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  • Privatization preconditions, strategy and benefits for Ethiopia


    By Germain Kramo

    The Ethiopian government has made the decision to sell minority stakes to foreign and domestic investors in state monopolies such as Ethio Telecom, Ethiopian Airlines, and Ethiopian Shipping & Logistics Services Enterprise.

    This decision is to be welcomed because it will help to alleviate the public deficit and will especially modernize these companies and allow the private sector to boost strong and sustainable growth with more job creation. Nevertheless, how can we avoid the lackluster balance sheet of privatization in Africa since the 1990s?

    For a successful privatization, several conditions must be met. First, the decision to privatize must not be based solely on the will of the Prime Minister. It must involve all other institutions, both legislatively and judicially, so that all their actions contribute to the success of privatization.

    Better yet, the process of privatization must be inclusive and well-debated to prevent public perception of it as a sell-off of the national heritage to foreigners.

    It seems that in Ethiopia the government has not bothered to deploy this educational effort necessary to mobilize public opinion around this reform, which carries the risk of resistance or even sabotage.

    The improvement of the rule of law is another fundamental condition for the success of privatization. The consolidation of the rule of law (independent and efficient justice) is essential for the legal security of transactions. It promotes the improvement of the business environment and helps to attract investors. In this regard, efforts are needed in Ethiopia as the World Justice Project’s Rule of Law Index (2017-2018) shows that it is among the worst performers. With a score of 0.38 on a scale from 0 to 1, Ethiopia is ranked 107th out of 113 countries ranked in respect for the rule of law. It should not be forgotten that improving the protection of minority shareholders is also essential for successful privatization. Weak legal protection may discourage potential buyers. Statistics from the Doing Business 2018 report on the level of minority shareholder protection in case of conflict of interest indicate that Ethiopia has a score of 28.33 out of 100 and ranks 176 out of 190 countries ranked. The country must make efforts to better protect future buyers of minority holdings in public companies.

    It is important to guarantee the independence and efficiency of regulatory institutions.

    Transparency in public tenders is a requirement for the success of privatization. The lack of transparency is the doorway to any form of abuse including corruption. According to Transparency International’s Corruption Perception Index, Ethiopia ranks 107 out of 180 countries ranked.

    The establishment of good governance and transparency is a prerequisite to avoid privatization being an opportunity to distribute privileges and favors to friends and allies. Without good governance and transparency, privatization will serve to replace public monopolies with private monopolies.

    Ethiopia is not ranked well (36th out of 53 countries), and worse, it is among the 22 countries that have slowed their pace of governance reforms. Thus, it declined in the second half of the decade.

    Successful privatization requires free competition. A 2015 study found that in the water and sanitation sector, the lack of fair competition between private companies and public enterprises was mentioned as one of the bottlenecks for private companies.

    Lack of price flexibility has created uncertainty over usufruct rights over goods and services produced by private companies. Privatization operations of major utilities (water, electricity) in sub-Saharan Africa, for example, have often been put in place while keeping some price control, which leads to a lack of incentive to invest. Therefore, it is illusory to hope for the development of a private sector because potential entrants would not have been sufficiently incentivized. In the absence of free competition, price liberalization policies could have the opposite effect to that expected. This could lead to a multiplication of social crises caused by steep price increases (mainly commodities) and to the exclusion of a large part of the population, often the most vulnerable.

    In this perspective, the success of privatizations in Ethiopia depends on creating a framework for open and healthy competition that forces companies (on pain of disappearing) to improve the quality of their products and pushes them to lower prices. It is, therefore, necessary to prevent and punish the creation of cartels or monopolies, as well as other restrictive business practices.

    All in all, the Ethiopian government has shown its willingness to divest minority stakes in some state-owned enterprises. The decision, which is to be welcomed, must nevertheless be accompanied by the fulfillment of certain preconditions for its success.

    Reforms that improve the rule of law, governance and a better business environment are essential to attract the best performers and not the bottom performers. In short, for privatizations to transform poorly managed and budgeted state-owned companies into efficient and competitive private enterprises, they must be part of a comprehensive institutional reform.

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    By Haile Tessema

    (Paraphrasing former Minnesota senator Al Franken’s bestselling book “Rush Limbaugh is a big fat liar”) 

    It will take a psychic of the highest caliber to know where Jawar politically stands and what his real end goal is. It’s to be recalled that Jawar first appeared in the public arena as a young “brilliant analyst” of Ethiopian politics, and soon became the darling of Ethiopian opposition and the media in the diaspora.

    Then, in the height of fame, came his infamous speech (caught on tape) that glamorized the slaughtering of non-Muslim minority Amhara Christians using ሜንጫ /machete/ which resulted in soured relations with the non-Oromo diaspora opposition. This incident paved the way for Jawar to become the political high priest / imam of Oromo uber alles.

    However, with the death of PM Meles Zenawi; a sense of jubilation among the diaspora opposition and a smell of EPRDF’s eventual vulnerability, Jawar began to cozy up to Ethiopianist opposition groups, and started to loudly sing from the hymn book of democracy, equality and federalism. As a result, he was welcomed back to the fold.

    Then, with the intention of catering to and attracting the support of the overall opposition diaspora, particularly Amhara, Jawar intensified his Nazi propogandist Joseph Gobbles’ type of misinformation not only against Woyane / TPLF, but also the people of Tigrai at large. Indeed, coming up with a Hagos vs. Tola political narrative, Jawar is one of the leading hatemongers to be credited with creating an image of Tigrai that is paved with gold and its people as manipulative economic oppressors.

    All these, to a certain degree, could be taken as part and parcel of a propaganda battle in a time of political war. Yet, what makes Jawar’s behavior dubious is, even in the aftermath of victory, he is having difficulty leaving Woyane and Tigraians alone.

    Fact is, as a student of political science, Jawar knows or ought to know that – similar to other African leaders – TPLFites had the option of holding onto power to the very end (with Mengistu’s notorious “አንድ ሰውና አንድ ጥይት እስኪቀር / until one man and one bullet remains kind of mindset).

    After all, the security apparatus, soldiers, firearms, tanks and airpower command were at their fingertips. Instead, TPLF leaders caved in to the voice of the people, and ultimately relinquished power. In a healthy and progressive society, this would count for something and, if not high praise, a simple recognition of the fact would be in order.

    Unfortunately, that is not the norm in the country’s backward culture of zero sum political game which Jawarism is proven to be part and parcel of. So, with a sense of victorious bravado and perhaps undying hate against Woyane and the people of Tigrai, Jawar preposterously claims to this very day that TPLF leaders were provided with a golden parachute for safe landing for which they should forever be indebted to the Jawar led movement called qeero.

    When he feels like it, Jawar brags how TPLF leaders are critically wounded, and confined to their elderly home or ICU in Mekelle. And then – when unfavorable incidents occur be it in Addis Ababa, Oromia or the Somali Region – he goes back to his old habit of accusing the same supposedly critically wounded TPLF leaders as authors and finishers of all chaos from the distance of their Mekelle home. Interestingly, no one holds him to account by asking him which is which.

    Further, consistent in his tying all kinds of conspiracy theories to Tegaru – as recently as last week, for instance – he came up with the story that a lady monk with an alleged plan to assassinate PM Abiy was apparently apprehended inside Bole airport.

    The problem with this picture is:

    a) Shouldn’t it be law enforcement’s job to reveal this to the public in the first place?

    b) How did the alleged monk make it through tight airport security (or is this another convenient strategy to plant doubt in the mind of the public so as to dismiss unwelcome airport security officers for their sheer ethnicity)?

    c) Well, wanted to ask how come the identity of the assassination suspect is not revealed, and when she is going to appear in court. But this is a dangerous territory as a drama could be orchestrated for a woman – who has never even stepped foot at the airport, yet perfectly fits the ethnic bill – to be falsely accused, imprisoned and put through the court process.

    Meanwhile, Jawar is keen to creating a new image of himself as a moderate self-proclaimed “political scientist” with a mission to end the political crisis and the ethnic strife in the country. To that effect, he has made a 360-degree turn to now recognize that Tegaru in general haven’t been special beneficiaries of the system in the last 27 years. The question is, is this a case of finally seeing the light or just another typical ploy.

    He also revealed his desire to serve as a mediator between the new kids on the federal political block and the TPLF leaders resigned to life in Tigrai. Yet – knowing his past, recent past and current flip-flopping – it’d be naïve bordering on political stupidity to take him at face value.

    To sum up, it’s really hard to say if Jawar is:

    a) An Islamic extremist hell-bent to play part in creating an Islamic state in Ethiopia;

    b) A political mercenary paid by countries like Egypt to cause havoc in Ethiopia;

    c) An Oromo separatist committed to building an independent Oromia;

    d) An egomaniac puppet master who enjoys controlling political actors and manipulating the public;

    e) A democrat who believes in the equality of people of all faiths and ethnic groups.

    Indeed, no one knows for sure. But one thing that can be said without any shadow of doubt is: Jawar is a big fat liar who would say just about anything; change his stand and story a zillion times as he sees fit in order to have things his way for whatever objective and end goal only he knows what. And those who don’t know what he stands for yet provide him an arena to play his political game and cheer for him could be in for a big surprise or the shock of their lives.


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    አለባቸው ደሳለኝ አበሻ (ለንደን)


     (ኢትዮጵያዊነት ሱስ ነው !!) በማለት የለውጡን ባቡር ከአብይ አህመድ ጋር የሚዘውረው 
      ለማ መገርሳ .......መጣ እያገሳ...!   - በሚል ዜማ አድናቂዎቻቸው ያቀነቅኑላቸዋል :: ሆኖም ግን 
    ጠቅላይ ሚኒስትር አብይ አህመድ እና ለማ መገርሳን ጨምሮ የአንድነት አቀንቃኞቹ የልኡካን ቡድን  ሜኖሶታ  ኢትዮጵያውያኖቹ የተሰባሰቡበት እስቴድዮም  ሲገቡ  በህልም አለም የሚኖሩ የአንድነቱ እንደመር  ደወል ያልቀሰቀሳቸው ገና ከንእንቅልፋቸው ያልተነሱ ሰዎች አጋጥማዋቸው ነበር  :: የሚናገሩበትን ብሔራዊ የሐገሪቱን ቋንቋ እንዲቀይሩና በአፋን ኦሮሞ እንዲናገሩ ሲጠየቁ :: እሽ ቀጥየ በአፋን ኦሮሞ እናገረለሁ አሉ ::
     ብልህ እና አስተዋይ ፣ የረጅም ጉዞ የለውጥ አቀንቃኙ ኦቦ ለማ መገርሳ ግን  አንድ ሐሳብ በውስጣቸው ሲመላለስ ያዳመጡ ይመስላሉ :: የመነጋገሪያውን ሰገነት ላይ እንደቆሙ ቁልቁል ወደህዝቡ አስተዋሉ ::
    ትዝብታቸው ለኔ እንደገባኝ ከሆነ   የአንድ ሐገር ህዝብ በጋራ እንዲጎለብት ካስፈልገ የሁሉም ብሄር ብሄረሰቦች አንድ ላይ ሲዋሐዱ እና በአንድ ጥላ ስር መሰባሰብ የሚያስተሳስረን የጋራ ታሪካችን ኢትዮጵያዊ ሰንሰለት መሆኑን መረዳት እንዳለብን እንዲህ በማለት  አስገነዘቡን ::
    "አንድ ስንሆን ብቻ እናምራለን። በልዩነት አንድ ስንሆን ውበታችን ይደምቃል። መከፋፈል ውርደት እንጅ ክብር የለውም። በእውነት ሀገራችንን ለመለወጥ ከሆነ አንድነታችንን ማጠናከር አለብን። ኦሮሞነት ለኢትዮጵያ ስጋት ሳይሆን ውበት ነው፤ ኃይልና ጉልበት ነው። አማራነት ለኢትዮጵያ ስጋት ሳይሆን ውበት ነው፤ ኃይልና ጉልበት ነው። ሶማሌነት ለኢትዮጵያ ስጋት ሳይሆን ውበት ነው፤ ኃይልና ጉልበት ነው። ሌላውም እንዲሁ። እኛ ኢትዮጵያውያን የትም ብንሄድ ማንነታችን አይሰለብም። ይህ ነው የኢትዮጵያዊነት ሱስነት። የኢትዮጵያ የጥንካሬ ምንጭ አንድነት "አንድ ስንሆን ብቻ እናምራለን። በልዩነት አንድ ስንሆን ውበታችን ይደምቃል። መከፋፈል ውርደት እንጅ ክብር የለውም። በእውነት ሀገራችንን ለመለወጥ ከሆነ አንድነታችንን ማጠናከር አለብን። ።" ሲሉ ተደመጡ ::
    በእርግጥ  ለማ ትክክል ናቸው ለአንድ ሐገር መሰረት ቋንቋ ባህል ሐይማኖት ጂኦግራፊያዊ አቀማመጥ እና የጋራ ታሪክ አስፈላጊ ነው :: በኢትዮጵያ ታሪክ ውስጥ ምናልባት በብዙ መቶዎች የሚቆጠሩ የተለያዩ ብሔር ብሔረሰቦች ተቀላቅለው ተወራርሰውና ተዋህደው ስልጣኔ እና ታሪካቸውን ዛሬ ያለውን የኢትዮጵያ ህዝብ ምስል እንዲከሰት ምክኒያት ሆኖ ይሆናል :: 
    ብሔራዊ አላማ ሊኖረን ይገባል ከምንጏተተው ባንድራ ይልቅ የዳር ደንበራችን መከበር የህዝባችን መብት መጠበቁን የደህነታችን ጉዳይ እና የኢኮኖሚና የፓለቲካችን ጉዳይ እጅግ በጣም ያሳስበናል ::
    በሆነ ባልሆነው መጏተት አይኖርብንም :: ማንም የመንፈስ ስብራት እንዲደርስበት አንፈልግም :: ማንም ፎካሪ ሊሆን አይችልም :: አንዱ በአንዱ እሬሳ ላይ ቆሞ የሚፎክርበትን ከንቱ ዘመን በዋዛ ፈዛዛ  የሚባክን ስአት የለንም:: የጅምላ ጥላቻን የመሰለ እና ሐይማኖትን ተኮር ያደረገ ትንኮሳ ከፍተኛ ብሔራዊ አደጋ ነው  ::
    የዘር እና የብሔር ችግር እንዲፈጠር ማድረግ በሰከንዶች ውስጥ ሞትን አዝለው የሚመጡ አደጋዎች  እንደሚከሰቱ ማወቅ ያስፈልጋል ::ዛሬ  በሱማሌ ክልል ይምናየው እልቂት የዚህ ሰንካላ ምክኒያት ውጤት ነው :: የህዝብን ህይወት ሊያደፈርሱ የሚችሉ የጥላቻን መርዝ መንዛት  እና ሰላማዊ ሰዎችን መግደል ፣ ማፈናቀል ከዚህ በላይ ብሔራዊ አደጋ  ሊኖር አይችልም  :: 
    በግልፅ መናገር  ካስፈለገ ሐገራችን በታላቅ ችግርና  ፖለቲካዊ ነውጥ ውስጥ ለማስገባት ከአብይ እና ከኢትዮጵያ ህዝብ የመደመር አላማ  በተፃራሪ የቆሙ ሾተላዮች ፣ ሐይላቸውን እና ገንዘባቸውን አስተባብረው ዘመቻ ከፍተውብናል ::  በእርግጥ የአብይም ሆነ የለማ  መገርሳ አስተዳደር የራሳቸውን በጎነት ጨምረው ቢያንስ ፈጣሪንና ህሌናን ዳኛ ያደረገ የአንዲት ኢትዮጵያን እውን መሆን የመደመር ስሌት እየሰሩ ነው :: ይህን ሞራልን  መሰረት ያደረገ ስርአት ለማምጣት የአብይ እና የለማ ብቻ ሀላፊነት መሆን የለበትም :: ዜጎች ሁሉ በበጎ አስተሳሰብ በጋራ  አብረናቸው መነሳት አለብን :: 
     ሞታቸው ሞታችን ድላቸው ድላችን መሆን አለበት :: ዛሬ ሐገራችን በቀን ጅቦችና በሾተላዮች ስትታመስ እያየን እየሰማን ተመልካች ብቻ የምንሆን ከሆነ በእርግጥም  ሐላፊነት የማይሰማን ዜጎች ነን ማለት ነው ::   ዝም ብለን በደመነፍስ መጏዝ የለብንም :: ታላቅ ሐገር ታላቅ ሕዝብ እንዲኖረን የምንመኝ ከሆነ ችግራችንን ሁሉ መንግስት ይቅርፈዋል ብለን መጠብቅ የዋህነት ነው ::  ይህ  እንደባሕል አርገን  የወሰድነው በሰው መስዋዕትነት መኖር ማብቃት አለበት :: ህብረተሰቡ እራሱን መጠበቅ መለማመድ እና መሞከር አለበት ::
    ጠቅላይ ሚኒስትር አብይ ደጋግመው እንደ ገለፁት ከሆነ የሐገራችን ብቻ ሳይሆን የአፍሪካንም ሐላፊነት ተሸክመናል ::   በሐገራችን በሱማሌ ክልል  የተከሰተው አይነት ያለ ችግር ለዘለቂታው ለመፍታት የሚደረገው ጥረት በግብታዊነት ሳይሆን ጥናትና ምርምር ማካሂድ አለብን ::  ኢትዮጵያዊነት እንደህዝብ እንደሐገር እንደ መንግስት መታወቅና መከበርን ከሁሉም በላይ የነፃነትን እሴቶቻችን  መሰረት  ያደረገ እንደመሆኑ ከነፃ ህዝብነት የሚፈልቀውን ልበሙሉነትና የመንፈስ እርካታ ሁሉ ያጎናፀፋል  :: ካለበለዚያ   ዝም ብሎ የማንም ውርጋጥ ጭቃ እያድቦለቦለ ጠፍጥፎ የካርታ ሐውልት የሚያቆምበት ስርአት ለመመስረት እና ህዝብን ለመከፋፈል አይደለም የምንደክመው :: 
     ሐገራችን ኢትዮጵያ  የጋራ ታሪክ ያለው  ሰንደቅ አላማ አላት ::  የተባበሩት መንግስታት እውቅና ያለው አረንጏዴ ቢጫ ቀይ ቀለም ሰንደቅ አላማ ::   በሐገራችን ሆነ በመላው አለም በኩራት የምናውለበልበው ፀረ ኮሎኒያሎኒያሊዝምን  አባቶቻችን የአንበረከኩበት   ብሔራዊ ሰንደቅ አላማችን  ነው ::  የእኛነታችን መገለጫ  ::  በዘፈቀደ ማንም ሰው ልብስ ሰፊ ቤት እየሔደ ጣቃ እያስቀደደ ሕዝብን ከህዝብ ለማጋጨት የሚነሳሳ ምልክት አንስቶ መፎከር የለበትም ::
     የኢትዮጵያ ሥልጣኔ ያስገኘውን ታላቅ ቅርስ ሐላፊነት በጎደላቸው ውርጋጦች ሲደፈር ማየትም ተገቢ አይደለምና ሊታሰብበት ይገባል እንላለን  ::  ለምን የጋራ ጠላቶቻችንን ለማስዎገድ በጋራ መቆም የሰከነ ዘመናዊ መንግስት ለማቋቋም በግስጋሴ ላይ ነው ያለነው  :: በተለይ  የሐገርን  ታሪክ ጠንቅቆ አለማወቅ አላማ ቢስነትና የመቻቻል ባህልን አለመለማመድ ታላቅ የመደመር እንቅፋት ሲሆን ለዲሞክራሲ ስርአት  ዃለቀር ውርሶች ናቸው ::  እናም  በአስተሳሰብ ደርጃ ያሮጌው ባህላችን ነፀብራቅ አሚካላ በመሆናቸው በጋራ ነቅለን መጣል አለብን   :: በዚህ ጉዳይ የነፍስ ጨለማን የሚያበሩት ለማ መገርሳ  በህይወት ያሉ የአንድነት ሐውልት ትልቅ ምሳሌ  ናቸው :: አሁንም ለማ መገርሳ መጣ እያገሰ ማለታችን ይቀጥላል ::
    ለዛሬው በዚሁ አበቃሁ በሌላ ዝግጅት እስክንገናኝ ቸር ይግጠመን
    አለባቸው ደሳለኝ አበሻ (ለንደን)
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    ዕለቱ ሰኞ ቀኑ ደግሞ ነሐሴ 7 ቀን 2010 ዓ.ም.፡፡ ጉዞ ከድሬዳዋ አዲስ አበባ ሲሆን፣ በመኪናዋ ውስጥ አራት ሰዎች ተጭነዋል፡፡ ሳይረፍድ የተነሳው የመኪናዋ ሾፌር አዲስ አበባ ደርሶ ለመመለስ ካለው ጉጉት የተነሳ፣ ለተሳፋሪዎቹ ይኼንኑ እያወራ መኪናዋን ከፍጥነቷ ልክ በላይ ያከንፋታል፡፡

    መኪናዋ አዋሽ አርባን እስከምትሻገር መንገዱ በሙሉ ሰላም ነበር፡፡ ይሁንና መኪናዋ ከአዋሽ አርባ ብዙም ሳትርቅ የጉዞውን ድባብ የለወጠ ክስተት ተፈጠረ፡፡ መንገድ በማቋረጥ ላይ የነበሩ አዛውንት በመኪናዋ ይገጫሉ፡፡ ሾፌሩም ፍጥነቱን መቆጣጠር ስላልቻለ ሊያድናቸው አልቻለም፡፡

    ይህ ግን በአገሪቱ የተለመደና ሲሰማ የቆየ የትራፊክ አደጋ ክስተት ብቻ ሆኖ አልቀረም፡፡ ይልቁንም በአገሪቱ እየተንሰራፋ የመጣውን የመንጋ ፖለቲካና የደቦ ፍርድ ሰለባ ከሆኑ ጥፋቶች መደብ ገባ እንጂ፡፡

    በሥፍራው ከቆይታ በኋላ የተገኘው የትራፊክ ፖሊስ ሾፌሩን ወደ ፖሊስ ጣቢያ ወስዶ በቁጥጥር ሥር ቢያውለውም፣ በሕግ ከለላ ሥር መሆኑ ከጥቃት ሊያድነው አልቻለም፡፡ የትራፊክ ፖሊሱን ተከትለው የመጡ የአካባቢው ወጣቶች በፖሊስ ላይ ጥቃት ሰነዘሩ፡፡ አደጋ ያደረሰው ግለሰብ ለሕግ ከሚቀርብ እኛ እንቅጣው በማለትም በንዴት መንፈስ መኪናዋን ሰባበሩ፡፡ አደጋ ያደረሰው ግለሰብም ድብደባ ተፈጸመበት፡፡

    በመቀጠልም የመኪናዋን ቁልፎች ከፖሊስ በመቀማት ማንም ከቦታው እንዳይንቀሳቀስ ማገዳቸውን በሥፍራው የነበረችና በአጋጣሚ በምታውቀው ሾፌር ዕርዳታ መኪና ቀይራ አዲስ አበባ የገባች ወጣት ለሪፖርተር አስረድታለች፡፡

    ይህ ከሕግ ውጭ የሚሰጥ የደቦ ፍርድ ምክንያት በርካቶች ሰለባ ከሆኑባቸው ክስተቶች አንዱ አብነት ነው፡፡ እንዲህ ዓይነት ጉዳዮችን በየቀኑ መስማትም የተለመደ ሆኗል፡፡

    በተመሳሳይ የኦሮሚያ ሚዲያ ኔትወርክ (ኦኤምኤን) ዋና ዳይሬክተር አቶ ጃዋር መሐመድን ለመቀበል እሑድ ነሐሴ 6 ቀን 2010 ዓ.ም. በሻሸመኔ በወጡ በርካታ ግለሰቦች መሀል ቦምብ ይዞ ተገኝቷል ተብሎ የተጠረጠረን አንድ ግለሰብ፣ በሥፍራው የተሰበሰቡ ወጣቶች በመጠቋቆም በድንጋይ ደብድበው መግደላቸውና ዘቅዝቀው መስቀላቸው በርካቶችን ያሳቀቀና አንገት ያስደፋ ነበር፡፡

    ከሻሸመኔው ክስተት አንድ ቀን አስቀድሞ በምሥራቅ ወለጋ ወሊገልቴ በተባለች የገጠር ቀበሌ ውስጥ፣ ሁለት ግለሰቦች በተሰበሰቡ ወጣቶች ጥቃት ተሰንዝሮባቸው መሞታቸውም ተሰምቷል፡፡ እነዚህ ሁለት ሟቾች በአካባቢው ከ30 ዓመታት በላይ የቆዩና ከማኅበረሰቡ ጋር ተዋህደው የኖሩ ቢሆንም፣ እንደ ባይተዋር የደቦ ሰለባ ከመሆንና ከመሆንና ያለገላጋይ ተደብድበው ከመገደል አላተረፋቸውም፡፡

    ሌላም በርካታ አብነቶችን ማንሳት ይቻላል፡፡ ወደ አዲስ አበባ ይመጡ የነበሩትን የኤርትራ ፕሬዚዳንት ኢሳያስ አፈወርቂን ጉብኝት ለመዘገብ፣ ሐምሌ 6 ቀን 2010 ዓ.ም. ወደ አዲስ አበባ ሲጓዙ የነበሩ የድሬዳዋ መገናኛ ብዙኃን የጋዜጠኞች ቡድን አባላት፣ ሰላይ ናችሁ በሚል ፍረጃ በማይታወቁ ወጣቶች ተደብድበው የቡድኑ ሾፌር ሕይወቱ ማለፉ ይታወሳል፡፡ ሁለት የቡድኑ አባላትም ከፍተኛ የሆነ ጉዳት ደርሶባቸው ነበር፡፡

    እንዲህ ዓይነቱ ክስተት በዚህ ብቻ አያበቃም፡፡ በአገሪቱ በስፋት እየታየ ያለው የመንጋ ፖለቲካና የደቦ ፍርድ ሕይወት መቅጠፉ እንዳለም የዜጎችን ንብረቶች ቀምቶ መከፋፈልንም ያካተተ ነው፡፡

    እሑድ ነሐሴ 6 ቀን 2010 ዓ.ም. ባህር ዳር ከተማ ውስጥ ወደ ትግራይ በቆሎ ጭኖ እየሄደ ነው የተባለ አንድ ተሸከርካሪ በማስቆም፣ ወጣቶች በቆሎውን በማውረድ በአካባቢው ለሚገኙ ሰዎች አከፋፍለዋል፡፡

    እነዚህ ድርጊቶች ባለፉት አራት ዓመታት በአገሪቱ በነበረ ከፍተኛ ተቃውሞና ብጥብጥ ምክንያት ከደረሱ የንግድ ተቋማትና የኢንቨስትመንት ፕሮጀክቶች መቃጠልና መዘረፍ፣ ብሎም የሰዎች ሕይወት መጥፋትና የአካል መጉደል አንፃር እንደሚለዩ፣ በከፍተኛ የፖለቲካና የሕግ ማስተካከያዎች ካልተፈቱ ወደ መንግሥት አልባነት ሊመሩ የሚችሉ እንደሆኑ የሕግና የፖለቲካ ባለሙያዎች ይስማማሉ፡፡

    አገሪቱ ከችግር አዙሪት በመውጣት ላለፉት የፖለቲካ አለመረጋጋቶች መፍትሔ የምትሰጥበት ዕድል አግኝታ ሳለች፣ የለውጥ ዕርምጃዎች እየተወሰዱና አገራዊ ዕርቅና መግባባት እየመጣ ነው በሚባልበት ወቅት መከሰታቸውም፣ በኢትዮጵያዊነት እሴቶች ላይ ሳይቀር ጥያቄዎች እንዲነሱ እያደረጉ መሆኑን ያስረዳሉ፡፡

    በአዲስ አበባ ዩኒቨርሲቲ በፖለቲካ ሳይንስና ዓለም አቀፍ ግንኙነት መካነ ጥናት ውስጥ የሚያስተምሩትና በግጭትና ግጭት አፈታት ላይ የምርምር ሥራቸውን የሚያተኩረው ደመቀ አቺሶ (ዶ/ር) እንዲህ ዓይነት ክስተቶች በሽግግር ውስጥ ባሉ አገሮች የሚከሰቱ መሆናቸውን በመጠቆም፣ የሕግ የበላይነትን በማስፈን በቁጥጥር ሥር ካልዋሉ እየተከሰቱ እንዳሉት ዓይነት ለመስማት የሚቀፉ ወንጀሎች እንዲፈጸሙ ሊያደርጉ ይችላሉ ይላሉ፡፡

    እንደ እሳቸው ምልከታ፣ የዚህ ችግር ምንጮች በፌዴራልና በክልል መንግሥታት መካከል ያለው ግንኙነት መላላቱና ክልሎች ራሳቸውን አጥረው አትድረሱብን እስከማለት መድረሳቸው፣ በተጨማሪም የፌዴራል መንግሥት መዳከም ናቸው፡፡

    ‹‹መንግሥት ቢያንስ በክልሎች የማስተባበር ሥራ መሥራት ካልቻለ ብዙ ቀውሶች ሊከሰቱ ይችላሉ፡፡ በተለይ በኢሕአዴግ ውስጥ የተፈጠረው ክፍተት፣ እየጠነከሩ የመጡ ቡድኖች ችግሮችን መፍጠር እንዲችሉ አግዟቸዋል፤›› የሚሉት መምህሩ፣ ኢትዮጵያ ለረዥም ጊዜ የምትታወቅባቸው እሴቶች መቻቻል፣ መተባበር፣ መፋቀር፣ መተሳሰብ መሆናቸውን፣ እነዚህን እሴቶች የማይገልጹ ድርጊቶች መታየታቸው፣ ‹‹ዕውን ኢትዮጵያውያን ነን ወይ፣ እስከዛሬስ ዕውን ተቻችለን ኖረናል ወይ፤›› ብለን መልሰን ራሳችንን እንድንጠይቅ የሚያደርጉ ክስተቶች እንደሆኑ ያስረዳሉ፡፡

    ስለዚህም ምንም እንኳን ከማኅበረሰቡ በላይ ትልቁን ሚና መጫወት ያለበት መንግሥት ቢሆንም፣ ሕዝቡ ትልቅ ኃላፊነት አለበት ይላሉ፡፡ እንደ እሳቸው ዕይታ ዴሞክራሲ ከመብት ጋር ብቻ ተቆራኝቶ መነገሩ ትልቅ ክፍተት የፈጠረ ሲሆን፣ ይኼንን ጉድለት ለመሙላት ሁሉም ኃላፊነቱን መወጣት አለበት፡፡ በተለይ ማኅበረሰቡ፡፡

    ‹‹በአሁኑ ጊዜ መንግሥት፣ መንግሥት የሚባልበት ጊዜ አይደለም፡፡ በግልጽ ጠንክሮ የወጣ ኃይልም የለም፡፡ የክልልና የመንግሥት ኃይሎች በጋራ እየሠሩ አይደለም፡፡ የፌዴራል መንግሥትም ይፍጨረጨራል እንጂ በተግባር የለም፡፡ ስለዚህ ሕዝቡ ማድረግ ያለበት ከጠባቂነት መንፈስ ወጥቶ እንዲህ ዓይነት አስፀያፊ ነገሮች እንዳይደገሙ በርትቶ መሥራት አለበት፤›› ሲሉም ያሳስባሉ፡፡

    በዚሁ ጉዳይ ላይ ከሪፖርተር ጋር ቆይታ ያደረጉ አንድ የሕግ ባለሙያ ደግሞ፣ ሕግና ሥርዓት አልባነት ቀላል ከሆነውና ከወንጀል ሕግ ጥሰት ዕይታ በላይ ምልከታ የሚያስፈልገው እንደሆነ ገልጸው ከፖለቲካ፣ ከማኅበረሰብና ተያያዥ ከሆኑ ጉዳዮች ጋር መታየት እንዳለበት በመግለጽ የሕግን መኖር በራሱ ጥያቄ ውስጥ የሚያስገቡ ክስተቶች እንደሆኑ ይገልጻሉ፡፡

    ‹‹ምንም እንኳን መነሻ የሆኑ ምክንያቶች ሊኖሩ ቢችሉም፣ እንዲህ ዓይነት ድርጊት በምንም ዓይነት ሁኔታ ልክ ነው ሊያስብሉ የሚችሉ አይደሉም፡፡ የሰዎች ደኅንነት ጥያቄ ውስጥ መውደቅ የለበትም፡፡ ሕግና ሥርዓት አለ እስከተባለ ድረስ እንዲህ ዓይነት ተግባራትን በትዕግሥት ማለፍ አይቻልም፤›› ይላሉ፡፡

    ከዚህ ባለፈ ግን መንግሥት በዝምታ የሚያልፍና ድርጊቶቹን የሚታገስ ከሆነ፣ በመንግሥት ኃላፊነት ላይ ጥያቄዎችን የሚያስነሳ እንደሆነም ያስረዳሉ፡፡ የመንግሥት ግዴታ የሕግ ተፈጻሚነትን ማረጋገጥ ሲሆን፣ በአንድ አካባቢ ሕግ የሚሠራበት በሌላው ደግሞ የማይሠራበት አግባብ መኖር የለበትም ባይ ናቸው፡፡

    መንግሥት በእንዲህ ዓይነት ሒደቶች የሚያቅተው ከሆነና እየተደጋገሙ የመጡት ክስተቶች በቁጥጥር ሥር መዋል ካልቻሉ አገሪቱን ወደ ከፋ አደጋ ሊከታት እንደሚችል የፖለቲካ ሳይንስ መምህሩ ደመቀ (ዶ/ር) ያስረዳሉ፡፡

    ‹‹ይህ ሙሉ በሙሉ ሕግ አልባነት ነው፤›› የሚሉት መምህሩ፣ የኃይል ማዕከሉ ካልተለየና ትዕዛዙ ከየት እንደሚመነጭ በግልጽ የተበጀ መስመር እስከሌለ ድረስ አገሪቱ ወደ ዘመነ መሳፍንት እንደማትመለስ ዋስትና የለም ብለዋል፡፡

    ‹‹መንግሥት ሲፍጨረጨር ነው እንጂ የሚታየው ዕርምጃ የመውሰድ አቅሙ ከእጁ የወጣ ይመስላል፡፡ የፌዴራል መንግሥት እጆቹ ካጠሩና ማስተዳደር ካቃተው ሁሌም የሰው ደኅንነት ጥያቄ ውስጥ ይገባል፡፡ የፖለቲካ ትርክት የማያውቁና እንጀራ ጠግበው ያልበሉ ድሆች እየሞቱ እንዲሁ አገር እንገነባለን የሚል ቡራ ከረዩ ምንም አይገባኝም፤›› ሲሉም ይነቅፋሉ፡፡ ስለዚህ መንግሥት የተበታተኑ የኃይል ማዕከላትን ወደ አንድ ማምጣት ይገባዋል ይላሉ፡፡

    ‹‹የፌዴራል መንግሥት ዕርምጃ መውሰድ አለበት፡፡ ብዙ ነገሮች ከእጃችን ካመለጡ በኋላ እንዳይፀፅተን እሠጋለሁ፤›› ሲሉም ሥጋታቸውን ይገልጻሉ፡፡ ‹‹ያለበለዚያ ወደ መንግሥት አልባነት ልንሸጋገር እንችላለን፤›› ይላሉ፡፡

    ይህ የደቦ ፍርድ ባለፉት አራት ዓመታት ሲታይ የነበረ ቢሆንም፣ ጠቅላይ ሚኒስትር ዓብይ ‹‹ፀጉረ ልውጥ›› በማለት የተናገሩትን ንግግር በማስታወስ፣ እሳቸውን የሚወቅሱ አካላትም በማኅበራዊ ሚዲያው ታይተዋል፡፡

    ምንም እንኳ በዚህ አባባል ላይ የተለያዩ ምልከታዎች ቢኖሩም፣ ንቃተ ህሊናቸው ዝቅተኛ የሆኑ ወጣቶች በስሜት ተገፋፍተው ዕርምጃ መውሰዳቸው ስለማይቀር ጥንቃቄ እንደሚያስፈልግ የሚገልጹ አሉ፡፡ በቅርቡ በባህር ዳር ከተማ የኤችአይቪ ጥናት ሲያደርጉ በነበሩ ባለሙያዎች ተሽከርካሪ ላይ የተፈጸመውን ቃጠሎ እንደ ምሳሌም ያነሳሉ፡፡ ወጣቶቹ ፀጉረ ልውጦች በማለት ነበር ድርጊቱን የፈጸሙት፡፡

    ጠቅላይ ሚኒስትር ዓብይ በወቅቱ ባስተላለፉት መልዕክት፣ ‹‹በታዳጊ ክልሎች አዳዲስ ኃይሎች አዳዲስ ፀጉረ ልውጥ ሰዎች እየተንቀሳቀሱ የሚያደራጁት ኃይል ካለ ሥርዓቱ ብቻ ሳይሆን ወጣቶች ቆቅ ሆነው እንዲጠብቁ፤›› ሲሉ ጥሪ አቅርበው ነበር፡፡

    ይሁንና ይህ ንግግራቸው ሥጋት ላይ የጣላቸው አካላት ለጠቅላይ ሚኒስትር ላቀረቡት ጥያቄ ምላሽ ሲሰጡ፣ ‹‹ፀጉረ ልውጦች የተወሰኑ የአንድ ብሔር ተወላጆች ናቸው ብሎ ማሰብ በመሠረቱ የተሳሳተ ነው፤›› ሲሉ ያብራሩት ጠቅላይ ሚኒስትር ዓብይ፣ ‹‹የትግራይ ሕዝብ ኦሮሚያ ወይም አማራ ክልል ውስጥ ፀጉረ ልውጥ ሊሆን አይችልም። ፀጉረ ልውጥ ያልኩት በፍፁም አንድን ቡድን በሚገልጽ መልኩ ሳይሆን፣ የሚሰማሩ ኃይሎች ስለነበሩ መረጃው ስላለኝ ነው እንጂ የሆነ ቡድን ፀጉረ ልውጥ ሌላኛው ደግሞ ንፁህ ለማለት አይደለም፤›› ብለው ነበር፡፡

    ይሁንና አሁን በአገሪቱ እየታየ ያለው በምንም ዓይነት ምክንያትና መለኪያ ተቀባይነት የሌለውና ሊወገዝ የሚገባው ተግባር መሆኑን በርካቶች የሚስማሙበትና በተለያዩ መንገዶችም ሲገልጹት የቆዩት ሐሳብ ነው፡፡ ኢትዮጵያውያን እንደ ኢትዮጵያውያን የሚገለጹባቸው እሴቶች እየተናዱ ሲመጡ አገሪቱ እንደ አገር አደጋ ላይ ልትወድቅ እንደምትችልም የሚያሳስቡ አልጠፉም፡፡

    በብሩክ አብዱና በዳዊት እንደሻ

    Source: .ethiopianreporter.com

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    Ethiopia: Reform in Ethiopia Inspires Multinational Companies

    The recent decision of the government to open state-owned companies has inspired the multinational companies to invest in Ethiopia, according to the Ethiopian Investment Commission (EIC).

    Dr. Belachew Mekuria, Commissioner of EIC told ENA that a number of multinational companies have shown their interest to invest in areas that the government promised to open for investors.

    It was at the beginning of June that the government of Ethiopia announced that it will open state-owned enterprises to private and foreign investors.

    Ethiopian Airlines - the national flag carrier, and ethio telecom - the sole telecom service provider are among the enterprises to be opened for investors.

    Railway service, power, sugar plants, industrial parks, hotels, shipping and logistic services will also open for investors.

    The decision of opening state-owned enterprises and the lifting of the state of emergency have also raised the interest of multinational companies.

    As a result, all industrial parks that are operational have almost being occupied by investors over the past three months.

    "During the past three months, every industrial park is being fully occupied. The industrial park like Kombolcha is almost packed and the Mekele industrial park is receiving various investments, while Adama is on the verge of its completion apart from energy conne ction; some investors are even started to train experts abroad. Some investors also requested us to engage them in Dire Dawa industrial park as well," he stated.

    Building strong economy and strengthening investment could only be a reality when a country ensures its peace and stability domestically as well as establishes peaceful ties with neighboring countries, he affirmed.

    The country's efforts in consolidating ties with neighboring and other countries as well as normalizing the relationship with Eritrea have a positive impact on the country, he underlined.

    "Peace and stability is the prior element of a country's investment and would play a crucial role. In this regard, Ethiopia has enjoyed relative peace and stability compared to other African countries. So the recent peace deal between Ethiopia and Eritrea, which ended the no war-no peace situation between the two countries, would play its own role on attracting investment," Belachew assured.

    Since the ability to transport goods quickly, economically and reliably is vital for an investment to flourish and companies to compete in global market, Ethiopia's logistic system has been the major constraint for investors.

    Ethiopian logistics system is characterized by poor logistics management system and lack of coordination of goods transport, and inadequate fleets of freight vehicles.

    Belachew believes that the recent decision by the government to privatize the logistic sector will resolve the challenge in this regard and inspire global companies.

    "Any investment relays on the trust on the given environment. So trust and confidence is critical for investors to come to the country._The base for trust and confidence is stability and security._Will my resource be secured? That is trust and confidence based investment which begins from security of a person. From this perspective, the results gained in a short period of time are a good foundation for the investment in flow," he said.

    According to Belachew, the results gained during the past three months are crucial in attracting more FDI.

    Since the announcement of the opening of state-owned companies to private and foreign companies, many multinational companies are receiving briefings and closely following the process, the Commissioner said

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    በጅግጅጋና በሌሎች የሶማሌ ክልል ከተሞች የተቀሰቀሰው ግጭት የፈጠረው ውጥረት

    ቅዳሜ ሐምሌ 28 ቀን 2010 ዓ.ም. በሶማሌ ክልል ጅግጅጋ ከተማ የተቀሰቀሰው ግጭት በቀብረ ደሃር፣ በጎዴና በደገሃቡር ከተሞችም በመስፋፋት የክልሉ ብሔር አባላት ባልሆኑ ነዋሪዎች ላይ ያነጣጠረ ጉዳት ደርሷል፡፡

    የተደራጁ ናቸው የተባሉ ወጣቶችና የታጠቁ ኃይሎች በእነዚህ ነዋሪዎች ላይ የአካል ጉዳት በማድረስና ንብረታቸውን በማውደም ለዓመታት ከኖሩበት መኖሪያዎቻቸው እንዲፈናቀሉ፣ በእምነት ተቋማትና በትምህርት ቤቶች ተጠልለው በምግብና በመጠጥ ውኃ ችግር እጥረት እየተሰቃዩ ሕይወታቸውን እንዲገፉ ምክንያት ሆነዋል፡፡ በርካቶች ሕይወታቸው በግጭቱ ወቅት ማለፉም ይታወቃል፡፡ በሺዎች የሚቆጠሩት ነዋሪዎች የሚላስ የሚቀመስ አጥተው የመንግሥትን እጅ እየጠበቁ መሆናቸውን ይናገራሉ፡፡

    ከሰኞ ሐምሌ 30 ቀን 2010 ዓ.ም. ጀምሮ ግጭቶች በመቀነሳቸው አንፃራዊ ሰላም የሰፈነ ቢመስልም፣ በማንኛውም ሰዓት ግጭት ሊቀሰቀስ እንደሚችል የጠረጠሩት ነዋሪዎች በመጠለያዎቹ መቆየትን መርጠዋል፡፡

    አንዳንዶቹ ደግሞ ዘላቂ ሰላም በጅግጀጋ በአጭር ጊዜ ውስጥ ይፈጠራል የሚል እምነት በማጣታቸው፣ የተለያዩ መንገዶችን በመጠቀም ከሶማሌ ክልል ወደ ድሬዳዋና ሐረር ከተሞች ለደኅንነታቸው በመሥጋት በመውጣት ላይ ይገኛሉ፡፡

    ከስድስት ዓመታት በላይ በጅግጅጋ የክልሉ መስተዳድር ተቋም ውስጥ በባለሙያነት ተቀጥሮ በመሥራት ላይ የነበረው ቢንያም ኃይሉ፣ ከእነዚህ ነዋሪዎች መካከል አንዱ ነው፡፡

    ‹‹አሁንም የተረጋጋ ሁኔታ በጅግጅጋ አይታይም፡፡ በዚህ ምክንያት በከተማው መቆየትን ሥጋት ስለፈጠረብኝ ያገኘሁትን አጋጣሚ በመጠቀም ሐሙስ ነሐሴ 30 ቀን 2010 ዓ.ም. ወደ ሐረር ከተማ በአስቸጋሪ ሁኔታ ውስጥ ለመግባት ችያለሁ፤›› ሲል ለሪፖርተር ገልጿል፡፡

    በጅግጅጋም ሆነ በተለያዩ የክልሉ ከተሞች ለሚገኙ የሶማሌ ብሔር ላልሆኑ ነዋሪዎች ኑሯቸውን ለመቀጠል አስተማማኝ የሰላም አየር አለ ለማለት እንደማይቻል ተናግሯል፡፡

    ጥቂት የሲኖትራክ (የጭነት ተሽከርካሪ) አሽከርካሪዎች ትውውቅን መሠረት በማድረግ እነዚህን ነዋሪዎች በማውጣት ላይ መሆናቸውን የሚናገረው ቢንያም፣ እሱም ይኼንን አጋጣሚ ተጠቅሞ ወደ ሐረር ከተማ መግባት መቻሉን ገልጿል፡፡

    በተለያዩ የእምነት ተቋማት ተጠልለው የነበሩ ነዋሪዎችን አሳፍሮ እርሱ ከነበረበት ሲኖትራክ ተሽከርካሪ ቀድሞ ሲጓዝ የነበረ ተመሳሳይ ተሽከርካሪ፣ ከጅግጅጋ ከተማ 20 ኪሎ ሜትር እንደራቀ የመገልበጥ አደጋ እንደደረሰበት ማየቱን ገልጿል፡፡

    ‹‹እኛ የነበርንበትን ተሽከርካሪ በደረሰበት ወቅት የሦስት ሰዎች ሕይወት በአደጋው ማለፉን አይቻለሁ፡፡ በርካቶችም ከፍተኛ የአካል ጉዳት ደርሶባቸዋል፡፡ እኛም አደጋ የደረሰባቸውን ለመርዳት ጉዟችንን ለተወሰኑ ሰዓታት እንዲዘገይ በመስማማት ተጎጂዎችን ስንረዳ ነበር፤›› ሲል የገጠመውን አሳዛኝ ክስተት ተናግሯል፡፡

    በጉዟቸው ወቅትም ከፍተኛ የሆነ እሱ ጅግጅጋ ከተማ በነበረበት ወቅት ካስተዋለው የመከላከያ ሠራዊት በእጅጉ የሚበልጥ የመከላከያ ሠራዊት ወደ ክልሉ ሲገባ ማስተዋሉን ለሪፖርተር ገልጿል፡፡

    እስከ ሐሙስ ዕለት የክልሉ የመንግሥት ተቋማት ሥራ አለመጀመራቸውን፣ የንግድ ተቋማትም እንደዚሁ ዝግ መሆናቸውን ቢንያም ገልጿል፡፡

    የኢትዮጵያ አየር መንገድ በየቀኑ ወደ ጅግጅጋ ከተማ ያደርግ የነበረውን በረራም ግጭቱ ከተቀሰቀሰበት ካለፈው ቅዳሜ ቀን ጀምሮ ማቋረጡን ሪፖርተር አረጋግጧል፡፡ በርካታ ለጥቃት የተጋለጡ ነዋሪዎች ከክልሉ ለመውጣት የኢትዮጵያ አየር መንገድ የበረራ አገልግሎትን እየጠበቁ እንደሚገኙ፣ ስልክ በመደወል የኢትዮጵያ አየር መንገድን በመወትወት ላይ እንደሆኑ ለማወቅ ተችሏል፡፡

    በሶማሌ ክልል የተፈጠረውን የሰላም መደፍረስ ለመቀልበስ ካለፈው ሳምንት ጀምሮ የተሰማራው የመከላከያ ሠራዊት ጥንቃቄ የተሞላበት እንቅስቃሴ በማድረግ ላይ እንደሚገኝ የተናገሩት የመከላከያ ሚኒስትሩ አቶ ሞቱማ መቃሳ፣ በአሁኑ ወቅት ከፍተኛ መረጋጋት በክልሉ መስፈኑን ተናግረዋል፡፡

    የመከላከያና የፌዴራል ፖሊስ አባላት በቅንጅት እየሠሩ መሆኑን የተናገሩት ሚኒስትሩ የተሻለ መረጋጋት በአብዛኞቹ አካባቢዎች የሰፈነ ቢሆንም፣ ወደ ቀድሞው ሰላማዊ ሁኔታ ሙሉ በሙሉ የመመለሱ ተግባር ውስብስብና ጊዜ የሚጠይቅ መሆኑን ተናግረዋል፡፡ አንፃራዊ መረጋጋት በሶማሌ ክልል እየሰፈነ መሆኑን እንደሚረዱ ለሪፖርተር የገለጹት የኦሮሚያ ክልል የመንግሥት ኮሙዩኒኬሽን ቢሮ ኃላፊ ነገሪ ሌንጮ (ዶ/ር)፣ በዚህ ሳምንትም ከሶማሌ ክልል በመነሳት በኦሮሚያ አዋሳኝ አካባቢዎች ላይ ጥቃት የመሰንዘር እንቅስቃሴ መቀጠሉን ጠቁመዋል፡፡

    ባለፈው ሳምንት ማክሰኞ በጭናክሰን ግጭት ተቀስቅሶ እንደነበር፣ እንዲሁም በድሬዳዋ በኦሮሞዎች ላይ ያነጣጠረ ጥቃት መሰንዘሩን ገልጸዋል፡፡

    ‹‹የኦሮሚያ ክልል ከሶማሌ ጋር ረዥም ድንበር የሚጋራ በመሆኑ ግጭቶች በሰላማዊ መንገድ ብቻ እንዲፈቱ እንፈልጋለን፤›› ብለዋል፡፡

    ይኼንንም የሰላም ሁኔታ የፌዴራል መንግሥት የፀጥታ አካላት እንደሚፈጥሩት በማመን፣ ክልሉ ኃላፊነቱን ለፌዴራል መንግሥት እንደተወ ነገር ግን አስፈላጊውን ትብብር እንደሚያደርግ ተናግረዋል፡፡

    በአሁኑ ወቅት በመጠለያዎች የሚገኙ ነዋሪዎች የገጠማቸውን ሌላው ከፍተኛ ችግር የምግብና የመጠጥ ውኃ አቅርቦት ነው፡፡ ይኼንን ችግር ለመቅረፍ ብሔራዊ የአደጋ ሥጋትና መከላከል ኮሚሽን ከሐሙስ ነሐሴ 3 ቀን 2010 ዓ.ም. ጀምሮ በመንቀሳቀስ ላይ መሆኑ ቢታወቅም፣ አቅርቦቱ የሚፈለገውን ያህል ባለመሆኑ በመጠለያዎች በሚገኙት ላይ ከፍተኛ ሥጋት መደቀኑን ሪፖርተር ያነጋገራቸው ነዋሪዎች ይገልጻሉ፡፡

    የመከለካያ ሠራዊት ባለፈው ሐሙስና ዓርብ ወደ ክልሉ መግባት መቀጠሉን ከአካባቢው የተገኙ መረጃዎች ያመለክታሉ፡፡

    በተለይም ከጅግጅጋ ውጪ በቀብሪ ደሃር፣ በጎዴና በደገሃቡር ከተሞች ከፍተኛ ቁጥር ያለው ጦር በመግባት ላይ መሆኑን ታውቋል፡፡

    የመከላከያ ሠራዊቱ አመራሮችም ከሶማሌ ክልል የፀጥታ አመራሮች ጋር ባለፈው ሐሙስና ዓርብ ውይይት ሲያደርጉ እንደነበር የሪፖርተር ምንጮች ገልጸዋል፡፡ የውይይቱ ዓላማም በክልሉ የፀጥታ ኃይሎች በቅንጅት መሥራት የሚቻልበት ሁኔታና አፈጻጸሙ ላይ ያተኮረ እንደነበር ተናግረዋል፡፡ ዓርብ ነሐሴ 4 ቀን 2010 ዓ.ም. ምሽት ላይ የወጡ መረጃዎች እንደሚያሳዩት፣ የክልሉን ሰላም በትብብርና በቅንጅት ለመሥራትም ከመከላከያ፣ ከፌዴራልና ከክልሉ ልዩ ኃይል የተውጣጣ ኮማንድ ፖስት ተቋቁሟል፡፡

    በዋናነት በጀግጅጋ ከተማና በሌሎች የሶማሌ ክልል ከተሞች ከቅዳሜ ጀምሮ የተከሰተው ቀውስ፣ በክልሉ መንግሥት ጥቂት አመራሮች እነሱ ያደረጁት ቡድንና የፀጥታ ኃይሉ የፈጠረው መሆኑን የመንግሥት ኮሙዩኒኬሽን ጉዳዮች ጽሕፈት ቤት ሚኒስትሩ አቶ አህመድ ሺዴ አስረድተዋል፡፡

    ምክንያቱን ሲያብራሩም የሶማሌ ክልል ተወላጆች በድሬዳዋ ከተማ ባካሄዱት ስብሰባ የሶማሌ ክልል አመራሮች ከሥልጣን እንዲለቁ የታቀደ እንደሆነ በመገመት፣ ‹‹ሥልጣን ልቀቅ ተብያለሁ በማለት የክልሉ አመራር›› የቀሰቀሰው መሆኑን ገልጸዋል፡፡

    በዚህ ተግባር ውስጥም የክልሉ ልዩ ኃይል ፖሊስ ከተቋቋመበት ዓላማ ውጪ በግጭቱ እንዲሳተፍ መደረጉን ገልጸዋል፡፡

    የክልሉ አመራሮች በሙሉ ሳይመክሩበትና ስለጉዳዩ አስፈላጊነት እንኳን ሳይገነዘቡ፣ የሶማሌ ክልልን የመገንጠል እንቅስቃሴ መከናወኑን ጠቁመዋል፡፡

    በአጠቃላይ ‹‹ሥልጣኔን ከምለቅ ሞት እመርጣለሁ›› በማለት በቀውስ ውስጥ የመሸሸግና አገርን የማፍረስ አደጋ ያዘለ እንቅስቃሴ መሆኑን ሚኒስትሩ አስረድተዋል፡፡

    የተፈጠረውን ቀውስ በተመለከተ የኢሶሕዴፓ ማዕከላዊ ኮሚቴ አባልና የክልሉ መንግሥት ኮሙዩኒኬሽን ጉዳዮች ኃላፊ አቶ እድሪስ ኢብራሂም በተደጋጋሚ መረጃ እንዲሰጡ ጥያቄ ቢቀርብላቸውም ምላሽ ሊሰጡ አልቻሉም፡፡ ይሁን እንጂ ለቢቢሲ ሶማሊኛ ፕሮግራም ቅዳሜ ቀን በሰጡት አስተያየት ክልሉን የመገንጠል እንቅስቃሴ መኖሩን አስተባብለዋል፡፡

    ‹‹ለጊዜው ለመገንጠል አላሰብንም፣ በፌዴራል ሥርዓቱ እንተዳደራለን፡፡ ነገር ግን መገንጠል ምንም ሐሳብ አይደለም፣ ሕገ መንግሥቱም ለዚህ ዋስትና ይሰጣል፤›› ማለታቸው ይታወሳል፡፡

    ነገር ግን የመከላከያ ሠራዊቱ በሕገወጥ መንገድ ከሕገ መንግሥቱ በተቃራኒ፣ የሶማሌ ክልል ምንም ዓይነት ጥያቄ ሳያቀርብለት በጅግጅጋ ከተማ መሰማራቱን ኃላፊው አውግዘዋል፡፡

    የፌዴራል መንግሥት ክልሉን ከሚመራው ኢሶሕዴፓ አመራሮች ጋር የተፈጠረውን ቀውስ መፍታት በሚቻልበት ሁኔታ ላይ ሲመክር ቆይቶ፣ ከውሳኔ ላይ መድረሱ ይታወሳል፡፡

    በሁለቱ ወገኖች መካከል በተደረሰው ስምምነት መሠረት የመከላከያ ሠራዊቱ በክልሉ የፀጥታ ማስከበር ተግባር ለመፈጸም፣ በፍጥነትም በጅግጅጋ ከተማ መሰማራቱን መንግሥት ይፋ አድርጓል፡፡

    ሌላው ጉዳይ የክልሉ ርዕሰ መስተዳድር አቶ አብዲ መሐመድ ዑመር (አብዲ አሌ) ሥልጣናቸውን እንዲለቁ ስምምነት ከተደረሰ በኋላ፣ የሥልጣን መልቀቂያ እንዲያቀርቡና በፓርቲው ሕገ ደንብ መሠረት የፓርቲው ምክትል ሊቀመንበር በጊዜያዊነት ርዕሰ መስተዳድሩን ተክተው እንዲሠሩ ተወስኗል፡፡ በዚህም መሠረት የሶማሌ ክልል የፋይናንስP ኢኮኖሚ ልማት ቢሮ ኃላፊ አቶ አህመድ አብዲ መሐመድ ተሰይመዋል፡፡

    ይህ ውሳኔ ተደፈጻሚ የሆነው በክልሉ ፓርቲ አማካይነት በመሆኑ፣ የሕጋዊነት ቅደም ተከተሉ በቀጣዮቹ ጊዜያት በክልሉ ምክር ቤት እንደሚፈጸም ምንጮች አስረድተዋል፡፡

    ይኼንንም የክልሉ ኮሙዩኒኬሽን ኃላፊ አቶ እድሪስ ለሪፖርተር አረጋግጠዋል፡፡ አቶ አህመድ ሺዴ በበኩላቸው የክልሉ መንግሥት ተቋማትን የማጠናከርና የሕግ ተጠያቂነትን ያረጋግጣል ብለዋል፡፡

    በአሁኑ ጊዜ በጅግጅጋ ከተማ አንፃራዊ ሰላም ቢሰፍንም፣ ነዋሪዎች አሁንም ፍራቻ እንዳላቸው ለሪፖርተር ገልጸዋል፡፡ የመከላከያ ሠራዊትና የፌዴራል ፖሊስ ሰላም ማስፈን መጀመራቸው ግን ተስፋ እንደሰጣቸው ተናግረዋል፡፡ በሌላ በኩል የምግብና የተለያዩ አቅርቦቶች ችግር እንዳለባቸው ጠቁመዋል፡፡ ከጅግጅጋ ከተማ ወጣ ባሉ አካባቢዎች ግን አሁንም ችግር መኖሩን አስረድተዋል፡፡

    የአገር መከላከያ ሚኒስትሩ አቶ ሞቱማ መቃሳ በቅርቡ በሰጡት መግለጫ፣ የአገር መከላከያ ሠራዊትና የፌዴራል ፖሊስ በማረጋጋት ላይ ናቸው፡፡ በሌሎች የክልል ከተሞች የመከላከያ ሠራዊት በማረጋጋት ላይ መሆኑንና ተጠናክሮ እንደሚቀጥልም አስታውቀዋል፡፡

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    “ የሞተ አማራን አይነሳም ብሎ ማመን ይቻላል ነገር ግን የተዳከመ አማራን አይነሳም ብሎ መዘናጋት ቂልነት ነው ” ሩዶልፍ ግራዚያኒ ለምስራቅ አፍሪካ ኮሎኒ አስተዳዳሪዎች ከፃፈው ሜሞ የተወሰደ ኢትዮጵያም ውስጥ በውጭም ያሉ ብዙ ሀይሎች ለአማራ መደራጀት እጅግ ድንጉጥ ናቸው። በእንስሳት አለም ውስጥ አንበሳ ወደ ሜዳው ሲገባ ድኩላ መደንገጡ ተፈጥሯዊ ነው ። አማራ ተደራጀ ሲባል መደንገጡና መርበትበቱ የዛሬ ጊዜ እውነታ ብቻ ሳይሆን ታሪካዊ መሰረትም አለው ።

    በአንድ ሁለት ምሳሌ እንመልከተው።
    1.  በ 1930 ዎቹ አዲስ አበባ ውስጥ በድፕሎማትነትና የምእራባውያን የስለላ ድርጅት ወኪል ሆኖ ይሰራ የነበረው ባሮን ሮማን ፕሮችስካ ለምእራበውያን በፃፈው Abyssenya the powder barrel “ የሚል ርእስ ባለው መፅሀፉ ገፅ 3 ላይ ” The African Menace በሚለው ምእራፍ ስር እንደ ዚህ በማለት ፅፏል ... ... “ ምእራባውያን ወገኖቼ ስሙኝ በምስራቅ አፍሪካ በምትገኘው ኢትዮጵያ ውስጥ አንድ አማራ የሚባል ብሄር አለ ። ይሄ ብሄር እኛ ምእራባውያን በአፍሪካ በምናደርገው የመስፋፋት ፖሊሲ ትልቅ እንቅፋት ነው። አማራ ከተደራጄ እንኳን ለአፍሪካ ለእኛም ትልቅ ስጋት ስለሆነ በዚህ ህዝብ ላይ እያንዳንዱ ምእራባዊ ሀገር የሚከተለው ፖሊሲ ከዚህ አንፃር መቃኘት አለበት ። ” በማለት ፅፏል። በነገራችን ላይ ይሄ መፅሀፍ ላለፉት 70 እና 80 አመታት ምእራባውያን በኢትዮጵያ ላይ ለሚያወጡት ፖሊሲ እንደ ግብአት ሲጠቀሙበት ኖረዋል ። 2~ በፋሽስት ኢጣሊያ የአምስት አመት ወረራ ወቅት የምስራቅ አፍሪካ ኮሎኒ አስተዳዳሪ የነበረው ሩዶልፍ ግራዚያኒም ለቀጠናው አስተዳዳሪዎች በፃፈው Memo ማስታወሻ እንደዚህ ይላል ... ... ”

    ከሁሉም መርሳት የሌለባችሁ አማራን ነው። በሁለት በሶስት እንኳን እንዳይደራጅ ጠብቁ ። አ ማራ ለጊዜው የተሸነፈ መስሎን አንገቱን ቢደፋ ቀን ጠብቆ ብድግ ማለቱ አይቀርም። የሞተ አማራን አይነሳም ብሎ ማመን እንጅ የተዳከመ አማራን አይነሳም ብሎ መዘናጋት ቂልነት ነው። ” ፕሮፌሰር አልቤርቶ ስባኪ “ Ethiopian under Mussoloni and fascist Experience በሚለው መፅሀፉ ላይ ፅፏል ። በአገር ውስጥ ያለውንና “ አማራ ተደራጀ ” ሲባል Panic የሚያደርገው እጅግ በጣም ብዙ ከመሆ ኑ ስንቱን ጠቅሸ እዘልቀዋለሁኝ ። አንድ ምሳሌ ብቻ ጠቅሼ የፌስቡኩም ግድግዳ ስለማይበቃ ብተወው ነው የሚሻለው ። መለስ ዜናዊና ህውሃት በየጫካውና በየሰርጡ ከባድ መሳሪያ ታጥቆ ከሚርመሰመሰው ወደ ሃምሳ ሺህ ከሚጠጋው የኦነግ ሰራዊት ይልቅ ቸርችል ጎዳና ላይ ያለችው ቢሮ ውስጥ የሚቀመጠው ፕሮፌሰር አስራት ሲያስደነግጠው ኖሯል።

    ህውሃት አሁንም በህይወት ካለው ሌንጮ ለታና ኦነግ በበለጠ ስላሴ ቤተክርስቲያን በሰላም ያረፈው ፕሮፌሰር አስራት መንፈስ ያስደነብረዋል። የኦነግም የአማራ ፍርሃት ቢበዛ እንጅ አያንስም ። ትናንሽ ካፊያ እየተጠራቀመ ውሽንፍራም ዝናብ ይሆናል፡፡ ከዚያም ጎርፍና ወጀብ ይበረታል፡፡ የአማራ ህዝብ ላለፉት 27 አመታት የተፈራረቁበትን የመብት ረገጣ፣ የነፃነት መታፈን፣ የፍትህ እጦትና፣ የአድሏዊ አሰራር ግፍና በደል የፈጠረበትን ሰዋዊ ስሜት የሚከላከሉበትና “ የማርያም መንገድ ” የሚያገኝበት፣ ጎጆ እንቀልስ ብለው ሲሰባሰቡ ቢጫ ወባ እንደያዘው ሰው የሚያንቀጠቅጠው ብዙ ነው ። አማራ ባለፉት አመታት የማዕበል ገፈት ቀማሽና ተቋዳሽ በመሆን ብዙ ጉዳት አስተናግዷል ። ይሄ የሚቀጥልበት መንገድ ግን በፍፁም መቆም አለበት ። ይሄን የሚያስቆመው ደሞ የተበታተነ ሀይል ሳይሆን የተደራጀ ሀይል መሆኑን የተረዱ ወጣቶች ጀምረውታል። አማራ በተግባር ሲደራጅ ከምእራብ እስከ ምስራቅ ከሰሜን እስከደቡብ ድንኳን ዘር ግቶ ሙሾ ማውረድ ይቻላል ማስቆም ግን ፈፅሞ አይቻልም ። በመጨረሻ አንድ ነገር ግን ሳይመረመር የሚገባን አለ። አዲሱ ማሸነፉ አይቀሬ ነው - The new is invincible ይለዋል የጥንቱ የጠዋቱ ፍልስፍና፡፡ አሮጌው እያረጀና እያገረጀፈ የመሄዱን ያህል፣ አዲሱ እየተፈለፈለ ማደሩ ግድ ነው።የአልገዛም ባይነት ስሜት ከሥር እየጋለ መምጣቱና፣ የላይኛው ወገን እንደ ትላንቱ ካልገዛሁ የሚልበት ትንቅንቅ መቀጠሉ ፣ በአሮጌው ተሸናፊነት እንደሚያበቃ ታሪክ

    ይነግረናል፡፡ አዲሱ የአማራ ትውልድ አሸናፊ እንደሚሆን ምንም ጥርጥር የለውም። ታሪኩም ፣ ፖለቲካውም እውነታውም ይሄው ነው ። **************** ከዚህ በታች የምታነቡት የግንቦት 7 ከፈተኛ አመራር የሆነ አቶ ኤፍሬም ማዴቦ አማራ እየደረሰበት ያለውን ሰቆቃ ለመከላከል ሰሞኑን የተቋቋመውን የአማራ ብሄራው ንቅናቄን አስመልክቶ ብቲዊተር ገጹ የጻፈውን ነው፡፡ ግ ንቦት 7 የአማራ መደራጀት የማይወድ መሆኑን በተደጋገሚ ያስመሰከረ ድርጅት ነው፡፡ በይበልጥ ደግሞ ግንቦት 7 የሚባለው ድርጅት ጸረ አማራ መሆኑ ብቻ ሳይሆን ሌንጮ ለታ የመሰለ የኦነግ ድርጅት አዝሎና ተሸክሞ አገር ላገር ሲዞር እንዳልነበረ ስናየው ደግሞ ግንቦት 7 የሚባለው ድርጅቱ ምን ያህል የሞራሉ የዘገጠ መሆኑ የሚያስይ ነው፡ ፡



    አቶ ኤፍሬም ማዴቦ የግቦት 7 ከፈተኛ አመራ ር አቻምየለህ ታምሩ ለግንቦት 7 ቱ ከፍተኛ ባለስልጣን የሚከተውን መልስ ሰጥቶታ ል የግንቦት ሰባት ነገር . . . ግንቦት ሰባት « ብሄረተኝ ነት » አደጋ የሚመስለውና የሚጸየፈው አማራ ጋር ሲደርስ ብቻ ነው እንዴ ? አማራ ስልጣን አይገባውም ብሎ የሚታገልና ከሲዳማ፣ ከኦሮሞና ከአፋር ብሔርተኛ ድርጅቶች ጋር ጥምረት ፈጥሮ እየታገልሁ ነው የሚለን ግንቦት ሰባት የአማራን « ብሔርተኛነት » ማውገዙ ትግል ሲጀምር በርዕሰ አንቀጹ ያሰፈረው ጸረ አማራነቱ አሁንም ድረስ እንዳልለቀቀው በድጋሚ ማረጋገጡ ካልሆነ በስተቀር የነገድ « ብሔርተኛነትን » የሚያወግዝበት የሞራል ልዕልና የለውም ።

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    Protesters during the summer 2016 AmharaProtests in Gonder city. Photo: Social media

    Amanuel Tesfaye, For Addis Standard

    Addis Abeba, May 04/2018 – In a speech given at the discussion forum organized by the Amhara  Regional State for academics and few selected business people in the beautiful city of Bahir Dar, newly appointed Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed said that he was worried by the growing Amhara nationalism, calling for scholars to study, understand and suggest ways forward to the government. While a lot of commentary has been written on the protests and instability of the country over the past three years, little has been said about the rising potency of Amhara nationalism and its implications. This article is an attempt to provide a cursory look at the trajectory of the movement by identifying its underlying causes, demands, and potential impacts.

    The causes

    While it is difficult to come up with an exhaustive list of factors that precipitated Amhara nationalism, few stand out. It is possible to argue that the first principal factor behind the rise of Amhara nationalism has been the very narrative of Ethiopia’s current federalism, which is based on ethnic arrangements. Most of the ethno-nationalist movements that overthrew the military regime, Derg, held an implicit and/or explicit assumption that the main motivating factor behind their struggle was Amhara oppression. The Tigrayan Peoples Liberation Front (TPLF), for instance, believed that the root cause of oppression and injustice in Ethiopia lies in “Amhara’s chauvinistic great nation” mentality, thus making its struggle a de facto attempt to eliminate this mentality within the Amhara. The first ever manifesto of the party blatantly describes its struggle as “anti-Amhara national oppression”[i], clearly identifying the Amhara as the principal enemy along with imperialism. The Oromo Liberation Movement (OLF), perceiving Ethiopia to be characterized by “Amhara dominance”, oriented its fight towards “liberating” the Oromo by overthrowing this oppression. As Mohammed Hassan succinctly put it, “Oromo nationalism emerged partly out of the struggle against Amhara domination”[ii]. With the coming to power of the ruling Ethiopian People’s Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF) spearheaded by the powerful TPLF, this narrative became the hegemonic view of Ethiopian historiography and political discourse. The restructuring of the Ethiopian state along ethnic federal lines with this hegemonic thought in mind meant the narrative was now given an institutional expression. Thus, by design, the federation aimed to ‘liberate’ the multitude of ethnicities in order to enable ‘self-determination’, while simultaneously containing the Amhara so that other groups can continue to exercise their ‘self-rule’. A recent article by Biniam Menberework for Addisstandard insightfully argues that the logical role of the regional party (ANDM) became ‘disciplining’ the Amhara instead of representing them. Derogatory terms like ‘Chauvinist’, ‘Oppressor’ ‘Neftegna (gunslinger)’, ‘Yekedmo sre’at nafaqi’ (one who pines for the old order), became the favorite expressions used by EPRDF officials (including those from the ANDM) and other ethno-nationalists) to refer to the Amhara, with the purpose of frustrating any independent political participation by members of the group. The resentment borne out of this designation of their people have eventually led to the development of a nationalist consciousness with the aim of fighting and reversing this inherently one-sided narrative.

    The second factor is the dominance of this narrative and its disastrous consequence than just frustrating genuine political participation as it led to repeated identity based attacks on the Amhara living in large numbers in different parts of the country. The Amhara thus became victims of mass displacements, indiscriminate killings, dispossessions of property, and complete disruption of livelihoods. While harassment, arrests, exiles, and killings of individuals for political participation and expression of opinions is the common experience of all Ethiopians over the past 27 years, repeated identity-based attack of an entire group has been the unique experience of the Amhara than any other group until very recently. [The recent conflicts between the Oromo and Somali communities have led to massive attacks on members of both groups, producing mass causalities and more than one million Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs)]. The immediate period following the collapse of the Derg regime saw repeated sporadic violence on ethnic Amharas in various parts of the country, leading to the death and displacement of many. Such violence, however, did not stop with the restoration of order. Among others, in different parts of Oromia, the Southern Nation Nationalities Peoples Region (SNNPR), Gambella, and Benishangul Gumuz regions, hundreds were killed and thousands were displaced for the simple crime of being an ethnic Amhara on multiple occasions.

    The region’s dismal record in terms of socio-economic development constitutes the third basic factor for the development of Amhara nationalism. Absolute poverty, which stands at 24% at the national level, is slightly higher among the Amhara at 26.1%. The development of road infrastructure, which has been touted as one of the biggest success of EPRDF rule, seems to have skipped the Amhara region, which is now one of the worst connected regions in the country. A recent report by the World Bank (WB) put the Amhara region among the ‘remote and economically lagging’ regions, having the worst road density in the country[iii]. The slow expansion of health care coverage meant the region is among the highest in terms of overall mortality rate, infant mortality rate, and maternal mortality rate. The region also ranks first in terms of stunted growth of children as a result of chronic malnourishment (As of 2009, 46% of children in the region experience stunted growth[iv]). Industrial development, which have not been a huge achievement nationwide to begin with, is even worse in the region. Power supply, which is another area touted as an achievement by the EPRDF regime, seems to have bypassed the region. A documentary produced by the regional Television broadcaster exhibited the immense pressures on rural communities as a result of lack of access to electricity, with an official admitting that the last power transmission centers in the region were built by the Derg regime; nothing new added since. The dismal condition of elementary and secondary schools throughout the region have been among the rallying points of Amhara advocates, with activists continually documenting spectacles of collapsed huts, tree-sheds, and tattered tents serving as makeshift schools throughout the region. Social media has thus been another galvanizing factor, enabling activists to bring to the fore the dire condition of the socio-economic development of the region.

    For the young generation of Amhara nationalists, allusions to dominance and hegemony of the Amhara in the face of such pervasive underdevelopment are preposterous. In their view, such pronouncements of Amhara dominance amount to adding insult to injury. This brings us to the fourth factor, namely, the coming of age of young generation of Amhara youth that grew up under EPRDF rule, detached from narratives of Ethiopian unity. Born and/or raised in the age of celebrating diversity over unity and patriotism, the new generation of the Amhara youth has a substantially eroded sense of pan-Ethiopian nationalism compared to its ethno-nationalist sentiments. A generational gap has thus emerged. While the older Amhara population still detest ethnic identification and ethnic forms of political organization, preferring pan-Ethiopian nationalism, the young have no problem pronouncing their Amhara identity, advocating for the protection and advancement of the rights and interests of their ethnic kin within the framework of the multi-nation state, and organizing politically along that particular ethnic identity.

    A fifth factor has been the very slow change of leadership within the regional party that saw more independent personalities coming to power. This of course is nowhere comparable to the sea change that swept away the old-guard of OPDO and brought refreshing young leaders including Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed. However, the few leaders who have managed to obtain political clout and a vacillating support of the region’s public have managed to make the ANDM a slightly more viable force, capable of representing the region’s population and its interests. Biniam Menberework has argued that “most of the first-generation leaders of ANDM -who were not born in and hadn’t lived with the community and hence alien to the psychological makeup of the people- have been unimaginative enough to make a mockery of the aspirations of their constituency.” While this reflects the reality of the party for most of its existence, few newly emerging leaders represent a change, not only in terms of living with the community and understanding its aspirations and psychological make up, but also in terms of a genuine attempt to represent their constituency. The region’s president Gedu Andargachew and its Government Communications Affairs Office head Nigusu Tilahun can be taken as examples in this regard. They represent the new face of the ANDM that is struggling to move away from chastising the Amhara to representing them. This change has also allowed lower level cadres of the party to openly air their frustration with the status quo that has kept their party and their region subservient.

    The final factor is the most familiar/popular one: the Welqait factor! While the legitimacy and legality of the Welqait identity question is beyond the scope of this article, it has played a greater impact in terms of galvanizing the Amhara activist base and enabling it to mobilize a larger section of the Amhara population for political action. More than anything, the true impact of the Welqait identity question has been tearing down the provincial nature of identity within the region, allowing the Amhara population to stand in unison behind the cause. The hitherto provincialism along the lines of the four historical provinces – Shewa, Gojam, Gondar, and Wollo – seems to have melted in the face of common experiences under ethnic federalism over the past 27 years. The united stance of people across all provinces in support of the identity question is a reflection of the emergence of the Amhara as a politically conscious force, Welqait serving as the flashpoint for the Amhara version of national awakening.

    The dilemma of Amhara nationalism versus pan-Ethiopianism

    Unlike the causes, the demands and ambitions of the Amhara nationalist movement are less clear. To begin with, as a decentralized movement with multiple groups of activists and advocates, a single unified set of goals is nonexistent. Instead, plural demands and aspirations are expressed by these diverse groups and individuals. A look at what it does not aspire to is more relevant in this respect. Nationalism, in its simplest form, is a movement that aspires to attain an independent state for a nation that perceives itself as such. Unlike the usual expressions of nationalism, however, Amhara nationalism does not aspire independent statehood. With the notable exception of Bete-Amhara – an early online Amhara nationalist group that is rapidly losing traction – most Amhara nationalists reject independent statehood as not only impractical but also undesirable. Unlike earlier ethno-nationalism movements within the country that defined their cause in terms of opposition the Ethiopian state, most Amhara nationalists understand that doing so would be banging their heads against a brick wall, as it is their own constituency that would be the first to flatly reject them. Thus, the primary dilemma of Amhara nationalism is defining its relation to pan-Ethiopian nationalism, which still has substantial currency among the Amhara despite relentless campaigns against it over the past two and a half decades.

    So, what are the goals?

    With the above dilemma in mind, among the frequently mentioned aspirations of the Amhara nationalist movement, we can point out few. First, a change in the federal narrative that blames the Amhara for everything that went wrong in the country’s historical trajectory seems to be a dominant theme. Most Amhara nationalists believe this narrative has justified and legitimized attacks and injustices perpetuated against the Amhara since 1991. The usually repeated refrain, “Amhara Tarikun Yadisal” (The Amhara shall renew their history) points in that direction. Second, self-administration and the respect of the rights and interests of the millions of ethnic Amhara living outside the region is another objective. Most Amhara nationalists believe that the Amhara regional state has an impressive record in-terms of handling diversities, with self-governing councils and administrative structure for all ethnic non-Amharas within the region. They also allege that this has not been reciprocated, as constitutions of other regions decline to acknowledge the Amhara among them, thus effectively rendering them second class citizens. Third, a fairer distribution of resources so as to bring comparable socio-economic development is another principal objective. It has been frequently argued that a functioning federal system can develop only when access to resources and power is equitably shared among the people of the country. From this perspective, it’s only through a well-developed sense of ethnic national consciousness that the Amhara can present a united front in order to engage in a principled and disciplined federal bargaining. Fourth, territorial questions, including the Welqait, Raya, Metekel issues and territories along the border with Sudan, have become principal. The repeated display of completely fabricated maps showing a large tract of north-western part of the region wrongly incorporated either to the Tigray or Benishangul Gumuz regional states have heightened the fear among many that these are part of a larger conspiracy to dispossess the people of its fertile land and resources. While there is no credible evidence for such a conspiracy, the repeated nature of such incidents including by the national broadcaster ETV, websites, and educational text books, have led many Amhara nationalists to be wary of possible territorial ambitions by neighboring regional states. A final demand has to do with the increasing number of political prisoners of ethnic Amharas, which has substantially increased after the Welqait identity question became heightened. Arrests, torture, killings, and disappearances have become commonplace for individuals who have been too vocal about the issue.

    To conclude

    As a newly emerging and volatile national awakening, it is still too early to predict where Amhara nationalism is headed and what its impacts would be. However, two important points can be made on its trajectory. First, it presents both opportunities and challenges to the ruling regional party ANDM. If the ANDM chooses to listen to the demands of the public and pursue it in a peaceful, legal, and democratic manner, it will not only enhance the well-being of its constituency but also improve its credibility as a genuine representative of the region. If it chooses to ignore it as usual, the people will be forced to look elsewhere for alternatives. This might mean the emergence of a strong political party that embraces these demands (one is already in the process of establishment); or, if the policy of suppressing peaceful political opposition continues, a return to the streets.

    Second, Ethnic-nationalism is an emotionally charged consciousness that develops alongside actual and perceived threats to the welfare, integrity, and survival of a given group. Unbridled nationalism, in this sense, can become dangerous. More specifically, it can be a threat to the exemplary way in which the regional state has so far handled diversity. Few sporadic attacks on ethnic Tirgreans in different parts of the region over the past two years serve as a wake up call. Nationalism, taken to the extreme, will inevitably result in the erosion of the culture of tolerance the Amhara have perfected in the long-standing history. Thus, the Amhara elite cannot afford to ignore the budding nationalism, nor bury its head in the sand pretending it doesn’t exist. This is not a call to embrace it as such. But to engage it, criticize it, shape it, inform it. Refusing to acknowledge the movement will only allow more extreme and intolerant elements to emerge as leaders of the movement, which will only threaten the peace and security of the people of the region as well as the country at large. Through constructive engagement, it is possible to hinder the excesses of such a movement and ensure that it contributes to the welfare of the Amhara as well as the development of a more inclusive and fairer political economy at the national level. AS

    Editor’s note: Amanuel Tesfaye is a Lecturer at Addis Abeba University Department of Political Science and International Relations. He can be reached at ethiostyle@hotmail.com.  He tweets @ethio_style


    [i] Manifesto of the Tigrayan Peoples Liberation Front, 1974

    [ii] Mohammed Hassen (1968). The Development of Oromo Nationalism. In Baxter, P, J Hultin & A. Triulzi (Eds.), Being and Becoming an Oromo: Historical and Anthropological Enquiries (pp. 67-80). Uppsala: The Nordic Africa Institute

    [iii] World Bank (2017).What Studies In Spacial Development Show in Ethiopia.Accessed from http://blogs.worldbank.org/africacan/what-studies-in-spatial-development-show-in-ethiopia-part-ii

    [iv]Some of the socio-economic data presented here, including this one that shows the percentage of stunting among children, is taken from the presentation prepared by the ANRS for the discussion forum between the region and academics as well as selected business people

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    Ethiopia Appoints New Army Chief After Peace Vow to Eritrea

    • Seare Mekonnen previously headed military’s northern command
    • Authorities this week said they may enact deal signed in 2000

    Ethiopia’s prime minister appointed a new army chief of staff with a specialist’s background on Eritrea, days after authorities said they’d implement a peace deal with their Horn of Africa neighbor and long-standing foe.


    The appointment of Seare Mekonnen marks the first change at the top in 17 years in Ethiopia’s army, which plays a dominant role in the country that has Africa’s biggest population after Nigeria. Ethiopia is a federal state designed to give autonomy to its myriad ethnic groups, and Seare is from the Tigray community, who’ve largely held the top military, security and intelligence ranks since the then-rebel Ethiopian People’s Revolutionary Democratic Front seized power in 1991.


    His appointment was announced late Thursday by the ruling party-funded Fana Broadcasting Corp. Named one of three deputy chiefs of staff to the Ethiopian National Defense Force earlier this year, Seare also previously led its Northern Command, whose jurisdiction covers areas bordering Eritrea.


    “Having headed Northern Command as well as training, Seare really understands where the ENDF are at the moment, and has the credibility as a soldier to have his judgment trusted,” said Sandy Wade, a former U.K. defense attache in Ethiopia who now advises investors in the Horn of Africa. “This is technical: choosing the right man for the job of taking the ENDF forward.”


    Border War

    Eritrea declared independence from Ethiopia in 1993 after decades of conflict, and the nations have been at odds after a 1998-2000 border war that claimed thousands of lives. A peace deal signed in 2000 was never implemented, with Ethiopia refusing to recognize a monitor’s findings on ownership of a disputed town. Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed pledged in April that the country will “resolve problems” with Eritrea.

    Seare succeeded General Samora Younes, another ethnic Tigrayan, who’d held the role since 2001.

    Abiy also named Adem Mohammed as new director-general of the National Intelligence and Security Services, Fana reported on Thursday. Adem, an ethnic Amhara who previously commanded Ethiopia’s air force, was also appointed as a deputy chief of staff earlier this year.

    “Defense doesn’t have ethnicity or race,” Abiy said late Thursday in a televised address on the state-owned Ethiopian Broadcasting Corp. “We should know that we die together for one country, for one flag.

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    Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed attends a rally during his visit to Ambo in the Oromiya region, Ethi­o­pia, on April 11. (Tiksa Negeri/Reuters)

    SIX MONTHS ago, Ethi­o­pia appeared trapped in a cycle of unrest, repression and more unrest. Stability in East Africa’s largest country, with a population of more than 100 million, appeared to be crumbling, while the once-booming economy was facing a debt crisis. All of this was bad news for the United States, for which Ethi­o­pia has been a key ally in combating terrorism in nearby Somalia. So it’s more than worth cheering the rush of developments in Addis Ababa during the past few weeks, which signal an astonishing turnaround under a new and dynamic young leader.

    In the past week , the government of Abiy Ahmed has lifted a state of emergency, announced a major new program to partially or fully privatize state-run firms and said it would finally implement a peace agreement with neighboring Eritrea that it had been stalling for 18 years. That followed the release of political prisoners and invitations to exiled dissidents and media outlets to return home. Mr. Abiy, who took office on April 2, has been touring the country and promising even more change: He says the constitution will be amended to apply term limits to his position, which has been occupied by only two other men since 1995.

    The immediate effect of this reconciliation campaign has been to stem ethnic unrest that had been threatening to tear Ethi­o­pia apart. Mr. Abiy, who at 41 is one of the youngest leaders in Africa, is an Oromo, a group that makes up one-third of Ethi­o­pia’s population. Oromo-populated areas around the capital were the starting point for anti-government demonstrations beginning in 2015 that eventually spread to other areas, including those populated by ethnic Amhara. The government responded harshly: By the end of last year, at least 700 people had been reported killed and thousands imprisoned.

    Fortunately, a majority in the ruling Ethio­pian People’s Revolutionary Democratic Front, which has ruled the country autocratically for 27 years, concluded that change was necessary. Early this year, a notorious prison was closed and the first releases of political prisoners began; in February, Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn, who has been in office since 2012, was forced to submit his resignation. A few weeks later came the unexpected appointment of Mr. Abiy, who appears to have the backing of Oromo and Amhara factions within the ruling coalition. His first act was to deliver a powerful inaugural speech in which he apologized for the killing of demonstrators and welcomed dissent — a stance no Ethio­pian government has adopted in modern times.

    It remains to be seen whether Mr. Abiy can sustain his reform drive, which is sure to draw opposition from regime hard-liners. A key question will be whether economic reforms, including the sale of shares to foreign investors in large state companies and the privatization of others, will bring in enough hard currency to allow payments on foreign debts and ease import bottlenecks. A return of economic dynamism would go far to address the long-festering unrest; if that is accompanied by genuine political liberalization, the cause of democracy in Africa could get a historic boost

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