Identity Politics and Ethiopia’s Transition to Democracy

By Alemayehu G Mariam

History Keeps Repeating Itself in Ethiopia

Last week, the Voice of America Amharic radio program reported on the forced official removal (“displacement”) of a large number of people e from the southern part of Ethiopia. According to the report, numerous Amhara farming families from the town of Gura Ferda were ordered by local officials to pack up and go back to their “kilil” ethnic homeland. A number of these displaced persons told the VOA that they were summoned by local officials and ordered  to “leave their lands” and get out of town before sundown. Many of them were born in the area or had lived there for decades. Before leaving, the victims of official displacement were required to sign an official document which stated that they had “illegally acquired, held and farmed land in the area” and now are voluntarily returning it to the local administration. Hundreds of displaced families left town headed to the capital of Addis Ababa to petition Zenawi’s regime for redress of grievances. As they gathered outside the “Parliament”, they were rounded up by security officials and trucked out to parts unknown. A representative of Zenawi’s regime told the VOA she knows nothing about the situation and that an investigation is underway. In the recent past, tens of thousands of other citizens have reportedly been removed from Benji Maji Zone in the “Southern Nations” region.

Forced removal of populations (under different designations “resettlement”,”villagisation”, “displacement”, etc.) has a sinister and ugly history in Ethiopia. In the past few years, Zenawi’s regime has undertaken a massive program of “villagization” (permanent removal of local populations from ancestral lands) in the Gambella region in Western Ethiopia to make way for the Indian agrobuiness multinational Karuturi and other “investors”. Zenawi’s top agriculture official said “there is no movement of population” in Gambella. But that is contradicted by a UNICEF field study which concluded:

The deracination [uprooting from ancestral lands] of indigenous people  that is evident in rural areas of Gambella is extreme. It is very likely that      Anuak (and possibly other indigenous minorities) culture will      completely disappear in the not-so-distant future. Cultural survival,  autonomy, rights of self-determination and self-governance are all legitimate issues for these indigenous groups, and these are all      enshrined by international covenants and United Nations bodies – but all are meaningless in Gambella today.

The military junta (Derg) that ruled Ethiopia from the mid-1970s until 1991 used “resettlement” as a political and tactical counter-insurgency weapon. The Derg “resettled” populations in rebel-controlled areas in the  north of the country to create military buffer zones and to deny the insurgents  local support.  At the onset of the 1984 famine, the Derg initiated a resettlement program for 1.5 million people from insurgent-controlled and drought-affected northern regions to the south and southwest of the country. The Derg claimed the people were relocating voluntarily. Tens of thousands of people died in that resettlement program from illness and starvation. Families were separated as people fled the ill-equipped and ill-managed resettlement centers.

Ironically, the northern insurgents, who have now wielded power in Ethiopia for the past 21 years, condemned the Derg and characterized the “resettlement” centers as “concentration” camps.  In 2012, the very leaders who fought against such inhuman practices have become the chief architects and engineers of a new and systematic program of forced resettlement and transfer of population in Ethiopia. It seems history repeats itself over and over again in Ethiopia. But for the record, “deportation or forcible transfer of population”, (defined as “forced displacement by expulsion or other coercive acts from the area in which they are lawfully present, without grounds without grounds permitted under international law”)  is one of the specified crimes against humanity under the Article 7(d) of the Rome Statute.

Kililistans and Bantustans

For the past two decades, Zenawi has been repackaging an atavistic style of  tribal politics in a fancy wrapper called “ethnic federalism.” He has managed to segregate the Ethiopian people by ethno-tribal classifications  and corralled them like cattle into  grotesque regional political units called “kilils” (literally means “reservation”; semantically, the word also suggests the notion of an exclusion zone, an enclave). “Kilil” is basically a kinder-and-gentler form of Apartheid-style Bantustans (“black African tribal homelands”). The ideology of “kililism” shares many of the attributes of Apartheid’s “Bantustanism”. Both ideologies aim to concentrate members of designated ethnic groups into “homelands” by creating ethnically homogenous territories which could ultimately morph into  “autonomous” nation states. Zenawi made sure to insert Article 39 in the Ethiopian Constitution which provides: “Every nation, nationality or people in Ethiopia shall have the unrestricted right to self-determination up to secession.” In other words, the “kilils” could secede and become sovereign nations, which was precisely the ultimate aim of the Bantustans.

kililBut there are many other similarities. One of the major policy aims of “Bantustanization” was to make South Africa’s blacks nationals of the homelands instead of the nation of South Africa. By politically disempowering them and diminishing their national citizenship and human rights to travel freely and establish residence in any part of the country, Bantustanization effectively atomized black African communities. The forced removal of  disapproved ethnic groups from the southern part of Ethiopia accomplishes the same purpose. “Bantustanization” was based on forced relocation of the black African population from different parts of South Africa to the “homelands”.  It aimed at eventually accommodating every black person in South Africa into one of the 10 “homelands”. Kililism has effectively achieved that objective by corralling Ethiopians in 11 “regional states” (kililistans) organized exclusively on the basis of ethnicity. “Bantustanization” was used strategically to prevent alliances between the various African ethnic groups. It was an effective tool of the Apartheid government’s policy of divide and rule to cling to power. “Kililism” serves the same purpose in Ethiopia today to the point where a handful of individuals exercise absolute power .  According to the International Crises Group, (a research organization that gives advice to the United Nations, European Union and World Bank):

Once close to their rural Tigrayan constituency, the TPLF and the  EPRDF top leaderships now largely operate in seclusion from the general public. This has led to a situation in which an increasingly smaller number of politicians – the TPLF executive committee and the  prime minister’s immediate advisers – decide the political fate of the country.

Playing the Ethnic Card to Divide and Misrule 

My basic belief is that tyranny, despotism and dictatorship thrive and flourish when the people are disunited and fragmented particularly along ethnic lines and the tyrants and their supporters maintain their ironclad unity.  Ethnicity in Ethiopia, as in other parts of Africa, is a source of division, weakness, conflict and violence. Unity is a source of strength, harmony, peace and reconciliation. African dictators have used ethnicity as a powerful weapon to divide and rule.

In October 2011, I wrote a weekly commentary about the “ultimate weapon found in the arsenal of tyrants and despots– divide and misrule”:

For the past two decades, the maxim of those who have rivetedthemselves to the platform of power in Ethiopia has been: “We, the rulers of the people, in order to form a more perfect disunion…” They    have put to use the ultimate weapon found in the arsenal of tyranny and despotism. They have divided and misruled, divided and subjugated,             and divided and parceled away the land in bits, pieces and chunks.        They have managed to systematically divide the people by region, city,  town and even neighborhood. They have succeeded in dividing the             people by corralling them into homelands (Bantustans) in the name of “ethnic federalism”. They have sought to divide the people by language and religion, and even rupture the bonds of affection between Ethiopians living in the country and those in the Diaspora.

This past January I wrote a commentary encouraging all Ethiopians to unite around a common purpose and destiny and celebrate the very idea of unity among peoples of a nation and warned of the dire consequences of failing to bridge the artificially manufactured ethnic divide: “A nation divided by race, tribe and ethnicity is doomed to poverty, ignorance and strife. I have always marveled at the majestic opening phrases in the Preamble to the U.S. Constitution: “We the People of the United States, in Order to form a perfect Union…”

Overcoming Identity Politics in the Transition to Democracy 

In the transition from dictatorship to democracy, one of the greatest challenges Ethiopians will face is the problem of identity politics at the ideological level and “kililism” at the structural  and constitutional levels. One could surmise that the current political rationale for “kililism” could create a chaotic, if temporary, situation in the transition  to democracy and potentially impair much needed efforts to create national unity, preserve the country’s territorial integrity and guarantee its political sovereignty.  The challenge, in my view, is how to transform the politics of  identity and ethnicity into a dialogue over  strengthening national unity and furthering the common cause of our humanity through cooperation, accommodation and reconciliation (while avoiding the path to conflict and violence).

The threshold issue for me is whether it is productive to play Zenawi’s “ethnic card” game. He has used it as an effective tool to justify his one-man, one-party divide and misrule.  He has used the “ethnic card” to anger and distract his opponents and divert public attention from the desperate  economic situation in the country (“a recent report by the Addis Ababa-based research group Access Capital SC stated, ‘Ethiopia had the second-highest inflation rate in the world last year, when it peaked at 40.6 percent’”). It is best to leave the ethnic polarization game to Zenawi and focus on ethnic reconciliation, cooperation and collaboration.

There is much social scientific literature to suggest that “identities are constructed and can be deconstructed and reconstructed anew”. In other words, ethnic identity like other forms of identity is malleable. It can be transformed over time by processes of immigration, marriage, education, national integration, nation-building, economic development and other factors. (Zenawi’s antidote to this process is segregation of people in kililistans where there will be little opportunity for “ethnic fusion” or assimilation.)  Often, ethnic identity trumps all other issues and leads to conflicts where there is an absence of social and legal justice, poor governance and denial of the equal protection of the laws and opportunities. The real challenge for Ethiopia’s opposition political leaders, scholars, elites and ordinary folks today is to re-conceptualize the politics of identity which  for so long has been based on historical and current grievances to a politics based on promoting and implementing human rights values. I believe a paradigm shift in the way we understand and discuss the question of ethnic identity; and that necessitates first and foremost a change in the very language of communication we use to construct, deconstruct and reconstruct  ethnicity and its associated social, economic and political problems.

Inventing a New Language for a New Identity

I have previously argued for and proposed a new “language” for dialogue on the question of ethnicity in Ethiopia. (I even “invented” words (neologisms) for the occasion, one of the privileges of an academician.) I find it necessary to re-articulate those ideas once again.  I view ethnicity as the flip side of the coin of unity. The coalescence of ethnic groups is the fabric of unity in any nation.  When subnational groups are fragmented, divided and are at odds with each other, a nation faces the threat of disintegration. Zenawi sees Ethiopia as a collection of 9 distinct and autonomous kilils. In other words, Ethiopia for Zenawi is a patchwork of “nations and nationalities” that have very little in common (a convenient cover for divide and rule) and with mutually exclusive interests. We believe Ethiopia is a variegated mosaic of multiculturalism where all citizens have the same rights, freedoms,  opportunities and protections under the law. They can live, work, play and pray in any part of their country without any limitations or restrictions whatsoever!

In the transition from dictatorship to democracy, it will be necessary to build a new kind of unity based on our common humanity. This special unity is grounded in a fundamental belief that our common bonds of humanity are greater than the sum of our bonds of ethnicity, nationality and communality. Our common yearning for freedom, democracy and human rights is greater than our narrow ethnic interests. Our commitment to each other’s human dignity is nobler than the arrogant ethnic identity.

Unity that is based on our common humanity draws not only on universal ethical and moral values but also on the African ethic of  “Ubuntu”, often used by Nelson Mandela to teach us about the essence of human existence: “A person is a person because of other people. You can do nothing if you don’t get the support of other people.” “Ubunity” is unity that requires us to see each other as brothers and sisters and relate to each other on the basis of the principles of sharing, caring, trust, tolerance, honesty and morality. We do not see each other with a colored ethnic lens that filters for Oromo, Amhara, Tigrean, Gurage and so on but with a clear lens that is calibrated to illuminate justice, equality and fairness. The special unity of which I speak is also grounded in an unshakeable belief that our individual liberty must be protected against those who commit crimes against humanity and acts of atrocity, sneer at public accountability and abuse their authority and act beyond the limits of  constitutionality.

I ask all Ethiopians to strive for a special kind of unity which I call both “humunity” and “younity”. “Huminity” is unity based not on ethnicity or nationality but on a blend of core universal values of human dignity and the African ethic of “ubunity”.  It requires individual moral commitment  to respect and uphold human rights, an allegiance to the rule of law, a belief in the consent of the people as the only legitimate basis of power, and strict adherence to principles of constitutional governance, accountability and transparency. If we could develop wide and deep consensus on these values, we would have achieved unity of thought, purpose and consciousness, the prerequisites to all other forms of unity. More importantly, if f we put these values into action by defending the rights of victims of human rights abuses, working for improvements in the observance of human rights conventions, organizing, teaching and preparing the youth for a democratic society, exposing corruption and abuse of power, strengthening our interpersonal relations across ethnic, religious and class lines, we will have achieved unity in action and deeds. Is it not true that the things that divide us, sow discord and hatred amongst us are rooted in and fester because of the very absence of these universal values in our lives?

Tyrants divide the people by magnifying the smallest of differences. Often, the people fall prey to the schemes of tyrants and sing their songs of discord and division. But in my conception of “huminity”, it is possible to have diversity of opinion, views and approaches because I believe “Every difference of opinion is not a difference of principle.” If we embrace and practice the universal principles of human rights, we will realize that it is not about our ethnicity, nationality, language, religion, region or anything else, but what we can do collectively and individually to remove the yoke of oppression and tyranny, institute democracy and the rule of law to uphold human dignity.

My conception of “younity” is a simple idea about you and I together standing up to tyranny, corruption and abuse of power. It is based on the notion that each one of us is a link in a long chain of both oppression and freedom. Our yearning for freedom welds the links in the chain of unity; tyranny melts the links. I believe we all have an individual civic and moral duty to strengthen the links and bonds of unity in the Ethiopian people by embracing and practicing the core values of human dignity and rights. Political leaders must adopt a new and more powerful language of “huminity” to bring the people of divergent views together. Religious leaders must speak of “huminity” in the language of divinity. They should preach and pray for unity. Civic leaders must speak up and advocate for “huminity”. Academics must teach the ways of “huminity” to the youth; and the youth must teach the older generation of the necessity of “huminity” for a new and enlightened Ethiopian community. Most importantly, ordinary people in the street must speak in the language of our common humanity (ubunity) to achieve ultimate unity.

Playing the ethnic card game with Zenawi is to fall victim to destructive identity politics that breeds division, hatred, conflict, and cynicism. We can choose to play Zenawi’s zero-sum ethnic card game (a game in which he always wins and we always lose) and express outrage over the spectacle he has created in Gura Ferda, Gambella, Benj Maji and wherever else. But we can also rise above ethnicity and the politics of identity and help build a national Ethiopian identity. But how…?

“Establish New Relationships, Devoid of any Resentment and Hostility” 

The most direct way to build a new national identity is to establish new relationships and discard the old and tired ways of hatred and domination. We must look to a vision of Ethiopia that is not only free of dictatorship and tyranny but also united. On the occasion of the establishment of the permanent headquarters of the Organization for African Unity (OAU) in Addis Ababa on May 25, 1963, H.I.M. Haile Selassie made the most compelling case for African unity. One-half century later, that same message rings true for Ethiopia:

We look to the vision of an Africa not merely free but united. In facingthis new challenge, we can take comfort and encouragement from thelessons of the past. We know that there are differences among us.Africans enjoy different cultures, distinctive values, special attributes. But we also know that unity can be and has been attained among men of the most disparate origins, that differences of race, of religion, of culture, of tradition, are no insuperable obstacle to the coming together of peoples. History teaches us that unity is strength, and cautions us to   submerge and overcome our differences in the quest for common  goals, to strive, with all our combined strength, for the path to true African brotherhood and unity…. Our efforts as free men must be to establish new relationships, devoid of any resentment and hostility, restored to our belief and faith in ourselves as individuals, dealing on a basis of equality with other equally free peoples.

Close ranks regardless of ethnicity or regionality; reaffirm our basic humanity in our Ethiopianity; renounce our old enmity; openly declare our steadfast unity and trumpet our Ethiopian nationality at every opportunity. Let us strive to establish a new identity in Ethiopian unity!

Amharic translations of recent commentaries by the author may be found at:

19 comments on “Identity Politics and Ethiopia’s Transition to Democracy

  1. norway on

    go to ethio civility see it for ur selves. some ting which happened for 3 years ago 33 familly,.,.,.,

  2. Bonaya Abdi on

    Al Mariam wrote:
    “We believe Ethiopia is a variegated mosaic of multiculturalism where all citizens have the same rights, freedoms, opportunities and protections under the law. They can live, work, play and pray in any part of their country without any limitations or restrictions whatsoever!”

    Does this kind of freedom exist anywhere in the world or is Ato Mariam trying to invent it in Ethiopia for the first time? I am an American citizen residing in California but my choices of where I can build a home is restricted. No matter where I choose to live, I must be the owner of the house and of the property on which it was built in the first place. In the Ethiopia Ato Mariam wants to create, a Tigrean farmer can pack and move to Gambella and build a home on a piece of land the local Nuer people graze their cattle. Does he think the Nuer will consent to this without any resistance?

    No, Ato Mariam, your kind of freedom can never be realistic.

    • Anonymous on

      Really? Your choices are restricted? Sure there are laws that limit what you can do with your property, depending on where you live (and this exists only to the extent to which your decisions may affect your neighbors, because, mind you, civilization depends on the sacrifice of individual desires and freedoms for the sake of security). But, I wouldn’t go as far as to say, your rights are restricted. You can build a house wherever you want in the United States, provided you have the necessary legal documents and financial prerequisites. Segregation in the U.S. mostly manifests itself in a DE FACTO not DE JURO fashion as you’ve portrayed it.
      That said-Do we like to be around individuals who are like us? Sure, of course. Even more so when it comes to our identity rooted nationality/ethnicity. But even this becomes less of an issue when the implementation of laws (Civil Rights Act, Equal Opportunity, etc) and the natural development of technology (i.e industrialization) and the growth of cities (resulting in Urban migration and people coming together for all sorts of educational and job opportunities) creates conditions conducive to a healthy, diverse, and unified society.
      Sorry, but your comparison to what is going on in Ethiopia is just insulting. You can’t even compare the worst form of human dislocation in the US (today), gentrification, with what is transpiring in Ethiopia. Where, in the U.S, the worst form of dislocation occurs when the rich buy out the poor, in Ethiopia, the commonplace tragedy takes place via a systematic approach to segregate populations based on immutable identities. This is an act of DE JURO segregation and a linchpin to violence and hostility across ethnicities that the perpetuators of segregation, in turn, capitalize on. It breeds a chaotic society from which homegrown dictators rise to the top.
      As a final note, I will say that in order to establish a thriving democracy we need to (or rather, find ways to) A) create a government and political factions based on ideology (and idealogical differences) NOT ethnicity, B) establish an effective “checks and balances” system with COMPLETE separation of powers (particularly the judiciary and executive powers) and C) work to bridge the gap between ethnicities by holding discriminators accountable for their actions (legislation) and promoting the growth of cities brimming with jobs and other fiscal and education opportunities (we can even encourage Chinese and Indian investment in this light) so that people naturally integrate.
      AND—to make this long story short, Ato Mariam has got it RIGHT.

  3. Taye on

    I have a great respect for you and what you wrote but you have not suggested one bit of solution to the trouble these 22000 people are going through. You wouldn’t be so relaxed if you were one of the victims or you were the one who got deported. Can we be a little less idealistic and a bit more practical?

  4. Anonymous on

    My view of why Weyene leader, Meles, does what he does

    Meles has no Ethiopian nationalism. As a child, he was exposed to Italian propaganda and lost it. He was taught to believe Italians were superior and correct. His view of Ethiopia,is based on Italians view of war propaganda of divide and rule of Ethiopia. There is nothing new. You can see that in his policies, and one good example is his “Kilil” policy which is almost exactly the same as what the Italians were trying to implement.

  5. Bogale Ewunetu on

    It is true that Meles uses divide and rule technics utilizing religion, ethnicitiy, region, etc, diversities as well as the federal structure. In priciple, federalism is the best structure in countries bleassed with rich diversities and communities but being ruled by self serving tyrannical dictatators.

    The current federal structures that are there in principle, but not really functioning in practice are in fact a direct reaction and consequent strategy for the pre tplf Amhara ethnic elites’ 120 long years of authoritarian highly centralized tyrannical dictatorship, ruling from above as elect of the “GREAT GOD” that robbed material and human resources including social,cultural and natural indentity capitals from all the none Amhara peoples of that empire, say, by even cleverly penetrating the none Amhara areas “Ethiopia” unidirectionally but not allowing none Amhara people to settle in Amhara regions resiprocally and propsper democratically together.

    Since the current tplf nominal toothless federal structure some how blocks the coming to power of the former highly centralized Amhara ethnic group elites’ authoritarian dictatorship, we have now on hand the ususal dishonest and constant writings and cursing of natural ethnicities, diversities of identities and cultures as well as the federal structures that may potentially helps diverse previousely tyranized majority people to be empowered and have control over their own human and material resources to work and prosper. Such basically and potentially empowering passive democratic features are being constantly and tirelesselly demonized by Amhara elites as “Apartheid, Bantustan, ethnic apartheid,killilstan,etc.” as well as a system potentially leading to genocide. Cheap Populism and cheap propaganda political business men!

    The Ethiopian people whether the common Amharas, Somalis, Gambelas, Oromos, Tigres, Sidamas, Dorzes, Gurages, etc, aspire both for justice for all, peace, propsperity, security, etc. even while promoting and celebrating their separate natural unique identities, cultural values, geographical buodaries as well as the over all common humanities too. The genocide prediction, bantustanism, Apartheid killil chracterizations are only the articulations used of elite populist foxes dressed in sheep skin in order to bring about that same crimes by their own predictions while working for it day and night. Power, sweet power! kikikikiki

    By still strongly denying historical contemporary facts and gross injustices of Amhara tyranny still fresh in most people’s minds and hearts, currently also opertating behind the scene ONLY stregthens and broadens resistance against the “dishonest”Amhara power mongering monopoly politics. This in turn again, blocks honest broad based alliance formations in order to jointly promote equality and justice for all, the new democracy, pluralism, sustainable development and the new united Ethiopia for all.

    Honesty, unity/alliance and democratic transformational leadership is the way to the liberty highway! :)

    • Mamo on

      Nothing on Earth gives you a right to rob 22,000 people of their wealth and deporting them overnight. NOTHING. In any other country, hell would have broken loose over this. Don’t think you can keep up with this for long. You are surrounded by millions of people, there is only a tiny fence between you and millions of people. It will not be pretty when it boils over.

  6. Jegnaw Ethiopiawe on

    I, will make it very,very simple..
    the only injustice is being done to Ethiopia is by people like you and your TPLF mercenary and there heat full philosophy…
    all that Amahara BS works for those hodam and your like,you can not full 85 million people for too long,we all know the game that you have been plying for this long,NO MORE.. you can bark all you want your day are my brother Maom have said “it will not be pretty when it boils over.”when that day comes i don’t want to be you and your likes…until then enjoy your self….

  7. Qes Zabarga on

    Absolutely! I personally condemn the displacements of these people and even that of Eritreans in the 1990s simply due to the miguided elite politics. But it should never boil over because we must all keep adding cold water constantly just like the cooling system in the Atomic energy plants.

    Better yet we must all together see the broader problems in which case some of the 80% of Ethiopians see all of these settlements rightly or wrongly as a patterned and contineous settlements in the south which started by Menelik II just to convert the Southern people from the majority status to the minority status like the case of Ireland. How can we wisely solve slowly but surely?

  8. Anonymous on

    The sky is the limit for the atrocities committed by Egypto-Assyrians going back to 1940’s, when the first Woeyane movement (Woeyane Act one) arose insurgencies that spread to Welllo and Gojam but put down by RAF because the Ethiopian Airforce did not exist then. Like Al-Quida, who first attempted to implode the World Trade Center towers in the 1900’s and failed, but came back to finish it off on 9/11/2001, Woeyane, too, before our own sleepy eyes, came back to finish what it started eventhough it took fifty years. Shabia’s atrocities throughout history; Bereket X of Mermari Comission of the Dergue responsible for the deaths of the sixties and Haile-Selassie himself; Bereket Simon of Woeyane regime, Gondar born and bred, master minder, along with his boss, Meles Zenawi, and common friend, Sebhat Nega, responsible for every evil since 1991. Unlike our forefathers, we failed terribly in every way. We let Egypt bring us to our knees era after era and even failed to recognize it. Desperation, homeless banishment, exile, getting old, limitation and oppression – by the book.

  9. Action on

    As you rightly indicated Prof., identity is subject to construction, reconstruction or destruction. The other thing you have write is all what has been said for the last 20 years, when the defenselessness Amhara had been attached while yearning for unity (which most other people take it as only deceitful and insincere politics). What is more, even many crimes against Amhara were left unnoticed, overlooked or underestimated.

    It is time to speak as am Amhara. I should not be ashamed of saying I am an Amhara. The theoretical debate about the existence of ethnic group should be abandoned in favor of constructing Amhara identity. In short term, we need a strong civic organization, which document and research the attacks against Amhara, works relentlessly to construct an Amhara identity, and create strong solidarity among Amhara people. In long run, if the positive gains from G7 & OLF alliance, and Mederek effort, could not bear any fruit, such a civic organization should give birth to strong Amhara centered ethnic political party which will end the chapter of respect, defensiveness, and tolerance, and open a chapter of victory and old-feudal version of strength (the language others will definitely understand).

  10. Dr. Kefale on

    Professor Alemayehu G Mariam

    Local officials ordered numerous Amhara farming families from the town of Gura Ferda to pack up and go back to their “kilil” ethnic homeland so that diaspora Amharas such as yourself start digging in their pockets and send money to Ethiopia. We know all you diaspora Amaharas do not like to support the current transformation plan of Ethiopia so officials had to do something to convince you start sending money to Ethiopia. As we are seeing it now the current displacement is making all Amharas around the world scramble to send money urgently which in turn will contribute to the economic transformation of Ethiopia. Smart leader leads people to do what he wants them to do no matter what.This is one of the qualities Prime Minster Meles Zenawi posses.

  11. Aba Biya on

    This is a tragedy of Ethiopia. The Nazi gangs in Ethiopia have now intesfied the deportation and ethnic cleansing. They go with it without paying for it.

    The people of Ethiopia should declare war on the woyane/tplf. Too much intelectual debate without action. Talk, write never save the lives of the children deported fro South West Ethiopia. The so called peaceful movement never save Ethiopia. Ethiopians must save theselves and should not wait for someone to come to rescue.

    Support armstruggle, that is is the only solution to save Ethiopia.

  12. Haha on

    Shiferaw Shigute? You think there is any decision in Ethiopia without Meles’s approval? Don’t be fools. Shiferaw spoke 3 months ago that at gimgema that Azeb Golla has to be charged with corruption if he was to be accused. So now Azeb and Meles are orchestrating this “ethnic cleansing” stuff so that no one would shed tears for him when he is thrown to jail. So, thanks for falling in Meles’s trap. Do not tell me Southerners hate Amhara. No it is TPLF that is hitting two birds with the same stone.

    • Mamo on

      I forgot that COMPLETELY!!!!!! Brilliant. Thanks for the great info. I hope there are more wonderful and smart people like you.

      Please comment on these boards more frequently. Observant people like you are sorely missing.

      Again, thanks for revealing something that we all missed.

    • ethiogirl on

      well synthesized, they are amazingly vindictive, they make sure they tie all the loose ends, to prolong their rule, i hope people see into it.

  13. Joshua on

    Mamo kilo,

    Your master meles paniced about the incipient new cooperation plan between the Amhara G7 and the G.Galchu olf faction as a result of which Meles decided to displace the Amhara settlers from the Oromo region so that they may not form cooperative and coordinated assault from the convenient geographical proximity against the tplf regime of PM. Meles.

    And then again Meles at another convenient time suiting to himself may arm the same displaced and embittered people he has just displaced and send them on assault mission against the Oromos for daring to align with Amhara groups against the tplf rule. Just for your information! :)

  14. Chalew on

    Many writers about the country in these forums can be broadly categorized in two groups. I think only handful writers have the right approach and strategy how to deal with TPLF. Thus far Robele Ababya,
    Ambassador Imru, and Dr.Aklog have consistently called us for united action against the TPLF clique I believe this is the only timely call we ,the people, need to head in order to mitigate the gross erosion of the rights of Ethiopians.

    The other group of writers are off the mark about the overall presentation they come up with and there is very little or no plan of action they suggest.It is time we change our attitude and be more agressive in our dealing with the enemy state-TPLF.It is true that not all people can see, and perceive,and read TPLF in the same fashion. Among other things insight to events, especially the scrutiny and examination of evil, is a matter of God given discernment but this is no excuse after twenty years of enslavement.

    The misery of the masses is not going to end,infact ,this should be seen as the beginning drama by the planners of TPLF.We collectively have failed when we allow patriotic Ethiopians to be tortured, humiliated and banished by TPLF cut throat and their accomplices, for peacefully opposing the regime’s policies. We silently witnessed the secret sale of large tracts of land to the Sudan by the P/m and his closest friends. We have helplessly watched the lease of a portion of the country to foreign and TPLF members, while local natives are relocated to make room for these entities. We watched four or so, in all, the nation’s Monasteries being torched by the agents of the regime. We have watched they young and vulnerable Ethiopian girls shipped out of the country by business entities that have close affinity with the regime. We watched in disbelief the removal of 22 thousands defenseless peasants, without their possession, removed out of their home in a day light by this regime.
    These are but the beginnings of what the planners of the TPLF have brought to pass.
    What is the difference between TPLF occupation and that of the Italian occupation? The Italian occupiers, although they have domestic spies and collaborators from the north of the country, came from outside. As a result the majority of Ethiopians jointly stood together to resist and dislodge the invading enemy. TPLF with its collaborator EPLF are internal enemies who used deception and lies to beguile the majority of Ethiopians in to believing that they are for peace and freedom. Once both entities hold state power they still continue to divide, beguile many Ethiopians for twenty years, and made sure we don’t unite and form formidable opposition to their misrule and occupation. For instance, they constantly plant individuals who are either ethnically or by marriage connected to them to these entities to infiltrate opposition parties. When this fails, they apply the same formula to recruit individuals who are loyal to these entities and initiate a plan, say armed struggle that is supported by one of the parties supposedly to remove Isaias or Legese.But all along the plan of each party is to contain and control the resolve of any opposition against their rule.
    Still more, the regime uses centralized bureaucracy to execute its agenda. Decision is made at the highest level at the instigation of TPLF right hand man-Legese and his clique. Then, senior party officials will be briefed how to implement the policy. Then, handful appointees, and trusted officials at a local level will enforce it.

    Yet when we consider the opposition there is this lack of clear knowledge about the enemy .As a result we have lacked independent means to pursue a strategic vision and appropriate medium to execute this plan for counter response against entrenched enemy. For instance, we are content to come to chat on cyber space, usually, in an ill manner. The regime must be pleased for reducing the opposition to such mean status. Here is one problem that needs to be corrected. We must use a face to face forum if we ever to succeed in properly opposing the enemy. Face to face meetings help the community to be accountable, forces us to focus on the goal ahead, results n strong commitment and sacrifice which are necessary ingredients for success. Is it a surprise, then for lack of a community forum among us, then when we see the regime recruiting professional doctors within the Diaspora turf?
    In addition we need to change our attitude towards the lesser evil within EPRDF.I mean ,instead of demonizing ,we need to isolate the teletafi party members and give them a face saving means to distant with the regime. I take it no one not the opposition supporters, not even the teletafi party members have expected for what TPLF chief and his clique have done and continue to do. Something needs to rise within us to use all means including military, but depending on our resources and soil, to bring down this regime-a regime which parallels to that of fascist Germany, Italy and Soviet Russia. We must not be history’s laughing stock by choosing not to have a place that we call home, if we fail to act now that is the only option left on the table at the moment. May I say there is not any window of opportunity left for the future now it’s the moment? The second group of writers are off the mark about the overall presentation they come up with and the very little or no plan of action .It is true that not all people can see, and perceive in the same fashion. Among other things insight to events, especially the scrutiny and examination of evil, is a matter of God given discernment.

  15. ethiogirl on

    Question to Mr. Bonay Abdi at #2: were your ancestors Californians? yet you live in California… while you don’t want Ethiopians freely moving and living anywhere they want in their country. don’t be so narrow minded…

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