and when that day will be. It is the poison tplf and olf fed our people. Our people are already addicted to it and they have crossed the point of no return, and they will never take a U-turn, at least in the immediate future.

            Much worse is the fact that ethnicity and religion are included in ID cards. Naturally, much more relevant is place of birth. Almost all of these minorities speak the local language, they grew up within the local culture and tradition, and they are not alien to these. Unfortunately, this is a consciously skewed ethnicity politics and it is a recipe for future disaster and even genocide. It makes insecure those minorities who happen to live among other ethnic groups, as this young man from the Amhara ethnic group.

          • Amde


            I would like to think it is not too late. I feel that, now a new TPLF affiliated elite is the privileged class they see how it is against their long term interest and they might push to do away with it or at least amend it in some form. Of course, that may be wishful thinking on my part. When the whole political system that brought these very same elite into power is based on it, it may be more difficult to get rid off.

            I think – if not OLF – its “legal” heir OPDO is just now starting to strut its stuff on the national stage. Ethnic federalism works for them especially as they have a geographic stranglehold and perhaps soon could have political stranglehold over Addis and the economically vibrant surroundings. The dream of OLF and its hatchlings is to keep the TPLF designed system in place but supplant TPLF by themselves. My bet is you will see increased noise from TPLF about narrow nationalism and corruption in the following months. It is just proxy for the TPLF vs OPDO struggle. The 5000 cadres OPDO has promised to መገምገም are basically the weeding out of Melles installed functionaries while TPLF is busy in its silly spat with ANDM.


          • Dear Amde,

            Indeed, ethnic federalism has exploded on tplf’s face, and it no more serves its interests. On the contrary, it has already become counterproductive, and as you said, it stands against its long term political hegemony and economic interests. When they unleashed the monster they were laughing, now it has got out of control and they are begging it to be rational and show some self-control. Unfortunately it is ignoring them.
            May be opdo is ruling at the center, while olf is ruling in the periphery, and moreover, it seems that it rules the hearts and minds of a large percentage of young oromos (my opinion). Remember, the recently carried out olf meeting in london. Jawar was saying, unless he sees oromo hegemony in ethiopia, ethiopia is not meant to be, and oromia should be created on the demise of ethiopia. Other participants stood right away for the formation of the republic of oromia on the ashes of ethiopia (no middle way). Until these people dump their outrageous plans for ethiopia and they approach other ethiopians for a common home, we cannot be sure of anything.
            Now, tplf can strut and fret as much as it likes (as shakespeare once said), but there is nothing it can do for it let the genie out of the bottle, the days it arrogantly said my way or the highway, if you do not like it, go to the bushes and fight as we did, and many more. The chicken has come to roost, and its past mistakes are haunting it today and it will continue to haunt it in the future, unless it is reformed and reborn. Therefore, we should appease with the genie of ethnic federalism all of us so that it returns back to the bottle by itself and not by force, if we really want to avoid a disaster.
            Look at the new world order in formation at trump’s political laboratory – america first, let us look inwards and not outwards, let the world care for itself and the us should not pay to sustain pax americana, build walls and electric fences to keep out black and brown faces, muslims, and so many of his outrageous plans for the coming for years. One can imagine the impact on countries like ethiopia and their governments who depend on the us for many things. Pmhmd was among the first world leaders to congratulate him.

          • Ismail AA

            Dear Horizon,
            There might not things too late in politics. Do not let pessimism invade your hope for better tomorrow. The situation in Ethiopia is not that much bad yet. What you have is an experience of mere two and half decades, which is not impossible to reset. It takes calm and patriotic reflection of the elite to address the shortcomings of the current system. To begin with, installment of the system was reaction of the bitterness the old imperial system and its feudal exploitation had instilled in oppressed sectors of the peoples.
            Things can go wrong only if the country is going to split along the fault lines of those who aspire to restore the old order and those who want to uphold the current system which experience of the last over two decades has proven it to be untenable.

          • Dear Ismail AA,

            Ethiopians should be very careful not to fall to a new nadir of wars and destructions before they start to recover again, if they can ever be able to do so after a nation-wide ethnic conflicts.
            Acting at the spur of the moment without studying the long term effect of their actions on the people and the country has always been the biggest problem with our elites. Calm and patriotic reflection is what we miss in some of our elites. Sometimes they are so blind for power and ethnic hegemony that they miss the significance of a united people and country. In addition, the fault line exists mainly in the minds of our elites and not between our people, and these fault lines are too many. That is why we have so many opposition parties that makes them incompetent.
            Tplf/eprdf came to power condemning the derg. Nevertheless, its democratic credentials are reminiscent of the dead system. People are telling it to democratize itself and democratize the country. The only thing we see is that it is going in circles, and it does not try to free itself from its past to be able to move forward.
            One should also look at those who aspire to come to power. Some are nostalgic of the old and defunct system (in their old ages they continue to live with their old ideas for ethiopia). Others want their own fiefdom and they fight the tplf/eprdf government with weapons that hurt the country and its people, by destroying the economy and scaring away foreign investors. Nothing could be more foolish than saying, “destroy the economy and tplf will be destroyed”. Thousands of poor workers lost their jobs and bread for their children due to destruction of factories and businesses in oromia and amhara. This shows that some of our elites sitting on their fat a.. somewhere in the west have lost contact with the ordinary ethiopian. The problem is tplf/eprdf’s undemocratic rule and not the economy, infrastructures and foreign investors or ethiopia’s tourism industry.
            Ethiopia has opportunities ahead of her, but this cannot be attained without democracy, peace and opportunities for the young to create and build the country. These are the things ethiopia misses for the time being and not the possibility to become a great nation in the future.

          • Amanuel Hidrat

            Dear Horizon & Ismail,

            Ethiopia will survive united, If the elites in the opposition and the ruling party are going to make the needed compromise for the sake of “unity and stability” of the nation. Democracy needs stability to take root and flourish in the conscious mind of the people and “fair minded” leaders to cater the democratic process that fits to the reality of their country. In politics there isn’t only one kind of democratic process as they are dictated by the sociopolitical and socioeconomic realities on the ground. Hence democratic process hasn’t only a “general characteristics” but also has “specificity characteristics.” So the stakeholders in the political communities of Ethiopia should take in to considerations this two characteristics in the process of their “democratic reconciliations.” Now let me point out and respond to some of Horizon’s comment as to what was went wrong since the election of 2005.

            (a) When realities do not met expectations, you do not throw away some of the success you made, because you do not met your expectation or to protest some of irregularities of the electoral law of 1995. Usually irregularities are corrected with the next cycle. Irregularities should not hold you from letting the winners from running the business of the country. We have seen many irregularities even in the advanced democratic countries such as US, and nothing hold the winner party to govern.

            The two opposition coalitions comprising both national and regional opposition parties – the United Ethiopian Democratic Forces (UEDF)(5) and the Coalition for Unity and Democracy (CUD)(6) won around 200 seats in 2005 election that gave them enough ground, to run their political program and prepare for the next election cycle, to win the majorities seats or increase the number of their seats in the parliament to influence the policy and the peaceful democratic process of their system. Big time, they lost their opportunities and put the nation at risk. Now the country and the Ethiopian people where they are. Wisdom and patience are required to bring the people together through peaceful and negotiating process based on the current constitutional due process. Nothing is difficult to make changes or amendment in their constitutions or electoral laws if they lend ears of each other, provided if the parties don’t resort to overthrow governments by violent one after the other – the old cycle that breed mistrusts among the Ethiopian social groups. Fortunately, you have a constitution and a structure for due process that ultimately allows for peaceful democratic transitions. Besides, the ruling party must allow for an open, fair, and democratic competition for the oppositions not only for purposes of unity and stability, but also to flourish democracy and justice.

            (b) On the right to make a peaceful demonstrations: Citizens must have the rights to demonstrate for their civil rights and political rights in a peaceful manner to make their voices heard and for possible influencing changes in the democratic process of their nation. If my sources are correct, around eleven industries that were employing thousands Ethiopian people are burned or damaged. Such acts are neither a democratic in nature nor will it be a good outcome to the lives of the thousands of Ethiopian people who will lose their jobs as a result of the destruction that is incurred from the uprising. Destroying the infrastructures and mode of productions of the country is destroying the future of the people and the nation. Such acts should be condemned. As Horizon put it “destroying the (source of) economy of the country is not destroying TPLF (EPRDF)”. Parties can lose or disappear by democratic process and the fight should be to insure a democratic process and fair elections where the Ethiopian can give their legitimate voice to elect or to remove organized parties from power. I hope Ethiopians will chose these kinds of move that eventually mitigate the mistrusts of their social groups that existed for generations. As a foreign observer, I do not believe the problem is from the current federal system “ethnic federalism” rather it is from the “electoral laws” that doesn’t give equitable and fair competition to the oppositions groups. I also believe that with the current mistrusts of their social groups, it is unrealistic to form parties composed of all the social groups. The current realities allows representations of “alliance of parties” such as CUD, UEDF, and EPRDF …etc based on their ideological merits ,similar to that of 2005. Ethiopia has to go a series of social transformation to build trust among their social groups, to change the formation of parties and alliances. The issue is, it is not what individuals desire, but it is what the realities allows you on the path of democratic process. Look an example the democratic process of US election that doesn’t allow you to be president even when you win the popular vote. Is this a democratic in a real sense? to me is not. But there are some specific realities that dictate them to stick with the electoral college possibly to resolve the contradictions between the small states and large states. So Democracy is “a process” for resolving differences and and “a system” for insuring justice and rights for citizens. If Ethiopians see “democracy” as a tool for resolving differences, bringing justice, and insuring the basic rights of their citizen, they will challenge the current problem in short period. If they think otherwise they will live in a perpetual conflicts. I hope they will think the former.

            Amanuel Hidrat

          • Amde

            Selam Amanuel,

            Now that I have a little bit of time, I was going to get back to the discussion we had.

            What do you think of the electoral college system in the US? Wouldn’t you consider it a good device to magnify the political influence of smaller communities (or social groups as you called them?)

            And I am saying this as a Hillary voter who is shall we say extremely disappointed in the outcome. I don’t think American diversity is in any way shape or form as much as Ethiopia’s, so to me it is rather anachronistic. But it does give larger clout to the smaller communities. When I read what you are writing, it seems to me you are very much concerned with protecting smaller communities. Would you not embrace it?


          • Amanuel Hidrat

            Selam Amde,

            You are right, I am always on the side of protecting the “small social group” because they are susceptible to any kind of marginalization. The bigger social groups as dominant as they are, they always dictate the lives of the small groups in every aspect of their lives. So my political take is defend the weak and vulnerable social groups. Second, the electoral college system of US is not designed to “give larger clout to the smaller communities” as you alluded. If you read Alexander Hamilton’s argument in the “Federalist-68”, and according his view the power of presidency should be occupied by a men who are capable of analyzing issues, who could command favorable circumstances, and act judiciously with proper to govern their choices. So the president should be elected by small number of persons selected by their fellow citizens from the general mass. Below, is the quoted argument of Hamilton in the Federalist-68.

            “It was desirable that the sense of the people should operate in the choice of the person to whom so important a trust was to be confided. This end will be answered by committing the right of making it, not to any pre-established body, but to men chosen by the people for the special purpose, and at the particular conjuncture. It was equally desirable, that the immediate election should be made by men most capable of analyzing the qualities adapted to the station, and acting under circumstances favorable to deliberation, and to a judicious combination of all the reasons and inducements which were proper to govern their choice. A small number of persons, selected by their fellow-citizens from the general mass, will be most likely to possess the information and discernment requisite to such complicated investigations.”

            So Amde, the electoral college shows you, that instead of choosing the president by “direct popular vote”, it shows you the election of the president by “indirect vote of small group “representative” (535 in the current) of the mass, who are capable to elect the person to the office of the president. According Hamilton view ( which become the current electoral law since then), the mass are incapable to elect a person who fits to the office of presidency. So it has nothing to do with the small communities.

            Amanuel Hidrat

          • Amde

            Selam Amanuel,

            What if we took the “electors” out of the way and retain the idea of the electoral vote? Wouldn’t the smaller communities benefit? The electoral votes idea is an outgrowth of the Federal arrangement and compromise between the larger and smaller states. Conceptually it is what would like to see – no?


          • Amanuel Hidrat

            Selam Amde,

            Isn’t the electoral vote the vote of the electors? Can we have electoral votes without electors? According the theory of the Federalist, the term “electors” and “electoral” are the same except one infers the actors and the other infer their legitimate vote. Isn’t the small communities (states) compromise with larger states to have equal representative at one of the chamber (the senate)?

            Amanuel Hidrat

          • Amde

            Selam Amanuel,

            “Isn’t the electoral vote the vote of the electors? Can we have electoral votes without electors? ”

            Sure why not – let’s just take the whole “electors” thing out. We can call it something else – call it a State Score if you want. California has 55 potential state score. In the current system, every state has a score composed of two parts: one part is the number of congressional districts which is based on population (so 53 for California), the second part is a bonus of 2 points which every state has just for the privilege of being a state. That gives it a total of 55. The bonus has a bigger meaning for the smaller states: in California it is 2/55 = 3.6% of the total state score. A State like Vermont has a total score of 3; its bonus score is actually 2/3 = 67% of the whole. Californians are getting only 3.6% bonus while Vermonters have 67%.

            Out of 538 total State Scores, California’s 55 comes to 10.2% whereas Vermont’s score of 3 comes to just 0.56% of the total. But let us look at it as a ratio of population. The 2016 California population is 39mln. Vermont is 0.63mln. So California’s score of 55 comes to a score of 1.4 per every million Californian. But Vermont’s score of 3 comes to 4.76 per every million Vermonter. That is each Vermonter has 3.4X the political influence of each Californian.

            Obviously, Californians are being screwed big time. But without the bonus score of 2 Vermonters will have little protection against the larger population

            I think it is ingenious actually. But it forces one to prioritize between having a democracy or having a federation. If the idea of democracy, predicated on equal voice of citizens is followed, then this system is a fraud. Is it fair that a Vermonter has 3.4 times the political impact of a Californian? Not if you want to strictly abide by the spirit of one person one vote with each vote having equal weight. But if the intent is to have a federal like system where smaller units have built-in structural safeguard, I think it is conceptually sound.


          • Amanuel Hidrat

            Selam Amde,

            I appreciate your creativity. But according your data and the “state scores” which are otherwise electors in the current count, has two problems (a) Even if we accept the electoral college, the electoral distribution is not “fair” according the population of the states. Let us take for instance the two states (California and Vermont) you use in calculating the “state scores” and the ratio of influence as set in your argument. California with a population of 39M has 55 scores and Vermont with a population of 630K has 3 scores. If we take the “score to population” ratio of Vermont state which 1: 210K as bases for “fair tabulating scores” California should have 185 scores. The California population are marginalized to have only 55 scores. Therefore, the concept of “fair representation” lost in order to give “more influence to the small states” and it defeat the ideal of democracy. In my book, lack of “fair distribution of electors” within the small states and and big states fits to the bill of “marginalization” and “undemocratic political exercise.” (b) Sooner or later the big states will revolt to either have “fair distribution of electors” or to change to “popular vote” to decide the office of the presidency.

            Now, I hope that you will not bring such argument to the Ethiopian proper for a simple reason (a) Ethiopia has its own reality that dictates to any possible outcome (b) Keep in mind, when the electoral college in the US was implemented in 1787, the population of the US was homogeneous of white race. That reality in itself tells you the impracticality in the Ethiopian proper (c) For Any country to experiment any kind of democratic governance, it has to go through many adjustments and amendments on their “systems” and their “institutions”. Ethiopia can not be different from going continuous adjustments in their “ethnic federalism.” So Amde, if the electoral college is somehow in your mind for the Ethiopian realities, not only doesn’t give fair democratic process to the Ethiopian people, but also alien to the reality of Ethiopia.

            Amanuel Hidrat

          • Amde

            Selam Amanuel,

            Great response. But I wanted to push the discussion to see which way you favor… Federalism (i.e. protecting minority rights) vs Democracy.

            To me the whole concept of Federalism is an exercise in limiting the powers and influences of a centralising power. It could be in a non-democracy context. For example, for me, the title of “Neguse Negest” (King of Kings) – basically “First Among Equals” – is an expression of the Federal idea. And in fact that was how it was exercised. The Kings of the various regions (Lasta, Wag, Shewa, Tgre, Kefa.. etc) had pretty much complete latitude in how they ruled their fiefs as long as they recognized their sovereign and paid appropriate tribute. It was just that the PROCESS of becoming a Negus or a Neguse Negest was decided via military contests. Whether that is fair or not, one could argue all the federal units had a more or less equal chance of being more competent at the military thing, and hence of getting crowned as Neguse Negest. They all could put an army of a few tens of thousand, and acquire the arms this army needs.

            We are now transitioning into a “democratic” era which for most people means that the PROCESS of determining who has power is done via some version of popular election. That means demography and population count becomes front and center.

            So what do we do when we have non-equivalent federal units? The units with the larger population will always have more votes/numbers. That is an inescapable fact. In such a scenario, what do you do about the smaller units?

            If all decision are strictly along “democratic” (i.e. demographic) grounds, the smaller units will ALWAYS lose. So a logical outcome is for the smaller units to merge to become larger units to have more parity with the other larger units. Makes sense – right? But then, they have just lost the reason they were a federal unit in the first place.

            That is why democracy and federalism can be at loggerheads. You need the protection of federalism to forestall the tyranny of the democratic majority.

            I agree the current system is not fair for Californians, but the logical outcome of trying to maintain an equal political weight for each person is to ask Vermont to dissolve itself and join up with another state.

            The current Ethiopian constitution by the way tries to have something like the electoral college. The composition of the upper chamber (House of Federation) is defined in the Constitution thus: “Each Nation, Nationality and People shall be represented in the House of the Federation by at least one member. Each Nation or Nationality shall be represented by one additional representative for each one million of its population (Article 61:2 of the constitution).”

            To use the California-Vermont analogy, let’s see the equivalent political weight of the Yem people who have their own special woreda and whose population was estimated as 81,000, and the largest group the Oromo estimated at 30,000,000 (both are 2007 census estimates I rounded up). According to this rule, there would be 1 Yem vote in the upper chamber and 31 Oromo votes. The Yem get just the one vote for being a nationality but don’t get any more since they do not cross the million person threshold for additional votes. The Oromo get the 1 vote plus 1 more for each million in population.

            So in the upper chamber, the Yem vote is 1 per 0.081mln = 12.35 votes per every million Yem-ese, whereas for the Oromo it is 31 per 30mln = 1.033votes per every million Oromo. So in this scenario, every single Yem person has 12X the political weight of every single Oromo. It can be argued that the Oromo are seriously disenfranchised by the Yem.

            Obviously, under this scheme, the smaller the group, the bigger the relative reward. And the larger the difference in the size of the federal units, the larger the difference in the relative political weight between the larger and smaller units. This is mathematically inescapable.

            In such a scenario therefore, perhaps it is fairer along democratic principles if the federal units become closer population wise.

            Personally I like it conceptually. The problem in this specific Ethiopian case is that the House of Federation is not a truely empowered legislative chamber of bicameral legislatives as we know them in the US. It really doesn’t have the power over all bills like the lower house (House of People’s Representatives)… To use Nitricc’s term, it is relatively speaking toothless.


          • Amanuel Hidrat

            Selamat Amde,

            Protecting minorities is democratic in itself. Federalism recognize fair equity for diversities in terms of politics and economics so does modern democracy. Federalism as administrative system and democracy as ideological philosophy are interdependent and serve symmetrically for the common good and justice for all. That is why I advocate for both of them specifically for multiethnic society like that of Ethiopia. In my view there is no democracy without decentralized government and hence without Federalism. Ethiopia has federal system and the elites must work hard to make it work. To have good structure of governance is one thing and to make it work on the ground is another thing. Build the needed trust to benefit sociopolitical and socio-economic development for your diversity from the structural system.

            Amanuel Hidrat

          • Yoty Topy

            Hi Amde,
            Math has never been my forte and this might not be relevant to the point ,but on your analysis of the skewing factor of the ‘2’ awarded to each of the states, if you reduce the entire elecotorate by ‘2 ‘ from each state, doesn’t the proportion for each of the states you mentioned still remain the same ?

          • Amde

            Selam Yoty,

            Welll you are right of course.

            But the ‘2’ is the key to the whole thing.

            Democracy and Federalism are working against each other, especially when there is a large population difference between the two federal units. Why should small states join a federation with large states if they are told all decisions will be made based on population? It is suicidal for them.

            The ‘2’ is a cushion given to everybody but due to population differences, the smaller states get bigger impact with it. The ‘2’ is the Senate.

            The US is a Federation first, a Republic second, and a Democracy last. The electoral college concept is a perfect illustration of that. The “2 plus number of congressional districts” math is the device for giving small states more power. The electors are the expression of the Republican idea – Presidents are really elected by “electors” when they get together in mid December and not by the people, so technically Hillary could still be elected President. The election day outcome is the demonstration of the democratic will, which the electors are supposed to take into consideration when they choose the President in December.

            Between 1777 – 1789, the US had a Confederation operating under the “Articles of Confederation”. The Federation at that time did not bother with democracy and the relevant article on decision making is paraphrased in wikipedia (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Articles_of_Confederation) as “Allocates one vote in the Congress of the Confederation (the “United States in Congress Assembled”) to each state, which is entitled to a delegation of between two and seven members…. Members of Congress are to be appointed by state legislatures.” Each state at the time was roughly a democracy, with elected “parliaments” of themselves but a democracy at the Federal level was not felt to be necessary.

            By barely a decade it was clear this arrangement was not working …. the Confederation would clearly fail apart and they would have a mess of larger states expanding out west, accruing more and more power and worse – competing with each other perhaps leading to war. They needed to bring the states together tighter (remember the phrase “a more perfect Union”) and at the same time introduce the idea of democracy at the national level, so a new Constitution was written and we have the new USA. It is highly unlikely that the smaller states would have willingly joined if they were not re-assured through the Senate and its bonus value of ‘2″. My guess is that at some future time they probably would have been eaten up by the larger neighboring states any way if they had decided to stay out of the federation and become independent – Pennsylvania gobbling up Delaware, and New York making a nice dinner out of Connecticut. So joining in while they had some leverage made sense, and the “2” was their inducement.

            I don’t know if you saw my response to Amanuel on the current Ethiopian constitution and the structure of the upper house (House of Federation), but it’s membership allocation formula is the equivalent concept. Every nation/nationality/people (NNP) has a minimum of 1 representative, plus one more for every million in population. Personally, I would have left it as just 1 or 2 per NNP and not bothered with the “1 more per million population” part. Or something intermediate like a minimum of 1, plus one more if the NNP lived in more than one wereda (i.e. 1 per wereda, 2 per zone or killil). That would really skew things of course and the HoF would be completely dominated by the SNNPR.

            But as you can perhaps tell, Ethiopia is headed towards hegemonic competition between the Amara and Oromo, and we need to do something to empower other parts of the country to balance things out. The HF should also have teeth and have equal legislative power as the House of People’s Representatives (HPR). Since the HPR selects the Prime Minister, the HF should elect the President, who should also have some real power beyond the ceremonial.


          • Berhe Y

            Dear Amde,

            I just want to say that you have a great deal of knowledge, patience and expertise to really understand a constitution, inter working of a government and a peaceful, fair distribution of power.

            I believe the Ethiopian government, PM Haile Mariam could greatly benefit by your knowledge and expertise in setting the course of history.

            I know this is a lot to ask but I would highly recommend if you can pen all your wonderful ideas as a research paper and publish them (if you haven’t already) here in awate.com or any other website you seem appropriate so it gets the attention they deserve.

            Even better if you can find a way to get close enough to the power base and become a consul / adviser to the PM or those who are in power and lend your expertise.

            I consider you as an Ethiopian equivalent of Saay, and I wish the day comes to see the likes of you and saay negotiate our peaceful neighborly existence.


          • Yoty Topy

            Hi Amde,
            I get it now bro. I was confusing ADDITION for MULTIPLICATION:)
            I was asking ,shouldn’t California’s weight 10.2%(55/538*100=10.2%) of the total electorate be the same as if we reduced it by 102 electorate (51states*2) to 436 in which case California’s weight would be 12.2% (53/436*100=12.2%). Obviously not!
            I always marvel how the union came to be, in spite of all the myriads of problems it encountered. But, reading about this makes me appreciate more of the mount of intellectual labor that went in to it. You also have a great handle on these issues and as Berhe commented , you would be of great asset to the country if you could participate in some form.
            You know, may be it is ignorance or just pure cynicisms on my behalf , I never believed that there was any ‘substantial’ thought put in to the framing of the constitution in Ethiopia. I have always believed that its primary goal was to ensure the reign of EPRDF in perpetuity hence the reason why they opted for a parliamentary system in lieu of a presidential system.

            All you need is a third good competing interest to defuse the Amara/Oromo rivalry. Do you think ERITREA + TIGRAY would provide a good counter balancing to the future Oromo/Amara rivalry ?:).

          • Amde

            Selam Yoty

            With respect to writing up articles and such…..for some reason I pegged you as an Ihadeg, so እዚህ የሚሞነጨሩ ድንገት ጠቃሚ ናቸው የሚባሉ ነገሮችን ሹክ ለሚባሉ ጆሮዎች ታቀርቡ ይሆናል የሚል ምናልባት የተሳሳተ ግምት ይዤ ነበር። lol…

            The main thing is that I don’t believe we lack good ideas or knowledgeable experts. I think we lack goodwill and the mentality of politics as war is still with us. Right now, on one side, we have people that have amassed vast power and wealth who have no limts on the amount of lives and freedoms they are willing to waste to maintain their status. And on the other, we have people who want to ride the horse of public dissatisfaction to a fool’s gold called ethnic nationalism. ዘመኑ የጉልበተኛ እንጂ የአእምሮኛ ነው ብዮ አላስብም ። It is not lack of ideas. So I accept what I discuss here for what it is.. mostly theoretical stuff that perhaps in some time can contribute to the bag of themes and ideas that may contribute to get us out of the ditch we will inevitably find ourselves in in very short order. ገልበተኞች ተራግጠው ሲወጣላቸው ማለት ነው።

            To cut to the nitty gritty, I really think the era of TPLF hegemony is drawing to a close. I believe the political culture and constitutional order they created makes them and other smaller communities big losers. It is my sense they recognize that allowing uncontrolled democracy is potentially suicidal. So, seeing this abyss, they resist democratization. Instead they choose to cut the public down with snipers, while engaging in organizational and factional infighting within themselves.

            In this case, it is specifically a TPLF/EPRDF problem, but it is not an original one. This is the Vermont problem. How to create a balance between Federalism and Democracy.

            The way i see it, smaller communities are best served by a cooling down of Oromo and Amara nationalisms and by magnifying their power in national politics.

            Going away from exclusive ethnic territories can help. There is so much regional variation within the two large ones, I sincerely believe they will be better served with regional federal units anyway. Keep an eye out on what transpired in Atlanta this weekend.. it is instructive.

            Empowering pan ethnic political forces can help… I really think EPRDF believes the new exclusive Amara guerilla and terrorist organizations are more legitimate than the legal and peaceful opposition parties like Andinet or Semayawi. I hope EPRDF rethinks this.

            And constitutional devices like what we were discussing can help. What do you think about raising the profile of the HF? Instead of the current formula, have 2 reps if an ethnic group has a killil or zone, and 1 rep if just at special wereda level. Make the HF a true second bicameral chamber with the same power over bills and other legislation as the HPR.

            When I speak of a counter weight to the Oromo or Amara I am not thinking of Tigray exclusively. Ethiopia’s population is roughly divided in thirds – Amara, Oromo and Everybody else. Tigray would be part of the “Everybody else” – grouped with the Afar and Somali, Gurage and Sidama. I think the key is to maximize the power of this third bloc. This is assuming of course politics is based on free elections. Politics as quasi warfare the way TPLF has been playing it would find what i wrote irrelevant.

            TPLF’s vision of Ethiopia is encapsulated in this scene from “The Good The Bad and The Ugly” https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=g6tR78d0cmA

            Please note, the scene ends with the statement “In this world there are two types of people. Those with loaded guns. And those who dig. You dig.”

            I would really like to hear your thoughts.


          • Yoty Topy

            Hi Amde,
            The closest thing I have to Ihadeg is a sickle and hammer that I keep in my toolbox.:) But let that not discourage you from opinionating – who knows they might be spying on this website. One day you might be called to the prime minister’s office. BTW, I really like the story of how Dr. Elleni Gebremedihn was scouted by Meles to help set up the Ethio stock market.
            As much as I would love to give you an informed input , I am afraid my expertise in this field is very shallow to say the least So I will curtail myself to simple observations. Having said that, I think your suggestion of raising the HF profile does make sense to me. It provides a clean and more equitable representation while reducing duplicity.
            Thanks for sharing the video bro. I really liked it:)The message is loud and crystal clear. Let’s hope that EPRDF makes adjustments for its own sake:)

          • Ismail AA

            Dear Aman and Horizon,

            Very good and useful input. You have made excellent observation concerning the election results of 2005. As you have indicated the opposition came out very strong and won substantial seats. The most important gain made was winning most of the major urban constituencies, including the capital. Dr. Berhanu Nega who was the mayor of Addis Ababa, had a lot of political stature and came out with more reinforced position. The EPRDF won seats from the rural areas and formerly marginalized social-demographic sectors of the society.

            Many keen observers who had contacts with the opposition had advised at the time not let the electoral opportunity not slip from their hands. But, things unfolded in disadvantageous direction that damaged both parties in the equation: the democratization process and the electoral ground the opposition had gained. Time and momentum was lost. Had the process gone unhampered, and the opposition in the parliament of election 2005 had taken its share of the political space its successful performance had given it, I would argue that the last election would not have given the government 100% victory. Perhaps the political representational map of the country could have been very different.

            Now, it is every well wishers hope that our neighbors would succeed to stir their country in the right direction through useful dialogue. Conflict and self-destruction would hardly help in rectifying the situation, and at the end all will come out losers, and their country could enter a dark tunnel without any glimmer of light at the end. Ethiopians will have gather their unified efforts and lead their country towards stabilization of the situation, dialogue towards resolution of the loopholes in the current system and devising a genuine federal system that opens space for freedom, democratic life and unity in diversity. I am one of those who wish Ethiopia to succeed because that is good for us, Eritreans, and the region by and large. Incidentally, those who want to see Ethiopia in turmoil and disintegration, are those who see their interest in chaos. The PFDJ and its supporters fall in this club, and their rationale is simply they think it helps them prolong their stay in power.


          • ናሁሰናይ ሰላም

            Greetings Sir,

            You see! This story is a reminder to the EPRDF that it needs to explain well what exactly the federation means. Because, the people seem to misunderstand it. All the guy needed to join the regional police is a residence ID and nothing else. What he said does not apply. It is just luck of information. If he is a resident of the region and has a resident ID, he can join the regional police or any other body he wishes. It has nothing to do with ethnic background.

          • Saleh Johar

            Selam nahusey,
            As you should know, I wa relating what I herd from the guy himself. I was not investigating the issue. Furthermore, some people I met acknowledged the problem. And I told you that. If you think the guy didn’t know all he needs was an ID, then there is no problem and it means either you are right or the guy and the people I talked to where right. I don’t know who is right. But I wish it is that easy.

          • Berhe Y

            Dear SJG, Amanual, Saay, Amde and all,

            I am a little bit slow and I am just reading some of what’s being discussed. Sometimes, I really don’t understand why we try to come up with something new when there is already something that worked. What happen to the first thing people learn in engineering “don’t try to reinvent the wheel”,

            I find this whole experimentation with constitution, federalism etc..is really a waste of time that people with little or no knowledge try to impose on others because they were the victors.

            I will leave the TPLF alone, don’t want to get Gash Eyob upset.

            Based on EPLF, and Isayas Afeworki past records, it’s totally insane to expect anything positive, be it land issue, constitution, civil liberties or any positive social aspect of a society to be shaped.

            I don’t think it’s the bad will of those in power but I think it’s the lack of knowledge and experience. We can say that about Mengistu Haile Mariam, Gadaffi, or Castro or Isayas. The only thing these people know best and have real experience is military leadership and autocratic form of government. Anything “social changes” that comes from this type of leaders or organizations they lead has always a motive to give them ultimate power

            I personally think, Ethiopia should not have any problem if it was divided as in the past (14 provinces) and if they have a British style parliament system.


          • Amanuel Hidrat

            Ahlen SGJ, Saay & Amde,

            Those kinds of problems are not constitutional problems. Those problems are problems that could be solved by statutory laws passed the legislative body (in the Ethiopian case the national parliament). Any contemporary problems are addressed by statutory laws within the spirit of the constitutional laws. Statutory laws addresses new problems in new realities and circumstances. Those kind of problems are addressable by the parliament. The problem in this forum is, any problem that occur in Ethiopia attribute to the system – the federal system. But it is not. There could be other constitutional issues like the issue of land. But the movement of citizens from kilel to kilel and to enjoy the same rights with the residents of killers can be enforced by statutory laws.

            Amanuel Hidrat

          • saay7

            Hahaha Emma:

            I love love love when you talk about “the problem in this forum”:))

            Anyway, here are some random points, do what you will with them. I have appointed Amde as our “Explainer-in-chief” to explain all things Ethiopian to us:

            1. The constitution of Ethiopia does not have the word “ethnic” in it anywhere. So, in theory, it should be easy to switch from ethnic federalism to regional federalism.
            2. However, Lakeen, neger gn, African States are the images of their revolutionaries and the ones in charge of Ethiopia now (or at least at the time the constitution was drafted) made it very, very, clear that they had ethnic federalism in mind, specially when they redraw maps to create ethnic enclaves of one supra ethnic group (except in the deep south.)
            3. So, in theory, you are right: some things don’t require constitutional change but passing a statute. In reality, however, Ethiopia’s problems (and that of all of Africa are deeper) because:
            4. The question of whether federalism heightens or dampens ethnic tensions is not conclusively settled in states that have “holding-together” Federation. As you know, there are “coming together” federal systems (like the US, where states joined the union) and “holding together” federal systems (like all of Africa) where federalism was proposed after the post-colonial unitary state almost led to a failed state everywhere it was tried.
            5. So, because the issue of whether federalism exacerbates or dampens ethnic tensions is not settled, the guardians of the State (the elite) have come up with “Centralized Federalism.”
            6. I will play hold music here because I am sure you think I made up that phrase.


            7. and, we are back. So, the problem with Ethiopia is that it has centralized Federalism. And this is because “Ethiopia epitomizes the centralized African federation shaped by three centripetal forces: limited SNG* own-source revenues, a dominant party and top-down state administration.”


            8. Everything Amde has been writing in his series is how Ethiopia can overcome all three to be a truly Federated state. But, it is really hard. Statecraft is really hard. This is why we should be patient with all african leaders while demanding that the hardship of statecraft under no conditions justifies killing, arresting without charge, torturing citizens.


            * Sorry for the selection of the hold music, but that is the typical hold music you hear :)))) SNG = Subnational governments, ie, provinces, states, regions, cantons, etc.

          • Amanuel Hidrat

            Merhaba Saay,

            Short note from your response (a) African federalism is centralized federalism (b) designating Amde as explainer-in-chief about the political dynamics in Ethiopia (c) the value of the links you have provided to us.

            I will agree on Amde’s assignment and on the characterization of African federalism as “centralized federalism” – an argument that bring us on the same page. I think the link you provided us talks about that nature of African federalism. I will read it before I make my argument. Thank you for the link.

            Amanuel Hidrat

      • Amanuel Hidrat

        Hi Saay,

        Thank you “Aya Adi’U” for the scholastic reference paper you gave us to read. I will read it. You are always resourceful. I also hope that you don ‘t mind if I ask references.


      • Ismail AA

        Dear saay,
        I rolled back and read your excellent input to Amde’s comment on land and federalism. I appreciated your informative input regarding the land.

        While re-reading your comments, something flashed back to my mind about something I read long ago when the EPLF strongman issued his infamous land decree. At the time, there was a lot of talk about usufruct. This was said with focus on the highlands where the traditional land tenure system in its varieties was rampant and
        entrenched. There was no mention about the lowlands.

        I did not really pay much attention about what this was all about because we were more concerned with the decree in general rather than paying attention to the details. I would have loved to know if you (and other brother as well), have something to add about this matter (usufruct).

        • saay7

          Selam Ismail:

          There are a lot of excellent analytical pieces of Eritrea’s 1994 Land Proclamation (which, actually, was written by PFDJ’s technocrats and is not Isaias Afwerki, which is it has also joined the constitution in the closed drawer file cabinet.) For a quick primer, I recommend “Usufructuary Right Over Land in Eritrea” by Amanuel Yohannes Abraha.

          As for what usufruct means, until Cuz Gheteb gives you the Latin/Greek/Geez origins, the best way to think of it is usufruct = ownership – right to sell.

          In Eritrea, this right, which is inconsistently applied, says:

          1. Every citizen has a right to land for agricultural use (agricultural use defined as farming AND pastoralism, with the latter a complete afterthought.)
          2. Every citizen has a right to land for housing in his/her ancestral land.
          3. If his/her ancestral land is an urban center, we will get back to you with a new policy, soon, God willing. (Since 1994 they havent.)

          A lot of the “customary” laws people brag about when talking about our highly civilized culture, gave right of inheritance to first-born male so…change was always needed in a modern state.

          One thing that always puzzles me is how the government celebrates making pastoral people sedentary. Shabait always presents as if this will result in them getting better social services–school, healthcare–(which appears to be empirically true); it just never discloses if they had a choice in the matter. My view is that Eritrea’s Land Policy, Eritrea’s Macroeconomic Policy are all predicated on agrarian values (industrialization) and pastoralism was an after-thought. But, I welcome being proved wrong.

          Oh, by the way, the Land Proclamation defines “Agricultural activities or farming” to mean “agricultural activities, including farming and pastoralism.” As for what usufruct means when it comes to pastoralism, Elmi Elmek. We should ask Ali Salim.


          • Berhe Y

            Dear Saay,

            I am sorry but you give the EPLF and the “technocrats” a lot of credit for really building up a a messed up government. I hate to think we “Eritreans” are sub human, that we can’t possibly adapt and utilize all existing rules and laws through out the world that we can’t possibly adapt.

            I don’t know which part of these proclamation are excellent but looking at those few points you outlined (I haven’t read the proclamation and I don’t think I can understand it even if I read it) is really worthy a praise. To me these points sound like, upside down communism / socialism..

            1. Every citizen has a right to land for agricultural use (agricultural use defined as farming AND pastoralism, with the latter a complete afterthought) – but only at single location.

            Why on earth is a person, who has a means and expertise of farming or raising cattle (at industrial level) needs to be be limited to operate in a SINGLE place? Having they heard about Dena Day..(spelling).? Didn’t he create jobs, export market, etc..etc..

            2. Every citizen has a right to land for housing in his/her ancestral land. (Built in right to inheritance, unless the gov feels otherwise)

            How can this possibly make sense….What’s a person preventing from building a house as a vacation, occasional house and live in a city on a second house.

            3. If his/her ancestral land is an urban center, we will get back to you with a new policy, soon, God willing. (Since 1994 they haven’t.)

            Off course, they don’t know what an opportunity cost means, they don’t know what a population growth means, they don’t know projected labor and material cost means, the don’t know what inflation means…they can afford to seat down for 20 years without making a land policy to allow and account a normal population growth.

            I like to understand things in a very simple terms. Eritrea and it’s size in terms of population and the land, it’s not modern day Hong Kong. Hong Kong has over 7 million people with a land mass of 2,700 sq km where us Eritrea has 6,380,803 (over 2000 thousand times) with a less population.

            WHY on earth they worry so much about land this, proclamation that, etc…

            To me the simple answer is, EPLF (the leadership) is really a Hasad organization when it comes to the well being of the Eritrean people. The Eritrean people are their enemy number ONE.

            I have not seen ONE example, anything they have done to better the people lives.

            I am not sure I agree in what you said here:

            “A lot of the “customary” laws people brag about when talking about our highly civilized (sophisticated!) culture, gave right of inheritance to first-born MALE so…change was always needed in a modern state.”

            You say modern state. አታ ሳልሕ ሰማይ ዝሃገርካ ካን: which part of these government you consider modern? Haven’t you see the photo album of your parents in the 50, 60 you say modern state…the only modern thing about these guys is, the dankeran, ebdanin, gayla…it’s nothing but modern, it’s going back to the stone age with this guys..

            We can say a lot the shortage of our customary laws, but for sure it’s better than what we got from these monkey and jungle laws they brought with them. One thing is for sure, it didn’t make the whole country destitute and refugees. As to the inheritance, I think it’s the youngest son who inherit the house/ land of his parents because naturally he is the one who will be burdened with aging parents and he has the responsibility to look after them.

            That’s 100 % more humane and more fair rather than the “modern laws” that we have. All the other sons are allowed land to build their own and make their living. The women are suppose to get married and live of their husbands..And in case where the husband passes away, they are also entitled to have land. Off course NOT perfect but it worked for the majority of the the people for it’s time.


          • saay7

            Selamat Berhe Y:

            I will get back to the PFDJ technocrats in a minute, but first, let me deal with what I meant by “modern state.” I meant one which accepts the equality of all citizens under the law. If you accept that as irreducible minimum (the atom of statehood), then Eritrea’s customary laws, charming as they are, worthy as they are in many aspects (conflict resolution, for example), do not treat women as equal to men. So, you can either say, “well, we will have a 10-year transitionary period to phase them out” or make it priority one to modernize them, if possible, and render them null-and-void, if not possible. In this regard, it makes no difference whether land inheritance was, by custom, proscrible for first-born male (Bokri) or last born male (Hsas lde): it is still a male, and thus you have two genders unequal under the law.

            Now, let’s talk about the technocrats. Let’s pretend that we have named Berhe Y as the Commissioner of the Land Policy on Eritrea. (You were drafted; you can’t say no: watch all those women singing “metSiekaley do?”; come on, look at them). This is what you know:

            1. In Africa, I think the Eritrean highlands are, after Rwanda, the most densely occupied land. That’s the arable land/person is, I don’t know the precise number, but little.
            2. As in the rest of Sub-Saharan Africa, the average Eritrean mother gives birth to 5 children. (There is no pension, no social security, no 401-k: that’s the retirement plan)
            3. You, Mr. Commissioner, have been assured by the Minister of Health, that her ministry is tasked with ensuring that all 5 survive childhood mortality and grow to be adults.
            4. With population growth, each generation’s plot of land is smaller than the generation before.
            5. In the Eritrean highlands, subsistence farming is the primary (only, before remittances were invented) source of income.

            Now, Mr. Commissioner, do you still want people to have unlimited access to land when you also know the Pareto Principle (that 20% of them will end up dominating 80% of the land, leaving the rest destitute.)

            Here’s the 1994 Land Proclamation: it won’t take you long to read it. I invite you to improve on it: but only within the reality of Eritrea, and not the port city state of Hong Kong which has no farmers:)



            * Notice how pastoralism is barely mentioned: that it its achille’s heel, i think. And I said that to one of the commissioners way, way back in the day when discussing policy with them didn’t result in your immediate arrest or making you persona-non-grata.

          • Berhe Y

            Dear Saay,

            Like I told you I read it briefly and still I don’t understand it. One thing I can speak from experience is that EPLF is VERY good at creating solutions to problem they don’t exist but they are never to be found in finding solutions to real problems.

            I don’t necessary agree that, in the name of equality, everyone is entitled to own or given land anywhere they want. It may sound crude but this problem, that women are not given land or that there is not enough was really the motivation of this proclamation. Let me give you an example, my father (as the yongest) inherterd the house from his parents. He tended to his mother until she died and later he ended up coming to Asmara for employment. S his income improved he tlrebuild his fathers home. He didn’t own land (was taken I think) after he was no longer living there full time or he didn’t care to have one. None of his children born and raised in Asmara had land. But my uncles and their children who lived in the village had land. So this to me is a solution in itself that doesn’t require the government to intervene. As to the women, first I don’t think there were women who needed land that were denied (those with no means) but it seems redundant (as you said because of the scarecity ) that they need a land when (most of them are to be married and live with their husband anyway) that they need a second land. By this proclamation, it means a husband and wife who are married and live in the same village would have double of what they need. I don’t think because women are not given land, it was for the reason of inequality or discrimination, because according to our for fathers, their ultimate desire is to have and see the women married and live / share with their husband. I understand there is a problem with people who are considered from other places that they have many years to own land even if they were born there, and may be that’s what need to be addressed. But I doubt it was a huge problem that requires to recreate the system.

            They didn’t have the idea of the liberators turned oppressors where they will have to leave all / most tegadelti partners for young girls and make them destitute.

            One the other hand, there were thousands of Eritreans displaced from their lands and became refugees in Sudan and wanted to return to their homes. The government with its endless excuses denied them for returning.

            You see what I mean, they create solution for problems they don’t exist, but they don’t have solution for real problems.

            I am not convinced that we really have issue of land and desnsly population. Over 50 years now since our people have been running away from their lands, meAs qesinom ms neberu emo kSabibu.

            By this I don’t mean that everything is nice and dandy and does not fixing but the government can’t dictate its laws in order to control the people.

            Equal rights and privileges mean.

            Freedom of movemcet
            Freedom of choice to live where ever one needs / wants to live
            Freedom to work and make a living.

            This does not mean, take someone amccestorial land, or take someone home either. Do it like everyone in the world does it, buy it when you have the means to do it. I don’t think there should be ERITREAN context or African context.


          • Haile Zeru

            Hi BY,

            I agree with you.

            PFDJ failed miserable in attracting investment, foreign or indigenous. Therefore no jobs
            for people to work and earn a living. They (PFDJ) compete for any small job, against the private sector unfairly.
            It is known the PFDJ enterprises pay (most probably they do not) less or no tax.
            One of the jokes in Asmera goes like: The only business these people (PFDJ) did not get into is shoe shining.
            They monopolized most businesses, import/export, construction, education, health, retail, foreign exchange, agriculture etc.. . As all monopolies at first they look efficient and after a short while go into decay.
            They give hard time to private and other organizations (religious organization for example catholic) to open academic schools and trade training schools for the youngsters to acquire some skill.
            And now PFDJ has become so corrupt that doing business in Eritrea privately is unthinkable.
            They even went into the illegal business, such as black market foreign currency exchange.
            Most people that smuggled their loved ones from Asmera to Khartum by paying 10, 12 thousand USD know that Human trafficking is costly but effective and safer when the government officials have their hands on it. I hope COI will have its way and see some of those responsible show up in ICC.
            The fall back of all the failure is the land. They (PFDJ) have to take land by force from someone else. And they make people fight, hate each other.
            The whole world knows the mode of agriculture in Eritrea is not viable the way it is practiced now. What is the point of sending people to till the land? IF those people have a choice, at least most of them would prefer a job in a city rather than till the land in country side. Everyone knows this.
            PFDJ land policy is the result of disastrous failure. It is a cover up for the short sightedness and basically lack of skill, or good will to manage a country and people for the good of the citizens of the country.
            All the leftist , progressive sounding phraseology is just a cover-up for the epic failure.

          • Amanuel Hidrat

            Dear Berhe & Haile Z.,

            Can we say the PFDJ is miserably failed, if the public good wasn’t part of their goals set to accomplish? A party ‘s failure is measured by how much part of the goals they set haven’t fullfilled.They set the party to own enterprises. Since the state machine is in their hand, it is quiet natural that their business laws to be in favor their intetests. How could in our right mind think PFDJ to allow foreign and demostic private sectors in Eritrea once the party has its own enterprises? Common sense dictates that once the party enters into business entrepreneurship they will not allow citizen compitetors. Therefore PFDJ did not fail from the goals they set. From the get go their fight was for the interest of the party. That is why the people ‘s fight should be to dismantle the system and not to remove individials. I hope I am not provoking our friend saay whose efforts are rooted on the removal of one man? Eritrean must understand the party and itd goals, then we will know what our fights will be.


          • Berhe Y

            Hi Aman,

            We do make comments from time to time that, the PFDJ owned enterprises, or that the PFDJ owned companies, or the PFDJ owned business etc..

            We make them sound like the PFDJ created companies similar to those owned by the Chinese government. But in reality, Eritrea entriprises, even if we add all their assets and their worth, let alone to call them enterprise, they don’t even qualify close to anything as companies when compared to the world / African market. They are just better than the maHaber listro, or maHber qonenti.

            Do they invent, produce or create anything in the country in any of the enterprises they suppose to curry the heavy name they suppose to represent. Let’s compare to the old Italian based enterpises…the likes of Enda Samna, Enda Omo, Enda Zeyti, Enda Merengi, Enda Kisha, Enda Asa, Enda Shikor, Enda Seba, Enda Birra, Enda Kanatera, Enda Aleba, Enda Vinno, Enda Chama, Enda Cementoj, Enda Coka, Enda Areki, Enda Haregot, Enda Setayo, Enda Qorbet, Enda MaHresha etc..

            Eritrea was self sufficient for the most part and it was able to produce the goods it needs for the country to self sustain and export some. They employed thousands and thousands of people with decent income to raise and feed their families, some even able to save and purchase homes.

            What did the president said when he first set foot in the country, we are broke, we don’t have money, these industry are not call industry…day in and day out…

            What he and his cronies (some even who lived in the west setup) black market enterprises..like and thought they are the smartest people in the planet and thought the can fool the world and Eritreas.. So they went on a venture of what they call Bado 06, and start to import everything from abroad, Soap, Coke, Oil, etc..basically they shut down or killed all the enterprises and they become an import company where they can get quick turn on their investments, and collect all profit in their pocket while starting the nation and thousands of families who were dependent on those jobs to basically go broke. They shut if not all most of the industries and with that all the skill set, has gone for ever.

            Just imagine now, even if the devil is gone, the enormous task it will require to setup such industries….where it could have been possible to improve those industries, attract foreign investors or get long term loans to continue to cultivate the work force and modernize and improve the skill set.

            Dear Aman,

            DaHan abEu emo yebSHana….to see this devil government removed…then we will get our country back…


          • Amanuel Hidrat

            Merhaba Berhe,

            I agree the losing of many active industries that were during the Haileslassie era. Just you made me to recall my friend and my schoolmate ( a graduate of industrial chemistry) Mohammed Saleh Hagos, who owned Enda Omo industry, and allegedly killed by the regime few years ago. So I do not have any doubt that the creative and imaginative entreprenuer mind of my fellow Eritreans will revive the economy of our nation once the freedom of private sectors reassured in future democratic Eritrea, if we will have one.

            But, my point in my previous comment has two concrete message (a) An organizational failure is measured by the magnitude of the unfulfilled agendas as set forth by the party itself (b) to identify the ideological philosophy of the party, and as a result to remind my fellow Eritreans that the problem is not the individuals but its philosophy and the system it built to run its philosophy. So brother we have to identify where our fight should focus. Individuals can go and come but a system persist to exist as far as believers (such as Semere T, Mahmuday and many more) resist our fights to change the discourse of our nation. Remember the fight between two ideological views. One to retain the totalitarian regime in its entire practice, and the other for individual freedom and free market economy that opens doors for private sector one of the pillars of the state. Berhe, don’t you think so? If you think so then our target is to the system.


          • Berhe Y

            Dear Aman,

            I really do not give much thought let alone care if there are people who wanted to retain the current authoritarian system. It’s just non a starter and I don’t think it will get anywhere. The only solution is for us to agree to disagree and move on.

            How ever I do believe there is a genuine believe that, for change to happen it needs to come from Eritreans from inside the country and from those inside the current government. And reform the existing government structure (based on constitution, rule of law etc) and move to smooth transition and move forward.

            I do think this approach is a bad option, actually I think it’s a good option. First and for most, it doesn’t mean to protect the legacy of the PFDJ, EPLF or Isayas, no far from it. But because it’s the government that’s in power, and we need to use it as a basis to where we want to go. I don’t think 99% inside the country, those public servants, teachers, administration etc..have anything to do with the policy and it’s implementation of this devil government. They are as much as you and me are, trapped with the burden of this government and they will not defend it’s policy of destroying the country and empty it’s youth. They are victims like the rest of us and it’s in their own interest to see this system of government removed. Leave those feliTom zidekeqsu…

            The reason I say it’s a good option is, because there is no united power ready to take over the government (what ever left of it) and set the country in the right path. We can see all the examples of such uncontrolled transition (as dictators in their nature make sure there will not be smooth transition), like Somalia, Lybia, Iraq, Yemen and others. So it’s not that they wanted to protect the dictator but rather the country and the people.

            The only grantee we have is, who ever is in power, follows the constitution and that we have the mechanism to check and control the power. At the end of the day, who ever is in charge be it former EPLF, ELF or just a civilian (as long as he / she are Eritrean and have no crimes committed in the past) then they have every right and every responsibility to be in the government and higher offices. And it will be up to the government of the day (who won the election by legal means) to do what’s right and to their best interest what they wanted to keep and what they wanted to replace. Again, if it’s done legally.


          • Haile Zeru

            Hi Amman,

            The failure that I am talking about is is measured from the interest o the people. They measure their success or failure from what you out lined above. We have two different sets of evaluation.
            So I have to add as I said in the last sentence of my above post. They failed the people.

          • Amanuel Hidrat

            Selam Berhe,

            If there wasn’t human right abuse by the regime, Saay would have been supported the policy of EPLF/PFDJ, if not all, surely the vast majority of it. Saay support the outcome (the charter) of the 3rd organizational congress of EPLF – a charter that does not recognize the importance and the need of “unity and reconcilaition ” after decades of civil wars. A charter thst was drafted and dictated by Issayas to the extent he barred individuals not to compete individuals of his dislike (eg Romedan). A congress ‘s charter that become the basis for the 1997 constitutional document, which only reflected the value of the organization as oppose to the value of the Eritrean people. A congress that understand “a party” can own business institutions of economic production as a result “ኩሉ ንብረት ገድሊ አብ ክንዲ ንብረት መንግስቲ ዝኸውን ንብረት ፓርቲ ዝገብር:: A congress that become the basis of all the current evils. I am sure will sure come with full effort to defend their charters. Am I right saay? I think we had an argument on their charters and their constitutions.

            Amanuel Hidrat

          • saay7

            Haha Emma:

            No, sir, not at all. If the gov had a clean human rights record, I still wouldn’t have supported it for the simple reason that I don’t support commies:). But I wouldn’t have opposed it, either. I would have been agnostic.

            I think you confuse me saying that the PFDJ has a coherent ideology with me saying it is so coherent I support it.


          • Amanuel Hidrat

            Merhaba Saay,

            Aya Adi’U, if their ideology is congruent with your views, there is nothing you couldn ‘t support it. Commies is simply an expression of calling for peoples of the same ideogy. Being of the same ideological view, and their ideology is running as the policy of the state of Eritrea, then you are only disgusted by the rampant human right abuse, and of course who doesn ‘t except the supporters.


          • Millennium

            Dear Amanuel
            I think Saay is saying PFDJ has a coherent Ideology. This does not mean that ideology is “congruent” with his.

          • Amanuel Hidrat

            Selam Millennium,

            You are right. But we argued on their charters and he didn ‘t see abnormalities in it. The fact is that the party is still running the state with that charter. When we object we did it for both “the idea and the owners of the idea.” It means we object Issayas and his views.


          • saay7

            Anta Emma:

            Woy neger dlyliy betri hasewsew? Didn’t you say you read “Shaebia kt’Haqeq Alewa”? That paper is nothing but a long critique of the PFDJ charter.


          • Amanuel Hidrat

            Okay Saay,

            There is no neger nor betri abzi denbena. I just recall debating on the charter and the constitution. You had different take on them than me. If I am wrong about your take on the charter I could stand corrected. Therefore peace be upon us.


    • Nitricc

      Hi Amde, it is encouraging that you are starting to show some independent thinking neurons growing in your takes but you are missing a few points along the lines. you like it or not, Ethiopia is under full control of commanding post of the state of emergency, the question is who are the people with the real power behind the so-called commanding post? the point i am trying to make is that PMDH will not eat his lunch without the green light of the commanding post let alone for him to make any kind of sensible decision. there is a dangerous game is going on and the results are unknown, if it is not a mission of suicide unfolding.

    • Kaddis

      Dear Amde – many thanks for your informative ( bordering an insider look ) analysis .
      I am with an opinion – as a citizen, we should not be expected to analyse the intra-party struggle of the EPRDF. For me its just a party which should keep its act together and got elected or out if they cant. Unfortunately – now that the Party and Government position and resources are completely mixed / confused – you see comments on national Tv of reforming the party as if we should care.
      Not only us the citizens – but also Oromo activists like Jawar fall for rallying against the OPDO’s position within the EPRDF as a junior partner. It worked as I mentioned earlier to galvanise the youth to rally against Tigray domination within the party and economic , military power etc…. So what EPRDF had to do is to try to change this perception by assigning Oromo on key positions. The real question is – regardless of the internal reform or technocrats on the top – do you think OPDO has the capacity to govern Oromia? Will the hopelessness and desire to be heard will go away from the youth ? I don’t think so, with the level of corruption and the political confusion ( mainly coming from the opposition identity based pressure ) allow OPDO or other parties to attract enough professionals to change directions. So my argument is – because of the wrong proposition by the opposition activists and the wrong answer by the ruling party – the struggle will not deliver…. And the internal no-war-no-peace situation will be our new normal.

      On your constitutional take: just to add another perspective, the political crisis has some positive element as well – partly for the ruling party. We have seen a shift of the opposition’s messages from ‘kefafay’ constitution to constitution yikeber, in a firm way. Federalism has become a norm rather than an exception; the discussion is now which type. The unionists are now in a position to accept more than one flag representing the country. Once you are ok with OLF flag there is no way back. Imagine if all this was possible when Eritrea was demanding the same thing? What is missing in fact in our political discourse is expecting the ruling party to be honest and forward coming without questioning the oppositions. Why did they rejected the constitution all 25 years and suddenly are ok with it after messing opportunities like 2005 election? I drafted this days ago and Saay now posted a new article which elaborates more ….cheers from Addis

      • Amde

        Selam Kaddis,

        To be honest with you, I am indifferent to the fate of EPRDF. But it is impossible to ignore it for the following reasons:
        – Ethiopia is an even more of a de facto one party state than ever, even with the muzungu pleasing attributes such as a bit more public space of an approved press, and impotent opposition parties.
        – The public’s voice has been rendered irrelevant in politics, and so, all meaningful politics has become an internal drama of the privileged EPRDFites.
        – As you suggested, Party and State are so intertwined, it is well nigh impossible to see the border between them. There was an entertaining gentleman on a radio broadcast who said the only way to tell between the Dr Jekyll or Mr. Hyde if it is the government official or the party hack talking by whether they are wearing a tie or not (the party guy doesn’t), whether they refer to each other with “ante” or “antu” (the party guy will go for “ante”), etc etc..

        My prognostications of a couple of months ago on the possible outcome of current events was that the sacrifice of the outside forces (the kids and farmers doing the dying) will ultimately only result in a re-alignment of parties and factions within EPRDF. It may bring some more equilibrium for the parties, factions and networks within the front, but as far as the people are concerned it won’t mean much.

        And the case of OPDO is a prime example. It appears the faction more notorious for corruption has consolidated its hold , and is busy cleaning out Melles installees. Is that good news or bad news for people in Oromiya? The reshuffling has not even begun to address the issues that sparked the one year old revolt now, so for the public at large so far it is meaningless.

        The people have had no entry and access point into the political system. And thus street demonstrations, acts of disobedience, revolts, sabotage and rebellion have emerged as the levers to use. These methods have shown themselves to be successful: the whole Federal cabinet had to be re-shuffled, TPLF and ANDM are paralyzed, OPDO has emerged out of its paralysis one way or another.

        There are of course less costly ways of making government responsive to public demand. Perhaps EPRDF will deign to try them out one of these days, but don’t hold your breath.

        So I guess we agree on the likely outcome of current events.

        On the federalism issue: I think it was Aklilu Habtewold who is reputed to have been saddened at the dissolution of the Ethio-Eritrean Federation because he wanted to make that into a template for a federation for the rest of the country. I will have to find the reference for that. But I would go as far as to say that there is consensus on a Federal arrangement as the future direction. It is just the nature of it that is under question.

        In any case, the trendlines are clear (at least to me) and we are headed into an era of hegemonic competition between the Amara and Oromo nationalist forces. Some of my suggestions on constitutional reforms are to see if there are ways to forestall this by making adjustments to existing tools and institutions.


  • Kaddis

    Dear Saay –

    Thanks for the call out. You know we are under a State of Emergency and not sure if writing on Awate.com is prohibited or not 🙂

    Enjoyed the conversations below but I see the re-shuffle as something that the government wishes to play within the limits of the opposition demands. Meaning – the Oromo activists who are coordinating the protests / violence in real time is using the ‘minority’ control of the state apparatus as a rallying factor. While both the government and the opposition knows its not the main problem nor the solution. But it was very effective to rally the youth, with a potential to create alliance between the Amhara and the Oromo, even with a risk of exposing Tigrés for ethnic violence. So the government decides to show it can mix the ethnic composition in the process making more space for the Prime Minister and some more technocrats.

    This is the nasty political game all is playing knowingly at the expense of undermining the true political and economic grievances of the youth, who is dying with a dead end cause.

    The solution was to give more power to the people, the right to get organised and allow to defend its rights, be it as a farmer or educated youth. Bringing technocrats will definitely help the performance of the government; by extension the economy, partly corruption and the service provisions. And the government, which is reforming by an inch, was never challenged by its policy but by its execution by the ‘toothless’ oppositions 🙂

    • saay7

      Ah, so, Addis:

      In the immortal words of Mengistu Hailemariam “yes belew negeru gebtognal”.

      You guys are in bad shape when the AU lectures you on governance. There was a pic of PMHD and Chairwoman Zuma where she was edumacating him that his decision to allow diplomats to move around without their 25km restriction* doesn’t go far enough and he should have “deep and meaningful” dialogue with the oppo.

      All governing parties think the opposition is “toothless” because it is not a mirror image of them. Don’t u agree?


      * My bff Bronwyn Bruton called on the US to retaliate on Ethiopia for restricting movement of its diplomats 😂 One thing I noticed when Mzungus befriend PFDJ: instead of influencing PFDJ, they get converted by it and talk like it. Herman Cohen just pulled a number from his you know what and told us that 90% of Eritrean migrants do so for economic reasons.

      • Kaddis

        Dear Saay – The toothless part is just a joke to let you know I still read Awate. I thought I was impartial enough to make you see my argument. We will catch up and I will try to be as clear….


        • saay7

          Got you Kaddis,

          But the guy who was infatuated with the word “toothless” got sucked by the black hole of Ethiopian opposition and has become part of the cadaver-counters, forwarding and commenting on videos of Ethiopian victims.

          For your info, PFDJ supporters reaction:

          If the victim is Eritrean, then it should not be commented on and if you comment he sure to blame everyone but PFDJ and accuse those who blame the PFDJ for politicizing things;

          If the victim is Ethiopian, then it should be chronicled, commented on, must blame TPLF for it and accuse all those who don’t even want to comment on it of being Weyane.

          By the way, has Ethiopia joined the world in freaking out about Trumps election?


  • Dis Donc

    Dear Aman,
    Quick facts:
    Canada: Is not ethnic federalism with the exception of Quebec. Here is the thing though. Quebec accepts any ethnics, races, and religion so long as you accept speaking in French. This effectively makes it different from non-Oromo ethnic being told to vacate from Oromo land, whether you speak Oromiffa or not.

    Swiss: as I said practices ethnic democracy. Not ethnic federalism! Even their federal states (cantons as they call them) are hardly a uniform one speaking states. Simply put, you do not see ethnic parties trying to dominate and run the country. It is more of a professional or dogmatic parties such as Swiss People’s Party, Democratic Party and such. You do not see them forming German Party, French Party, Roman Party, or Italian Party.

    India: I give you on this one that the regional states have ethnic compositions. But my argument is that they have gone through so many trials to reach to where they are now. Having said that, their political outlook is has a professional (Bharatiya Janata Party and Indian National Congress), class (communist and socialist parties) or religious (Hindu Nationalist Party) outlook. Not ethnic party!!! Even their regional political contest has professional and class orientation. Not ethnic orientation.

    Belgium: As I said, this is the only country that has lived to tell the story. However, you should study them very closely. They have bigots there, from both the Waloons and Flamands. Jack Brel should come to mind!!

    Finally: My point is that wouldn’t you rather address ethnic equity, representation, and political voice in ethnic democracy rather than going all out ethnic party denomination? I accept that Ethiopia is in its developmental states and it still is hard for the people to accept professional parties but why go primordial and antagonize the harmony? You still have not addressed about the truncation of new forming and denying the already existing groups. How does ethnic federalism addresses this issue? I cannot imagine you accepting the expulsion of Eritreans from Ethiopia for a bare lack of political voice?

    Sorry for the late reply, again….

    • Amanuel Hidrat

      Dear DD,

      The more we debate the more we have divergent views. I thought debate should narrow our differences. In any case let us continue our debate.

      a) On the Swiss Federalism issu: It seems your argument sound if the “cantons” are not called “states ” we couldn ‘t call it a Federal arrangement. Am I right ? Whether the administrative units are cantons or states the administrative arrangement is purely “Decentralized Federalism”. If you have different view on decentralized federalism let me know, though as to its concept is had a settled definition in the academic world. Second the cantons

      • Dis Donc

        Dear Aman,
        Forgive the lateness but I will get back to you one of these days. Just hang in there….

        • Amanuel Hidrat

          Selam DD,

          (a) So you are saying Swiss does not have a Federal government with administrative units of cantons (states) but rather a confederate of independent cantons. Could you please give a link of any litrature that support your assertion.

          (b) So you are telling that if all the swiss cantons are not formed by single ethnolinguistic could not be called ethnic federalism. Swiss has cantons made up of germans, French and italians that each canton has a working language respectively. Similarly all the Ethiopian kilels are not formed by single ethnics and therfore according your logic we can not say Ethiopia has ethnic federalism. Anyway we know now that we have different reading even on the concept of feferalism and confederation. I close my case by this short comment leaving open the case for the future.


          • Dis Donc

            Dear Aman,
            If you do not want to continue this discourse then it is fine by me. However, just so you should know that I am talking from personal experiences; of no just mine alone, but also from a lot of my friends who were of Eritreans, Ethiopians of non-Oromo ethnics, Arabs, and Armenians. In any ways I have to go back to work tomorrow…. But thanks for engaging and BIG-UP AWATE.COM!!!!

  • Amanuel Hidrat

    Selam Berhe,

    Let me correct two things not on the merits of your agument but on the mis -statement (a) Be it the old administrative units or the current administratives, they are all geographic administrative descriptions no matter each units contain one social group or more. So I do not understand why the old administrative have geographic charactrization and the current is not (b) The same do apply for the wrong ethnic/geography characterization you made for India. In short whether the demarcation of the administrative units are based on ethnic group or otherwise they all have geograpic description.


    • Berhe Y

      Dear AH,

      Thank you for the follow up. I admit I do not have a well researched argument but just a layman observation. Let’s take Eritrea as an example and try to relate what I am trying to say about Ethiopia.

      If Eritrea had to be arranged in similar ethnic federalism, based on language / ethnic group, then we will have the Tigrina speaking as one group (SeraE, Hamasie and Akele Guzay) and we will have Tigre and the rest. So these groups would generally represent the biggest percentage and imagine if one of the small ethinic group for example, Kunama would be the main group with power. What this create is, for example the three tigrina speaking current contender of power, all the sudden united as one ethnic group, and the Tigre group as another and you have a recipe for unknown outcome. So by trying of taking power from the Tigrian speaking (who are for the most part committed to a United Eritrea albeit huge flow) , you create something else that’s more dangerous and could make or break the country. So if the purpose is to take power from the Tigrina ruler, but in the process you create a group that’s more dis franchised.

      Looking at Ethiopia as an example, the Amhara were mostly divided into three provices, Sheo, Gojam and Gonder and the Oromo are divided into other smaller provinces etc..So this make up was more proportional and it allows people who happen to be from those regions to participate equally in the political process and have an equal chance of winning on democratic bases. By dividing the provinces based on Geography rather than ethnic group, basically those population with the highest number, become someone weaker (smaller).

      The example I gave about India is that, even though you have the Hindu which make up close to 90% of the population, but because of their administration are divided you have a lot of other leaders from other ethnic group in high power positions (e.g. Seek ) and the federal arrangement works relatively well for a country such as India.


  • saay7

    Selamat Berhe and Eyob:

    Berhe, some additional info: I wrote “Shaebia ktHaqeq alewa” during Eritreas short spring (July 2000 – September 2001, i.e. after the ceasefire agreement but before the arrest of the G-15.). This is impossible to believe now, but the paper was written at the request of an Eritrean official who was trying to promote debate on the future of the party and he was requesting an article for publication in a government paper. Back then the talk was about the next PFDJ congress, political pluralism and elections. It was so real the Eritrean opposition was discussing whether to participate or not with Herui T Bairu, as usual, taking the only position for yes we should.

    On what Eyobai is recommending I think the euphemism for dictatorship is a developmental state. 😂 (Where is Sabri by the way?) The idea being that a State can accelerate development by practicing state capitalism and until it develops, then civil liberties will be less of a priority. See also Singapore, Thailand, and South Korea.) this model has been not successful in Africa because as you said Berhe, of our massive diversity. Thailand is 95% Thai; Singapore is 75% ethnic Chinese and South Korea is 100% Korean ethnicity. When I paid attention to this back in the day, the only African country that has earned the developmental state title was Botswana (80% Tswanas).

    Eritrea and Rwanda are attempting to be developmental states using a novel approach: whitewashing and or criminalizing discussion of ethnicities in any meaningful way. Showcasing differences in attires and cuisine and music/art is fine but weylkhum if you attempt to use it as a basis of political power. Ethiopias ethnic federalism turns that on its head and it would have worked IF its exponents were Ethiopias largest ethnic group (not one of its smallest.)

    In the 1990s when India appeared to be mired in crushing poverty I used to ask people: if you could live only in China or India where would you live? Same question now to Eyob 🙂


    • Amanuel Hidrat

      Ahlen Saay,

      I was thinking that the article you penned down “shabea kithaQeQ Alewa ” back then was your own idea. So it was an idea of the government official who want to promote debate on the fate of the organization. I hope and wish the said official is alive and spared from the wrath of the despot.


      • saay7


        To clarify, it was a call for papers, I was one of several, and the question was “which way for the Front now?”


        • iSem

          Hi Sal:
          To also clarify, your paper was not published, rejected, not for lack of merit, but for lack of rubber stamping. It must be dissolved, it would be so ironic:-)
          So it was not to incite debate, but to buy time, just like what Eritreans call every PFDJ move “menawih” like an HIV drug
          This was to test waters, they do it all the time, they floated the idea of privatizing Niala Hotel and after they called the data who is rich by reverse engineering their bid to their net worth, most were Eritreans in Ethiopia and that explains why PFDJ was happy to see them robed by TPLF. They also said we will write const. they did, they wasted 3 years or Eritrea’s life and then they said they will write it again.

          • saay7

            Haha iSem:

            Leave it to iSem to take stretch everything to its limits. Actually it wasn’t just my paper which was rejected; it was all papers. I have a different take: when the private press got over their self-censorship (refer to interviews with Milkias Mihretab) and actually started entertaining viewpoints not sanctioned by the government and demanding accountability from government (mostly in the form of letters to the editor), the government supporters (read: IA supporters) were paralyzed because IA hadn’t spoken yet (they are incapable of expressing an opinion before first checking to see if Da Boss approves; recently, they couldn’t even express their condolences to the family of Girma Asmerom before they got the green light). Meanwhile, Da Boss, who genuinely believed that the Eritrean people love him (my beeble love me) was shocked to learn they some don’t. So, he pulled off his Chapter XVII (what? No, not the constitution but Machiavelli’s “The Prince”), which told him what to do “Concerning Cruelty And Clemency, And Whether It Is Better To Be Loved Than Feared”

            The rest is history but iSem: if you knew the People’s Front of 2000-2001, you would have understood Mahmuday much better now:) They were just like you and me: freedom-loving, and well-intentioned and sadly, just like us, powerless.


    • Eyob Medhane


      I am very much thick skinned and tolerant, when people spout out stereotypical stuff that is untrue and ….just uniformed. But, intelligent people like Berhe repeat that it sort of irritate me, because I feel like it is ill intentioned.


      TPLF (I understand that you use TPLF as euphemism for people of Tigray) is NOT ruling class. I also understand that is a strategy of Shabiya to isolate the people of Tigray from the rest of Ethiopia by using this myth, so Tigians would crawl back to it for “protection” from the rest of Ethiopians. I get it. Many of wallow in that fantasy that will NEVER, EVER will come true. I would understand, when PFDJites entertain that fantasy day and night. But to hear it from an intelligent person like you is sort of embarrassing.

      I agree with you that too much of academics in government might not be a good a idea. Sometimes hard nosed, ruthless politicians, who may not spend too much time contemplating may be needed to get things done.

      I believe that the purpose of this cabinet is just what you said. To get the government to the next election. As far as another 100% victory in the next election is concerned that will never happen! as the election law of first part the post will be changed. Parliament seats will be rewarded proportionally, therefore political parties,who score more than certain percentage in votes will be eligible to be in the parliament.

      One of the advantage of EPRDF and Ethiopia generally is that everyone interprets things and events in Ethiopia, according to their prejudice and stereotypes, and when every time things turn out to be different than predicted, it helps us to maintain a certain perception of opaqueness and mysteriousness. You think is EPRDF is so divided, Tigryans are ruling class, Hailemariam is just a puppet, Aboy Sibehat has a supernatural power that controls every little movement of everyone from Togojale to Metema and from Moyale to Shire. 100million people is just submissive and does everything that just six million people tell them to do for 25 years…Based these sometimes absurd theories many analyze Ethiopia and almost all the time their prediction is turns out to be off the mark. Ethiopia was not supposed to be a nation after 1991 according to most analysts. We were supposed to be like Somalia and former Yugoslavia. Eritrea was supposed to run over us (Isayas’ biggest dumbest assumption in1998) because we are ethnically divided and hate Weyane so much, we would love Shabiya to come to Addis and rescue us from Weyane. There will not be Ethiopia and a leader for after Meles died, because we will kill eachother and Weyane is a one man entity and it will wither along with the country. The Dimtsachin Yesema Muslim movement will make Ethiopia another Syria, Libiya and neighboring countries will be flooded with Ethiopian refugees because Muslims will start murdering and expelling Ethiopian Christians. Protests in Gonder and Bahir Dar and some towns in Oromiya are the ultimate demise of the entire country which constitutes over 1.2 million square kilometer….These wrong assumptions based of hyperboles usually help to project the country, the people, and in the case of the government, EPRDF, resilient, tough and mysterious, when predictions based on them did not turn out to be true.


      Ethiopians are confident enough to think that they can do what ever other human beings can do. Chinese or Korean. 😀

      • Berhe Y

        Dear Eyob,

        You have been super sensitive. From time to time I do interchange TPLF and EPRDF. But it was not my intention to isolate the people of Tigray and mean harm. Because where and how I grew up, I had the previllage of knowing many proud people of Tigray (none of the likes who hide their identity), dime my best friends, some my neighbours, some people that I worked with and some my relatives (via family marriage). I can say I have more than average Eritrean to know people from Tigray, and I wish no harm what so ever.

        As to rest, it’s a weekend and I will read again and get back to you if it’s worth responding.

        But generally I try to stay away from commenting on Ethiopia internal matters as I see how people can be so sensitive about it. It doesn’t mean I didn’t enjoy the pleasant exchange with Amde, Horizon or others.

        But I find you to be a little bit arrogant sometimes and you really have little or no knowledge about the Eritrean people towards Ethiopian / Tigray people and you measuring stick is the thugs PFDJ government and their filthy supporters and you do not make the distinction and paint everyone with the same brush.

        If you believe the majority of ERITREAN wish was to see Ethiopia disintegrate in 1991, you could have been more wrong.


      • Saleh Johar

        Hi Eyob,

        With the exception of one serious misjudgement, regarding Berhe Yeman, who is nothing like you depicted him. I do agree with you what you described is actually the foreign policy of the PFDJ which is internalized by many Eritreans who should know better.

        Unfortunately, they do not. I also see the equivalent of “adgi zeybelus beqli ye’n’eq” (one who doesn’t have a donkey belittles a mule” Of all the things that irritate me is the claim that Weyane is equal to Ethiopia 9mirror image of PFDJ is Eritrea) That has been the worldview (or the Ethiopian-view) of many who have internalized the PFDJ sound-bites.

        Please remember, that is not the view of the overwhelming Eritreans who do not believe we have to stand on the ashes of Ethiopia and the corpses of Ethiopians to appear like giants. We understand that fires in Ethiopia will certainly engulf us, if not the entire region. And, at least from the need to preserve the self, we do not wish anything bad on any of our neighbors. We should refrain from making outrageous statements just to irritate some Ethiopia we do not agree with in this forum or another medium. It is just outrageous.

        • Eyob Medhane

          Gash Saleh,

          I understand and I take the misjudgment back. Other than my misjudgment, which both you and Berhe scolded me for, I actually agree with many of the points that Berhe made about the new appointments that HMD has made. I wish you had more to say about your thoughts on the new cabinet. Your wisdom is needed…

      • saay7


        I try not to comment about people I don’t know, like this “Berhe” you are describing. Clearly (oh so very clearly from his long, long, long paper trail at awate forum beginning with awate 1.0, it is NOT Berhe Y.) If you are talking about Berhe Y, I think you should consider, real fast, your self-assertion that you are “thick-skinned.”

        And the question is not whether Ethiopians can do what other human beings can do. It is why they, a 3,000 year old civilization, have not. And what must they do to get there given these new-fangled things called “nation states” which are much easier to administer when you have one shared identity instead of 100s of overlapping ones. I mean, besides resolutely rebuffing the Arabs😂😂


        • Eyob Medhane


          Oh come on!! That’s sort of true the number if women could be a bit more. But, Hailemariam was bold to appoint a youngest women minister to a very plum post. This particular women is very young to be appointed to be a construction minister in a country that is a construction site.. 🙂 She is also from one of the most marginalized ethnic groups. Afar. One thing though, instead of women, this cabinet has much much less Muslims than previous cabinets. That is something that should be improved upon…

          • saay7


            So what you are saying is that the new Ethiopian cabinet hardly has any women or Muslims? 😂

            The only thing that this would be worse is if you have a spokesperson whose accent is so thick that the BBC provides an English translation of his English in a subtitle

            Oh, wait…


            I am already missing Getachew Reda 🙄 I am sure somewhere in a country of 90 million there is someone who is fluent in Amharic English French Arabic but why use merit to hire people


  • Hameed Al-Arabi

    Selam MS,

    You said, “But I don’t want to depress you with nonsensical mishaps of Al-Arabi. In his world view, PFDJ= Tigrigna.”

    You made a great mistake Ato Mahmud, PFDJ = Afar

  • Berhe Y

    Hi Eyob,

    BTW, do they really need to have that BIG of a flag in the parliament (I suppose) or this is awate.com in house graphics expert word:).

    Are they sending a message, yesterday TPLF, today TPLF and tomorrow TPLF, like EPLF slogan.

    I mean look at the size of the emblem, really?


    • Eyob Medhane


      Ha ha ha.. 😀 That is the work of awate photo shoppers..

  • Dis Donc

    Dear Aman,
    I lost track of our conversation and hence I am starting from the top. India is hardly a measuring stick for ethnic federalism. We all know their starting point to partition and movement of all those folks from one village to another…. Even now they are in nuclear deadlock with Pakistan. Yugoslavia had ethnic federalism and we all saw that when it went awry. So was USSR. I admit the latter two never practiced ethnic democracy but were bereft with a single party leadership. Hitler and his racial purity obsession wreaked havoc manifesting itself in the form of pogroms on other minorities. Even our beloved Ethiopia’s ethnic federalism had a very bad start that exposed to many inter-ethnic conflicts. Poor Eritreans were not only on the receiving end of it but also were left without Killil. The only country that has lived to tell its ethnic federalism story is Belgium. I am not even going there! Look, ethnic federalism is the best ever created theory much like communism.

    On the contrary many countries and especially LES OCCIDENTEAUX practice and preach ethnic democracy, in one form or another. A prime example is Switzerland. US accommodates ethnicity in the form of affirmative action and cabinet appointments. So too is Brazil. Many others….

    Human being by its nature is an evolving creature. As we do evolve, we create new groups and ethnicity. Finally, my contention with ethnic federalism is not only IT truncates new creation of identities and ethnicity but also denies an already existing ones. Ethnic democracy, on the contrary, not only encourages it but also will have space for it.

    Sorry Aman, this is a highly condensed argument of mine. Sorry also for the late response. I would like to elaborate but I have no time. And this is supposed to be my vacation!!! Will be around for one more week, though.

  • blink

    Dear forumers
    Look who is in the house , EYOB is in the house , you know why ? You already knew it .

    • sara

      Dear blink,
      let me guess, i think they are back after you know what, and you see it here already and we will read more in the coming days.
      blink, i think i know you . probably we were in one xxxx during you know what, you had that quick impulse
      to figure out who is coming to dinner.
      oh… those days!

      • Semere Tesfai

        Selam sara

        “you had that quick impulse to figure out who is coming to dinner.”

        Same-old Dedebit product. Very transparent, just wrapped a little differently to deceive the eye.

        The background behind the newly appointed minter of communication tells the story.

        Semere Tesfai

      • blink

        Dear Sara
        EPRDF is a moving killing machine and some of EPRDF cronies are here to tell us they have been killing innocent people, just like that. Sad to see hypocrites on action. What they forgot is that , they did not listen or read history of the abused Ethiopian people. when I see people with out any good , I feel the urge to run miles yet I can see them still cheating.

  • saay7

    Wo MaHmuday:

    One SalaTa tursh coming up:

    1. Well. You know. When our math teacher was teaching addition, all Eritreans took a day off. But we all showed up for the algebra class on subtraction. So now we all suck at adding (Eritrean opposition + EPLF/PFDJ = Eritrean. Eritrean Oppo version 1 + version 2 + version 3+version n + version n+1 is still = Eritrean opositikn ). But man we are awesome at subtraction. Eritrean – PFDJ? Not an Eritrean below JamaAtka. Opposition version 12? Not an opposition below jamaAche. And the band marches on. At some point Al Arabi will realize that having u on his side is much much better than not having you. But until he does the ke is Bret will be fired your way and u know how to deal with it Wad Sahel?

    Now. As incoherent as the shabait article is, sometimes I don’t get amused. Firstly, Eritrea was one of the last African countries to ban FGM. Why? You won’t like this Wad Saleh: it will trigger your Sahelian instinct. So let me put my helmet on and say it: your organization, despite all its cliche about “1/3 of our fighters were women” is sexist at almost mideval rates. I mean this by its culture not by its make-up: it pays lip service to women’s rights but culturally it is a very male chauvinist culture that cannot relate to women’s priorities.

    What’s worse: the only reason it is highlighting FGM now is because it is one of the things it agreed on the Univeral Periodic Reviews with HRC. So it can say “we are engaged”.

    It is a terrible government composed of a warring medieval culture.

    Aren’t u happy u asked? 🙂


    • MS

      Ya Hala Abu Dunya
      First thing first:
      1. “…it pays lip service to women’s rights but culturally it is a very male chauvinist culture that cannot relate to women’s priorities.” TRUE. It’s also true with the whole Eritrean culture. It’s a societal problem. Proof: Look at our GREAT opposition camp. Any achievements it could show on this issue?
      2. “1/3 of our fighters were women” was not a cliché. It was true that looking at EPLF stats could reveal; and you know the great EPLF is very good at documenting and archiving. I have to get there before the trashers, burners …and cleansers of ghedli make it to the archives (hey, tere is nothing called 0.0 probability in the course of history, things could happen.)
      3. To be fair to those who have served Eritrea in good faith, EPLF had worked on FGM, girls education…gender equality…. and early marriage issues, but as you can understand, most of the efforts were not based on sound policies that made the people to be the agents of social changes. It was based on ideals and ideologies, enforced without the preparation and readiness of the society.
      4. Now, that is “serving the truth”.

      • saay7

        Hala Mahmoud Wad Sahel:)

        Well. The Eritrean culture did not brag it was going to “transform itself and rid itself of backward customs and practices”. But that’s what your org promised from ayam “nehanan elamanan”. But when it came not just to FGM, but all the priorities of feminists movements, it ended up being one of the last (I am only saying “one of the” to be conservative but I actually think it is “the last”) in all of sub-Saharan Africa.

        There is a brilliant Eritrean who wrote a very scholarly paper on this but never published it because of the Omertà culture of the male chauvinist wdbna. I will mention his name either when he dies* or when he pisses me off 🙂


        * al A3mar b’eid allah.

        • iSem

          Abu Hiwet and Abu Bdhho;
          do not me get started.
          Saleh Y is right;-)

  • Eyob Medhane

    Hey Sal,

    Here is “people on the street” version CCTV style.. 😀

    You also get to see the new spokesperson and can make fun of him, as you usually do on Ethiopian spokespersons.. 🙂


    • saay7


      Ugg. I am sorry, I mean uggggggggh.

      The WORST thing about dictatorships and one party states is not that they only have one party in power. It’s that they think the people are stupid and if u tell them only one of the story they will eventually believe there is only one side to the story. Are we to believe there is no “man on the street” who doesn’t believe that this whole new cabinet is a sham or are we to believe that such a person would fear that the price of expressing himself is the long arm of the State? CCTV, like RT, is in the propaganda business.

      Oh. Btw, I like your new gov spokesperson. He has that “if this works out great and if it doesn’t I can always go to my university” thing about him. He talks slow and he has a neutral expression. He is so promising I am afraid he is doomed: I give him maximum of 18 months on the job.


      • Eyob Medhane


        Ha ha… Talking slow, by the way is an Ethiopian thing for fear of saying a wrong thing. Dr. Negeri (the new spokes person) has been prone to say controversial things in the past, so I can understand his carefulness.

        About CCTV and RT being propaganda outlets and opposed to what? CNN? BBC or any other three letter dumps? Come on. When it comes to being propaganda, CCTV, RT and Press TV have got nothing on those outlets…..

        • saay7


          Did you hear that loud noise and the ambulance sirens 🚨? That’s because you fell for a trap I had set for you:) I knew you would counter CCTV and RT with BBC and CNN. But for ever CNN there is a FOX and MSNBC. For every Daily Kos there is Red State. And for every Wall Street Journal editorial there is a NYT editorial. You know you can’t say that for CCTV, RT and Press TV. And ETV and Eri-TV: the voice of the state suffocating you with its happy news about the State and terrible news about the enemy state.

          Boom, there it is:)

          Are you saying my new favorite what’s his name gov spokesperson won’t even last 18 months?😂


      • blink

        Dear Saay ¨
        18 month ? I think you are being generously nice to him. One party system is dictatorship , what ever they try ,it will be always dictatorship . simple .

  • Tewelde gebremariam

    Hi Gedab news,

    Looks is deceptive, and it is the main stronghold for tyrants like woyane. Haile Selase did it , Mengistu Haile Mariam did it, Ferdinand Marcus of Philippine did it etc. The ministerial reshuffle woyane has introduced is ,therefore, a mockery and temporary aimed at weathering the anger of the oppressed people of Ethiopia . Unfortunately , I know the Ethiopian people are keenly aware of the treacherous and vindictive nature of woyane. They will neither give it a respite it desperately need to recoup nor will they settle for its handout. No. They will go to the finishing line and put woyane behind bars to account for its twenty five years of crimes against humanity.

    The question however is whether the Ethiopian people will forgive or hang the so called Eritrean Opposiions, who have been to this day woyane’s tools of propaganda. Only time will tell. If I were them, I would run with my tails behind my legs away from Ethiopia.

  • Ahadu

    Hello Awatawian !

    Indeed it is the most diverse cabinet in Ethiopian history. whether the appointment of new cabinet will solve the current crisis remained to be seen.It looks the PM has given more weight to academic background than excutive experience and I am afraid there is too much expectation from the populace at large.But one of the good developments on the current selection : meritocracy has won the day than party loyality and it is setting the precedent going forward.On the people saay called them “legacy” people…I think they are the architects for the current reform the PM has unveiled and they are very helpful people to the PM.I suspect they are not going anywhere because the current industrial transformation is spear headed by Arkebe Oukbay,who has delievered on the establishment of one of the biggest industrial parks in the continent: Awassa Indutrial park and the ones under construction in Bahrdar,Diredawa,Nazreth,Mekelle etc.One thing is clear the current leadership is almost a group of post ghedli technocrats….any ways

    here are the New Cabinet:

    Demeke Mekonnen (ANDM/EPRDF) Region: Amhara: continued as Deputy Prime Minister.

    Workneh Gebeyehu (PhD) (OPDO/EPRDF) Region: Oromia is now appointed Minister of Foreign Affairs.

    Debretsion Gebremichael (PhD) (TPLF/EPRDF) Region: Tigray: continued as Minister of Communication and Information Technology.

    Siraj Fegesa (SEPDM/EPRDF) Region: South continued as Defense Minister.

    Shiferaw Tekelemariam (PhD) (SEPDM/EPRDF) Region: South: is appointed Minister of Education.

    Eyasu Abraha (PhD) (TPLF/EPRDF) Region: Tigray: is appointed Minister of Agriculture and Natural Resource Development.

    Kassa Tekleberhan (ANDM/EPRDF) Region: Amhara: continued as Minister of Federal Affairs and Pastoralist Area Development.

    Abreham Tekesete (PhD) (TPLF/EPRDF) Region: Tigray: is appointed Minister of Finance and Economic Cooperation.

    Professor Yifru Berhane (ANDM/EPRDF) Region: Amhara: is appointed as Minister of Health.

    Ahmed Abitew (ANDM/EPRDF) Region: Amhara: is appointed as Minister of Industry.

    Ahmed Shide (ESPDP) Region: Somali: is appointed asMinister of Transport.

    Ambachew Mekonnen (PhD) (ANDM/EPRDF) Region: Amhara: is appointed Minister of Urban Development and Housing.

    Aisha Mohammed (Eng.) (ANDP), Region: Afar: who was appointed Minister of Culture and Tourism in Oct. 2015, is now appointedMinister of Construction.

    Gemeda Dole (PhD) (OPDO/EPRDF) Region: Oromia: is appointed as Minister of Environment, Forest Development, and Climate Change.

    Getahun Mekuria (PhD) (Eng.) (OPDO/EPRDF) Region: Oromia: is appointed as Minister of Science and Technology.

    Tagese Chafo (SEPDM/EPRDF) Region: South : is appointed as Minister of Public Service and Human Resource.

    Fekadu Beyene (Prof) (OPDO/EPRDF) Region: Oromia: is appointed asMinister of Livestock and Fish Resources.

    Demitu Hambisa (OPDO/EPRDF) Region: Oromia: is appointed as Minister of Women and Children.

    Bekele Bulado (PhD) (OPDO/EPRDF) Region: Oromia: is appointed as Minister of Trade.

    Sileshi Bekele (PhD) (Eng.) (not party member) Region: Oromia: is appointed as Minister of Water, Irrigation and Electricity. (He was Water and Energy Capacity Building Specialist at UN Economic and Social Department in New York for 2030 Sustainable Development Goals )

    Motuma Mekasa (OPDO/EPRDF) Region: Oromia: is appointed as Minister of Mines, Petroleum, and Natural Gas.

    Hirut Woldemariam (PhD) (SEPDM/EPRDF):Region: South: is appointed as Minister of Culture and Tourism.

    Girma Amente (PhD) (OPDO/EPRDF) Region: Oromia is appointed as Minister of State Enterprises.

    Abdulfetah Abdulahi (ESPDP):Region: Somali: continued as Minister of Labor and Social Affairs.

    Getachew Ambaye (ANDM/EPRDF) Region: Amhara: continued as Attorney General with the rank of Minister.

    Negeri Lencho (PhD) (OPDO/EPRDF): Region: Oromia: is appointed head of Government Communication Affairs Office (GCAO) with the rank of Minister.

    Kebede Chane (ANDM/EPRDF) Region: Amhara: is appointed as Director General of Ethiopian Revenues & Customs Authority (ERCA) with the rank of Minister.

    Yinager Desie (ANDM/EPRDF): Region: Amhara: continued as Commissioner of National Plan Commission.


  • tes

    Dear Gedab News,

    First of all thank you for bringing this news into highlight. It is one of major political development that is happening in modern Ethiopia. As I wrote in my article(http://awate.com/challenges-of-justice-democracy-in-ethiopia/), Ethiopia is heading in the right direction and I salute PMHD for his courage to pulol out his country from the mess of old-socialist minded fanatic politicains. Ethiopia is a huge country that can only be democratized through a wise decision.

    However, technocrats often fail as their mind power is oriented with zero deficiet of monetary system. for this, the newly formed government should be able to raise enough budget, mainly through taxation system of Ethiopian people and invest back on economic, education, health developments. these technocrats should be busy on producing balace sheets and corrupt free financial statements. If not, a financially deprived technocrat is worse than the worst politicain of communist era.
    The reason is: corruption can become a norm and technocrats know how to deceive the end receptors.

    The main challenge for the newly formed government is therefore BUDGET. In this transition period, Ethiopia shouldwork hard to secure its financial needs. While having the money they need to run the government, the Ministry of Finance should work hard to Introduce Applicable Tax Code (Not a copy of Europe or USA) but that of the old Wisdom of Axumite Kingdom: Trade and Tax.

    But I have one warning:

    Ethiopia should keep her eye on Egypt and PFDJ. Egypt has not moved an inch from the old mentality Nile River. Neither confrontation with Egypt will solve the problem nor does decent diplomacy. As PMMZ did, Ethiopia should be committed on its development programs while talking on any external challenges, especially from Egypt.

    As I always recommend, the border dispute with Eritrea is useless and harmful to Ethiopia(of course to Eritrea too). PMHD should be courgeous enough to end the border dispute and MOVE ON. If not, as it was before (since the 15th C), the problem of the horn will not finish. The reason is: EGypt will be hidden actor in each game(it was before, it is now and it will be unless resolved).

    PFDJ is a rotten junta. However it has enough satanic tools to disrupt the security apparatus. they know how to to play it silently. War is not a solution to get rid of PFDJ. To screw PFDJ, let Ethiopia be at ease with Egypt, Sudan and the Arab World. Let Ethiopia take a frontal stage to create a favorable political environment in the horn by ignoring PFDJ. The Senia Form was a big blow to PFDJ. later on, PFDJ played a game by destablizing Sudan and later things changed in its favor.

    Now that Ethiopia is in better economical strength than before and much more functioning access to the port cities, it is quite simple to reinfornce its political well-being by dropping expected access to the port via Eritrea. Even this should not be a central focus of political endeavour.

    It is not good to say as an Eritrean this but let the truth be told: “let the Eritrean ports be hurbor of birds and dead fish if it was meant something to Ethiopia”. Ethiopians have now learned that they can leave without Eritrean ports.

    In the near future, of course the dust will settle down and good minded Eritreans will come and use the ports as an economic hub for themselves by giving service to whom ever it is as far as the required payments are fullfliled.

    Bon courage PMHD et bon courage pour l’éthiopiennes.

    Merci Beaucoup AT


  • MS

    Dear All

    PMHD is rumored to be Awate reader. Therefore, I want to convey to him my constructive and completely De-Monkeyed advice.

    Dear PM:
    AS the second known Ethiopian politician who assumed power through rigged election system (the first being the late Meles, a repeated offender) I offer the following unsolicited HONEST advice.
    1. As a PM who has clung to power through stolen election, Ethiopians are calling for your resignation. Ethiopians are not fighting for a less rotten apple, but for getting rid of the whole basket of rotten apples. A man who has come to power through thievery and cheating can’t be the reformer. What’s the point of removing few TPLF front men from the front row of the action when they are replaced and well represented by individuals they have been grooming through the years? As one Awatista, Dis Donc, put it, Ethiopians “are dying for alternative party that leads them to prosperity and dignity.”
    2. As far as basic solutions are concerned, the declared State of Emergency is a band aid, and an instrumentation of repression. Ethiopians lost rights they never had, but it makes the atrocities your security forces are inflicting upon defenseless people legal.
    3. Ethiopians know the army and the security apparatus are filled with TPLF executives, so what’s bringing soft-spoken toothless technocrats to the front? You are in this situation because you have been stealing elections and labeled every opposition entity as terrorists. The solution is to let Ethiopians pick people and parties that they pick. Remember, you are battling citizens that you told the world had elected you by a vote of 100%, just last year.
    4. There are compounding bad news Mr.PM. The economy has been hit so hard; expect the near ceasing of FDI, may be donations/assistance that you are addicted to; drying up of tourists, etc. Your economy is going to depend pretty much on public expenditure and domestic consumption. The state of emergency will complicate these aspects of the economy.
    5. Over all Ethiopians are emboldened, veteran opposition factions and leaders have been consolidating, and new leaders have been born out of the popular uprising. Ethiopians have called your government as a Wayane government; your army, as Wayane army, and you, as a Wayane Trojan horse. Therefore, what you see is the calm before the great storm. You better listen to Ethiopians and extend a call to all stakeholders. Release the imprisoned protesters; compensate those who were and still are killed by your security forces. Call for a fresh beginning in order to chart a beginning that all Ethiopians claim to be theirs.
    6. For any assistance, call me anytime. Your predecessor used to say that spending hours with me would be more fruitful than spending years in a campus.
    Truly yours,

    • saay7

      Hahaha MaHmuday

      Neat twist at the signature line of the letter. 😂

      And what a coincidence that both of Eritreas major exports, gold (from extraction) and Isaias 101 (analysis from Isaias mouth of gold) are possible only by heavy abuse of Eritrean youth aka modern slavery.


    • Dear PMHD,

      if you love your country and your people, please do not listen a word of what MS and DIA are saying, and never discuss any issue with MS’s great and enlightened leader, DIA. just remember what ethiopians are saying: you have given order that resultred in the death of more than 500 people since the uprising, for which ethiopians will never forgive you. of course anybody who has shed innocent people’s blood should never be forgiven.

      if you make the mistake and sit with the great leader MS is so proud of, you will turn into a monster. look at the inventory of his crimes: thousands dead in the sahara, the sinai and the med. sea, an exodus of people never seen during peacetime, eritrea a small nation of 4m has become the third largest refugee producer, a country emptying of its people, an economy in shambles, mobile phones confiscated from doctors who are treating cases of a possible cholera epidemic so that they will not send pictures and information to the world, etc.. be sure Mr. PM; if MS had known all these crimes of his great leader, he would not have volunteered to give you his unsolicited advice himself and on behalf of his divine leader, DIA. his antenna is directed to the region south of the mereb where he sees all the evil and misfortunes. north of the mereb, it is his blind spot.

    • Hameed Al-Arabi

      Greetings Mahumud Saleh,

      I wonder why does Shabia make you her Trojan horse in her fight against Wayane? Why does they specially choose you from all their agents of Tigrinia names holders?

      • tes

        Dear Hameed Al-Arabi,

        I had an opportunity to talk with MS by telephone two or three times. It was good to talk with him as I got to know his line of thinking from the conversations we did. He asked me about his x-commrades (I doubt though as it seems they are still now too) and now serving as PFDJ officials. During the conversation, I learned that he is missing them a lot. He is in a feeling of being watched by his commrades. And what he writes should please them.

        The time he left Eritrea(thanks to his wife), the youth started their never ending National slavery works. He left Eritrea while EPLF was in its highdays. He is missing it a lot.

        The first time we talked on telephone, he called me “Manjus”. Since then I never failed to understand his old mindset. Sadly he failed to change as a man while living in the most civilized world of our time.

        Now, when ever I read MS’s lines(in fact I almost stopped), I equate him with Donald Trump, and hear him saying, “We will make[EPLF*] great again”.


        *For Mahmud, Eritrea is EPLF period.

        • Abraham H.

          Selam tes,
          Just to remind you; when you talk privately on the telephone with somebody, it is not meant to share your private conversation with an open forum such as this one with strangers. That is not, at least, what a grown up man should do.
          PS: What is wrong with making EPLF great again?

          • Hameed Al-Arabi

            Selam Abraham H.

            EPLF gave birth to the worst rule in Eritrea, and if she will birth again the tragedy will multiply. At the end of the day there will be no Eritrea in the horn of Africa. EPLF (Nihnan Alamanan) is a failed project, it is better to look for a new fresh project.

          • tes

            Selam ABraham H.,

            There was nothing secret in our conversation. It was just a continuation of our heated exchange. And most importantly I said it before and I’m just recalling.

            On the making of EPLF great again?

            Well, EPLF doesn’t exist. It was dead in 1994. And Mahmud Left Eritrea at the same time. Now we have almost 22 years ahead. I just brought it since MS is living in the past, not in the present. And I don’t think something great can happen by people who live in the past. In addition, the history of EPLF is getting unpopular among Eritrean millenials. Hence no one will buy the package of it.

            If anyone moves now to proclaim on the greatness of EPLF, it will just be a mocking crap. EPLF is gone for good with all its great historical revolutionary achievements.


          • Abraham H.

            Selam tes,
            This has actually nothing to do with secrecy, as such, but there are some unwritten rules that we learn through our lives that it is not good to break the trust someone puts on us when sharing their private experiences. When you break that trust in this way, on the ciber space for all to see, you lose the trust others may have on you, and they will be reluctant to entrust with you. Yo can take or leave my advice, it is upto you, of course.
            Yes, EPLF doesn’t exist, and that is why we are saying nothing wrong with making the lost and stolen EPLF great again. As you have written EPLF had lead the Eritrean people to truimph against all odds and had registered “great historical revolutionary achievements”. Of course, we are not living in the 70’s and 80’s, but it should be possible to emulate all the positve qualities that EPLF had and apply them to solve our current predicament.

          • sara

            Dear Abraham,
            its strange to see a private conversation being discussed here, that not good, but it happend
            here and now. i think, am not sure but you know Tes is a foodoo expert and does also wine testing. maybe… that could be the culprit… i mean you know people do things when they are in kind of a situation… don’t blame him blame the profession.

          • tes

            Selam sara,

            I normally don’t expose private talks. I believe on confidentiality. Hpwever in some occasions I move on when I have some valid points to be addressed. MS’s case is not different. My objective is to tell him that we are tired of him.


          • blink

            Dear tes
            Once you say However the damage is done . Private is Private , there is no such valid points or such. Just correct yourself and say sorry and grace yourself for kind people.

          • tes

            Selam blink,

            First of all MS has said everything about him here is site(his past history as tegadalay) and when he left Eritrea. Hence nothing damage here. I just highlighted who he is.

            Saying that I am much more worried when he is an a mouth-piece of PFDJ policies and programs. Knowing how much damage is causing to Eritrean youth, it is the least I can do to expose his mindset.


          • Peace!

            Abraham H,

            I dont think tes really know EPLF, እቶም ዓበይቲ ከምኡ ክብሉ ሰሚዑዎም እዩ ዝኽውን: ክልተ ጭሕሚ ኣብቂሎም ከምዛ ትሪኦም ከም ቆልዓ ብጀብሃ ሻዕብያ ክትሃላለኹ ክትሪኦም ከለኻ እሞ ኻኣ ኣብዚ ሕጂ እዋን ብጣዕሚ እዪ ዘሕዝን። It clearly indicates propagandas injected to demonize history and to change the mindset of the young Eritreans, like tes, is succeeding. Look what Hayat Adem is doing: she diggs deep into dark hole and fitch what it takes to have people dispersed left and right.


          • tes

            Selam Peace!,

            There are two means to know EPLF. Either to be member of EPLF (like MS) or through its history. I know EPLF much from its history and to some extent from the direct experience since independence till 1994 and hundreds of x-EPLF members whom I got to work with or to be trained with.

            Saying that one has not to be part to know. As far as research can be done, every information is available to a curious mind.

            As for me, I am the least knowledgeable person about EPLF. I know much better about PFDJ. For God’s sake, EPLF is now just found in historical books. Even those who were part of it have said good-bye.


          • blink

            Dear Peace
            Stay tuned any one who jump over our brave history will normally die soon. ELF and EPLF is our best story unless what do we have ,salers , lairs , crooks who abandon the interest of the Eritrean people. Trust me the Eritrean people are not idiots

        • Hameed Al-Arabi

          Dear Tes,

          Since he joined his family in USA, he was not active for many years. Suddenly after fifteen years of dormancy he became active as a mindset of PFDJ. All what he writes is repetition of the mafia “Mekete” against the world. This means he was recruited again by his comrades in Asmara to pass their messages through him. Mahmud’s body is in America but his soul is still in the mountains of Sahil. In order to change positively and benefit from his presence in America his soul must join his body in USA. The question is, who will bring his soul from Sahil to America?

        • Peace!

          Selam tes,

          You proved my instinct right: ገና ኣርዑት ኣይስቐልካን:


          • MS

            Selam Peace the great

            Your replies are short but stinging to the falsifiers and maligners. What’s important is that tes has breached a trust. The calls and exchanges of views on wide range of areas took place while he was in his steroidal drive against me. I’m a modest person, and UI still have good personal relations with folks who critique me bitterly here in the forum but are wise enough to keep private relations private. tes has shared with me a lot of stuff including private matters, He updated me on many things. I thank him on all those. He trusted me then, and I assure him he can trust me in the future.

            For starters, Manjus is not a derogatory word, it’s an endearing word you say to young people; At least, that’s how Eritrean tegadelti used it. If it’s a matter of getting allergic to anything ghedli, then sorry my friend. I did not read that from my conversations. He also allege as if I told him that I felt I was being watched by my former friends in the government and that “… what he writes should please them”. A total lie. Let me tell you and Hayat, my wayaneyti Hafti who frustrates my wayanaay expectation by sometimes diving so low, personal friendship and acquaintance is different from taking a political stand. I have no hesitation to meet any PFDJ official whom I know whenever they come where I live. When I meet them I say exactly what I’m writing here. They have their explanations. But we spend most of the time reminiscing our past. The point is, there is no bending around here.
            I think it’s wrong to breach a trust. We both understood what we exchanged was off-the-record, because at that time we were bogged down in ugly bickering here in the forum. Well, it’s a learning curve. You taught me a lesson brother tes, thank you.

          • tes

            Selam MS,

            Yah I did it to teach you a lesson and thanks for my move I hit my objective.

            My approach in politics is changing annd evolving. I am getting more convinced on honest and transparent approach.

            In case of yours, it is not breaching of a trust. What you talked with me on telephone is not different from what you are writing here. I am just highlighting to tell you that “enough with your pseudo-justice movement. The youth are getting rid of all the weeds, be it from PFDJ or EPLF.

            As for manjus, I don’t feel any. Rather it helped to see your mindset.


          • MS

            Selam tes
            What you are not getting is this: I will be around. So, it’s up to you to close your eyes or read my comments. You just have NO power to get me to stop. I will stop when I feel it’s time to do so. Good luck for the weeding project. I don’t profess to have a movement, be it real or pseudo. Believe me, I have moved on. I’m able to discern the Trojans, the confused, the fakes, the swindlers of ideas….the cannon fodders…..from the REAL ones. I think I will better stop here. Thanks and regards.

          • Peace!

            Selam Mahmuday,

            I know what Manjus means; it is not derogatory. Actually Manjus was my nick name, and reminds me my uncles (Tegadelti)


          • Hayat Adem

            Hi Peace,
            Mahmuday calling tes Manjus, depending on the intonation and context tes sensed then, can tell something else. Mahmuday, after he thought he had evolved so much from meida personality, saying this at this time to a person studying his PhD tells you how he is carrying his Sahel values intact. It speaks volumes.

          • Peace!

            Selam Hayat,

            Let’s not be tenacious on a very minor thing. It is not hard to know why they exchanged phone numbers because they thought they can work together. So the good intention was there first although it didnt work out later.


          • MS

            Selam Hayat
            I would expect you to ask what that word is; what’s its meaning and cultural connotation and usage context…then you would be able to pass your judgement. Fair? So, let me leave it there because the more you pander on wrong assumptions, the more you devate your highness currency; the more you appear an alien to the mainstream Eritrean Experience. And that’s really a bad return for OUR Wayanay mission.
            Regarding the breach of trust, you did not even hesitate, you hopped to the bandwagon. I guess the trait of breaking promises and agreements; the culture of backstabbing and cheating never budges; you are unhinged my friend. Your search for everything ghedli-tarnishing has really unhinged you. Find appropriate balance between Wayanay exuberance and the need to restrain yourself when it comes to matters concerning character. Private talks are private. It’s a matter of character and basic ethics.
            As far as Sahel values are concerned, an alien is an alien. Your record shows you are an alien to the Eritrean Experience. There are perhaps >75% of Sahel values which are general Eritrean values (and I assume values humanity treasures). However, when learned through YG, pilots and Foros, you are just getting the 5% of the rest 25% (calculate it). Again, you are doing your job, although I may say, you are making a laughing stock in the eyes of most Eritreans; but shame on the cowards, who should better know, who are cheering you thinking that burning Sahel’s values will catapult them to the throne.

          • tes

            Selam MS,

            You are in fact becoming a laughing stock. Don’t you know that you are among those who betrayed the martyrs vision of free and liberated Eritrea. Remember you are among those who let us down in so many ways. Upto that of 1993 being as an achievement for good, anything that is happening after is against matryrs vision and so are you part of the enablers of this betrayal.

            If you were for justice and peace, you could not be a funfair of betrayers.


          • Hayat Adem

            Hey Mahmuday,
            1) You keep on pushing me away and giving me to others…and that is fine if you see any benefit in doing that..
            2) So you thought i needed to be schooled on the meaning of Manjus…wow!
            3) On the breach thing: I’m no in moral position to judge. I leave that to tes and you. Now that it is out, my interest is limited to what transpired between you and him.

        • Hayat Adem

          Hi tes,
          Nice info. It might help us a bit into understanding him.
          Of all his feeds, I always got aback when he thinks fixing Ethiopia itches him to have sleepless nights. Well, PFDJ thinks their cure comes when Weyane expires. They never sought it from delivering their responsibilities as a government. They have put all their eggs in there.
          So, Mahmuday is trying to do just that. Let him sweat in buckets but let him do it without preaching to us that he is sleepless about the deficit of justices in Ethiopia.

    • iSem

      PHD Responds to DIA

      Dear Wedi Afom:
      I am acknowledging the receipt of your letter. I am admitting it really exists, I am admitting that I received it and if one of these days, when Ethiopia converts is fledgling democracy, when it finally realizes this figment in its imagination and I am well into my retirement, roaming freely in my country and when journalists ask me about this historical letter of yours. I will not deny it, I will not deny you existed, I will not deny that I never knew you.
      Now let us compare pound for pound what you accomplished and what we and my former boss, the late MZ and TPLF and EPRDF accomplished
      Like your EPLF we had our Menkae, and we purged them, but they are still alive, they can come to Ethiopia, they write about TPLFs blunders and corruption because they went abroad and learned and some are scholars, Phds, they are alive, they are married. Where are your Menak?
      Like your PFDJ, we had our G-15, we detained them and we released them, and when they were detained, everyone knew where they were. Now they are alive, and some are working on their scholarship, to be Phds and scholars to write about our current blunders in the future.
      Asmara had a university, now it is closed. Adi Grat did not, was a dusty village, its best industry was enda siwa. Now we have a university and some Eritreans have graduated from it. Fact!
      We had our Awates and Weid Affas and many path finders and they are all dead, but we have erected monuments for them in their villages. We have paid tribute to all former Woyenti including our Menkae. Granted we named some street Churchill and etc., but we did not import an artist from Russia to build a momunet for him, we import Jets from Russia not figures and those jets were able to penetrate Senafe, Barentu and they can do it again, if need be.
      We have raised the Tigray people from a century of servitude to be proud of their history. You have immersed Eritreans into humiliation and destitution, took them from prosperity down to poverty. We have a long way to go, long dark tunnel, light at the end of the tunnel is not guaranteed, but we have a tunnel to walk through, protecting us from debris and sun and rain. You have no tunnel even a dark one, your future will be to drown, you can neither return, nor go
      Last but not least, since you invoked MZ, your first speech in Asmara and MZ’s speech in the first anniversary, enqqua naynna konkum is a stark difference. Your disrespect of Eritrean’s stellar ghedli and MZ’s deference of ours were showcased.
      And as to our current crisis: Every country has crisis, the USA had its civil war but leaders responded and saved the union and I, we are responding to the demands of the people and our actions are a testament to thatA

  • Dis Donc

    Dear Sal, Ethios, Aman, et al
    Sorry for the disappearance, as I was really tied up with staff. Gone were the days in which reading awate were my lunch time daily routine. Well then, unto Ethiopian matters…. Ethiopia is still in its early days of its modern making, albeit the signs are encouraging. For the first time in its history the citizens were allowed to mourn for the passing of their leader in the streets; forced or not; their economic progress, peaceful succession of power, democr….

    Democracy: I genuinely think that they are trying harder to implement democracy but like anyone else they seem to be failing. While their failings seem to be attributed from ethnic democracy, the main culprit is the lack of alternative opposition. EPRDF, by hook or crook, believes in ethnic democracy and it does not seem as if they want to change their mind. The Ethiopian oppositions have had (still do) ample time to form, organize, and address long held ethnic grievances in a plausible way, albeit them being democratic. From all indications the Ethiopians are dying for alternative party that leads them to prosperity and dignity. Sadly, however, every opposition seems to prefer to be opposition, solely to get that permanent residency.

    Cabinet making: This event could herald the beginning of the down of those bloody protests. Observers, however, point out the following facts. Lack of public participation! Knowing Ethiopian bloody past one has to be very careful of calling the old phrase that goes by Gulicha bileweT…. Furthermore, the pertinent ethnic federalism or boundaries questions are still left intact. For many obvious reason I am not in favor of ethnic federalism. Ethnic democracy? Perhaps. Ethnic federalism? Absolute no. I will discuss about this later time willing. Having said all this, whatever Ethiopians choose will be acceptable by me, as I am not Ethiopian. The last time I was standing by the sidelines watching them marching, ETHIOPIA TIQDEM, later I found out that they were, in fact, showing me the gate to march.

    • Amanuel Hidrat

      Dear Dis Donc,

      Welcome back brother. While I agree on your take on the Ethiopian issue, I might disagree on one point. As an outside obsever I believe the current Federalism is the only governmental structure that hold the unity of their divetsity. The current mistrust among the major social groups is insurmountable by any other kind of Federalism. There is no problem with it as far as they could institute a fair political and economic sharing. But at the end of the day the Ethiopian people must collectively decide their future and how they will govern themselves. Remember for every society they have their own specific factors and reality that dictates as to what kind of governmental could address their contemporary grievances. And I hope Ethiopians will find one that suit them.


      • Dis Donc

        Dear Aman,
        But I am afraid it is a short term solution than a long term one. Ethnic federalism, to me, is equal to communism-idealism; good on theory but discounts human nature. I will let for the readers deduce what I mean by human nature. That said, ethnic federalism has many pitfalls. The greatest of all is that it alienates many groups such as critical thinkers, educated masses, and most importantly emigres. These groups, while they may be happy, temporarily (I might add), with their economic voice, they will find their political voice curtailed. And that will not last long. I will give you an example of white Ethiopians descendants, Eritreans and other emigres, ethnic mixes, emigres of other ethnics in Oromo or other areas, etc who all found themselves marginalized after the advent of EPRDF. In some cases it turned out to be violent. Supreme example of this is former Yugoslavia. Had there been any political voice for these groups none of those bad stuff would have happened to them.

        Aman, I wish I could write more….

        • Amanuel Hidrat

          Dear DD,

          As far as the trust building goes well, redistricting and constititional amendment can be made as in any constitutional amendment processes. The current problem is lack of fairness and deep mistrusts within the major social groups. Hence they need a system that addresses the current grievances whatever should it be, provided they get consensus on it. Remember any constititional structures need consensus of all the stakeholders.

          But, I do not understand how ethnic federalism alienate critical thinkers and educated masses. Could you explain to me why is that? Is there any historical bases to validate your fears? I know India is typical example of Ethiopian federalism. I haven ‘t read any complain of alienation from Indian educated masses. If you do not have time now please help me on the questions I put forward when you can spare time for me. I just want to learn.


          • Ismail AA

            Dear Aman and DD,
            In my view, regarding the current system in Ethiopia the flaw is not in the federal system per se. It is the distribution of power at the level of the federal government. The imbalance greatly favors one region or Kilil, as the regional states are called, due to the dominant place the TPLF had right after the fall of the Derg.
            If this handicap could be peacefully rectified through dialogue, I think properly arranged and constitutionally guaranteed federal system for a widely diverse country as Ethiopia may not have an alternative. Ethiopians should watch out lest one domination is replaced by another, which could lead to more problems.

          • Amanuel Hidrat

            Dear Ismail,

            You are precisely right that the problem is on the distribution of power in the different level of the Federal government. In my view there no other alternative for the Ethiopian reality. I hope they will rectify the distribution through the power of dialogue.


    • Peace!

      Selam DD,

      Very well said and I agree with most of what you said. I must say though tackling the problem is one thing and wishing well for the government and people is also another thing. it is good to be optimistic as stable Ethiopia is crucial for the country itself and the region, and at the same time, it is also good to be realistic given the sensitivity of the problem and if not addressed and solved in a timely manner, it may veer to a dangerous direction, so getting it right is what people should be focusing, off course including prayers.

      The government move is a unilateral, and until this date we do not know the exact and inclusive demands of the protesters. with that in mind for the government to go ahead and take steps without listening or reaching out the oppositions is simply a trial and error method which is very irresponsible and dangerous. As it appears on slogans and in public discourse, the demands of the protesters are equality, unemployment, Land issue, total monopoly of Economy and Military, release thousands of political prisoners, and taking responsibilities for the lives lost during the uprising. Now, can reshuffling cabinets address these issue and satisfy the protestors? Although Iike to be hopeful, why not reach out, seat down, and talk.

      welcome back!

  • Ismail AA

    Dear all,

    The reshuffling of the in Ethiopia has come, in my opinion, at crucial point of the recent events that have shaken the current governance system. If time will prove the efficacy and genuineness of the measure, the coming days and months will be critical in resetting the situation in the country in the direction of calm which projected changes critically need.

    The most important question still pending is what the next days and months are going to witness In other words, it is to be seen whether this new step is product of sober soul searching and, therefore, decision has been taken to work towards meaningful reforms encompassing the key pillars of the system.


  • Tewelde gebremariam

    Haile Selase did it, and Mengistu Haile Mariam did it etc.but all in vain. Therefore ,what woyane has done is typical of all tyrants. Knowing full well of their crimes and thus ,fear stricken of having to account for it in the hands of their victims, woyane won’t stop trying to deceive the people by dint of flattery. What woyane must know is that it’s flattery can only have paradoxical effect: embolden the people for revenge.

  • Dear All,

    i hope that this heralds the end of the old authoritarian tplf/eprdf government and the beginning of a new era of real democracy and a government by all and for all ethnic groups. i hope too that PMHD has managed to extricate himself from the grip by tplf, and he can now act freely to bring peace, democracy and prosperity to the land. the electoral system is very important, because the right system of elections and free and fair elections are one of the things that will show that the new government really means business. well, time will show.

    i believe that it is not only internal factors (uprisings and the fact that tplf/eprdf has become old and impotent and it cannot deliver anymore – old age for a democratic government is 8-10 yrs, for authoritarian governments 20-25yrs, and for a totalitarian government a lifetime, i imagine) that forced the government to adapt change. the billions of dollars already invested by foreigners in the country, and the importance of ethiopia in the region (especially if stable and democratic), are additional factors that forced the government to understand that business cannot continue as usual (internally and externally), and nobody wants to throw away good money without some sort of guarantee.

    implementation of democracy, freedom and good governance could bring peace, security and stability more than any armed groups that roamed all over the country and acted unrestrained by taking the law into their own hands. this is the last chance for the government of ethiopia to take the country in the right direction or become irrelevant.

    • saay7

      Selam Horizon:

      It is odd that this Forum’s Ethiopian contributors chose one of Ethiopia’s momentous times to disappear: where is Eyob? Where is Abi? Where is Kaddis? Where is Amde? I am not even going to ask about His Fantiness: I am convinced he is a Buddhist and goes on long retreats to consult with His Divinity.

      So my favorite part of the government shuffle in Ethiopia are the following:

      1) Ethiopian government spokesperson Getachew Redda has been given the boot. That guy had an unfortunate body language which made him appear like he is lying even when telling the truth. No way that that hire was based on merit.I hear his replacement is a “no information is better than wrong information” scholar, so that’s a good start. I think.

      End of list:)

      Wait, this is a question for the Ethiopians. Do you still have TWO deputy prime ministers? Can you lend us one: we don’t have a VP. And how about all the “advisers” who were, um, TPLF hangers-on with no real job title, nor responsibility, just “legacy” people who believe they are entitled to be part of the executive government because, you know, we fought the Derg. People like Abay Tsehaye, Arkabe Equbay, Berhane Gebrekirstos, etc, etc. Still there?


      • Eyob Medhane


        “..One of Ethiopia’s momentous time..” Really? We had a lot of moments that are way more “exciting” than this. 😉

        1) Well..Yes. You are right Getchew Reda is gone and replaced by a former journalism professor at AAU, who was known to say some eye brow raising things like “..the government media is in perpetual glitch..” (Whatever that means) I am not big fan of academicians running government. But, whatever…

        2) Sure. We can lend you as many deputies as you’d like. We have eliminated two “deputy PM” positions. Hailemariam fired one of his deputies (Aster Mamo) and took away DPM title from the other one (Debretsion G/Michael) He now has only one Deputy. He also got rid of all of his “advisors”. All of the people that you mentioned have been shown the door. Abay Tsehaye, Tsgay Berhe, Arkabe Equbay, Berhane Gebrekirstos, you can choose who ever you want among these people to borrow.. 🙂

        3) The ever popular foreign minister Tedros Adhanom was replaced by Workneh Gebeyehu. The police commissioner, during 2005 election fiasco and very much a securocrat. However, he also was very successful, during his tenure as a minister of transportation for helping Ethiopian airlines to grow and successfully managing and overseeing of Addis light rail, Ethio-Djibouti railway and an impressive fast progress of Awash-Woldiya-Meqelle railway project as well as the extensive network of road projects around the country as well as the Addis Adama express toll freeway. He is polished well spoken. So you have a tough cookie to deal with. Please alert PFDJ, who already started calling him a murderer.. 🙂

        Additional reports to follow.. 😀

        Gash Saleh. Where are you? Please chime in. I missed you…

        • saay7

          Welcome back Eyob!

          Hope others follow. Although, with Abi, he strikes me as those one of those 3,000 year olds who will die before they change: disqus asked him for something and he said Hell No. Mn’abatwa.

          1. Dear Getachew Redda: I am going to miss making fun of you at twitter. But for now: Shananana shananana, hey, hey, good bye


          Hope he enjoys his long stay at Hotel Salome Taddesse

          2. Whoa, that’s good news about all the Entitlement “Advisers” getting booted out. Is this the end of the “Ghedli era” for Ethiopia: people thinking they are entitled to lead Ethiopia, no matter their competence, because they had a role in defeating the Derg, a government that the majority of Ethiopians had never been governed by?

          3. If you were the police commissioner who gave the shoot-to-kill orders in the 2005 elections, whatever you did after that are irrelevant: you are not qualified to be in government. What exactly qualifies him to the the FM? You misread Ethiopian politics (I am bold enough to say that, forgive me) if you think what Ethiopia needs now is technocrats. No, sir, it needs people who have LEGITIMACY with their constituents. Stop taking the advice of the World Bank and IMF. Speaking of which:

          4. I heard Tedros Adhanom is running for WHO. I have two things to say about that. (a) during the debate in the 2015 elections, one of the oppos (Medrek? Semayawi?) said, “Tedros is a medical doctor; nothing qualifies him to be a foreign minister.” I think he was right and the ONLY reason he was the FM is because he was TPLF. (b) We will help his campaign to run for WHO because he is, after all, an Asmarino: raised in our city. 😂😂

          Can’t wait for your additional reports. Have you spotted Abi and his incessant talk about Dabo over justice? If so, tell him the mill is closed.


          • Eyob Medhane


            Ah….where to start…

            1) Getachew will not be checking in at hotel Selome Tadesse, because Selome is in the opposition camp now. I sincerely believe he’s ready to be an opposition. My guess is he will be an acadamic teaching law, which he is trained for in some university, if he is not giving Ambassadorship somewhere else…

            2) Actually some of those people, who you believe “entitled” are very valuable people. Arkabe has written a book that Oxford university press published, a book that was so much valued that many African countries now are taking it as a blue print for industrial development. Ethiopia’s industrial parks, which some of them in a very near future will also benefit some Eritrean refugees in Ethiopia is his brainchild. Addis Ababa has beccome a major international city as it has become now, because of policies that he set up, during his mayorship.

            If you have $83.98 You can buy his very much sought after book from Amazon.. 🙂

            3) Workneh Gebeyehu is qualified to be a foreign minister, because his PhD is on international relations. His work as a transportation minister very impressive and his experience in working in security apparatus will help him to line up all those “international people” that he will come across with, if they give him any trouble.. 🙂

            4) Tedros Adhanom hopefully will become the next WHO director, because he already secured 54 votes, well may be 53, because yenante neger aystemaminim.. 🙂 He is the only AU candidate and AU endorsed him.

          • saay7

            Selamat Eyobai:

            Take off your loyal Weyanista hat for a sec and meet me at Camera 2 wearing your Human Resources hat 🙂

            Hi there

            When a country is trying to heal from fracture between State and People, do u think it is a good idea to promote to the #2 position (foreign minister) the person who was associated with the 2005 suppression of demonstrators? Will people say, wow, that’s the guy who gave us Qelal Babur (yay) or that’s the guy who has a long experience with shooting at civilians and by making him FM, they are grooming him to be PM and lord save us all?

            Wink twice if you think the only question people will ask is “what’s his ethnicity?”


          • Eyob Medhane


            Ok…Weyane hat is off.. 🙂

            Well..despite the fact that Dr. Workneh was in the unfortunate position of being a head of federal police for so long, he is a very competent and well spoken technocrat. That gives me comfort. Did you say his “ethnicity”? Hummmm..I am actually excited that he is from my favorite city of Shashemené. I am very much partisan, when it comes to people. Who are from my town. 🙂

            One thing that I neglected to mention is that HMD even tried to “appease” some people from the diaspora by designating couple of people, who he plunked out from World bank and UN.

            The other very interesting appointments are Aisha Mohammed (Afar) as construction minister. Ms. Mohammed is probably, the youngest minister to be appointed in such an important post in Ethiopian history. She is barly in her early thirties….

      • Dear Saay,

        Indeed, we miss them all. i believe that eritrean politics cannot be complete without comparing (evaluating) it against ethiopian politics and vise versa. the contributions of these ethiopian forumers have always been important and interesting. afterall, there is no better place to go to other than awate.com, as much as politics of the horn is concerned. their viewpoints on ethio-eritrean politics is missed lately, and i hope they will soon respond as Eyob M. has already done so.

      • Fanti Ghana

        I am here brother Saay, Hello everyone, welcome back Eyoba, I missed you.

        One giant step forward for Ethiopia!

        The new ministers were picked mostly based on their qualifications as opposed to their political affiliations.

        During the last fifteen years, the core focus was development, and I hope the focus for the next fifteen years will also include democracy and better governance as forcefully demanded by the demonstrators.

        The election reform as promised by the president and the prime minister are things to look forward to.

        Other things to look forward to:
        Out of the current 30 ministers, only 3 are women. A question was raised during the appointment why so few and I believe there are extensive plans to address it in the coming years.

        I don’t know if there are any new plans to address the land owners surrounding Addis Ababa and the expansion issues, but I strongly recommend that the farmers should be made part owners of the companies that would be built there instead of “buying” the land from them.

        The top positions of the military should also be addressed to reflect the nation’s ethnic constitution. The lower ranks, up to colonels, are diverse enough, but anything above is uncomfortable. The good news is that most of the higher ranks are in retirement age and hopefully, they will leave without any “ungrateful” sounding push.

        So, all in all, this is a step forward and I am humbled by it.

    • Hayat Adem

      Dear Horizon,
      I was tuning into the parliament confirmation session of the cabinet candidates and why they were selected. Well, it can be a good departure and I wish the PM good luck but he sounded as if he was nominating candidates for a senate membership rather than government executive body. Some of his explanations for his selection were based on the number of papers they got published in journals. I don’t get this part. And policies are still to come out from the party mill, right? And these guys are more of like thinkers (policy matters) than executives. I still see a disconnect in that the thinkers are assigned to be executives and the leaders (party) will do the thinking. The other problem could be the high-up expectations from the new government. What can you share us on what I said?

      • Ismail AA

        Dear Hayat,
        Given the over all situation in the country, I understand from where your concern is coming from. An observer’s assumption is that the measure taken might have been the product of sober appraisal of the country’s situation in the context of the system under which the government has been governed.
        I presume that Ethiopians do not lack the experience of political acumen and wisdom that help them find the peaceful way of resetting the conditions of the country in the ways that lead their nation in the direction of peace and stability. As good neighbor we, Eritreans, hope that the new measure is genuine departure phase towards positively responding to peoples’ demands.

        • Amanuel Hidrat

          Ahlen Ismail,

          Ethiopians have the acumen to listen each other and sit together to discuss the issue of their country, despite the mistrust that existed and caused by the past feudal governments. I hope you saw the debate of their intellectuals from the government and the oppositions alike, about two weeks ago, on the current public grievances that lead to public uprising. They have a constitution that correct wrong doing to a ruling regime. And as the president of the parlisment

          • Ismail AA

            Dear Aman,
            Your are perfectly right that we envy our Ethiopian neighbors. They have instruments in legal frame on which they can rely in times of adversity such as the one the recent events manifested. But, some of us get bogged in our partisan passions and wrap everything under the cloak of the TPLF. Peace and democracy in Ethiopia are crucially important to us because we understand what chaos and disintegration there would mean. We wish them luck in sorting out their problems from which I am sure we Eritreans can learn.

          • Amanuel Hidrat

            መርሓባ ኢስማዒሎ

            ናህና ነገር እኮ እንዳሐደረ ‘ዩ ዘተሓሳስብ:: ሰመረ ተስፋይ ነቶም ቅሬታቶም ዘቅረቡ ሕብረተሰብአዊ ክፋላት ህዝብና ትምክሕታዊ ታህዲድ ከስምዖም ከሎዶ ትዝክር? “ንሕና ዝበዛሕና ስለዝኾና ንሕና መራሕቲ ንስኻትኩም ከአ ተመራሕቲ” ክብሎም አብቲግዝያት የኑስ ሑሴን ምረቱ ዘቅረበሉ እዋን:: ስመረ ንመንፈስ ሰፊሕ ግናዕ ሕብረተሰብና ከምዘንጸባርቅ ትስሕቶን አይመስለንን:: ነዚ ከምዚ ዝአመሰለ አእምራዊ ጦብላሕታ ንኽንስዕሮ ነዊሕ ቃልሲ ይጽበየና ከምዘሎ ትስሕቶ አይመስለንን:: ንህዝብና ዝተማጠነ ተሳትፎ (fair sharing) አብኩሉ መደያት ህይወቱ ንምርግጋጽ መድረኻዊ ቃልሲ ጉንጉኒ ምስቲ ጸረ ጨቋኒ ዝኸይድ ከምዝኾነ ደጋጊምና ንህዝብና ንምዝኽኻር ከምዘድልየና አይትስሕቶን ትኸውን:: ስለዚ ንህዝብና እቲዘድሊ ንቅሐታዊ ዕጥቂ ናይ ድርብ ቃልሲ ካብምሃብ ዓዲ አይንውዓል::

            አማኑኤል ሕድራት

          • Ismail AA

            Dear Aman,

            Sorry, I should have responded in Tigrigna but I am still poor in typing and takes me a lot of time to type a sentence. I do agree with you that the challenges ahead are many. But the good thing and source of hope is that there Eritreans like you who are aware of what our society is and what it needs to live in harmony and peace. Throughout the time since the exit of the Italian colonialists, there was no time in which there were no citizens with divisive tendencies based on arrogance and faulty understanding of the fabric that tie our diverse society together. You and I know how volatile and uncertain the political conditions in 1942 to 1952 were.

            But thanks to wise founding fathers like Ras Tesemma, Sheikh Ibrahim Sultan, Woldeab Woldemariam and many enlightened and conscious leaders who gave their life for the sake of survival in unity like Martyr Kebire, they succeeded to uphold the country united, and handed it over to the generation after them.

            Those generation starting from 1958 through 1960 and the following difficult decades did not lower that banner. A huge sacrifice in life and material was paid. In order the interrupted process of laying down the bedrock of the nation-state not diminish, the revolutionary patriots enviously upheld the symbols, state insignias, languages etc, that made Eritrea. In place of the constitution that occupiers had discarded, the patriotic forces had after decade of struggle in 1971 a national democratic program that embodies the essence of the Eritrean state, and provided guidance for carrying the struggle as well as organizing the people in the way of unifying their ranks not along divisive social and demographic fault lines but ways that ensured broader national horizon. The decision to shun the so called question of nationality in favor of mass movements (organizations) like general unions of students, women, peasants, workers and other civic groups and council was well considered policy. Had the principles in that national democratic program not been assaulted by declaring war of the ELF, I sincerely believe that we would have witnessed the situation were trying to change, and there would have need for some components of our society to form ethnic organizations to defend themselves against existence endangering policies of the regime.

            Thus, dear Aman, our people will overcome the hardship and preserve their unity and country. Those who are putting their hopes on ephemeral deceptive gains they think the regime had imposed, shall have to rethink their positions as in the past. The descendants of our great founding fathers rise up and salvage this nation.

      • Dear Hayat Adem,

        When a long awaited change comes at last (if indeed it has come), one does not necessarily go to examine the details at first, for example, examining the proverbial teeth of a horse, to determine if it is worth it or not. Ethiopians have to accept first the change and change-makers & wait to see the merits & demerits of each one of them.
        Non-party member technocrats, who are experts in the fields they pursue, even consulted sometimes by governments can really be competent ministers. Most of them are good in management, administration and other fields. the only credentials they may have could be their academic achievements and expedience in their respective fields. They might not be politicians or in our case may not have come through revolutions and liberation wars, nevertheless, they have knowledge which is necessary to governments.

        When eprdf came to power it had no experience in governing & administrating a country. Unlike the pfdj it learnt quickly. If the new cabinet is made up of people who are ready to work hard, cooperate and listen, they can easily manage the job. A medical doctor could be a fm and a civilian (and even a woman) minister of defence. There are so many examples.

        I think that all are thinkers & performers & they will come up with ideas, which they can put into action. The cabinet ministers will be together in decision making, passing it through Parliament to make it a law (an easy job really when there is no opposition member) and implement it, provided the government is ready for business.

        The things that are required of the government are not really difficult to achieve. These are the implementation of democracy & good governance, things that do not need Einstein’s brain power for the Ethiopian government to understand, but the will of a genuine democrat and a patriot, who wishes good for the country and its people.

        Therefore, I do not think that PMHD has made the wrong choices.

  • Peace!

    Dear Awatawian, and thank you Gedab News.

    Y’Gulucha M’LeWawet W’etun AYtaftewuM. The thing is neither the cabinets nor the president runs the country, this is clear to every Ethiopian including fourth graders. The damage TPLF has inflicted over the last twenty-five years is so enormous that now the very foundation, federal system, of the country is now back into pending status- the idea is still alive, but the brain is dead.

    The Ethiopian people have already paid a heavy price not for new cabinets.TPLF and all Ethiopian ethnic groups must wise up and do the right thing to save the country and the region.