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Which Way Ethiopia: Revolution, Civil War, or National Reconciliation?



  10:28:50 pm, by admin   , 2441 words  
Categories: Ethiopia

Which Way Ethiopia: Revolution, Civil War, or National Reconciliation?

mesay kebede

Which Way Ethiopia: Revolution, Civil War, or National Reconciliation?

By Messay Kebede

Since the death of Prime Minister Meles, the political situation of Ethiopia has entered a phase of uncertainty with no clear momentum toward stabilization. Despite predictions of the imminent collapse of the EPRDF, either under the pressure of a popular uprising or splits within its ranks, the political situation shows no sign of heightened challenge to the regime. In fact, it remains a mystery that no political upheavals of any importance occurred following the death of Meles, who was after all the center and the driving force of the whole system. On the other hand, however, notwithstanding an orderly succession, the uncertainty has not been removed and symptoms of unresolved internal conflicts transpire occasionally. Above all, the extent to which the new prime minister is really in charge being anything but assured, the vacillation of the system lingers, given that the entire government was designed to function under the leadership of a strong and unchallenged prime minister.

One thing is sure: the uncertainty cannot go on indefinitely and nothing can be done to improve the political climate and the economic conditions of the country without some reforms. This is to say that change is inevitable and that it will come sooner or later. The question is: which direction is the change likely to take? For my part, I have no desire to play the game of predictions. Instead, I want to present some possible scenarios and invite political leaders and activists who care about Ethiopia to reflect on them so as to be ready for various eventualities instead of being fixated on the outcome that they long for.

Given the amplifying state of frustration of the county, the only way of avoiding ominous developments is not only that the prime minister really exercises power, but that he uses this power to correct some of the glaring derailments of Meles, especially by easing the repressive policy adopted by him. Meles effected the reversal of democratization because he could count on the complete obedience of the repressive machine of the state. Haile Mariam does not have the same control and cannot have it without further empowering the very men who command the repressive apparatuses. In other words, failure to promote reform is for Haile Mariam to give more power to the TPLF instead of reducing it. By contrast, the political choice of easing repression, better still, of initiating reforms reduces the
importance of the repressive forces and creates momentum toward the gathering of the popular support and legitimacy that Haile Mariam needs to prevail over Meles’s old clique.

The dilemma of the prime minister is thus clear enough: in order to assert himself, he has to correct Meles’s policy, but in so doing he runs the risk of antagonizing the TPLF and hence of losing his position altogether. Conversely, if he upholds the policy of his predecessor, he simply feeds on the image of a puppet of the TPLF, which image underlines his irrelevance, thereby instigating his removal. Surely, since the longer the policy of Meles continues, the more repressive the state must become, the TPLF will be better off to do the job on its own than to use the cumbersome mediation of a puppet. The dilemma shows that Haile Mariam’s best bet is to go in the direction of easing repression, which at least promises the prospect of him becoming his own man.

The huge unknown is whether Haile Mariam has the right political ambition to want to stand by himself and the political skill to outmaneuver the TPLF and other challengers. I must admit that I have no a ready answer for this question. I also confess my pessimism, even though I recognize that more time is needed before one makes a final judgment. True, I am encouraged by his open condemnation of the displacement of the Amhara settlers, but remain skeptical because of the lack of any practical follow-up to correct the injustice. Moreover, the appalling dismissal of the appeals of Eskinder Nega, Andualem Arage, and other political prisoners by the higher court did nothing to reduce my skepticism. To sum up my position, in light of the time needed for consolidation, I say that Haile Mariam still deserves the benefit of the doubt even if the performances of his government are not, so far, promising.
In case Haile Mariam remains submerged by the TPLF, the scenario of an increasingly repressive government that could only further aggrieve the Ethiopian masses presents itself. My contention is that unless the TPLF takes the rightful place of being a party among others within the coalition of the EPRDF, it cannot maintain the hegemonic role it has played so far without pushing repression to a point far exceeding that of Meles. By force of habit and because of his political shrewdness, Meles was able to rise as the unquestioned leader of the EPRDF. After successive purges of all those who could threaten him, none among the remaining leaders of the TPLF has the stature or even the capacity to command the same authority. Various competitors both within the TPLF and the EPRDF are likely to emerge with the consequence that only through increased repression can one of them prevail.

Needless to say, the pursuit and continuation of the hegemony of the TPLF can only exasperate popular frustration and multiply opposition. Though arrogance inspires the TPLF to think that repression is enough to protect its supremacy, the history of all countries teaches us that a time comes when people rise and confront what repressive them, regardless of the apparent strength of the repressive state. Ethiopia is not going to be an exception to the rule. Hence, my belief that the continuation of the hegemony of the TPLF will inevitably lead to an uprising. The burning question is: will the uprising take the form of a revolution or of an outright civil war?

All those Ethiopians who still hope that Ethiopia will be galvanized by the Arab spring have in mind an uprising leading to revolution, which would essentially consist in the overthrow of the TPLF state and the dismantling of its repressive apparatuses. This outcome appears even more likely in light of the fact that Ethiopia has already gone through a similar process in 1974. For many activists, revolution is the best prospect for Ethiopia and its people, with the hope that this time the mistakes of the 70s will not be committed and the revolution will establish a democratic state.

Here I hasten to express my reservation, which originates from the simple observation that the situation in 1974 was quite different from what Ethiopia is facing today. Indeed, if a reference to the Arab spring is of some use, I will say that what lies ahead is a development that is similar neither to Egypt nor Tunisia. The model we should refer to is that of Libya or, even more correctly, that of Syria. In other words, the likely outcome of a total uprising in Ethiopia is civil war rather than revolution.

What this means is that conflicts and violent clashes will develop, not between a dictatorial state and everybody else, but between a majority and a dictatorial state identifying with the interests of a minority ethnic group. For one of the detrimental results of the ethnicization of the Ethiopian society and the creation of ethnic regions is the clear divide between ethnic groups and the subsequent subsumption of these groups to the privileges and special treatments of local elites. In a situation of wide uprising, the point is easily reached when it becomes difficult to distinguish between the elites and the ethnic groups, which is then a recipe for ethnic confrontations, that is, for civil war.

Though I never endorse the idea that similar conditions entail similar historical outcomes, it would be foolish to think that regularities in history do not operate in some degree. Among the Arab countries that went through a political turmoil, Syria is the one that comes close to the situation of Ethiopia under the TPLF. The bloody conflict in Syria is between the Alawi minority, which controls economic and military apparatuses, and a frustrated majority that is politically and economically marginalized by a dictatorial state serving the interests of the minority. The uprising against Assad and the state failed to be revolution and turned into a civil war because of the fear of the minority that the overthrow of Assad will mean the loss of its political and economic upper hand, not to mention the fear of physical victimization. Even if many in the minority resent the dictatorial rule of Assad, they prefer to stick with him to avoid the likelihood of revengeful treatments.

No one can honestly say that Ethiopia under the TPLF does not show a deepening rift between the majority and the minority ethnic group allegedly represented by the existing regime. Doubtless, some supporters of the regime will argue that the EPRDF is a coalition of different ethnic groups so that Ethiopia is not under a minority rule. But the image of the EPRDF as a coalition of equals fools no one anymore and members of the EPRDF know perfectly well that they are clients of the TPLF, not to say hired mercenaries. The TPLF federation is a smoke screen: not only the major economic assets and the governments of ethnic regions are controlled by the TPLF, but most importantly, the repressive apparatuses, including the higher echelons of the army, are entirely dominated by officers of Tigrean origin.

One condition for a popular uprising to avoid a descent into a civil war is when the army is either paralyzed by divisions or stays neutral. This precipitates the fall of the regime and hence precludes the transformation of revolution into civil war. This was clearly the case in Egypt and Tunisia. But when the army supports the regime against the people in order to perpetuate ethnic domination, the fight is prolonged with the risk of turning into a civil war. In the case of Ethiopia, to maintain that the army will remain neutral if an uprising occurs is little credible. In the 1974 revolution, the regime was overthrown easily because the army did not support it. It was a multiethnic army and as such was not committed to the defense of any particular ethnic group. What Ethiopia has now is not so much a national as an ethnic army, which is then most likely to defend the ruling ethnic elite, thereby pushing the uprising toward a civil war.

While agreeing that the worst outcome would be the beginning of a civil war, most Ethiopians comfort themselves by believing that it is very unlikely. But who said that the worst scenario is unlikely to happen? Accordingly, what we need is realism, that is, a clear and unbiased assessment of the situation so that we can work toward making the worst scenario improbable. Stated otherwise, we should develop a policy of prevention, which is none other than the framing of a government of national reconciliation. Such a government requires crucial concessions from those who control power as well as from those who oppose them. When a country is beset with political problems that are deep and potentially liable to degenerate into armed confrontations, the solution cannot come from the organization of democratic elections. The latter require some degree of consensus and a minimum of impartial arbitration that are inexistent in ethnically polarized countries.

As shown by elections since 2005, the minimum conditions for a democratically elected government do not exist in Ethiopia and are not likely to appear any time soon. The ruling party will do everything to win, including the use of violence and fraudulent manipulations of votes; the opposition will continue to complain without any notable change. Let us admit it, in countries deeply polarized by ethnic or religious issues, where therefore the rule of the minority abiding by the verdict of the majority is not recognized, elections are just powerless to bring about political change.

This does not mean that democratic elections should be abandoned altogether. It simply means that a transitional period, during which mutual confidence, consensus, and healing can be worked out, is necessary. The purpose of a government of national reconciliation is to create the conditions for the establishment of a political system emanating from democratic elections. As a precondition for democracy, such a government is not itself ruled by democratic principles. Rather, its ruling principle is pragmatism: it takes measures from the sole perspective of reconstructing national harmony and consensus, without being disturbed by questions of principles and morality. Its main goal is the provision of incentives for political opponents to come together and establish consensus on some basic issues.

Such reconciliation is based on the premise that a civil war would benefit nobody. From this shared agreement follows the need to take decisive actions to avoid what everybody wants to avoid, the whole purpose being to reach a working mechanism assuring a win-win solution for everybody. Concessions from all competing parties are the ingredients driving the whole process. As such, the process abhors extremisms of all kinds so as to bring about the rule of moderation. Just as the ruling party agrees to share power with the opponents, so too the opponents give up all political vendetta and victimization. This is an important provision: since what prevents members of the ruling party from playing by the rule of democracy is the fear of reprisal against their person and their economic assets, offering an amnesty and a guarantee against economic dispossession is alone liable to institute confidence and reciprocity. For those who argue, in the name of justice, that crimes must be exposed and punished, my answer is that forgiveness and amnesty are morally justified if they allow us to reach the greater good of reconciliation, national unity, and peace.

Some such process of transition could be undertaken under the leadership of Prime Minister Haile Mariam. His weak political position, combined with the lack of extremism and the fact that he represents a minority ethnic group that can serve as a buffer between larger competing groups, gives him a strategic political role. It is to this go-between role that he owes his position as prime minister. To complete his mediating role, which is then his calling, he must now call upon the opposition and place himself between the EPRDF and the opposition and promote the idea of a government of national reconciliation. In so doing, he turns his strategic importance into the legitimacy of a nation-builder.

May wisdom fall on all Ethiopians!


Comment from: Lazy Observer [Visitor]
Lazy Observer

The central theme to your article is “we will let you keep your spoils if you share power with us"…?

Really?? That is the best you can come up with.

“Just as the ruling party agrees to share power with the opponents, so too the opponents give up all political vendetta and victimization". Messay, it isn’t vendetta and victimization if TPLF officials really looted and killed. What the opponents would demand is called JUSTICE!!!

The reason why there is no political instability to speak of is because there are no internal political problems to speak of. There is no revolution or coup coming. It has been smooth sailing so far, it is smooth sailing right now and all current information suggests that is will be smooth sailing in the future.

“May wisdom fall on all Ethiopians!"…? May wisdom fall on you Dr. Messay Kebede!!!!

05/22/13 @ 00:24
Comment from: Gragn Ahmed [Visitor]
Gragn Ahmed

Well, this article is no brainer. Right now we are really tired of going to War. It was only 21 years back that we ended the longest civil war in Africa which lasted 30 years. Compared to Egypt or Libya or even Syrian who had a trouble past that is not fading soon. Given this fact, our inertia is not to go to another bloody war. Unfortunately, this abodes not well for all Ethiopians. This puts EHADEG with unprecedented power to rule over us as long as Egyptians or Libyans or Syrians were ruled and are being ruled. Mubarek 40 years, Libya 40 years and Syria on the edge for the last 60 years.
Now, we see that our options are compromise. But we know that compromise is possible in theory of game when both have some to lose and that they are closer to losing it. By any measure Tigria front is secure. Its worry from somalia, or Eritrea are becoming of less and less of concern. Sudan is being courted by TPLF.
Now, Ethiopian people on the other hand do not know what will become of them. Oromos are almost muted. Amharas are crying. Afars are dying. Somalis are almost muted. Given this political stability where would an enemy feel threatened to feel insecure. Almost none. However, we have seen after the death of Meles some kind of concern on the part of Wayane mainly due to political pressure coming from diaspora, namely, ESAT, Muslim movement, and diaspora effort to make Waayane Abbay bond look a government scam. Almost in the West many are talking about what changes the current Wayane government must do. These are mainly due to pressures that come from the diaspora. Let us not underestimate that. Messay deliberately ignores those diaspora movements. We know Muslim leaders and Christian leaders have put unprecedented pressure on Wayane in diaspora. Wayane is on defensive mode. It is not sure what will be the action of Wayane once popular uprising comes. So, given these conditions and the coming elections, Wayane will be calculating. As it has done in the past it will invite some fool and hungry diaspora leaders like Lencho Leta who declared to join EHADEG. This will cool down the temperature of the political turmoil down for a while. So, wayane is ready to give up may be 10-20 % of the vote count and that will be it. So, I do not understand when Messay tells us “National reconciliation” is the way to go. Win win situation is what National reconciliation is about. But is that possible? What does Messay exactly say when he says win win? I really do not know. Is he saying 50 per cent opposition seat? or what? In other words, Messay simply has no working plan.
The best scenario is to continue to push from diaspora. Muslim leaders and Christian leaders can do magic. Once they organize grass root membership, it is possible to call a national protest soon on streets of Addis. Given the new Prime Minister, we have a reason to doubt his severe action against peaceful protest. He will probably resign. That is how far I can go with my prediction as to our future. The rest is the unknown that we will never know as far as I am concerned. Will Wayane repeat the 1997 massacre? I doubt it. The more people come out to the streets, the more unlikely Wayane will break us. But we have to calculate the risk. We also have to do our homework. We have to create understanding in the West that change is necessary. We can do that by organizing town fall meetings and reaching out to Americans and others. Then we will be credible change makers. We need to weaken Wayane both psychologically and politically. No need for armed struggle to start with. But in the mean time we should arm our people as back up and get them ready for local revolt which is more likely. I concur with Messay that Syrian is our model. What it means is we need money to arm our people and start the civil war. It will be in our neighborhoods that the struggle will come. Otherwise, Wayane will be our Empire for years to come.
Diaspora, take the Syrian scenario seriously.

Profesor, you preferred to not mention the names of Abu Baker and Yasin Nuru and Ahmed Jebel heroic Ethiopians?

05/22/13 @ 00:25
Comment from: [Member]

What opposition you talking about?
Reconciliation with whom?
Stupid diaspora crybabies, dream on!
Wodet tega tega!
After all this sabotage and terrorism act you commit on Ethiopian people, do you think you will be allowed to join the dinner table just like that?
“yewega biressa, yetewega ayeressam".

05/22/13 @ 00:40
Comment from: Yegermal [Visitor]

What I really I do not understand is that why are Ethiopian so called intellectual love to talk and do nothing? If you think Ethiopia is dangerous for you, why can’t you come to any countries in Africa and teach Africans–in doing so, you would be closer to Ethiopa people may get chance to like you.

You, especially messay, are out of the touch. You are still thinking as you are in the MEASON party ( We all know you were one of them–I know you very well–we were together, if you know what I mean)

Why do you love to have the cases of Egypt, Libya, Syria and Tunisia in Ethiopia? If your wish comes true, where would you be by then?

Will you come to participate in the uprising? or send $50.00 to young Ethiopian to throw a stone as you did in the 2005 disturbance in Addis Ababa? Which way you go?.

Among all opposition intellectuals ( as they call themselves) you are the most backward and clueless as to what is going on in the country.

May good wisdom enters your brain. Above all, please get over it–and get a life.

05/22/13 @ 01:27
Comment from: Extraterrestrial [Member]

Non of the above.

What will happen is you will die as a crying diaspora where you are while Ethiopia is progressing.

05/22/13 @ 01:41
Comment from: C'est moi senait [Visitor]
C'est moi senait

You seems to eager to run for high position and become one of those shimmagile and weelllaawaay party called Ginbot.

05/22/13 @ 02:20
Comment from: Emiru Isak [Visitor]
Emiru Isak

Old habits die hard!! I understand educational degrees or titles means nothing. The good thing is that Ethiopia will survive and develop no matter what doomsday wishers expect.

Save Ethiopia from these loosers.

05/22/13 @ 02:35
Comment from: Teka [Visitor]

The Great Renaicense Dam has been remarkable.

A lot was made of the financial magnitude of the GRD construction.When it get completed,it may cost 81 billion Ethiopian birr.That is a lot of money,but the real significance is all the money should be collected from Ethiopians by selling bonds and other forms of gifts.
Ethiopia already owns bragging rights to being one of the fastest growing countries in the world.It has started selling EP to neighbouring countries.It has potential to sell the same to other countries as well.With the addition of the GRD,which will generate about 8000 mega wat,will put the country at the top of the continent’s HEP production.
What is striking about the GRD is that it is engineered,constructed and managed by Ethiopians.
It is meant to serve all countries be it lower or upper course of the river equitably.
The GRD construction isnot underway without opposition,however.We belive the GOE has to work hard to win the mind and pockets of Ethiopians home and elsewhere in the world.
The construction of GRD is good news for Ethiopians and neighbouring countries as well.Its positive impact on maintaining the environment is great.Thus,the GRD has been remarkable.

05/22/13 @ 02:47
Comment from: girma [Visitor]

Messay Kebede, I’m loosing respect to you everything you write an article these days. You used to be sensible. How dare you compare Ethiopia to Syria??? WHY CAN’T THE ?ETHNIC THESE THAT IS THE STORY OF THE DIASPORA SINCE MELES DIED. I THOUGHT WE ARE SUPPOSED TO BE MORE OPEN MINDED THAN EPRDF ITSELF WHEN IT COMES TO ETHNIC ISSUES.

05/22/13 @ 02:54
Comment from: Hewan [Visitor]

Dream on Mesay; dream on. In current Ethiopia, no Revolution;no civil war. These things will happen only in your head.

05/22/13 @ 03:02
Comment from: dubale [Visitor]

You write indefinite articles about the contemporary situation in Ethiopia from different angles. But to my amazement, you all do not dare to write the truth. instead you go around the bush. Dare to write the truth morons. There is nothing , mystery, uncertainty…or whatsoever. in fact scientifically uncertainty is always there. because no one is sure about the future in any affairs, not only politics.
Anyways the real truth about Ethiopia is that Ethiopia has established a deep-rooted systems which does not depend on individuals. Let me tell you the fact..there will not be any chaos(as u wish) even if, example, TPLF disintegrates. We have the constitution. Ethiopia is ruled by law not by man/men. [period]. Had u understood this, you would not have killed your precious time writing trash.

05/22/13 @ 03:36
Comment from: Kula Ras [Visitor]
Kula Ras

The Derguist is wishing for a civil war.. No way comrade, Ethiopians are too smart. I will tell you something you should consider, you and your likes will NEVER go to Ethiopia, you will die in exile

05/22/13 @ 04:03
Comment from: mehur [Visitor]

If you can`t fight them,join them?So,why you stayed out all this time?Very poor intellectual political assessment.

05/22/13 @ 07:15
Comment from: [Member]

አቶ መሳይ ከበደ ጥሩ ትንታኔ ያዘለ የ አገራችንን የ ፕኦለቲካ መድረክ ጽፈሃል::
በ ከፋፍለህ ግዛው የሚያምነው የ ሌባዎቹ እ ህ አ ዴ ግ ቀናቱን ለማራዘም የፈጠራቸው መርዞች ቢኖሩም እንክዋን እኛ ኢትዮጵያውያን ያንን መርዝ ሳንቀምስ እሾሁን መንገድ ደምስሠን የ ጋራ ጠላታችንን መሰባበር ነው ያለን ምርጫ::
ተለያይቶ መኖር ለማንም የማይበጅ ህብረት ግን አንደንት ግን ጠንካራ ክንዳችን ነው::
ቻይና ህንድ አሁን ደረጃ የደርሱት በ አንድነት ክንድ ለ ክንድ ተያይዘው አገራቸውን ስላሳደጉ ነው::
ከነሱ ትምህርት ማግኘት ይጠቅማል::
በጥቂት በዝባዦች ምክንያት መለያየትን ማሰብም አያስፈልገንም::

05/22/13 @ 07:41
Comment from: mossad [Visitor]

Tigre people liberation front will prefer chaos and civil war rather than reconciliation. This ethno-fascist organisation which took power by the barrel of the gun does not understand the language of peace and reconciliation. It is therefore futile to expect the olive branch from the woyane fascist thugs.

People have been naively expecting TPLF to open the political space for real change. They have had 21 years to do so. Instead this fascist organisation has continued to create more and more division among the population on ethnic, racial, relegious lines causing and inciting violence. It is the nature of TPLF as a violent , murderous group to do what they are best doing.

Get ready for more trouble and chaos which TPLF are planning. Their long term startegy is the down fall of the Ethiopian state, but they will be drinking their own medicine before they have any chance to cause total chaos in Ethiopia.

05/22/13 @ 07:48
Comment from: Kena Keb [Visitor]
Kena Keb

I have begun to seriously wonder what is going on in the minds of these doctors and professors in the diaspora who continue to stun us with nugatory remarks and have the audacity to come out in the open embarrassing and humiliating themselves when we all know their past history and the skeletons they have hidden. Messay Kebede, who at one time, as a die-hard supporter of the DERG, was a philosophy lecturer at Addis Ababa University, has now remained an ardent enemy of the Ethiopian government who removed the DERG Messay loved and adored. He admits that the revolution in the 70s ,who he was part of, was a mistake. Like his friends professor Alemayehu G/Mariam, Dr Birhanu Nega, Dr Aklog Birara, Dr Negede Gobezie, Professor Getachew Haile, Professor Seid Hassan, Dr Haile Fida, Dr Senay Like… and their disciples like Tamagn Beyene, Abebe Gelaw, Sisay Agena(ESAT) and many others were close to packing their belongings and take the next flight with high euphoric expectations that the Arab Spring was dashing to Ethiopia as well. The former EPRP thug, Birhanu Nega was busy filling his kitty with $500/Ethiopian donation to the army he promised would be in a move very shortly! None of this fatuity happened! On the contrary the Ethiopian people were, more than ever, resolute and determined to build an Ethiopia where poverty would be history and a prosperous and eveloped nation would be built.
Now that that highly anticipated Arab Spring has become irrelevant Messay is dreaming about a Syrian kind of civil war(whose end results are not yet seen yet!) as a political “soultion” for Ethiopia! Why would Ethiopia need a Syrian kind of civil war when for many consecutive years its economy has been growing by double digits, when Infant Mortality Rate is decreasing for the first time in our history, when health coverage is reaching to the far conrners of the nation, when networks of roads are connecting villages and towns, when the biggest hydroelectric powers are being built, when more than 30 universities are open to the people of Ethiopia to benefit from higher education, when industries are being erected in many places, to put it simply when there is an economic boom etc etc ??
The DERG is HISTORY professor Messay! Ethiopia is a new nation with an economic boom and progress where the chains of poverty are being dismantled one by one!
Instead of the Syrian kind of civil war which this anti Ethiopia individual is yearning for, the Ethiopian social, economical and political change in progress is what we all Ethiopians relish because we see the fruition from which the Ethiopian people are benefiting.

Ethiopia is prospering and shall continue to prosper!!

05/22/13 @ 08:16
Comment from: Abyssinian [Visitor]

If these are the only options you see, you lack imagination if not plain common sense.


05/22/13 @ 08:53
Comment from: qebbena [Visitor]

Philosophy professor my foot !
I thought the study of Philosophy is supposed to help us find Truth where ever it is hidden. However, you , Messay , are so far one asaffari ye wooshet tefelasafi saw neh .

05/22/13 @ 09:44
Comment from: efrem [Visitor]

Dr. Messay, with due respect, I disagree with some of your points. I would like also to apologize beforehand for the strong words that I will use in my comment. This is because I don’t find suitable alternative words that explain it more.
I was also expecting you to add more scenarios regardless of their probability of happening (I even bet some of them have greater probability than yours). Here are additions to your scenarios, which may help you open your eyes and analyze the situation with honesty rather arrogance, hate, and extremism.
1. Lovely scenarios
a) The government reforms its policies that may lead to more equitable and enabling playing field and the opposition wins (of course this scenario assumes the opposition are better than the ruling party…..God knows it…).
b) The Party reforms its policies and coupled with emerging young EPRDF elites, it buys the heart of majority Ethiopians and stays in power for many years to come.
In one way or the other, both scenarios could result fundamental reformation of exiting institutions and establishment of new ones that could buy the confidence of majority of Ethiopians.
2. Ugly scenarios
a) The government stays without reform, even increase its repression. I expect it can live at least for the next 15-20 year. Then, the key figures will get retired or dead. This gives the new young EPRDFiets to take the opportunity to reform policies.
b) Let me borrow your assumption that revolution leads to civil war (Ethiopian context). You took for granted that the civil war would be between Tigrians and non Tigriants. That shows how your prediction terribly got wrong (of course it also shows your wishful thinking and arrogance). I would rather take for granted that the civil war would be between cardes(regardless of their ethnic background, be it in the police or military) and those who are convinced of the need for change ( the general people, including those in the police and military).
c) I will again borrow your assumption (revolution-civil war). This could lead to secession of many ethnic regions (I expect ethno-centric elites from Tigray, Oromia, and Somalia would use this opportunity to secede).
d) Again with revolution-war, as has been seen in Syria, this invites neighboring countries to participate in it by supporting more or less of the others. I expect Eritrea would take the opportunity to make sure there will never be a strong and united Ethiopia. In doing so, they may support the ethno-centric elites of Tigray, Somalia, and Oromia as the final outcome deletes the notion of ‘tiny’ country.
In one way or another, these scenarios would darken our hopes and may be ‘undo’ everything ‘us’.
You really don’t know Ethiopia, may be you forgot it…
3. May God/Allah help us!!
In one or another Ethiopia would continue to be strong and united with exemplary democracy and development. In light of this, we got what we want with no/little loss.

05/22/13 @ 09:55
Comment from: Kena Keb [Visitor]
Kena Keb

Who in a state of sane mind would wish the destruction and blood shed in Syria for his own country?
There seems to be no bound to the madness,delusory, preposterous and ludicrous remarks that are coming out of the elites in the toxic diaspora.
As the communism you and your friends wanted to implement in Ethiopia failed disastrously, so will the Syrian kind of blood shed and destruction you wish for your country dematerialize.
While you dream of death of destruction ….

Ethiopia is prospering and shall continue to prosper!!

05/22/13 @ 10:10
Comment from: Belay [Visitor]

Ato Messay, first let me appologize for the rude response you received from the first 7 or 8 commentators. dont blame them most of them dont even read or if they do, they see things only interms their perosnal interest or just flat out lie to themselves.
just look the response from lazy observer and addis zemen, they actually think every thing is ok and you are just imagining and looking for power. i am one of those people who has been called names here for giving credit to the government when its due and telling people to not preach racism and hate among ethiopians. but i can tell you that every thing you wrote above is true. i wish some smart people from the government read this and get their side ready for a national reconciliation, otherwise every thing they built for the last 20 years is going to turn into dust. this is not a threat or prediction but a reality unless ofcourse, they and the opposition and every one else work towards a national reconciliation.

05/22/13 @ 10:16
Comment from: sam [Visitor]

1. Muslims and christians shall start working together
2. Oromos and Amaharas, Siadama and Welayita, Agnuak and Gnur…shall come together, build thrust and care one for the other
3. it is not enough to know weyane is ethnocentric, EPRDF is fake coalition
4. Play the game they don’t know, LOVE, HUMANITY, PEACE, MORALITY
5. We have one enemy, TPLF, and we can depeat it if we work beyond ethnic and religious boundary
6. Christians shall join muslims protest, Oromos shall condumn Amaharas displacemetn, Amaharas shall condumn Oroms imrisonment..lets feel the pain of others’ pain inflicted by tplf irrespective of ethnicity and religion but humanity because NO ONE IS FREE UNLESS WE ALL ARE FREE and HUMANITY BEFORE ETHNICITY

Unless we think wider than tplf we all will fail.

05/22/13 @ 10:48
Comment from: sam [Visitor]

If you r the one I knew here years back, then I have to say really we (muslims/christians..this/that ethnic) have the opprtunity to build a new Ethiopia by us for all of us where in everybody is respected for who he/she is!!! I have say we have a bright and hopeful future that we can correct historical wrong doings and built on historical sucesse. That is all we want: HUMANITY BEFORE ETHNICITY…NO ONE IS FREE UNLESS WE ALL ARE FREE

05/22/13 @ 10:58
Comment from: Habeshas in Europe [Visitor]
Habeshas in Europe

I had just to stop after reading “…it remains a mystery that no political upheavals of any importance occurred following the death of Meles…”

What mystry? The open secret is that the people of Ethiopia know who the genuine and hard working sons and daughters of Ethiopia and who the fools and idiots, looser Professors are. That’s i!

This guy is still obstinate and can not learn from facts.

05/22/13 @ 13:11
Comment from: sf [Visitor]

To all Bezbez cadres,
Wake up,open your eyes, be a bit reasionable before it is too let!!!!

05/22/13 @ 13:19
Comment from: Ethiofriendly [Visitor]

አቶ መሳይ ጥቂት ነገር ልበል።
1. ‘minority’ የምትለው አባባልህ ጤናማ አይደለችም፡ አስተሳሰብህ ጤነኛ አለመሆኑን ያሳያል።

ምክንያት CIA እና ሌሎች መረጃዎች የሚያሳዩት የወላይታ ህዝብ ከ3 ሚሊዮን እስከ አራት ሚሊዮን እንደሚደርስ ያሳያሉ። ባንዲራ የሰቀሉ አንድ መቶ ሺህ ህዝብ ብቻ ያላቸው ሃገራት እንዳሉ አትርሳ። ቀጥሎም ቁጥር ሳይሆን በጠራ ነው። አው ከ90 አንጻር ትንሽ ቁጥር ነው፡ ተጽዕኖአችን ግን ግዙፍ ነው።

2. ሃይለማርያም ደካማ የፖለቲካ ፖዚሽን ቢኖረውም … እድል አለው ካልክ በኋላ እሱ ካስታረቀን እንደ ሃይል ምንጭ እንሆናለን የሚል አንድምታ ያለው ሃሳብ ማቅረብህ አስገምቶሃል። ሲጀምር ሃይል እንዳለው እንድትረዳ በዘመንህ እንደተቀጠቀጥከ ወይም ሌሎችን ተከትሎ እሱም ሊረግጥህ አይገባም። ሃይል በተገቢጊዜ እና ቦታ እንጂ ላስነጠሰው ሁሉ ሰይፍ አይመዘዝም።

3. በስተ እርጅና ስልጣን የምትቋምጥ ትመስላለህ ይቅርብህ፡ ልጆችህን አሳድግ። ጊዜህ አልፎ ብሃል።

4. ሰዎችን በዘራቸው መመዘን ሳታቆም ሰዎች ግን ከዘረኝነት ነጻ በሆነ አስተሳሰብ እንዲቀርቡህ መጋበዝህ አስታዝቦሃል።

እናም ራስህን ከኩነኔ አጽዳ።

Ethiopia Rise!

05/22/13 @ 13:50
Comment from: Peter [Visitor]

from Peter,
Don’t hope the problem will happen within your country. it’s better to continuous well instead to create the problems. learn from the pervious ones

05/22/13 @ 14:13
Comment from: Extraterrestrial [Member]

Gragn Ahmed [Visitor]

Hahahahahahaha … interesting and welcome back. But where have you been for so long, you know we miss you as it was around the Boston Bombing time you just vanished to thin air lol

Have you been in Yemen, Pakistan or Afghanistan for vacation &#59;)

Let me know and take a good care of yourself.

By the way every word we uttered on this planet lives for eternity in universe and we are accountable to all of them.

05/22/13 @ 14:59
Comment from: Tibebu [Visitor]

At least Mesay Kebede told us what he really wants- POWER. He couldn’t hide it like the other sophist intellectuals who use lofty words like democracy, human rights and freedom of the press, to hide their inner lust for power.

05/22/13 @ 15:12
Comment from: Carpediem [Visitor]

Professor Mesay has once again come up with a brilliant piece of writing that reflects the true and objective reality that the current Ethiopia is going through. Thank you sir!! We need more of your insights to look for solutions that our nation so desperately needs.

Those of you, who jumped on to the band wagon to disrespect the professor, are making fool of yourselves. It only reinforces the perception that you are blinded by your arrogance and placing the interest of a minority ethnic group over the majority of your fellow countrymen.

The current policy and ideology of the TPLF regime is completely unsustainable. They cannot rule over the majority of Ethiopians for perpetuity just by sheer force of intimidations and repressions. It’s true that the army is mainly composed of one ethnic group from top to down. This army will be deployed at any moment to crash any movement when the ruling TPLF junta feels threatened. So far experience has proved that the slightest dissent from the TPLF prescribed ethno centered policy will be met with a whacking blow from the security apparatus which is built to do just same.

I completely agree with the Professor’s assessment that the closest comparison that we see is the Syrians’ scenario where a minority ethnic group siding with the Government for fear that in the event opposition wines, there will be a vendetta that would culminate in those groups losing their unfairly amassed wealth and more. They feel they are compelled to preserve the status qua. This will intern result in a bloodshed that otherwise would have been possible if we had army which is proportionally composed of all the ethnic groups with the interest of the country at heart.

Reforming the current Government would have produced a win win result for our people. However, the arrogance of the TPLF junta coupled with the vested interest of the minority ethnic group it is standing firm to serve, would presume that such arrangement is a losing proposition for them.

We are following closely the events going inside the country to see what kind of change the new prime minister is going to bring, or if he will only follow the iron handed governance system of his predecessor. Unless PMHD acts reasonably quick to assert his power, the TPLF power players will undermine his authority and continue their reckless loot of the country and the unrestrained power that they have been so used to exercising for the last 22 years.

05/22/13 @ 15:31
Comment from: ABDUL KAMAR [Visitor]  

ሞትና ውድቀት ለጠላታችን መለሰ ዝናዊ ይሁን አብሮ አበሮች ወያኔዎች ሌቦች ይሁን ,እናት ኢትዮፒያ ትለምለም ለዘላለም

ኢትዮፒያ ኢትዮፒያ ኢትዮፒያ ቅደሚ በህብረት ሰባዊነት አምብቢ ለምልሚ አላይክ መንግስቱ ሃይለማሪያም

05/22/13 @ 15:38
Comment from: TEDDY [Visitor]

Ato Messay and any so called holder
of a Non Violent Stuggle .Concerning a democratical process with the Agazi bandits and Tigre Mafiosis .Time to understand that “The GAME is for once and for ever OVER ” .Peoples RIOTS and Arm Struggle are the only solution to get rid Ethiopian Peoples from these Bandits .

05/22/13 @ 16:07
Comment from: Gragn Ahmed [Visitor]
Gragn Ahmed


05/22/13 @ 18:09
Comment from: [Member]

Dear Extrateri…
I know that you don’t want a stable, sustainable & true growth for Ethiopia.
You object to a reasonable article by calling names.
You just want to run over in a leftover food. We have to take a moment to research from which phylum and insect order your cross breed exist.


05/22/13 @ 18:50
Comment from: Dagmawi [Visitor]

I realy did not understand what he want to say.Wether he support PM HD or not, wether he want to share power if TPLF redy to do that? Someone say above MESON,is that true? if true mehalsefari, will join and start fight again from the core like the old HF who cheat his friends first and himsef after that. he can try it, but the Ethiopian nowdays are wiser than the so called EGLIS. No one can cheat the new generation, wether you say it Chita or Hippo. Ethiopians do not want of war or chaos. In this regard we have nothing to do with Lybia or Syria! We had nothing with Liberia or Somalia at that critical time of 1989/1990. Please do not wihh chaos for Ethiopian, even so you are abroad and feel to be save. There will be someone you may loss.

05/22/13 @ 18:58
Comment from: john John [Visitor]
john John

What about surender to the fact thats the only option left on a table.

05/22/13 @ 19:49
Comment from: Yeha [Visitor]

Reconciliation really what kind of reconciliation? may be another power hungry by the name of ne scholar………

05/22/13 @ 21:38
Comment from: Nenewe [Visitor]

Kena Keb,
what else is new? The same old gibberish of Ethiopia prospering. Ethiopia is not prospering. If you belive so then you must be seeing it through the eyes of your bosses, TPLF elites & their cronies. You could be one of their lackeys.

The prof simply stated a not improbable scenario if things don’t change. Would you prefer Somalia to Syria.

Lazy Observer,

Try blind observer, or better yet dumb observer.
It could be smooth sailing for your bosses, but not for Ethiopians. What is good for your bosses, Woyanes, might be good for you as you get paid for your taking up space and mudlle the issue.

Don’t mix up TPLF with Ethiopia and stop acting like you care for Ethiopia.

The country belongs to all people who call it home even to those whose allegiance lies elsewhere, if you get my drift.

you need to notch it up a bit as you are losing your coveted position of commenting first to another expendable Woyane pawns. You all are pathetic zealots with no concern to the plight of the people.

05/22/13 @ 21:52
Comment from: asfaw eyassu [Visitor]
asfaw eyassu

tell me there is no one ethnic supremacy in Ethiopia which can be witnessed in the offices of every government departments….. and the list could go on. Are people blind or just feigning to be one? There is ethnic cleansing going on in the country and not even one of the pro- government guys in this site utter a word of condemnation to this deeply disturbing event that could lead to more serious consequences,if not dealt accordingly by the present government in power. And every body should know this is the kind of shortcomings that drive people to extreme measures when all the avenues of legitimate dissent or voice of opposition is blocked.
And what does this crime show of the present situation in the country? And the party in power or the other parties ruling together? This is a serious crime that will bring anybody down no matter who they are, wherever they are and whatever time it takes. They will be brought to justice. One should question where the federal government was all this time? Does it have to be the outrage witnessed around the world by the Diaspora that prompts a government to step into action and protect its people? Is that incompetence or complicity in this heinous crime that slowed their response? Were they just turning a blind-eye because they approve of this crime? People were being targeted because of their ethnic origin. One need to look around the world and enlighten oneself to have a better understanding what this could entail in the end if nothing is done to stop it!
It is one thing to talk about development and grow economically,while at the same time commit this unforgivable crime in the background, is really shocking and demands another inquiry of what else is going on in the dark by the ruling party! If it wants to keep governing a peaceful country that focus on it development and not on this kind of atrocious crimes, it has to do more than condemn after eternity have passed and people have been killed. The trials of the perpetrators should be open and not just a shenanigan of previous trials. To some of my fellow countrymen in this commentary post, who blindly say it is all rosy in Ethiopia should question their conscious. It is not, and everybody should realize that thing have to improve and it means measures have to be taken on the ground by the ruling or governing party to correct all the inequities that is happening in the country and fast.
One last question, can i write this in Ethiopia? and walk free the next day…..

05/23/13 @ 01:49
Comment from: [Member]

The asshole hopeless loser, take it easy dude! I tried my best to make you happy by not posting first. Still you are complaining, why I didn’t comment first.
Well, as far as I’m concerned, what is making you cry on my comment must be the content rather than the position. So I will just keep writing, and you keep on crying and licking your wounds.

05/23/13 @ 05:36
Comment from: Kena Keb [Visitor]
Kena Keb

If a person is moving from point A to point B then you say he/she is moving i.e the person is not stationary, still, or motionless.
Ethiopia is not in the same economical situation as it was during the DERG days which you seem to have failed to comprehend like Messay Kebede who you idolize. When figures of growth in percentages are presented by the institutions like the IMF, World Bank and others then these figures prove that the Ethiopian economy is not static or regressing but growing! There is nothing gibberish about that in the eyes of a person with some intelligence who can use positively his/her brain cells to understand that there is a continous process of development going on. That is why I say Ethiopia is prospering and shall continue to prosper!Continue, because it is a never ending process.

05/23/13 @ 07:53
Comment from: [Member]

Happy memorial day for those who reside int the States.
The “Miseducation” of the weyane cadres is vivdly manifesting itself on Nazret!!!
One cyber cadre insults, while the other thinks he knows the reality when he lies through his teeth!!
On Nazret blog site one would never be bored for there are blogs ranging from outright “lie” to childish name-calling
Therefore we have to sort all the garbage to find who has something valuable to say.

05/23/13 @ 10:05
Comment from: Gragn Ahmed [Visitor]
Gragn Ahmed

extra terrestrial,

good to hear you. As to your accusations, be assured that I am against Bombing of innocent people. As a matter of fact I have sent my condolences. For people like you, however, they better sow discord rather than throw flowers. Good luck with your hate comments. People like you have thick skin when it comes to other’s plight. right now Ethiopians live in despair.

05/23/13 @ 12:01
Comment from: TEDDY [Visitor]

John John ,what about packing all its things and running away ,before being captured and brought to the Peoples Justice .So waht will be your fate and the fates of your Thuggy bros along your Bandas and blood sucker masters…LOL !!!

05/23/13 @ 12:29
Comment from: AT [Visitor]

As you well know ,the FOOLS&IDIOTS leave in the world they only know exist. You can’t argue with these people.
” Never argue with idiot:he will bring you down to his level and win from experience .

05/23/13 @ 13:52
Comment from: George [Visitor]

I could not see any of your negative scenarios happening in today’s Ethiopia. The majority of the people of Ethiopia know the good and bad deeds of the EPRDF or TPLF, as you call them, and none of the crimes committed by them would result in the situation in Syria or in other Arab countries. No one with a sane mind must not speculate or instigate such evil things like civil war to happen in Ethiopia. We must work hard with dedication for peaceful coexistence of our people. Love wins everything and the ultimate result of hate and jealousy is destruction. We must not let our country fall into anarchy because of some people’s dirty politics. To suggest as a solution for a majority ethnic people would cause destruction of minorities is satanic and is doom to failure. The unity of our country should prevail at any cost and our people should be allowed to continue living in peace. Should your imagination realize you should also see Ethiopia with 80 ethnic groups will, God forbid, disintegrate or become ungovernable like Somalia. I hate to imagine that, what I like to imagine and wish is for our people is peace and prosperity.

There is no reason why political ambitions should not be achieved by doing the right things. Come on man, you can speculate on better things that unify and mobilize our people without causing hindrance to development and to peaceful co-existence of our people.

Long live peaceful Ethiopia.

05/23/13 @ 15:20
Comment from: Ali Roble [Visitor]
Ali Roble

I would say the best option is 3R: Reconciliation, Reconciliation and Reconciliation. Haven’t we all seen bloody wars and senseless killing? Haven’t we something from reckless revolutions and prior religio- and ethno-fascism politics in the last hundred years? There are many extremist elements with varied means and motives who are ready to strike in every major ethnic group in country be they Amharas, Oromos, Somalis ,Tigrians and so forth. If they got the slightest chance the whole hell will break loose. The way forward is to open room for multiparty political system and away from single party and militaristic policy mindset the party of the ruling clique. Opposition groups also have to desist violence and bigotry cun zero-sum-game political discourse.

05/23/13 @ 19:16
Comment from: gudfela [Visitor]

The reason TPLF continues its gross attrocities is because it has 100% backing from outsiders and Shabia, OLF and ONLF. Let us not fool ourselves. Unless we think outside of box it will be the same perpetuality. TPLF will NOT share power based on many of their cadres said on this forum because they have the assurance. What might also take place is TPLF inviting the Liberation Fronts, Shabia and even outside forces such as Somalia to materialize their dream of disintegrating Ethiopia. When all these militaries surround every region in order to implement Ethiopia into 8 or 9 regions, Ethiopians can’t do anything but accept. No mistake about it, TPLF will not implement disintegrating Ethiopia without any backing. That is why for 20 years they have been in bed with Ethiopia neighbros except Kenya to disintegrate Ethiopia. Without any of these which will minimize serious war because the people in every region do not have any means to fight. Of course as a result, militaries from all these I mentioned above will take a chance to illiminate their rivalries in the process. To buy militray is no problem since Saudi and Qatar are no allies.

Ethiopians better act quickly internationally or don’t act. Hiding behind computer, just making noise will hardly do anything. You have to understand that TPLF ultimate goal is to be powerful focusing on its ethnic groups. The word Ethiopia within borderes is hardly their interest but power house in the horn of Africa is the ultimate goal by sharing power with the regional groups: Somalia. TPLF may not necessrialy be focusing on Tigray but fusing themselves with Shabia therefore they rule togher.

05/24/13 @ 00:50
Comment from: Extraterrestrial [Member]

Gragn Ahmed [Visitor]

What kind of a paradigm shift is this, can you please give some explanation how is that you started denouncing violence which was your guiding theory in the past.

Have you also dropped your radical Islam propaganda, or the paradigm shift is just a mere change of strategy as a mask to hid your true identity which is an Islamic terrorist.

I am not saying a terrorist can’t change to a full sensible citizen of the world, am just curious to know the conditions that led to this hard to believe it dramatic change.

As far as I know you are a man with a terrorist mind, your nick name can speak volumes on who you really are and aspire to be, so how is that you started denouncing violence since recent days? Can you also change your nickname? How is that you carry a nickname of a Jihadist that slaughtered hundreds of thousands of Ethiopians and preach peace, isn’t that ironical and a paradox?

Do you think you can fool us?

Yewega biresa yetewga ayresa!

Explanation is long over due for this dramatic paradigm shift, if in case it is a genuine change.

Let me know if it is true that you are changed from for your past criminal activity of preaching Jihadist violence online.

05/24/13 @ 06:33
Comment from: [Member]

To efrem

c) I will again borrow your assumption (revolution-civil war). This could lead to secession of many ethnic regions (I expect ethno-centric elites from Tigray, Oromia, and Somalia would use this opportunity to secede).

You are so right.The majority of these regions and others sidama,afars,gambella,are deeply convinced,they are living under colonial rule and that this must end.What is astonishing all scholars pretend to ignore these deep rooted aspirations.they prefer talking about compromise,democracy,…..

A confederation like switzerland would be the solution.

05/24/13 @ 06:41
Comment from: TEDDY [Visitor]

AT so you are advising
your FIDAB Bros ,afterall your bros is beyond Idioties that after sinking in the Ocean of Ignorancies he is actually digging the sea floor…LOL !!!!

05/24/13 @ 14:58
Comment from: john john [Visitor]
john john

The deportee son of former TERENTA QUATRO driver no one will put his hand on me that’s for sure keep up dreaming for the rest of your life.

05/24/13 @ 19:38
Comment from: Gragn Ahmed [Visitor]
Gragn Ahmed

I believe that you are sick person. I can not change my name because it is
Ethiopian name. We have Yohannes IV who is given name in the Tigrai region. The name does not mean any thing. It is our history. Period. It is not in any way violence. Gragn Ahmed burnt churchs so did Yohannes Iv was against mesjid. Both were Ethiopians. I have no reason to preach violence because my principle is first respect for both Muslims and christians. Have I preached any violence against any innocent person? You are committing a criminal act when you state that. As usual you are hiding behind “Wayane agent propganda” and we know you.

Stop that.

05/24/13 @ 20:25
Comment from: hagos91 [Visitor]

diaspora cry for the next 50 years to come, the remaining of derg amhara dream for the next century. I will tell you the reality greedy. never ever ever dream to lead Ethiopia. so simple.

05/27/13 @ 13:21
Comment from: fact [Visitor]

P. Messay,
Why are all intellectuals wishing blood shed? Why don’t u guys think clearly? Itell you whay, EPRDF will rule Ethiopia for long time because they are more smarter than you guys are. Uguys always spend time on prediction not reality. Thhat is why they will rule the country for long long time.

05/27/13 @ 17:24



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