The Perils of Ethnic Federalism Part I: The Dangers of Ethnic Politics By Worku Aberra (PhD)

January 31st, 2016 Print Print Email Email

The recent student uprising in Oromia has brought into sharp focus the unsustainability of ethnic federalism in Ethiopia. The student unrest was sparked by the government’s decision to expand the city of Addis Ababa into the surrounding areas, but the real cause of the unrest lies in ethnic politics that has created ethnic federalism. Over the last 25 years, the regime has practised ethnic politics, stifling democratic rights, infringing upon civil liberties, and virtually eliminating the political space for the opposition. The results are ominous. Ethnic politics, if the experience of other countries is any lesson, engenders instability, turmoil, civil wars, and genocide.

Defining Ethnic Politics

Before I discuss the adverse consequences of ethnic politics, I need to define the term politics, as I use it in this commentary. Scholars use different definitions of politics, depending on what they want to emphasize: governing, power relationship, or resource management. For the purposes of this article, I have chosen the definition of politics that focuses on resource allocation. Some scholars have defined politics as the art of managing conflicts and cooperation in the struggle for scarce resources to achieve a common goal. Ethnic politics can therefore be defined as the art of devising, promoting, and exploiting ethnic discord to appropriate scarce resources for a narrow end. Under the category of resources, I include political power, land, capital, and employment, specifically employment in government bureaucracies and state-owned enterprises. This definition of ethnic politics, I believe, offers useful insights into understanding the current situation in Ethiopia.

The universal problems facing all Ethiopians, irrespective of their ethnicity, religion, or region, are abject poverty, wide spread illiteracy, and rampant diseases. Eradicating these scourges of underdevelopment is the common objective of all Ethiopians, but individuals, groups, and regions have competing demands on the use of Ethiopia’s limited resources. Economists point out that different polities have used varying combinations of government intervention in the economy and market forces as the mechanism for allocating resources to achieve a common objective.

Officially, the TPLF-EPRDF regime claims to have opted for a mixture of state ownership and the market as the mechanism that best fits Ethiopia’s situation. It even fancies itself as a developmental state, but in reality has relied heavily on ethnic politics as its major means of resource allocation, resulting in inequitable educational, healthcare, economic, and political outcomes among the different ethnic groups of Ethiopia.

Ethnicism as an Ideology

The ideology of ethnic politics is ethnicism, an ideology that some commentators call tribalism. Ethnicism, a distant cousin of racism, is a group-based ideology that divides people into two groups: the ethnic in-group and the ethnic out-group (s). Ethnicism is a political looking glass through which the world is seen, interpreted, and acted upon. Ethnicism, just like racism, assigns positive attributes to members of the ethnic in-group and negative attributes to members of the ethnic out-group(s). Since it fosters ethnic stereotype, prejudice, and hostility, it is incapable of uniting people across ethnicities for a common objective. Ethnicism perceives members of other ethnic groups as less deserving, less worthy, and even less human; as a result, it harbours a perverted view of morality, justice, and ethics. In its extreme form, it turns into ethnic fundamentalism, as I have argued elsewhere.

Because ethnicism denies, at least partially if not completely, the humanity of members of the ethnic other, it is an inherently violent ideology. It vindicates violent and discriminatory practices directed against members of the ethnic other, collectively or individually. It endorses the use of force by an ethnic political party to come to power and stay in power. It rationalizes collective punishment for past ethnic grievances, instead of seeking forgiveness, reconciliation, and harmony. While all dictators use force to stay in power, ethnicist dictators brutalize mostly members of the outside ethnic groups. It is for these reasons that scholars who have studied ethnic politics in Africa conclude that

In sum, the politicization of ethnicity in Africa is associated with ethnic conflict; ethnic violence in the form of human rights violations, repression, civil war, and even genocide; political instability; democratic erosion; and the establishment of non-democratic regimes p. 7

All ethnic-based political organizations in Ethiopia today, both within the EPRDF and the opposition parties, contrary to what they may claim, have adopted ethnicism as their ideology. To argue that one ethnic political party is better than another is to engage in a beauty contest among monkeys, as the Ethiopian saying goes.

The consequences of ethnic politics are so grievous that African countries discourage ethnic politics, and many ban ethnic parties. In Kenya, Nigeria, Burkina Faso, Sierra Leone, and other countries, it is illegal to form ethnic or religious parties. In these countries, the emphasis is on national unity, not on ethnic loyalty; and the motto, country first, not ethnicity first. Nations are built not just by constructing schools, clinics, and roads, but also by nurturing shared values, symbols, and histories. To destroy national identity—the foundation for national unity—is to kill the soul of a nation, and a nation without a soul seizes to exist.

The Contradictions of Ethnic Politics

In the 1980s, the TPLF claimed that the “main contradiction in Ethiopia is ethnic contradiction”. To resolve this alleged contradiction, it adopted ethnicism as the ideology for organizing the Ethiopian people, ethnic federalism as the platform where ethnicism can be practised, and ethnic politics as the means for allocating resources. Since coming to power, the TPLF-EPRDF regime has thoroughly politicized ethnicity and ethnicized politics. Consequently, in Ethiopia today, to be born into an ethnic group by chance is to take a political stand by choice. Belonging to an ethnic group is becoming a card-carrying member of an ethnic political party. It is no wonder that many Ethiopians regrettably believe that one’s ethnicity determines one’s political views. (I am sure, as you read this article, some of you may wonder as to which ethnic group I belong). The ethnicization of politics and the politicization of ethnicity, however, will eventually undo the TPLF-EPRDF coalition.

In practising ethnic politics, the government has simultaneously provided the opposition parties with an ethnic microscope by which they can scrutinize its policies, programs, and decisions. If the TPLF uses ethnic politics as a means of appropriating resources, including staying in power, the opposition parties can use the same tactic to dislodge it from power. Therein lies the TPLF’s own seeds of destruction. As the biblical saying goes, “live by the sword, die by the sword.”

The political loyalty to one’s ethnicity that the TPLF-EPRDF coalition has been preaching vociferously over the last quarter of a century will ultimately corrode the coalition. In the past, Meles Zenawi, because of his personality and his claim to legitimacy as a former guerilla fighter, was able to keep the fractious ethnic political groups united, but in the absence of such a personality and given the gross inequity in political power between the subservient majority ethnic political parties and the dominant minority ethnic party, it is doubtful if the EPRDF will remain united for long, especially if the unrest continues.

The Threat to National Unity

At the same time, ethnic nationalism, propagated both by the government and the opposition ethnic parties, has badgered, battered, and wounded national unity in Ethiopia so much so that the EPLF, the pioneer of ethnic politics, appears poised to reap the seeds of instability it had sown fifty years ago. After 25 years of being attacked relentlessly, national unity in Ethiopia has been effectively undermined, if not completely destroyed. The EPLF is lurking behind its surrogate ethnic political parties, principally the TPDM, to take advantage of the current situation to destabilize, fragment, and annihilate Ethiopia. We should never loose sight of that danger.

Further, the major opposition parties are mostly ethnic parties that espouse their own versions of ethnic politics, but to paraphrase a former US president, ethnic politics is not the answer; it is the problem. The solution to Ethiopia’s political problems must reject interference from the EPLF, must repudiate ethnic politics, and must use non-violent means. Or else, Ethiopia shall be no more.

Worku Aberra (PhD) is a professor of economics at Dawson College, Montreal, Canada.

  1. Mezmur
    | #1

    The TPLF has copied and implemented the administration structure of colonail italy and renamed it federalism. The idea behind the Italian colonial administration was divide and rule and the TPLF is applying the same methods.

  2. Southerner
    | #2

    The ethnic problem in Ethiopia did not start yesterday, it started when the tribalist showa Amhara King Menilike start killing Oromos and oppressing Oromo and banned Oromos langauge from every oromo court and Oromo municipalities in order to expand amharas power domination and impose showa Amharas culture and showa amharas language on Oromo. Even lands were expropriated from Oromos to reward it to Showa Amhara feudals. Oromos regions and lands were given a new Amharic names by cancelling its original Oromo names.
    Still Oromos represent Majority within Ethiopia but Oromos still forced to speak Amharas minority language in the name of official language of Ethiopia.
    Minority Amharas culture and Amharas language still towering over Oromos majority language and Oromos majority culture. Where is the Democracy É

  3. Dany
    | #3

    Very informative, the first of its kind I saw on such forums treating ethnic politics and its corrosive impacts in such concise but comprehensive manner.
    Thank you .

  4. Lighthouse
    | #4

    Why does the Showa Amhara elites afraid of Federal system ? ? Could it this because the Showa Amhara historical enormity and contested land dispute with the people of Oromos ? ?
    Who is better trusted to run their own territory and social affair than the people themselves ?? Why is it the Showa elite trying to dictate the people’s self ruling federal system ? ? Why is it that the Showa elites insist on centralization and dictate the people’s right ? ? What is it that the Amhara elites hidden agenda, and why are they afraid of Oromos self ruling federal rights ? ? Who gave the right for Showa Amharas to tell and dictate other Ethiopians (Oromos,Sidamas,Tigres,Gambelas etc….) regions self governing federal rights ? ?
    HYPOCRACY ! The Showa elites live and reside here in North America enjoy and reap the benefits of Federal system, but they attemp to deny this same federal structural system to Ethiopians. The Showa irrational hypocritical elites not only they are confused but source of confusion backwardness.

  5. anon
    | #5

    [Worku Abera] you stated,
    ” but to paraphrase a former US president, ethnic politics is not the answer; it is the problem.” could you give us the source for your who stamen?
    But more to the point, here is my Comment on the issue you have. First, of all it is too late now as a result your opinion on this piece will neither sway the opinion of any nor it can be a cure to the very sick and diying regime. As expected, it looks the line of TPLF foot soldiers on this forum in none stop. And as if to say to the people without , TPLF ,their darling Ethiopia will be in danger.

    It is too late and any TPLF talking points in here won’t work. Rip to investor cadres who begin to sense the momentum slipping out of their hand and begin to show sign of crack. And the scare phrase now is Eretria and EPDM are out to get Ethiopia. You may be an economist but it is possible you have no clue about Ethiopian politics. Beside, the issue of ethnics is created by TPLF until this moment none of TPLF supporters said any thing about it, then why now?. Whether you like it or not freedom is an alienable right for the individual. People are ding for their freedom primarily because they have none. Life in Ethiopia is possible only if one is willing to obey what is told by the government foot soldiers: the paid cadres. My penny worth advise to you is this. Please do us favor waist not our valuable time. People who are denied basic freedom,hungry citizens and those who lost their families they rather fight and die than to be swayed by your comment. To begin with they don’t have luxury and time to read your crap.

  6. Kaleab
    | #6

    I find your rebuttal to Worku Abera article is frivolous. Don’t you think that the TPLF’s ethnic policy is working right now? You do not feel even the Oromo children brutally murdered by Woyanne soldiers. Let repeat your own words, ‘you like or not’ without other ethnics groups participating, the Oromo students’ riot in Ethiopia will not go any where. I could tell where you come from. If you understand the article, the writer illustrated eloquently the reality. where were you the last 25 years the Amharas people have been murdered in the Oromo regions by OLF and TPLF? However, my deepest sympathies go out to those Oromos who murdered by the TPLF. The Oromo extremists should learn from their mistakes.

  7. Tazabe
    | #7

    Good question, Why are the Debub Amhara elites afraid of Oromos ?

  8. Dawi
    | #8

    Annon said:

    [[..As expected, it looks the line of TPLF foot soldiers on this forum in none stop. ]]

    If anything Prof. Worku is a Neoliberal foot soldier! :)

    On the other hand, you sound like a disgruntled EPLF/OLF foot soldier upset of the excellent V part serious written by the same person on Eritrea’s grand delusion? We understand your pain.

    Isayas who is the father of “ethnicisation” of Ethiopian politics now lectures everybody else that it is wrong to demonize the Amharas for the wrongdoings of the previous governments,” What a hypocrite he is!

    Prof. Worku destroyed Isayas’s change of heart by showing how the man chose Italian identity vs Ethiopian one. That is despite almost all of the ethnic groups in Eritrea are also found in Ethiopia?

    The Prof. goes on to say, “In its march towards independence, the EPLF, faced with competing national identities and loyalties, had to attack Ethiopian identity to achieve its objective. To attack Ethiopian identity, the EPLF had to ethnicise the political system, political discourse, and the struggle for independence, by labeling the previous two governments as “Amhara” governments. …. the ethnicization of the political system deliberately confuses individuals with their ethnic groups; it intentionally attributes the behavior of leaders to the “basic characteristics” of their ethnicity. For an ethnic fundamentalist, ethnicity is political destiny. This explains why the EPLF has vociferously engaged in anti-Amhara and anti-Tigryan propaganda.”

    To win over the oppressed nationalities, it was not just enough to say “land the teller” go back to sleep for ESM but, to raise issues to fight every form of national oppression.

    TPLF was one the fifteen or more ethnic national liberation movements fighting for self determination in Ethiopia before 1990s. So what needed to done?

    Prof. Worku seems to ignore the reality that when TPLF/EPRDF came to power our semi-feudal society was dominated by particularism, where peoples identified themselves as members of their localities, regions, and ethnic groups. As capitalism wasn’t developed enough to bring about economic revolution, home market and the assimilation of peoples didn’t fully happen compared to developed nations. Then, it was necessary to understand the theory of Marxism and apply it to the concrete conditions, and not simply repeat like parrots some of the phrases of Lenin as a lot folks in ESM did. So I look at “ethnic federation” of TPLF/EPRDF as creative application of Marxism/Leninism for the situation then.

    Meles who a master of “Dialectical Materialism” and a creative ML applicator, saw the “ethnic federation” scheme as claimed to be sugggusted by OLF per Lencho, a good start to deal with immediate conflict by supported the right of self-determination exclusively from the point of view of an eventual class struggle, of the unity of the working class in my opinion. That is post the full implementation & upper hand position of capitalism under “Developmental State”.

    Prof. Worku said:

    [[..Ethnic politics can therefore be defined as the art of devising, promoting, and exploiting ethnic discord to appropriate scarce resources for a narrow end…]]

    I say it is disingenuous & simplistic to accuse all who support “ethnic federation” and freedom of self-determination including freedom to secede, of encouraging separation, or as “promoting, and exploiting ethnic discord”.

    Only an an armchair lecturer, residing comfortably inside an ivory tower can do such a thing.

  9. Ittu Aba Farda
    | #9

    It is a very interesting article and the author should be commended for that. It has opened the much needed conversation about the current affairs pertinent to the old country of ours. One reality and the whole world knows about it is the fact that there was ethnic impropriety in that country for more than a century. Even though there was admission by the Haile Selassie and Derg regimes that there was more than one distinctively spoken language in the country, there was very little governmental effort in nurturing them. The entire concentration of the effort was on one language, Amharigna. Now I do not want to be misquoted by my dear brothers and sisters of Amhara since I see them as my own blood. The tall and proud African blood!!! That might have not been the personal policy of the Emperor himself. But his problem was that he had surrounded himself with very complacent and chauvinistic individuals. It is written that he was not afraid of speaking Oromifaa at times. His grandfather’s name was Guddisaa right? That was not a Filipino name. But that was the fact. I had my early education up to a third grade in the old country in the early 50′s and I remember how I was shocked to my core on my first day at school. I was lucky enough to strike a warm friendship with student from the Amhara ethnic background who also spoke fluent Afaan Oromo. I was also fortunate enough to further my education in foreign countries. The first month was like a nightmare. But I was not given any other choice at home especially from my father. There was also that very friendly schoolmaster/teacher who encouraged me to keep going to school. I still remember how he was fluent in my mother’s tongue. That helped me a lot. Now fast forward 60 and some years we should all appreciate the fact that most other children of different ethnic groups do not have to face with the shock of their lives on their first day at school due language barriers. It is also justice and justice for all. That is why I am saying the national question is amicably addressed now. The problem is the lack of democracy deeply entrenched in bad governance. The wise guys who happened to be on location in a nick of time have managed to divert this historical achievement with all its loots right into their pockets and their cronies in tow. Their entourage so to say. I bet you the ‘governor’ of Tigray has hundreds possibly thousands on his payroll. You can also correctly assume that the ‘warlord’ or Oromia has the same number of payees on his expense account. You can also extrapolate the same scenario to other regions. These despots will kill their own ethnic individuals to perpetuate this suddenly found fortune that is there to be devoured. They will kill as if there is no tomorrow. You see all those Oromo youths killed during the recent upheaval in Oromia were not cut down by bullets fired at them by soldiers from Tigray or some demonic bigots gathered in Minnesota decry these days by the all gone ‘Neftegnas’ but the very Oromo policemen and soldiers. These killers are acting like beastly carnivores disturbed while feasting on a downed prey. It seems they are ecstatic about the fact that everyone is blaming the ‘TPLF’ and the ‘Agazis’ of the world. Muktar will kill his brother for the sustenance of his fiefdom. That is why the lack of democracy in Oromia cannot be resolved by lone struggle of Oromia democrats. It has failed and failed miserably before. If you think I am wrong, just ask the Lettas, Ibsaas and now the ones with Arabic names. It flickers and it was sniffed out just as soon as it started. This is my two cents of opinion and if I am proven wrong I will have no qualms to stand guilty as charged. And those who have made praying your customary routine, please make sure to have the youth and people of the entire old country in your thoughts. They are facing imprisonments, torture, killings, banishment and on top of that Mother Nature has not been kind enough to millions of them lately. You also make sure to send your donations to any charity groups that are doing life saving work in many parts of that country. Just remember that whenever you put food in your mouth millions of adults are going to bed with empty stomachs along with their crying and hungry children. Please, please do not try to politicize famine. Do not!!! Thank you and good night!!!!

  10. Southerner
    | #10


    Can the undemocratic NEFETEGNA power monopolizer centralist elites propaganda stop Oromos,Tigres,Gonderes and Gambelas from their running and ruling their own territories ?

    Of course, The NEFETEGNA ELITES may misrepresent facts and propagandize and try to override the people democratic rights to self rule, but such attempt of recentralization and dictation of Ethiopias regional self governing federal rights is here to stay regardless of Nefetegnas toothless blabber, and any further attempt against the people’s rights by the NEFETEGNA wing will face the final touch of destruction to the dieing Nefetegna Base.

  11. Zewdu
    | #11

    In Haile Selassie’s time citizens were looked at as persons of Ethiopian descent. That was the measuring stick. There was no ethnicity crap like now. What is wrong with all of us being recognized as one Ethiopian family–just like other nations of the world? It is mind-boggling and frustrating to me. As for culture, let nature take its own course and we take the culture of our choice. Besides, who said culture is stagnant? To me, the job of a government is to look after the welfare of its people and the security of the country. When countries are coming together forming unions, to go back to ethnicity is the most backward thing to do. What would be next after that? Down to clan as in Somalia? It is a slippery slope all the way.To me, the universally accepted way of conducting our affairs is to live as one Ethiopian entity by correcting differences through laws.

  12. ho
    | #12

    Terrio -journalism
    It is terriorst journalism that always talk about
    War ,death , destruction , failure ,fire etc

    Terrio-journalists do not see how things work .They do not see opportunities .They hate love ,peace & laughter .

  13. Dawi
    | #13

    more elaboration on Prof. Worku’s statements:

    [[..Ethnic politics can therefore be defined as the art of devising, promoting, and exploiting ethnic discord to appropriate scarce resources for a narrow end...]]

    “Ethnic politics” came about in support freedom of self-determination, up to freedom to secede, to the oppressed nationalities of Ethiopia. It is intended, designed to solve and ease immediate issues of the then ethnic conflict of the country where more than 15 ethnic liberation movement were roaming around. So it is unwise here to exclusively pick and define the negative side of the coin by completely ignoring the intention of the other side. .

    The semi feudal society was dominated by ethnic inequality then. To win over the oppressed nationalities who raised arms to fight for their rights, one has to stand on their side; so ESM was not preaching “ethnic discord” or preaching separation but fighting side by side every form of national oppression.

    To accuse those who support freedom of self-determination including secession of only encouraging separation, devising ethnic discord is foolish and hypocritical and is similar of accusing those who advocate freedom of divorce of supporting the wrecking of marriage or family ties.

    [[..TPLF-EPRDF regime ......fancies itself as a developmental state, but..resulting in inequitable educational, healthcare, economic, and political outcomes among the different ethnic groups of Ethiopia...]]

    What measurement are you using to get to such a conclusion? Your assessment do not jive with United Nations statistics.

    “Ethiopia is one of the 189 countries that signed the Milleinnum Declaration. The Country has made commendable progress towards reaching most of the MDGs. Apart from the overall decline in poverty, positive gains have been made in terms of education, health and reducing the prevalence of HIV and AIDS. These advances are owed largely to the Government’s efforts, with substantial support from the UN.”

  14. Itefa
    | #14

    Your persistent role and effort as the cyber militia of the TPLF is not paying off. You are simply posting reposting the damn statistical lies of the TPLF. All the date from the UN, World Bank and IMF are based on the ones the TPLH cooks and offers. These International and multilateral organizations know all about it (the statilies of the TPLF) but will continue to their financing for the obvious geo-political reasons. The UNDP report shows that the severity of poverty has increased in Ethiopia. With 15-20 million Ethiopians in need of food aid to survive, the TPLF regime is now where to achieve the so called Millennium Development Goal. Last spring the puppet prime minister of the TPLF regime HD declared that the country had achieved food self sufficiency for the first time in its history. This false claim is a clear evidence that the whole TPLF growth figures and statistics are damn lies and not credible. The lies of the TPLF have been limitless and crude. Unlike the other ardent members and supporters of the TPLF like Drs. Gelawedios Araia, Tecola Hagos amd Tedors Kiros, ” Dawi” is hiding behind a false name and the name that is not his own.

  15. John
    | #15

    TPLF Is a Zionist agent. The entire social, cultural, economical, and political and finally the spiritual architecture is designed and organized that way. Infiltration, perversion, deception, bribe, blackmail are the main tools to carry out this diabolical scheme. EPRDF is a cover for TPLF. Likewise TPLF is a cover. TPLF at the core is a Zionist agent. Only very few adepts are privy to this diabolical scheme. Ethiopians now tend to understand the general situation in Ethiopia this way.Ethinc politics is just a means to this end.

  16. G. Mequanent
    | #16

    Despite the false and baseless arguements of the Amhara elites, the Ethiopian federal government system has proved to be one of the best ones in the world. The EPRDF deservess applaus and credit for its visionary political decisions to introduce Federalism in Ethiopia. The system has set the country on the right trajectory and Ethiopians are determiend to preserve it and develop their country. The Peace, stability and astounding economic growth are all the fruits of federalsim.

  17. Awassa Langano
    | #17



    The hero,the positive, the productive and the visionaries have the right to rule, and they are ruling for the common good of all.
    On the other hand the negative,non visionaries, the unproductive, the weak, the losers, the narrow minded and haters will be allowed to fan their non sense irrational blabber and misrepresent fact propaganda in the name of opposition even though there is no light at the end of the tunnel for these bunch fools.


  18. Dawi
    | #18


    You are denying everything then? Not believing everything is one thing but, not being objective is unintelligent.

    How could you deny there are 34 universities in Ethiopia now that hold almost 700,000 students and have issued more than 500,000 degrees in the last five years alone?

    Question the lack of quality maybe? but…

    They say, “The Denial of truth, is a sickness of the soul,which can never be cured”

    I can’t help you on that.

  19. Kiros
    | #19

    Dawi, You must not be aware how educational institutions are run or what accounts for certification. I can see your zeal but you still lack the knowledge about matters educational. Sorry. I also suspect you either are running Abugida or your assignment is to counter and distract public discourse by injecting mere opinions. In other words, you don’t have a day job and are paid for being cyber cadre.

  20. Dawi
    | #20

    On the 20 million Ethiopian who need food aid:

    Watched G7 chair speak on ESAT; Prof. Berhanu still has his humor intact. Cracked a few jokes as usual and provided down to earth analysis of the present crises back home.

    Gave very realistic analysis regarding the 20 million who need food aid; he said it is a structural problem. 85% live off agriculture and that is not sustainable. We need a long term solution for that looking beyond the existing government.

    I was delighted when he explicitly didn’t say the solution to the crisis of the land is a freedom-sounding word called “privatization”. The free-marketeers tell us day in and day out will solve our problems. The reality is invariably the opposite. “Privatization” as we know it here in the US means bailing out corporations– is in fact the problem, not the solution.

    He pointed out there are “mad” men who are “extremists” in the opposition rank he won’t deal with. Those off course are the people who keep folks divided.

  21. Freedom
    | #21

    Professor Aberra,

    You have made lots of ridiculously nonsense statements. I understand, as an Economist your political knowledge has suffered immensely.

    “At the same time, ethnic nationalism, propagated both by the government and the opposition ethnic parties, has badgered, battered, and wounded national unity in Ethiopia so much so that the EPLF, the pioneer of ethnic politics, appears poised to reap the seeds of instability it had sown fifty years ago.”

    Currently only TPLF is for ethnic nationalism. Even OLF has given up its independence/ethnic nationalism ambition. All the other ethnic based liberation fronts are for Ethiopiawinet. The only reason they formed a liberation fronts is kick TPLF and company’s ass because it has being killing, starving, raping and looting their people and land.
    EPLF’s independence struggle’s source is Italian colonialism followed by 10 year administration of Eritrea by Britain and the failure of Haile Selassie/Mengistu/TPLF to handle the issue effectively. None of the ethnic groups in Ethiopia were ruled by ITALY and/or BRITAIN. Therefore, you are comparing an APPLE and ORANGE.

    You said,

    “After 25 years of being attacked relentlessly, national unity in Ethiopia has been effectively undermined, if not completely destroyed. The EPLF is lurking behind its surrogate ethnic political parties, principally the TPDM, to take advantage of the current situation to destabilize, fragment, and annihilate Ethiopia. We should never loose sight of that danger.”

    You are 110% wrong. Tigray people democratic movement (TPDM) was formed around 2003 in order to fight the mafia TPLF. They realized a long time ago that TPLF was not only terrible for Ethiopia but also very bad for the Tigray people. TPLF represented only few elite people from tigray while ignoring the vast majority. As we speak TPDM, OLF and all other Ethiopian liberation fronts are working and discussing with Ginbot 7 in order to form a united front against TPLF. EPLF is helping them and has promised not to interfere and is only looking for a friendly neighbor.

  22. Itefa
    | #22

    ” Dawi”,
    We know that the shoddy buildings the TPLF leaders call universities are far below the standard secondary schools. Again, this is a TPLF statislie. Presenting common common secondary schools as universities to support their false claims (lies) of attaining the so called Millennium Development Goals (MDG) in education. The MDG pot has billions of dollars in it and it has been the bonanza of the TPLF leaders and their henchmen. The TPLF leaders have converted the MDG to their own scam and are producing false statistics and figures for the money they have embezzled. As professor Al Mariam has described the LF in the TPLF stands for the `Lier Front`.
    Dear `Dawi` don not insult our intelligence by presenting the lies of the TPLF here because you do not have the right audience who consume them (falsehoods) here.

  23. chamale
    | #23

    My flag is not this new ethnic my flag is ,my way of living,speaking,dressing,eating,thats what ethiopia is,if you look every ethnic have its own cultural expression thats their flag.

  24. Dawi
    | #24

    Kiros said:

    [[.. You must not be aware how educational institutions are run or what accounts for certification...]]

    I had a chance to encounter with a freshly minted of some Southern Ethiopia State University. He grew up in a village & got his BA close to where he grew up and didn’t live in major cities at all. I tell you he is doing fine here in the USA. More kids are getting the exposure of higher education in remote areas & it may not be in par with the highest educational standards yet compared to here in the west but, is suffice for now. Have you heard of barefoot Doctors of China? :) That is what we need if you ask me.

    We need a lot of practical people and opposed to what they tell you in graduate school, the world outside the ivory tower isn’t so bad. Get out of academia to find out. Look at G7 Prof. Berhanu’s transformation of thought in just 7 months of real world? :) He is not the same.

    Hey – I will honored to run/own such a forum where one is not fully controlled by the extremists of both sides of the isle.

    Writing opinions comes more easily if you have something to say and this forum is a board that bounce my views back. It is educational in that sense; Try it! Don’t waste time thinking that someone is plotting against you; I don’t think one has time for that.

  25. Kiros
    | #25

    Dawi, My statement that you seem to have no understanding about education and educational institutions stands. So you want to convince the reader that your chance meeting of a single student from the South illustrates sufficient progress has been made [though not in [sic] par with standards in the West]? It is also interesting that your example comes from the South and not from Tigray. Your zeal reminded me of this fellow who earned $11,000 per year adjuncting at a college; I suspect he augments his income by cyber bullying and quoting stat from thin air.

  26. Kiros
    | #26

    sorry; quoting up out thin air.

  27. Dawi
    | #27

    Dear Kiros,

    Ok – I concede to your criticism.

    If my #s for (34) Universities are accurate (can be verified); What do you propose that we do now? How about sharing with us what you know of Tigray?

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