Blog Archives

A Glimpse into the Amhara Awakening – Messay Kebede

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Let me begin by sharing my surprise at the dazzling nature of Amhara open resistance and determination in the fight against the government and the repressive forces of the TPLF. Of course, the wide but subdued discontent of the Amhara was quite obvious for anybody with a minimum sense of observation. But nobody expected that, […]

Posted in Ethiopia News

A Reply to Gen. Tsadkan’s Reply: Narrowing the Gap Messay Kebede

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Below is my response to Gen. Tsadkan’s reply to my review of his article. The reply is posted at: http://www.ethiomedia.com/1012pieces/5863.html Dear Lt. General Tsadkan Gebre Tensay: I thank you for sending me your reactions to my review of your article on the political difficulties of Ethiopia and of the solution you suggest to overcome them. […]

Posted in Ethiopia News

Review of Lt. General Tsadkan Gebre Tensay’s Article Messay Kebede

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I read with great attention and interest a recently posted article [see http://www.ethiomedia.com/1012pieces/ethiopia_political_challenges_and_proposed_solutions.pdf] in which Lt. General Tsadkan Gebre Tensay analyzes with a sharp critical eye the ruling government and party of present-day Ethiopia and gives us a blueprint of the various scenarios awaiting the country. Let me begin by admitting my surprise and admiration […]

Posted in Ethiopia News

About the Report of the UN Commission of Inquiry on Human Rights in Eritrea – Messay Kebede

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I post this short memo to explain why I did not sign the petition protesting against the report of the UN Commission of Inquiry on Human Rights in which it is stated, among other things, that “crimes against humanity have been committed in Eritrea since 1991.” I have agonized over the issue for many days […]

Posted in Ethiopia News

የኢትዮጵያ ዘውጋዊ ክፍፍሎችና የመፍትሄ ሃሳብ መሳይ ከበደ

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ይህ ጽሁፍ በቅርቡ ቪዥን ኢትዮጵያ ከኢሳት ቴሌቪዥን ጋር በመተባበር ባዘጋጀው ጉባኤ ላይ ያቀረብኩት ነው። የኢትዮጵያ ተቃዋሚ ፓርቲዎች አሁን በስልጣን ላይ ያለውን መንግስት በሰላም ወይም በሃይል ከስልጣን ለማውረድ  ቢችሉም እንኳን፤ ባለፉት 24 አመታት የተዘረጋውን ዘውጋዊ ክፍፍል ለማብረድና ብሄራዊ አንድነትን መልሶ ለመገንባት የሚያስችል ራእይና ፖለቲካዊ መፍትሄ ያስፈልጋቸዋል። በኢትዮጵያ ውስጥ በስፋት ከሚስተዋሉት ችግሮች ሁሉ ተቀዳሚና እጅግ አስቸጋሪ የሆነው […]

Posted in Ethiopia News

Ethiopia at the Eleventh Hour of Peaceful Change – Messay Kebede

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Logically, one would hope that the Oromo uprising and the undeniable general discontent and frustration in the country call for a serious movement toward a reformist dissent within the TPLF and perhaps the army. In whichever way the present situation is analyzed, it cannot avoid the conclusion that the path so far followed is an […]

Posted in Ethiopia, Ethiopia News

Then and Now: A Rejoinder to my Critics – Messay Kebede

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In the last article I posted, titled “Unity Overrides Everything,” I urged the Amhara to join the ongoing Oromo protests even if their reluctance is understandable in the face of the protests being confined to ethnic issues. Some of my readers did not like my appeal, arguing that the protests did not assume a national […]

Posted in Ethiopia News

Unity Overrides Everything! – Messay Kebede

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Those who closely follow current events in Ethiopia, especially those who honestly wonder, like me, why other ethnic groups, especially the Amhara who are the number one target and victim of the TPLF since it seized power in 1992, are not joining the Oromo uprisings, cannot but feel that a crucial ingredient of the whole […]

Posted in Ethiopia News

TPLF in Disarray and the Remaking of National Unity Messay Kebede

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That in less than six months after announcing a 100 percent electoral victory in national elections the TPLF faces a formidable uprising in Oromo regions and in a lesser scale in some parts of Ethiopia constitutes the mother of all irony. Unsurprisingly, the only response known to the government to the popular unrest is massive […]

Posted in Ethiopia News

Oromo Uprising: Danger and Opportunity – Messay Kebede

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Regarding the present situation of unrest in Oromo towns and villages, many activists and observers repeatedly ask the question of knowing why other regions of Ethiopia where the discontent is no less general, especially the Amhara region, are not joining the ongoing protest.  The consensus is that, unless the uprising extends to other regions, including […]

Posted in Ethiopia News

Dictatorship and its Evolution, Chapter II: Contrasting Burma with Ethiopia Messay Kebede

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The news that Suu Kyi’s National League for Democracy, in addition to wining a majority in Burma’s recent parliamentary elections, has enough seats to elect its own candidate to the presidency, is both a remarkable triumph of democracy and a lesson for Ethiopia’s ruling groups and opposition parties. In December 2011, I published an article, […]

Posted in Ethiopia News

The Impasse of Fear in Ethiopia and the Necessity of Comprehensive Struggle Messay Kebede

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The only thing we have to fear is fear itself. Roosevelt An ounce of action is worth more than tons of preaching  Mahatma Gandhi   The consensus is that dictatorial regimes stay in power mostly by fear rather than by their effective might. Caught in their fear, people are unable to react and protest, as […]

Posted in Ethiopia News

Making Sense of an Electoral Score of 100 Percent Messay Kebede

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According to the National Election Board of Ethiopia, the result of last week’s national election is that the EPRDF has achieved a complete victory by grabbing all the parliamentary seats. The same board and the Woyanne government qualified the result as a triumph of democracy, which leads one to assume that in today’s Ethiopia the […]

Posted in Ethiopia News

Is the TPLF Unintentionally Preparing the Ground for a Military Takeover? Messay Kebede

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Readers may remember that I was recently involved in a dispute with Tecola Hagos over his article unjustly criticizing the conference on the Horn of Africa, organized by ESAT (see http://www.ethiomedia.com/100leads/4867). In addition to criticizing his assessment of the conference, my article disapproved his call for a military dictatorship. At the same time, I recognized […]

Posted in Ethiopia News

Boycotting Ethiopian National Elections: Damn if You Do, Damn if You Don’t! Messay Kebede

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I maintain that the upcoming elections will be a turning point for Ethiopia, not because they will result in a major change of policy subsequent to a renovation of the ruling elite but because the absence of change will compel opposition groups to reassess their strategies and the country as a whole will plunge further […]

Posted in Ethiopia News

The Invention of Ethnic Politics Messay Kebede

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Take a random group of Ethiopians as you find them in any public place. You will never hear them defining themselves by a single characteristic. If you ask one of them how a person is defined, he/she will say that a person is defined by age, gender, class, social role, religion, culture, ethnic background, etc. […]

Posted in Ethiopia News

The Twilight of Non-Violent Change in Ethiopia and the Slippery Ground of TPLF’s Power Strategy Messay Kebede

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The rationale for the TPLF’s current stepping up of repression, obviously triggered by the coming elections, is hard to comprehend. Ranging from constant harassments and severe beatings to torture and long-term imprisonments, the repression particularly targets journalists and young leaders of opposition parties. The fear of losing the elections is usually advanced as the main […]

Posted in Ethiopia News

Disengaging from the False Dilemma of Armed or Peaceful Struggle – Messay Kebede To Andargachew Tsege

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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 […]

Posted in Ethiopia News

Tigrean Opposition to the TPLF

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Despite the TPLF’s view of itself as the model of representation of ethnic interests and well-being, the growth of disenchantment is perceptible in Tigray. The proof is that non-violent Tigrean opposition to the TPLF is no longer negligible. Despite a tight control and continuous harassments, the movement known as ARENA is stepping up its criticisms […]

Posted in Ethiopia News

My Takes on the Ethiopian Dam and the Addis Ababa Master Plan Messay Kebede

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The issue of the so-called “Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam” has proven very tricky for all those Ethiopians who oppose the present regime. On the one hand, no Ethiopian wants to see Ethiopia’s right to use the waters of Nile for its own development contested so that any interference from external countries appears as an unacceptable […]

Posted in Ethiopia News

MEDREK or the End of a Political Masquerade? Messay Kebede

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It is now abundantly clear that the project of creating a strong multiparty opposition by uniting unitary parties and ethnic parties is anything but feasible. The inability of MEDREK to achieve unity despite numerous attempts as well as Dr. Negaso Gidada’s––who stepped down from the chairmanship of the strongest unitary party, namely, UDJ––recent convoluted declaration […]

Posted in Ethiopia News

The Hypocrisy of the West Messay Kebede

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The West is deploring the referendum in Crimea and threatening to apply economic sanctions against Russia, believed to be the instigator of the unfolding Ukrainian crisis. Some Western politicians even go the extent of advocating direct military aid so that Ukraine can oppose military resistance to the Russian aggression. The referendum, which is supposed to […]

Posted in Ethiopia News

Democracy and its Trade-off: Ethiopia’s Path to National Reconciliation

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In many of my previous articles, even as Meles Zenawi was in absolute control of the country, I have defined the creation of a government of national reconciliation as the best roadmap both for the easing of some of Ethiopia’s socio-economic problems and initiating the construction of a democratic future. My assumption was then that […]

Posted in Ethiopia News

Ethnic Politics and Individual Rights: An Alternative Vision for Ethiopia Messay Kebede

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“The Constitution is not an instrument for the government to restrain the people, it is an instrument for the people to restrain government.” Patrick Henry The prevailing assumption, which originates from the ideologues of ethnic politics, is that identity politics is a direct consequence of social inequalities resulting from the political or/and economic marginalization of […]

Posted in Ethiopia News

Ethiopia’s Fragmented Elites: Origins and Syndromes

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By Messay Kebede One question that regularly and intensely consumes the mind of many Ethiopians is the question of knowing why Ethiopian elites are unable to work together. Especially those opposing the TPLF regime, even though they are well aware that the regime is their common enemy, invariably prove unable to agree on a common […]

Posted in Ethiopia News

Medrek’s Path to Unity and Charisma

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By Messay Kebede Since the fall of the Derg and the capture of state power by the EPRDF, there has been a consensus on the need for a strong opposition party to counter the hegemony of the ruling party. The consensus includes the understanding that the basic condition for a strong rival party is unity […]

Posted in Ethiopia News

The conditional nature of TPLF’s Ethiopiawinet

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By Messay Kebede A friend recently sent me a video presenting Sebhat Nega’s defense of the TPLF constitution. My friend was rightly amazed at the dismissive and arrogant nature of the defense. My reaction wandered a bit in the direction of assessing the origin of the defense: I could not help but ask what torturous […]

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Posted in Ethiopia News

Stop predicting and start working for the fall of the Meles regime

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By Messay Kebede What I have grown to dislike is the reading of articles predicting the imminent collapse of Meles and his regime. Often written by people who sound serious, the articles affirm, with a nauseating regularity, that the regime is on its last legs without, however, giving any evidence supporting their prediction, except the […]

Posted in Ethiopia News

Unity in Diversity versus Diversity in Unity

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By Messay Kebede In an article titled “The Question of Unity: Do Words Matter?,” Maimire Mennasemay exposed the poison wrapped in the TPLF’s catchphrase “unity in diversity.” His insightful analysis reveals that the slogan is “diversity-centric,” in that it gives primacy to ethnic identities and conceives of unity as an agglomeration of sovereign and static […]

Posted in Ethiopia News

On the Democratization Process

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By Messay Kebede This is not a response to the numerous reactions generated by my previous article titled “The fallacy of TPLF’s developmental state” Some of the reactions raised serious and legitimate questions; others emanated from misunderstandings of the actual contents of the article; still others drifted more toward acrimony and malicious insinuations than a […]

Posted in Ethiopia News

Way forward for Ethiopia’s opposition

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By Messay Kebede It is now totally clear that the form of opposition based on the goal of winning parliamentary elections is a dead-end, obvious as it is that the leadership of the TPLF has never contemplated the prospect of sharing power with the opposition, let alone ceding defeat to the verdict of the ballot-box. […]

Posted in Ethiopia News

The Faking of Tigrean Nationalism

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By Messay Kebede I have read with great interest Jawar’s well thought and skillfully articulated piece on Tigrean nationalism. It has inspired me to present my own view, not so much to contradict Jawar as to present an alternative interpretation. I do not consider this article as a rebuttal because I agree with Jawar’s analysis […]

Posted in Ethiopia News

What do you expect from the coming elections in Ethiopia?

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By Messay Kebede Articles fulminating against Hailu Shawel’s signing of the code of conduct proliferate on Ethiopian websites. For these articles, the unilateral and hasty agreement with Meles while other opposition groups, such as Medrek, are still in contention about some important issues, constitutes nothing less than betrayal on Hailu’s part. This act of sabotage […]

Posted in Ethiopia News
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