Disengaging from the False Dilemma of Armed or Peaceful Struggle By Messay Kebede

August 26th, 2014 Print Print Email Email

To Andargachew Tsege

The consecutive rise of two dictatorial and sectarian regimes has convinced a great number of Ethiopians that peaceful rather than armed struggle gives the best opportunity for the democratization of Ethiopia. The experience of armed insurgents instituting sectarian and repressive regimes in Ethiopia as well as in other numerous countries, despite their often widely publicized commitment to justice and democracy, has rooted in most Ethiopians the belief that democracy will never prevail so long as armed groups, which by definition are not accountable to the people, become agents of social changes. Instead, what is needed is to organize, educate, and mobilize the people through peaceful struggle and achieve change by their open and direct involvement. In this way, the people retain the control of change and empower political elites that are primarily both accountable to them and representative of diverse interests. Needless to say, proponents of peaceful struggle know too well that the path is bound to be difficult and fraught with appalling pain and sacrifices, obvious as it is that dictatorial regimes will take extreme measures to discourage and defeat such a movement.

Like most people in Ethiopia, I had so far endorsed both the promises of peaceful struggle and its onerous nature without, however, ever condemning or criticizing those who advocate armed struggle. Not only was I convinced that one cannot separate the means from the goal so that only democratic means can lead to democratic results, but also I persuaded myself that the recourse to armed struggle to overthrow the TPLF would be dangerous to the very existence of Ethiopia. Indeed, the ethnic fragmentation of Ethiopia in the hands of the TPLF could only encourage the proliferation of armed groups that would easily take ethnic banners, thereby precipitating the country into a terrible civil war from which it may not emerge as one country.

On the other hand, I was also perfectly aware of the nature of the TPLF. I never shared the illusion that the TPLF will accept the verdict of the ballot-box and step down from power peacefully. That is why I wrote several papers that many commentators and activists either disliked or labeled controversial in which I argued in favor of the establishment of a national government of reconciliation. The proposal was an attempt to lure the leaders of the TPLF into the democratic process by calming their fear of electoral defeat, which would leave them powerless and venerable to a revengeful policy. I found utterly naïve the belief that the TPLF will play the democratic game when it has so much to lose and nothing to gain. Assurance and confidence building through a transitory process in which the TPLF shares power with the opposition appeared to me as the best way to launch the democratization process.

In the face of mounting opposition, the proposal offered an incentive to the TPLF, namely, the opening of the political field in exchange for a guarantee against complete loss and vindictive actions, the result of which would be a win-win situation for all concerned. The TPLF no longer needed to intensify its repressive policy to say in power, which intensification will only lead, sooner or later, to a violent overthrow either by popular uprisings or armed groups. The proposal thus removed the likelihood of a violent overthrow and protected the leaders of the TPLF from political and economic marginalization.

Unfortunately, far from seeking accommodation, all what the TPLF leaders are doing today suggest the recourse to a policy that is set on using all the repressive power of the state to say in power by all means necessary. Recent arbitrary arrests of political leaders and journalists give an unmistakable evidence of the determination to keep power by all means. Add the recent repression to the twenty years of unfruitful peace struggle to have a clear idea of the deadlock of the Ethiopian struggle for change.

In light of this evidence, the question is to know whether peaceful struggle can withstand and eventual defeat a regime that offers nothing but the perpetuation of its absolute power. If one is convinced that the TPLF will never tolerate the rise of a strong democratic opposition, then what is left but the path of a violent overthrow? If the answer is yes––I do not see how a different answer could be possible––what else is endorsed but the inevitability of a violent confrontation whatever form it may take? But then, the inevitability of violence rehabilitates armed struggle, not only as the only recourse but also as the one that offers the possibility of victory. If one is convinced, I repeat, that the TPLF will never give up power peacefully, then one supports the idea that violence is inevitable. Accordingly, it makes no sense to postpone the inevitable confrontation by falsely dissuading oneself that a peaceful victorious outcome is possible for the opposition.

Moreover, while there is no doubt that numerous exceptionally courageous and committed political leaders, journalists, and activists have sacrificed their freedom and life to force the TPLF to be faithful to its own constitution, the downside is that the regime ends up by appearing invincible, thereby discouraging other challengers and plunging Ethiopians in a state of utter resignation and submission for a very long time. There is a limit to what a country can sacrifice without any tangible result.

True, armed struggle is also a very dangerous undertaking, but with the major difference that one is not powerless and can inflict real pain to those who stole others’ freedom. I do not deny that peaceful resistance can prevail over the harshest dictatorial regime given enough time, for no regime is everlasting. Unfortunately, what Ethiopia does not have is precisely time. Ethnic politics is tearing the country apart by undermining, slowly but surely, all the legacies of a common history and shared identity. Whether we like or not, new smaller nations are emerging from the ethnic fragmentation of the country. There is clearly an urgent need to stop the bleeding. What is taking place is as damaging as the direct occupation of the country by a foreign power, which would have naturally given rise to an armed resistance. That the loss of Ethiopia is fomented by treacherous natives should not invite a different reaction.

Above all, it seems to me that the only remedy against the resignation and fatalism that reign in the heart of most Ethiopians is the use of a violent form of struggle. Violence forces us to be free. As Frantz Fanon puts it referring to the colonizer, “the appearance of the settler has meant in the terms of syncretism the death of the aboriginal society, cultural lethargy, and the petrification of individuals. For the native, life can only spring up again out of the rotting corpse of the settler.” What this means is that we need violence, not primarily to overthrow the TPLF, but to be worthy of it, that is, to recover the dignity and anger that make submission unacceptable. To the extent that violence is a provocation of a repressive regime, which naturally reacts by indiscriminate violence, it ends the safety of resignation and fear. It puts everybody in the state of survival by all means and so moves the use of violence from choice to necessity. What Ethiopians need urgently is not so much the recognition as the imposition of freedom by using violence to dissolve the security obtained through submission. Make life dangerous, and you force people to join the fight.

Additionally, those who are hired by the TPLF to terrorize the people and the opposition do so because the absence of armed struggle gives them complete immunity and safety. As soon as they understand that they can become the target of violent reaction, their incentive to kill, torture, and maim diminishes drastically. For them too, the threat of violence has an awakening impact, since they are asked to kill and maim persons who, having ceased to be docile, transform their job into a very risky business. The revelation of their own vulnerability is how they commence to think, thereby recovering what they had exchanged for easy money, to wit, the ability to think critically. They now understand that their job is demanding the sacrifice of their own precious life and that the exchange is utterly unfair.

Last but not least, peaceful struggle has the chance to prevail over the regime if the latter is threatened by violent overthrow. Experience shows that even the fiercest dictatorial regimes suddenly call for dialogue and reconciliation when they feel threatened by armed insurgents. The power of violence makes such regimes suddenly reasonable. What this tells us is that we must drop the either/or reasoning that it is hurting us. By vilifying the recourse to violence, we are doing a big favor to the regime in place. What else could better prolong the life of the regime than the opposition condemning the use of violence? It is my belief that peaceful opposition, which we all want to triumph, cannot do so without the backing of armed insurgency. In other words, we must not see peaceful struggle and armed insurgency as mutually exclusive; instead, we should see them as allies working with different means to achieve the same goal.

This idea of partnership needs to be promoted. All the more so as armed struggle by itself, even if it brandished the goal of democratization, cannot achieve it without the support of an organized people. The irreplaceable role of peaceful struggle is that it organizes and educates the people who are the direct participants. Armed insurgency without an organized people would result in nothing else, despite its generous inspiration, than dictatorial rule. If history teaches us one thing is that democracy cannot be imposed and that those who have tried to do so have become the worst dictators. Democracy works only if the people have the clear sense of being the only source of legitimate political authority and have the means to enforce it, namely, organization and leadership. The triumph of an armed insurgency in a situation where the people show some degree of organization is less frightening and to some extent controllable. Such a people can require that the leaders of the insurgency retain power only under the condition that they win at the ballot box through fair and free elections.

To sum up, the question, armed struggle or peaceful struggle, is a false dilemma. These two forms of struggle are actually complementary. Those who are committed to armed struggle should not denigrate peaceful struggle. On the contrary, they must see it as a necessary component of the democratization goal. Inversely, those who are committed to peaceful struggle must stop demonizing armed insurgency; they should rather view it as a necessary condition for the success of their goal. Instead of either/or, our position must be this and that.

Let there be no misunderstanding: what I say does not mean that I am walking away from peaceful struggle. I am firm in my belief that democracy is unachievable without the acquisitions of peaceful struggle. I am simply taking note of the fact that, given the political fragmentation of the country and the nature of the TPLF, peaceful struggle by itself is incapable of bringing the TPLF to the negotiation table. I am also firm in my belief that the only way to institute a genuine democracy in Ethiopia is through the inclusion of the EPRDF in the democratic process, as opposed to its exclusion. I do not see how a commitment to peaceful struggle would exclude the EPRDF without recourse to violent repression. The best outcome for Ethiopia lies in a genuine negotiation between all the concerned forces with the understanding that, given the nature of the TPLF, the use of force conditions the occurrence of said negotiation.

  1. Wodajo
    | #1

    I do not understand why it took many of us so long (23 years) to realise that the TPLF will not give up power peacefully. Those who defend the peaceful struggle can have their own interests. Business owners and beneficiaries of the TPLF rule would want to maintain the status quo and preach that the peaceful struggle is the holiest of all the struggles. The TPLF rewards and supports these preachers since they pacify the public and make them submissive to the rule. My honest advice to these groups in Ethiopia is to disband and make way to the most efefctive struggle against the TPLF. You can do your businesses without hindering the struggle and creating confusions and dilemmas.

  2. Alem
    | #2

    There is a sense in which most Ethiopians are tired of hearing the same story over and over and over again. Ginbot 7 leaders talk about both peaceful and armed struggles; few Oromo [from Eritrea], few Amharas [from America] and few Tigrayans [in Addis Ababa] talk in deafening screech about their little leagues and how they plan to right the wrongs done them by someone at some distant time. That someone never included wrongs they each did to others and to each other. Ginbot 7 now has formed a new coalition; previous coalitions have already fallen apart under their own dead weight.

    That is why Professor Messay’s words must be heeded by all who have some sense of time and honesty. The one other hindrance to realizing a common core is British and US “terror” policy. That is why I believe the fight ought to be waged in the public relations arena in those countries. To do this type of campaign requires greater participation by intellectuals who have Ethiopia’s interests at heart. At the moment Tecola, Ghelawdewos, Tedros, etc are essentially defending Tigrayan power interests; educated Amharas stand for “Ethiopian” [read Amhara, anti-Tigrayan, anti-Oromo] positions; I doubt Oromo leaders know what they want [except one by Tesfaye Gebreab]. This confusion has given free reign to inept, short-sighted and sick leaders who happen to be Tigrayans and in power and reveling at stoking enmity. Add to all this the undercurrent of old Eprp, Meison and Derg rivalries raising their ugly head.

    Speaking of waging PR campaign it is evident that qualified Ethiopians are sidelined because of verbal violence one finds on-line and off-line; the rest are simply not creative enough or proficient enough to not force one to doubt their probably inflated credentials. On the other hand, pr campaign need not be synonymous with the current fad to humiliate any one did not agree with. In the end, what we direly need is intellectuals who envision the big picture and articulate as much to the level of the lay person and enlist us to a desired goal.

  3. Adem
    | #3

    The above comment by Alem is divisive and smells of the divide and rule politics of the TPLF. He or she says that the `educated Amhara`are anti-Tigray and anti-Oromo. This is a wrong argument the TPLF leaders use to divide and rule. The reality is that in contrast to most of the ethnicists and fascists in Ethipia,the so called Amhara elites are accomodative and stand for the rights and betterments of all Ethiopians. They have a broader national agenda and are working for an all inlcusive democratic system.To blame these elite for a hidden Amhara motive is ridiculous and the tactic of the ethncists and fascists who serve the TPLF. The TPLF is actually a fascist front that hates and calls the Amharas as the enemies of the prople of Tigeay.

  4. Zewengel
    | #4

    @Alem,

    I have to admit your writing is rather excellent. The problem I’ve with it is the content and the message it carries. What is disturbing most for me is the lack of insight why there need to be a fight in the first place, whether peaceful or armed. What everyone is talking about is pure politics. As such to be a contributing citizens we all don’t have to be politicians collectively. Politics is a dirty game and should left to the people who have the craft and determination to sink or swim. A PR campaign is one of the tools used to advance once political belief and propaganda. As such why do we have to participate in it in the name of justice and equality? The Ginbot7′s of the world have their own political agenda, so asking to be part of the PR campaign is like subscribing to their views. As far as I can tell, their agenda and political views is not aligned with the majority of clear thinking Ethiopians. Let’s not get swallowed in the echo chamber of the likes of ESAT and Prof. Al in believing that they represent the majorities view. So, the lack of balance where we also can be contributing citizens in other fields rather than politics is appalling. You cannot talk about “intellectuals” and “qualified Ethiopians” without enumerating the field of possibilities they can participate in. Doctors can serve the poor without ever wanting to be politicians, engineers can build bridges and dams without ever seeking a political position, inventors can teach the young generation the value of creativity and making something big, lawyers and educators can build institutions which will leave the country in a better position as it was before and the list goes on. Even though those and some other activities are being exhibited by some expats, there remains a lot to be accomplished. If you try to narrow it down to us vs. them, the result you will get is a dysfunctional diaspora led by the likes of Tamagene. Its time to admit that the EPRDF or as you guys like to call them TPLF are better politicians than most of the rest. If you cannot accept that as a fact, I don’t think there will be “Intellectuals” joining in your current version of “struggle”.

  5. Legesse N. Gurme
    | #5

    Zewengel,

    I used to somewhat share your points of view. But not any more after the abduction of Andargachew Tesge,the illegal arrest of the bloggers and the mas closure of news papers. If you believe TPLF is better for the country (TPLF doesn’t consider Ethiopia as its country) that is your right and I have no problem with it. But whether you can see it or not it is leading us all – including yourself to a calamity that is soon coming. Once in Columbus Ohio at TPLF sponsored meeting, one of their representative said that he will never allow to be ruled by anyone other than Tigrian. When we insist that he translate what he said in Tigrigan to Amharic we are asked to leave and we left in protest. Imagine where such attitude will lead us. Your people are telling us that the only way for us to become free in our own country is by fighting them. We didn’t choose this route it is determined for us by TPLF. For how long do you thing Tigrians take every fertile land in Oromia, Amhara and other regions while we are pushed out from our lands? For how long do you think they drive every non-Tigrian out of business and they own every major corporation in the country while the non-Tigrian business are closing down right and left? The only way to assert our right is by waging war against TPLF. Now, it is the TPLF that we are fighting; I pray that the day when TPLF wage an open war to eliminate the Oromos and the Amharas will not come.When that day comes you should say that your narrow minded Meles brought this on all of us because that will not be good to everyone including Tigrians. If you want to know what Ethiopia will look like if TPLF stays in power for another 25 years or so, look at today’s Iraq and Syria.

    It is now clear to us that you have decided to become like the Jews – few in number but dominant in every aspect of the socio-political and economic life of the country (Meles’s vision). We know you have already created a lot of damage but I assure you this dream is collapsing.It is our fault, not yours, for allowing you to do all this damage to us. Now we say not anymore. Only time will tell how effectively we resist your atrocities and tribalism. Also look at the problems that the Jewish state is facing in spite of the massive US and western support.Do you think you can maintain a Tigrian state similar to that of the Jews in Ethiopia? Now we have decided to raise arm to save our country and to stop you from just doing that. This is a major step foreword. Andargachew has contributed a lot more to the struggle after he is captured than he would ever do had he been free in London. Remember Kingit was strong and the Diaspora was united when its leaders were imprisoned. Meles quickly realized his mistake and released them and it didn’t take long for the Diaspora to disintegrate. I am deeply sad when I imagine the pain and sufferings of Andargachew under the barbaric TPLF hate mongers. But he is contributing greatly to the struggle. Here after it doesn’t matter what is made to say in the upcoming ETV drama – oh sorry, you call it documentary.

    Lastly Tamagne is a giant and a great leader. He is liked and admired by so many people. Prof. AL is also a great intellectual. They are our leaders. Both Prof. Al and Tamagne are peace lovers. Their crime is that they can not be bought and firmly stand for justice, freedom and equality.

  6. Alem
    | #6

    Adem, You must be a newcomer; otherwise, you should have picked up what I am saying from numerous articles published in Ethiopia-related sites. Remember, I said “elite” and not the general public [Amhara or otherwise]. Go back and read articles by Prof. Getachew or Moresh. So you need to come up with a better argument than to simply label me “divisive”.

    ZeWengel, You must be writing from ruling party HQ. In effect, what I hear you say is for everyone to leave the politicking [governing] to Tplf. I repeat, mounting a vigorous and well-orchestrated pr campaign would bring the house of card Tplf built crashing down. Prof. Alemayehu is doing a good job if only he could resist the temptation to comment on his own commentary.

  7. aha!
    | #7

    Prof Mesay Kebede! In of itself the argumentative positions between peaceful and armed struggle and/or armed struggle are superb in the way its has been presented. But the question is both of these concepts are only strategies to achieve goals of either the national agenda for unity, territorial integrity, sovereignty of Ethiopia and Ethiopians or ethnic agenda for respect for ethnic and secessionist rights, yekilil mengistat iqulenet mebit mekeber, where respect for human rights is a common denominator for both factions. If peaceful and/or armed struggle are only strategies used to achieve the goals for the national agenda, then all the opposition the armed and peaceful struggle need to come together under the national agenda to stand in stark contrast to that of ethnic agenda with the ideologies of ethnic federalism, secessionism and totalitarianism, and/or state capitalism that denies individual rights to ethnic and secessionist rights as a bases for democracy, independent branches of government, alignment of parties along national agenda than the current ethnic agenda and resort to the original provinces with assorted ethnic groups, to nullify the current ideologies built into the constitution as a prelude to ethnic secessionism/nationalism in a colonialist style and crony capitalism by TPLF/political, TPLF/EFFORT, TPLF affiliated enterprises, cadres and foreign corporations much like the apartheid regime by the Dutch Boers of South Africa for the economic model on top of ethnic cleansing and human trafficking for slave labor to the Middle East ideologies and governance supported by security, federal, and military forces and kilil mengistats administrators of the current minority ethnic dictatorship and anticipated majority ethnic dictatorship by OPDO/EFDF/Medrek/fdre, supported by Ginbot 7, a revised version of AFD1 to AFD2, which does not espouse a merger of OLF, etc. under the national agenda for unity, territorial integrity, sovereignity of Ethiopia and Ethiopians, where the last item refers to individual freedom, liberty, equality to super cede ethnic and secessionist rights to create a constitution based on individual rights, where Ethiopian land mass belongs to all Ethiopians but not carved to ethnic homelands as prelude to ethnic cleansing and secessionism/ethnic nationalism and boundary conflicts and perpetual war skirmishes to attain ethnic nationalism, rather to assert Ethiopian nationalism and individual rights as one nation state, rather than to negotiate with the TPLF/eprdf regime, or reconciliation and or power sharing attempts, where the framework of the constitution is the major focus for ratification after the non-violent uprising for economic and political freedom, supported by home grown armed struggle mobilized from within against the set up of 1 in 5 security apparatus by the TPLF/eprdf regime, where eprdf in small caps are only a cover for TPLF.

  8. Densa
    | #8

    I dis agree with the views expressed by #2 comment by Alem. To begin with I don’t like the fact you view the world through ethnocentric spectacle. Beside, in saying “educated Amharas are against Tigrians and Oromos,” you are making a sweeping generalizations and are guilty of making value judgments .Even after we made an allowance that ethnocentrism to be the norm of the future, as you seem to believe on the one hand and, your call Ethiopian intellectuals to wage a PR campaign and re direct citizens for a desired goal is a self contradictory statement. Think about it clearly. On thing I can assure you the intellectuals you are hoping to come to rescue mission if they are absent for 23 years they are not to be found at this time either. Even if some are persuaded to come at this moment, you can not convince any of us they will transcend their tribal limitation and be found universal humanitarian thinkers.
    Therefore, I urge you retract the sweeping generalized statement you made.

    [Zewengel]

    You said,

    “What is disturbing most for me is the lack of insight why there need to be a fight in the first place, whether peaceful or armed. What everyone is talking about is pure politics”

    How do you know what is taking place in every one’s mind? And what is pure politics? O! I forgot it is my duty to know TPLF and her supporters are such all knowing. Making al clamor about personal preferences and biases from reclusive sits might be comforting to some. But for those who obey their conscious, and who want assert their GOD given freedom pure academic politics is not what they settle for. In case you are wondering why I refer those who delight in pure politics as reclusive? Because, regardless of what they compose their statements and ideas to me is shallow, and is indicative that they are loosing the battle. That explains why they have to hide their identity under pseudo name such as Zewengel.

    Not to mention the fact only a demented person will ask me to admit TPLFits are better politicians than any present contenders.

  9. Tecola W. Hagos
    | #9

    I quote for the education of narrow ethnicists, such as Alem, who only seem to articulate political views by playing out the race/ethnic cards. Ethiopia is undergoing very complex changes, and it is simplistic to focus on a single problem of ethnicity and/or on restructuring the political and economic power to solve such complex generational problems. It will not help us move forward by labeling individuals wrongly with derogatory name-calling. If it is a question of who is a patriotic Ethiopian, the answer is that I am that Ethiopian Patriot, for all of Ethiopia and all Ethiopians are equally dear to me.

    “What is missing right now in all the dissention voices against the current Ethiopian Government and/or its predecessor is detailed plan/strategy to fix the alleged problems. Such plan need not be a comprehensive governmental plan. Modest changes in the lives of individuals, modest system changes, investment in morality in society, enhancement of individual hygienic life, clean environment, controlling overpopulation et cetera could have complex adoptive and transformative effect in the long run. What must we do now to force the hand that is guiding Ethiopia in the present course of governance to change? But what type of Change? For sure no one is going to hand over power just like that. In fact, the fear of persecution in case the current leaders lose power is another incentive for them to hang on to power by all means. Here is where the art of compromise, creation of escape doors, evolutionary process et cetera would ease transition and change. It is not enough to shout slogans, hurl insults, and write threatening essays across the Atlantic Ocean and a Continent, nor prophecy of doom and gloom would deliver wealth and democracy to people. What is needed is direct engagement by participating in the economic and social life of the nation in the first place, and move into political activity once planting deep roots in the Ethiopian society.” I am quoting from an article I wrote few months back for its succinct points are even more relevant now in light of statements in blogs of die-hard narrow minded individuals that promote discord between the diverse people of Ethiopia. [Tecola Hagos,"Political Power and the Art of Compromise" June 11, 2014.]

  10. Alem
    | #10

    Densa,
    You must be divorced from reality to think I am playing ethnic card? Need I to remind you ethnic politics is ruling party [Tplf] policy? All I did was record what is out there; including Tecola’s writings [including his own quote of convenience above]. You intend to distract us from the issues by personalizing them and suggesting pr as a strategy is doomed and not worth the effort. Guess what? You are terrified [not unlike Zewengel] by the prospect and impact of such an undertaking. You accuse me of “making value judgement.” What do you think you are doing? My recommendation of a protracted [evidence-based] pr campaign need not be a huge organizational structure. Four, 5, 6,etc individuals as competent and reasonable as Prof Alemayehu could get together, divide up responsibilities and go into action. Ethiopia-related websites are a disgrace and a failure [exception is Abugida] when it comes to articulating current issues. When was the last time you read a good editorial? This is because almost all editors/managers either don’t have the time [other than for collecting a living by posting ads from Arab dating to baby adoption to ever-increasing smear campaign and petty grandstanding] or the competence.

    Tecola,
    You lack the courage to let the public access to archived materials in a website bearing your name. Until you do that you do not have the credibility to take part in any discussion forum lecturing about patriotism. I challenged you to spearhead a team to lodge with the International Court and similar agencies a documented complaint about the atrocities committed by Mengistu Hailemariam, Meles Zenawi, Seye Abraha, Mesfin Seyoum, Bereket Simon, Azeb, Tsadkan, etc. Let us see if you are what you claim to be – a true Ethiopian patriot. You keep on repeating my disagreements are “name-calling.” I am afraid you are confusing it with “calling like it is.”

  11. mohamad
    | #11

    The constitution of Federal republic has given rights to the nations and nationalities although not completly implemented.It had created states with border,national languages,parlmant and flag .What you call ethnic federal is fedration of nations .What is oppostion offering?Centralised power in addis ababa.Unless you recognise rights of nations and nationality the people will not follow any opposition forces.Any victory of these groups is leading to the disintegration of the country.

  12. Alem
    | #12

    @mohamad I do agree with you on the rights of all Ethiopian groups. I also believe the benefits of a federal arrangement. In fact, regionalism is key to national progress. Now you are not going to tell me that “ethnic federalism” is NOT more ethnic than federalist. Reason is simple. Tplf is [leaders who call the shots; unless you are one of those dreamers] a minority in every sense; to implement its own policy will deprive it of power. That is why it resorted to a one-party state; a “developmental state” and not market economy; required ruling party membership; rations electricity, telephone, Internet, housing, food items, etc, etc. These are instruments of control. That is why you have incompetent and corrupt functionaries holding high office. In other words, the less competent the more likely one takes orders from someone else. Guess who that someone is. DebreTsion is over Economy, Finance, Telecom, Security, Power. Think about this for a second. Shouldn’t you be asking if the individual is competent in all these areas? Shouldn’t you be asking why so many competent Ethiopians are excluded from participating in their country’s development? And then the clamping down on private press.

    I don’t know what you mean by “opposition.” Not agreeing with party line should not be taken as “opposing”. Have you ever asked why each kilil is confined to its borders and yet members from Tigray Region could do business as well as hold power in other kilils? How do you explain the fact that in 23 years the relative progress of “minority” regions is still miniscule? Consider employment. Consider education [don't tell me a university was built when it could well not be there with little or no loss]. BTW, what I wrote here and elsewhere is not a personal opinion. I do have a personal opinion but I prefer to study documents the government put out and articles published by authors. When I come across the statement “TPLF are better politicians than most of the rest” I am not going to say the writer is joking or is on drugs or meant every one is happy or some such thing. I could conclude the fellow is sick of mind because earlier he had suggested politics is dirty and is for politicians [who are expected to be dirty] and that the rest should mind their own business. I could also question whether he meant those politicians he recommended we serve under are themselves dirty/corrupt by default. Mohamad, you seem to not get it that the present governance structure is decentralized in name only.

  13. Ancient-Yeha.eu
    | #13

    “Alem, #10

    Ethiopia-related websites are a disgrace and a failure [exception is Abugida] when it comes to articulating current issues.”

    ናይማን = በርግጥም ………………!

  14. Densa
    | #14

    [Alem],
    I am not personalizing any anything about what you said. I replied to your message not because I saw the need to minimize your idea. But in this, If this individuals were content all this many years not to involve I was not optimistic as you are to believe they will be persuaded at this moment. Any ways, if you think they needed to be once more invited for such undertaking. I suggest you may need to take the initiative to contact some of these individuals and see if they join you. Then, I like to hear the follow up. As long as this effort produces some positive result I am for it.

    Please enjoy all of you this beautiful song by an inhibited urbanite Ethio. The graphics, the artist and the lyrics are in perfect harmony.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=er7uKKk9Hfg

  15. Anonymous
    | #15

    @Densa
    I share your sentiments. Thanks. We will see what comes of it. In the meantime, continue writing and encourage others to do the same.

  16. alemtsehay
    | #16

    Tecola you never ceased to ‘educate’ the Ethiopian public about ‘hygine’ as a way to freedom. You don’t even qualify to be called pseudo-intellectual’

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