« Ethiopia: The Bridge on the Road(map) to DemocracyIdentity Politics and Ethiopia's Transition to Democracy »

Ethiopia: Identity Politics and Ethiopia's Transition to Democracy



  10:13:30 am, by admin   , 3146 words  
Categories: Ethiopia, Alemayehu G. Mariam

Ethiopia: Identity Politics and Ethiopia's Transition to Democracy

Identity Politics and Ethiopia’s Transition to Democracy

By Alemayehu G Mariam

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.

But 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 9 “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 riveted themselves 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 prerequities 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 facing this new challenge, we can take comfort and encouragement from the lessons 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 identify in Ethiopian unity!


Comment from: john john [Visitor]
john john

Please stop buzzing on our ears in the name so called “DEMOCRACY” We are better off that fake propaganda and face the reality on the ground. Ethiopia is moving forward to eradicate poverty and diseases while you digging trouble with your one teeth.

04/09/12 @ 23:57
Comment from: TEDDY [Visitor]

In the name of “Unity by diversity”
Agazi bandits and Tigre Mafiosis are
simply dividing peoples by masterminding Etnicity and religious
conflits .The greatest joke the Tyrant who is masterminding Ethnic
purification in the country ,is awarded by his Rwanda’s fellow the Title of the “Order of Hero for the
fight against Genocide” .Like as honoring Adolf Hitler for his great action against the “Holocaust” !!!!!!

04/10/12 @ 01:11
Comment from: Agerwedad [Visitor]

Bulky but always insightful as usual. Why can’t those of us standing up against Meles Zenawi seek a common gorund that we can all agree on so that we can present a united front against this dictatorship?

04/10/12 @ 02:23
Comment from: Dagnachew Koru [Visitor]
Dagnachew Koru

Ali said”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”

The Butanam Ali Mariam of Bantustan midget Haile Selassie’s tribalist Amahara group opposed the killil fundamental idea, also they claimed the rest of Ethiopia is belongs to them; as for, every body must unit with them for their preconditions for success of Amharanisation of the nation. As they planed, we have to be used by them for their tribal jealous fighting against Tigrians great people. Today, Tigrians are our friends, our brothers and our family. They never been in our killil never, they never enslaved our grand, relatives, they never claimed any land in any where in Oromia, Somalia, Benshangul, Gambela, Southern and Afar area.
Ethnic federalism is not artificial but it is basic right and freedom of any person in the country. The name Ethiopia starts from the bottom, not from the top! When my people and your people have to agree on basic constitutional frame work, if not that is how dictatorship starts. The Amhara people pointing out that, we have to put Ethiopia at far front and then the people, means when every Ethiopian accepts Ethiopiansm then they have no problem to establish government because it is like arranged marriage. We say, People must be first to make Ethiopia as a country, if not there is no Ethiopia. We don’t care Ethiopian divided into twenty countries, before Ethiopia our identity and dignity first!!!!!!!!
EPRDF have no right to interfere in our area, and again they knew this basic and fundamental right and freedom of every nationality. Ethiopians from border to border agree and accept this basic idea except the Amhara people. We don’t care about them. They can feel the way what they want, it is their freedom of right too.
These tiny people forgot from where they come and how long they stayed in Ethiopia as colonial power? Ali Mariam Mr. Hailesilasie ye elfign ashker and boy friend of Esayas Afworki (the fake dole) trying to make some disturbance in the country; Wondat, go and try yourself. This is stiff bitter arrogant time for you Mr.pimp.You didn’t come with investment but with empty pocket.
You robbed our land and property, enslaved our people, you insulted us as bariya, gala, shanqila, wolamo, dorze, gudela, shiritam and etc…If you don’t stop your day is inched, and DISPLACEMENT WILL CONTINEOU!!!!
Live with us or leave us for good. Every country has been freed from colonialism except us. Any Oromo, Somali, Anfar, Sidama, Guragie, Kenbata, Hadiya, Dawuro, Keficho, Gofa, Gamo, Mursi, Bena, Geleb, Tsemay, Konso, Wolayita, Gedeo, Koyira, Gambela, and Benshangul must stand up for your right or die for your identity even the government is doing good or bad; at least they are much better than neft.

04/10/12 @ 02:30
Comment from: Heny [Visitor]

“Last week, the Voice of America Amharic radio program reported on the forced official removal (“displacement”) of a large number of people from the southern part of Ethiopia.”

A bad politician like Almariam quotes a bad source like the VoA Amharic which is infested by badly defeated EPRP, EDU, Derg ex-members. Almariam, you coming too late to the plot. The disinformation tactic has doomed some three days ago and try to perch again on another branch which will still collapse and take down to the ground.

04/10/12 @ 03:00
Comment from: Dr. Kefale [Visitor]
Dr. Kefale

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 diasporas 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 inturn will contribute to the economic transformation of Ethiopia. Smart leader leads people to do what he wants them to do nomatter what.This quality is one of the qualities Prime Minster Meles Zenawi posses.

04/10/12 @ 03:30
Comment from: ejole bishoftu [Visitor]
ejole bishoftu

very good reasoning and argument. full of substance!!!

Joro yalew yisima!!!

04/10/12 @ 04:11
Comment from: EndofChapter! [Visitor]

Do not confuse yourselves with the uncountable excuses and evil thoughts of woyane and their cadres. We need to differentiate and see clear picture of what is going on inside our communities and surrounding our area and in every corner of our society.
We need to think clear and learn who is who? We need to learn about all our neighbours and their intentions upon Ethiopia. Instead of parroting what woyane propaganda is, we should use our common sense and learn to differentiate what is true and what is false.
Lets take our neighbours one by one. S.Sudan/Sudan for example, they have been/are brothers for decades and just broke-up as two nations. But that doesn’t mean that they cannot be good neighbours and best friends to cooperate in the future. They would Probably do. We need to see things on its positive side and expect the best, if we really mean for a peaceful future of the horn of africa in general. So lets say that the sudan case is solved peacefully. Though we have got calm and harmony on our east-west side of the border.

Go to south, our Kenyan brothers will have an agreement with S.Sudan for mutual cooperation. We should be thankful and join our hands to share and gain in between.

When it comes to Somalia, woyane is playing his dangerous game which is not good for our diplomacy Somali-wide. Woyane’s policy is -a Divided Somalia is a Calm Ethiopia/Ogaden-.

But to the opposite, the united and harmonous Somalia would create development and confidence to Ogaden. The people of Ogaden, we like it or not have their roots in Somalia. They speak Somali language and they have same religion. Ogadens, eventhough we Ethiopians deny them their rights, have a lot in common with Somalis and developed Somalia would contribute on Ogadenis life, they would get double choice to enjoy peaceful environment amongst both parts.

When it comes to Djibouti, it is our lifeline as far as we cannot negotiate with Eritrea peacefully. So we need to keep our connection with the smallest but delicate part of the puzzle effectively. I said delicate because woyane is pushing so hard on our Afar tribe hunting them from inside bordering Eritrea. Afars are very much connected to eachother and would make it worse for Ethiopia through Djibouti Afars for revenge. There we have to be very careful not to lose their trust.

Last but not least, when it comes to Eritrea, it is foolish to deny that we have used our capability in a wrong way. We would have gained a lot from Eritrea, if we had acted smoothly and been kind to them, but unfortunately what we are doing against eachother now is what we have done to Eritreans for years. We looked down at eritreans and abused them inside their territory, just as woyane are doing to Ogaden now. His Majesty has missused his power against them and again Derg was worse.

But the most complicated and hard to understand point is what Woyane is doing to Eritreans now. I thought woyane and EPLF have agreed to lead both countries side by side.

But as soon as woyane came to power, displaced the most rich Eritreans and send them all back by force. There something went wrong between the two and have created significant and worrisome conflict. Eritreans were forced to suspect woyane and their smooth cooperation dranged.

Loosing confidence, woyane started to see everyone as their enemy. Instead of solving our insider crises peacefully, they used voilence against demonstrators in Addis. They killed many innocent and imprisoned opposition parties and the same method continued for 20 years and now woyane definitely lost trust of our people.

Woyane created more enemies than friends both inside and outside the country by jailing and harrasing all our opposition leaders, journalists and anyone that woyane watch suspeciously is put in prison for years with no trial/justice.

I am sure all the above group would agree to End up the Chapter together and harmonise the zone.

We should keep in mind! Peaceful Ethiopia is the stream of Peaceful Horn. So Lets all act for the best of the country and our people. Lets have good connection with our neighbours and eradicate woyane wisely.

I hate liers woyane. ARDUF is inside Ethiopia unlike woyane claim.

So why hit Eritrea? I dont understand. Woyane are here to fulfill others interest creating war among the people of the Horn of Africa. We should be smart enough not to go to their evilish tactics. All opposition parties of Ethiopia together with our neighbours….Somalis/Eritreans/Sudanese/Kenyans should put our hands together and eradicate woyane the cancer of the Horn of Africa!

We, the people, of all countries have the will and ability to live side by side with mutual respect and even grow together
Peacefully !!!

Watch all countries who dictate us in the name of “Human Rights” have all kept their unity through cooperative organisations like EU and USA to help them enforce their power systematically over the weak and divided nations by putting some puppets like MelesZ who work for their interest and exchange their war armaments with our resources.

By this kind of game we the people loss twice. First we fight against eachother and die in meaningless wars and secondly we exchange our resources to buy their weapons to destroy our country and live in their donated telts and stretch our hands for their leftovers.
For how long?????

04/10/12 @ 05:30
Comment from: Haha [Visitor]

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.

04/10/12 @ 08:53
Comment from: Melaku Nebiyyu [Visitor]
Melaku Nebiyyu

Alemayehu Haile Mariam is a one dimensional traditional Amhara elite parochial parrot trying to impose the one dimensional Amhara penetration of the southern and northern peoples of Ethiopia through the brutal and illegal land grab settlements that statrted by the ruthless Amhara king calliung himself Menelik. Al Mariam thinks that Amhara tribe is Ethiopia and Ethiopia is simply Amhara tribe. And they are the elect of God that are destined roam all over the empire, grab other people’s land and homesteads while other never even dare to put their feet in the Amhara areas. His unrepentant and arrogant hidden tribalist selfish unidirectional outmoded parrotings only make life and governings very easy for the tplf.

Thsi sort of medieval manipulative racist and unjust tribalist politics have worked under Amhara kings Menelik II and Haile Sellassie I, when people were denied to use their languages, their own names, their own cultures, their own traditions, their own identities other than that of the Amhara elite power holding ethnic group. Now the world is chnaging and people wants to be themselves without harming anybody other than resisting tyrants and identity organized identity thieves like Al Mariam and his parrot foxs.

The Amhara people are our dear brothers and sisters and should live with all of us in unity within diversity on the basis justice for all as well as equality for all, but NOT on the basis privilages ONLY for Amhara elites but ONLY lavery for others similar to the last some 130 long years still freshely ringing in the ears and emotions of all the non Amhara long victimized paoples.

Understanding each other in a new way and building Ethiopia and the horn from the groud up needs to be the bigger issue.

04/10/12 @ 09:12
Comment from: Alemu [Visitor]

You know what, anybody is better than TPLF at this point

04/10/12 @ 10:03
Comment from: GEDION--NASHVILLE,TN [Visitor]  

1) A common system of government directed by the whims of mobs and marked by a low tolerance for basic human rights and common sense; primarily used to incrementally transition a government ruled by common law (Democracy
) to a government ruled by the political law of a few elite (Oligarchy).

2) Individuals get one vote - the ballot box. Considering a) most elections are stolen and b) the mainstream media - whose parent corporations financially contribute directly/indirectly to the campaigns of the major party system - exclude coverage of ALL viable candidates (Libertarians, Greens, Independents, Constitutional, Socialists, etc), the individual is mostly irrelevant.

3) Its two wolves and a sheep voting on what’s for dinner. Tonight’s menu is obvious and leftovers provide for tomorrow’s needs. Thereafter, what can the ravenous wolves do but eat each other.

4) Jeopardy answer: What is - How our country fell from liberty’s wings of justice and peace into the volcano of preferential treatment and war?

Every drinking class person in this country would stop screaming about his blisstard neighbors if the sacred golden cow called Democracy was slaughtered today and the Bill of Rights esteemed tomorrow. It will never happen because everyone in this country has bought a rug that faces ethiopia and they pray five times a day to the Almighty G. “The Government saves us all. The Government saves us all … from personal responsibility. Praise my lord, my savior, my Government. Amen!
“The best argument against democracy is a five-minute conversation with the average voter.” - Winston Churchill
Under democracy one party always devotes its chief energies to trying to prove that the other party is unfit to rule—and both commonly succeed, and are right… A democracy cannot survive as a permanent form of government. It can last only until its citizens discover that they can vote themselves largesse from the public treasury. From that moment on, the majority (who vote) will vote for those candidates promising the greatest benefits from the public purse, with the result that a democracy will always collapse from loose fiscal policies, always followed by a dictatorship. The average age of the world’s greatest democratic nations has been 200 years. Each has been through the following sequence:

From bondage to spiritual faith.
From faith to great courage.
From courage to liberty.
From liberty to abundance.
From abundance to complacency.
From complacency to selfishness.
From selfishness to apathy.
From apathy to dependency.
And from dependency back again into bondage ethiopian government A form of government where the leader is chosen by popularity rather than ability to run a country.
“I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again; democracy simply doesn’t work.”

04/10/12 @ 11:50
Comment from: yoni [Visitor]

““resettlement”,”villagisation”, “displacement”, etc.) has a sinister and ugly history in Ethiopia…”

YES! LET’S START FROM ETHIOPIA’S PAST HISTORY FROM ATSE TEDROS TO BE EXACT…Where he cut 700 Oromo Men’s hands to avenge the death of an English Man whom TEDROS considered advisor.

“My basic belief is that tyranny, despotism and dictatorship thrive and flourish when the people are disunited and fragmented…”


“In the transition from dictatorship to democracy, one of the greatest challenges Ethiopians will face is the problem of identity politics…”

While u r at it ALEMAYEHU, you should start from your present idol ESAYASS ASSWORK.

“(I even “invented” words (neologisms) for the occasion, one of the privileges of an academician.)”


“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.”

I CANT WAIT to see Shabiya Boys and G7 idiots asking Ethiopians to hold hands and sing KUMBAYA…LOL

Al u made my day!

04/10/12 @ 12:00
Comment from: oneluv21 [Visitor]

LOL I think it is the new game plan called Amharization in order to defeate the Agames. The Amhara had plenty time to steal and murder other which they did very well. As I said before as Eritrean I don’t like the Agames for what they did against my country but compared to the Amaharas they are God send to Ethiopia.

04/10/12 @ 12:30
Comment from: Amare101 [Visitor]

Al Mariam is a man of justice, honesty and love for Ethipia and humanity. He is one of the most intelligent man in the Ethiopian academic world. He is an excellent writer based on facts and beautiful language. Those of you who sold your soul for money, shame on you. You are nothing, no heart, no humanity, no conscience. You are suffering inside and out. I pray for you !!!!!!!!!!

04/10/12 @ 13:59
Comment from: WIND,FIRE,WATER [Visitor]


NOW! i sea why the greeks used the word KEFALA =(to say a person with big skull but pia-matter size thinking brain) which it fits ur’s name perfectly. The so-called trivial TPLF-LEBAS-PROFESSOR u ain’t professor and nobody cares to know about the history of TIGRAY in case u are teaching 3-rd graders geograpy and counting chickens somewhere there in MEKELE bundax. WEY GUD!~!where did u bought your’s PHD = ? from Pedophilliac Homozzz-exuals Dedebit land of adwa? Mr, fake professor did u know that in the world of science this process called turbulance if u ever heard of aerodynamics? and When such turbulance occurs in the consciousness of angry,abashed,self-pitying, intolerant,and egocentric creature, a new level of emotinal upset and lack of good judgement drive lunatic people radiculously?

04/10/12 @ 15:22
Comment from: ment4you [Visitor]

There is no bad politician like Meles and people like yourself and Addis Zefen who are clueless when it comes down to democracy and the consequences for not abiding by it.

There is also no bad source of news than the state run media of Ethiopia. It has been the case for centuries if I may add.


04/10/12 @ 16:13
Comment from: Aberaham [Visitor]

It is very interesting to watch how some politics is evolving in some sectors of the extremist Diaspora. They now are trying to resort around biting one ethnic group against other ethnic groups as a way to seize political power. Inciting ethnic-hatred to come to power is the most dreadful and savage means that there is!! This is unacceptable and going too far. Some of the expressions as uttered by certain Neanderthals about the relationships among our people are not only akin to subspecies living during the time of barbarians but also a falsified history of what it has been. The history of all ethnic groups has been that of respect and peace with each other under different conditions and systems despite the dive-and-rule archaic system of the feudal-oligarchy that they endured for many years. Sure, the issue of ‘expulsion’ of the Amharic speaking people from the South is a legitimate one to discuss with the sole purpose of defending the unalienable rights of all Ethiopians to live anywhere in their own country in pursuit of their wellbeing. What should not be acceptable is a propaganda barrage that is being instigated by certain groups among the Diaspora to hijack the legitimate concern of all Ethiopians in order to quench their thirst for power in the name of our people by distorting the genuine relationship between the Amara speakers and other members in the country! What is equally frustrating is to witness that Nazret has become a medium for vulgar and oblivious expressions that some simple-minded individuals use to insult Ethiopians based on their ethnic membership.

04/10/12 @ 16:27
Comment from: teshome [Visitor]

Al-Aram, you just know how to make a story. Anyway, who will listen to you? You are just an old dirty man.

04/10/12 @ 16:41
Comment from: TEDDY [Visitor]

Hey Dengayatchew what the hell are you talking .Semien cricket looter
bigot banda .As has done your thuggy
bros Terro you are just here vomiting
your complex of INFERIORITY against
the peoples who have made Ethiopian
History by building its Unity and Sovereignty preserving it until now from
any Foreign Invader .For your Information it ’s your own Monarchs from the taliban Yohanes ,by passing
his ass holes son and grandson and
now your eri guy and Shabyan ass hole
actual leba master who prostituted themselveses for British Colonialists ,Arab looters and facist
Italians .Certainly not the great heroic peoples whom ,ass holes parasites as you are supposing laughing on .By the way nobody is as
Tiny tribal as you ,the Tigre Mafiosis ,surviving on looting poor peoples .Its your own blood sucker Agazi bandits who are still comitting Genocide against inocent peoples in the Ogaden ,Afar ,Oromo ,Anuyak and many
more regions ,but never the Amhara Peoples.Afterall Ethnic Federalism is
a fake institution with the goal to creat division and conflits within the peoples and to reinforce your mafiosis power .In each so called federal administration after the head
of the kilil the number two and those
occupying key powers are Whether TPLF
Cadres ,agazi bandits ,or mafia all of them of Tigre Origin .And you know
what’s called such evil system ,as has mentioned it Prof Al :Colonialism
Apartheid ,Genocide ,Ethnic Purification . All of them “CRIME OF HUMAN RIGHTS VIOLATION ” .KEEP ON BARKING ,IGNORANT LEKAMI BANDA !!!!

04/10/12 @ 18:42
Comment from: TEDDY [Visitor]

Hey Hyena ,by the way what about your dirty medias of propagandas as aiga ,Walta ,ENA ,ETV .
BANDA !!!!!

04/10/12 @ 18:47
Comment from: Tulu Proud ET [Visitor]
Tulu Proud ET

As usual great reasoning and point Professor.

Anarchy and dehumanizing Amaras and Oromos, Gurages, Gamebellas, Omo, Benishangul and othes is going deeper and deeper as the day goes by with Tigray People Libration Front (TPLF) minority regime.

Tigray People Libration Front (TPLF) minority regime is blatantly showing its ugliness at the expense of the majority of Ethiopians. TPLF is doing what it always wanted to do. To serve themselves and hurt the rest of Ethiopia. To destroy Ethiopia, to create permanent divisions among citizens who are living enviably.

In this modern day where Europe is getting united economically and geographically so people can freely move around, live anywhere and create or get jobs, TPLF on the other hand is going way backward to put people in ethnic cages, restricting people from moving, speaking, working, living, and etc..

No matter how much TPLF is trying to create hate and war between us TPLF will not succeed. As we see this it creating so much sufferings and uneasiness among people. This evil practice will fall hard like it happened in South Africa and it will take down the TPLF regime with it.

People are being pushed too hard and the reaction will come very hard.

04/10/12 @ 20:38
Comment from: Legesse [Visitor]

Dr. Kefale:

You got it Sir. First they displace the people and then they rob us. We have become a generation of misguided opportunist opportunists and cowards.

Our inability to do anything meaningful to withstand Woyanes atrocity and irreverence is depressing. Every corner that I turned to for cooperation and action failed. Too much bickering, selfishness and indifference has killed everything that we tried to do.

We need action.

My heart goes out to the displaced people. But it is mind boggling that they allow to be treated like animal. 78,000 strong and no resistance? This is the tip of the ice berg. It is not the beginning or the end. People were evicted from Humera, Gonder – no resistance. Now this – no resistance; they took away every ones land (except the Tigrians) – no resistance; we are ruled by incompetent, selfish, and evil minded Tigrians who hate Amhara – no resistance. What kind of people are we? The rumor is that they plan to evict about 2 million Amharas and non-Tigrians from the South. When will we say enough is enough?

I am very much in support of sending fund to the farmers who shot at the Sudanese governor.
People must start to stand up for their right. They must assert that they are human beings not animals.

04/10/12 @ 23:23
Comment from: woldeyesus [Visitor]

Prof. Alemayehu,
thank you and God bless you for giving voice to the those whose voice is being forcefully muffled by the tyrants currently running the show.

I was an avid supporter of this administration in Addis Ababa for a long time now. They have now crossed the line they shouldn’t. It is too much for the good people of Ethiopia to tolerate them further.

Only one fact give me comfort: that all tyrants go to the trash can sooner or later.

God bless Ethiopia!

04/11/12 @ 09:55
Comment from: teshome [Visitor]

This is an exact copy from Kinijit constitution, chapter 666.
When you write something is not yours, please let the readers know.

04/11/12 @ 10:08
Comment from: Waangaarrii [Visitor]

VIVA TPLF, it is a great job. Nothing is wrong with displacing Amara invaders/encroachers,Meles, you did a great job as Mugabe of Zimbabue as long as it is for the benefit of the poor indegeno peoples.The indigeno people should first benefited from their land. This beggar, polutant,invassive envader and environmental degrader Amaraha people should forcefully kept on the other side of Abay river.I even propose a new passport system for the regeions of ethiopia so that we can effectevly manage the movement of Amahara exodus to southern part of Ethiopia.
SNNP remained safe heaven for this peole for long. Now it seems, even more hostile place for them, i would like to say chao, chao Naftenyas.

04/11/12 @ 13:10
Comment from: yakob [Visitor]

Alemayehu G. Mariam,

Aya Kedado,
Aya Tertirre,
Aya Sittew,
When does your servitude to Issayas Afeworki stop?
When do you halt the DC fabricated feable tales abut a bull having delivered a baby calf? Peapole drinking black milk begotten from the bull?

Shame on you Alemayehu! I wish your name was Siol-ayehu instead.

04/11/12 @ 14:28
Comment from: Ras Thomas & Ethiopian Patriotic Associates [Visitor]
Ras Thomas & Ethiopian Patriotic Associates

Mr. Alamanyehu,

Where was this democracy, when your
uncle Mingistu was in AddisAbaba?
You can’t fool anybody !!!!
Ethiopians know who you are, and
We also, know what you want !!!!
but, you are too late !!!!!
You will finish your life in diasapora.

04/11/12 @ 16:02
Comment from: Ejole Bale [Visitor]
Ejole Bale

Alemayehu G. Mariam,

This is very poor reasoning and argument; it is so shallow and has no valuable substance to dig into.

I have no ears to listen to their garbage messages.
It is like a bull-fight;
It moves back and forth with no weight;
It is the news from Washington smart quarters;
Where they tell black milk from a bull is ready for sale.
Fabricated news is smirred all over the corners.
Alemayehu is one of those fabricators;
promising to prove black milk from bulls.

Joro yalew jorown yizga.
Worre Bibeza Waga Ayawotta!

04/11/12 @ 17:01
Comment from: Brook [Visitor]

@ Dagnachew Koru [Visitor]
You are trying so hard to fool the innocent and gullible. You are a hard core TPLF supporter from Tigray deeply conected don’t pretending you are from south Sedamo etc….
Don’t you think by now we have a slightest idea about Weyanne ? Weyanne is Tigray with a little bit Hodames from other region sprinkled throughout the crowed.

04/11/12 @ 19:41
Comment from: EndofChapter! [Visitor]

@ Teshome,
Anyone who work for Ethiopians unity and peaceful resolution among all countries in the Horn of Africa is given names by woyane. You call us terrorists, Shaebia ass kissers, AlShabab sympatisers or whatever. But for sure we have ONE thing in common. We all agree that Woyane is devastating the people’s life and our beloved county, our Ethiopia. For the reason it is our obligation and our HIGHEST PRIORITY to come together, eradicate our insider enemy and rescue what is left behind. Stay tunned, it is a call of MOTHERLAND ETHIOPIA and wont take long.

04/12/12 @ 02:21
Comment from: Ethiopiawinet [Visitor]

You were rebuffing and refuting Al line by line.
You blamed all the Atses’ including yours(Yohannes). You are an honest man in this case but why you are silent when a burning issue still in the cooking? It’s very big issue. Mengistu solved it and you guys U-turned it. Why? You want rule like the biased so called king H.selassie of new Ethiopia did by using religion.

Don’t know now people live in 21st century with satelite all over. Tell your boss to come to his senses and let people free on their land. Be just and fair like the king Negashi of Axum was. Negashi has a place in history and movies made in his name in most moslem countries and yet Tigrayans rarely mention his name. They mention the butchor Yohannes who never ruled Ethiopia of today.

Why you are ashamed of this hero. Because of his conversion or what. Why you prefer the religion you received from Egyptian/Syrian merchants and not via the prophet himself who even married one of your woman. You have extensive and deep connection to Islam rather than this religion. I don’t have problem with your religion but curious about your ignorancey. You have a great place in the moslem world and you lost it. For example: Bilal, Halima, Negashi, more and more are your children. They are pure Tigrians. This is a big history bigger than what your embraced the now. Tigrian woman gave nursery to the prophet of the human kind. What kind of proof you need other than this. Do you have this kind of history in Orthodox? You may say Ethiopia mentioned in the Bible. That’s all. Brother Ethiopia means black and not necessory denoted to us. In Koran Tigrians and not Ethiopian mentioned. What a blessing. Keep your history which is not legendary. You are the first moslem prior to Mecca moslems though Eritreans claim that. Come on man stand on the fact and not tert tert history. Fight for truth and not empty baloony history.

By the way leave Al alone. He fights for democracy excluding religion equality and just. He never touchs this area since his status que will be affected. Where is Ethiopiawinet?

04/12/12 @ 10:58
Comment from: [Member]

To Dagnachew Koru.
you have Amhara name but you are one Ag*** f***p m***f***r. Please do not try to shed “Your Crocodile Tears".

Death to TPLF SOBs

04/12/12 @ 14:59
Comment from: hayelom [Visitor]

Abay Tsehaye of TPLF is The Anti Christ and evil spirited buda.

04/13/12 @ 05:43
Comment from: Gogol [Visitor]


Al Mariam may not tickle all of the soft and hard areas because he is a cuunning fox dressed in sheep skin and trying to bring back the old tyrany by polishing, honey painting and packing it in to a new package to replace the new tyrany. The other missing braggings he knowingly left to you and Asta B.Ghettu of mount Timbuktu currently over run by mighty indigenous Taureg freedom fighters. :)

04/16/12 @ 16:05



The views expressed in this article do not necessarily represent the views of The views are solely that of the author. Become a blogger of, the #1 Rated Ethiopian Website according to Alexa. Contact us for details


  XML Feeds

powered by b2evolution