Archives for 

http://ethiopianism.net/

Eritrea Generals Arrested, Negotiation with Ethiopia Started, Opposition sequestrated

Breaking News   !!!

                                               Revolution Continue in Asmara

 New Supra committee of 5 named   4 Major General  4 Arrested 4  assigned to House Arrest!!!

Our sources form Asmara

Following the 21 January, 2013 army mutinies that occupied   Ministry of Information, on the 28th February, 2013 the Eritrean regime named a new Supra Body   composed of 5 Brigadier Generals with full  & unlimited power.  The New body   is running the country right now and putting people in prison in mass those  suspect of supporting the mutineers. The only person above the new Supra Committee is the figure head Isasias Afwerki.  Hundreds of Colonels are arrested others are under house arrest the rest are fleeing the country.  The mountaineers are  said to be barricaded in Adi Keyih  stronghold in central plateau led by Col. Osman Salah.

Previously Eritrea was run de facto by 5 Operation areas as we have mentioned in our previous information, but today since most of the 1st and the 5th operation area’s soldiers run away to Sudan and Ethiopia due to shortage food, prolonged services and luck of  freedom  only three are left . These three with a new labeling called EZ or Command are running the  country from  the west, south and East regions of Eritrea. The country is still without a state apparatus and everything is run as it was in 1991 when EPLF’ liberated Eritrea.

Due to the fear of muteness joining Ethiopian camp Eritrean government is forced to start Peace Negotiation with Ethiopia recently. Moreover, all opposition Ethiopian Armed group has been removed from border areas and taken to Alphabet camps and arrested as a precondition to negotiation with Ethiopia.

The New Supra Governing Committee chaired by BG Simon Gebre Denge   are

  • 1.      AreBG Simon Gebre Dengel,  ሲሚን ገበረ ድንግል Security internal  He was wounded in 2007 7 solder
  • 2.        Bg Tekel Kefalay  ተከለ ከፍፈላይ
  • 3.      BG Dr,  Haile Mehetusne (Dr, ሃይሌ መሕጹን
  • 4.      Brg Fesum Gebre Hiwet ( Wede Membhere ፍጽም ገበረ ህይወት)
  • 5.      BG Hadish Efrem  ሃዲሽ ኤፈሬም

 

These are the 3 Major Generals Arrested  at

 

4/3/2013    7:30 AM by the New Supreme Council

They were in the house arrest since the Occupation of Ministry of  Information on January 21,2013

  1.   Major General Umer Tewuil  ሜጀ ዑመር ጠዊል
  2.  Major General ሜጀ ሃይሌ ስሙኤል
  3.  Major General Tekelay Haile Selasse (Air Force) ሜጀ ተከላይ ሃ/ስላሴ

Under House Arrest are

  1.  Major General  Gerezgherሜጄ ገበረእዝጌር አንድ ማርያም- ዉጩ

General Sbehat Efrem ጄ/ ስበሃት ኤፈኤም

  1.  Major General  Umer Kaky ሜጄ/ ዑመር ካካይ
  2. ብጀ /አበረሃ ካሳ

 

 

On the 21st of   February the following officials were arrested.

 

  1. Abdella Jaber the Director of Organizational Affairs for the ruling party, the PFDJ and member of CC.
  2. Amanuel “Hanjema” Haile the political commissar Division 96 in the Southern Red Sea.
  3.  Mustafa Nurhussein the regional administrator (governor) of the South Zone (Akeleguzay and Seraye)
  4. Osman Jem’ee Idris , Eritrea’s ambassador to the United Arab Emirates.

The revolution continue in Eritrea we hopping after all these changes some kind of positive democratic forms will take place

 

©All Rights to EPPF  Sources  From Asmara

info@eppf.net

Ethiopian Dictator U turn and decided to rest in Somalia while the northern clash with Eritrea continues in silence

The Ethiopian dictator made   u-turn and decided to prolong it stay in Somalia mongering war since the northern front with Eritrea seems is now no menace though a continues fire exchange is live  near Badme town from our reporter in the area .    And Somalia has been chaos since warlord’s toppled Dictator Mohamed Siad Barre in 1991. And since 1998 has been a continuation of the war between Eritrea and Ethiopia.

Big pretext given by the Melees Zenawie to keep its troops in Somalia – “until the Horn of Africa country ratifies a constitution and its military is able to fend off militant threats on its own. ”  Ethiopian forces captured the rebel stronghold of Baidoa in southern Somalia in February having seized Baladwayne from the militants and started evacuating when the conflict with Eritrea rekindled two weeks ago.

 

Melees  Zenawie the irredentist dictator join the scramble for Somalia by rolling hundreds of troops across its border in November by  opening  up a third front  against Shabab, the two  main underline    reasons are

– competition with Kenya for controlling the big portion of oil rich southern  Somalia,

–  and the fight with Eritrea since its ill-fated 2006-2009 incursion.– Ethiopia is to this day training and arming the different faction of Somali clans, while   Eritrea is armed and trained Alshabab.

Once again  Ethiopian dictator declared that his  troops would only be deployed for a brief period to fight Alshabab  militants.  Later is  also  affronting 11,000 strong African Union  (AMISOM) forces  and Kenyans  fighting to controlled the Azania corner oil rich  Juba land as a “buffer zone”. .

This new 180 degree turn of the  Ethiopian dictator  stopping his sudden evacuation was justified in the following propaganda :-

“It (Ethiopia) will remain (in Somalia) until the Transitional Government (of Somalia) has adequately organized itself to fend off any attack from hostile forces,”  “There is no current plan to evacuate from Somalia until such time that a proper Somali constitution is ratified by all parties to the conflict, and until the constituent assembly will ratify the constitution,”

The new million dollars of US aid recently granted may be forced him to stay since he got a new indirectly mandate.

Last June Somalia’s feuding leaders agreed to extend the mandate of a transitional government for a year rather than hold elections, a move sought by Uganda which has peacekeepers stationed in the anarchic state.

The mandate for Somalia’s latest administration was meant to expire in August 2011 but President Sheikh Sharif Ahmed, a former Islamist rebel leader, and speaker Sharif Hassan Sheikh Aden, who covets the top job, had been at loggerheads over what should happen then, and agreed to defer elections.

Alshabab seems strategically  have surrendered territory in Mogadishu and across central and southern Somalia in the past few months weekend by AMISON forces where the Eritrean support is no more reaching crippled with sanction of 2008 and December 2011

AU and Somali government troops seem to secure little aid corridor between Mogadishu and a former rebel stronghold close to the capital. By the end of the month, Somali and Kenyan forces had captured the rebel stronghold and strategic town of Afmadow; but never able to capture the capital of Alshabab Kismayu.

Seizing Afmadow was considered a crucial step in the Kenyan drive towards the southern port city of Kismayu, the hub of al Shabab operations, about 120 km (75 miles) away.

Alshabab in areas they have vacated they are launching grenade attacks and using suicide bombers. The rebel group has waged a bloody five-year campaign to topple Somalia’s Western-backed government and impose its harsh interpretation of Islamic law with the support of Eritrea.

It continues to hold swathes of central and southern Somalia with help of Eritrea only against 11’000 AMISON Forces with Kenya and Ethiopia included.

Volcano erupted in Eritrea as expected breaking the Ethiopian Ocean, the mega dams are menaced

 

 

The volcano of the Horn of Africa are set in motion by exploding in Eritrea  for the  making of  the most expected Ethiopian ocean. It set in action as we have foretold in this site in previous articles. Many geophysicist and seismologist  thought  it will take millions of years to split the horn of Africa. But we have explained in serious of articles that it is in the end of  the  millions of  years phase,  and even in our time we will see the opening of the new ocean.

It is very simple to give  a reality description of events but the true prediction we have been making will save thousands of live if the government of the region  start evacuating the population and stop damming the region.

In the evening of June 12 2011, a series of earthquakes struck the Afambo, Eritrea area. The earthquakes were followed by 2 strong 5.7 earthquakes.  This pattern will continue till the final breaking  of the Horn  from the rest of the continent of Africa.

 

 

 

 

UPDATE 21:36 UTC : Some more information on the volcanic complex :
Mallahle is the central of three NE-SW-trending stratovolcanoes in the Danakil horst SW of Dubbi volcano, and lies SSW of Nabro volcano.
These two volcanoes, along with Bara Ale and Sork’Ale, form the Bidu volcanic complex. The complex Mallahle stratovolcano is truncated by a steep-walled 6-km-wide caldera. Mallahle is formed of rhyolitic lava flows and pyroclastics. Basaltic lava flows blanket the slopes of the
volcano. Recent obsidian flows are found on the NW flank of Mallahle and older obsidian flows were erupted on the northern caldera floor.
Flank spatter and scoria cones are most numerous on the western side of the volcano. Extensive ignimbrite deposits associated with the collapse of Mallahle and Nabro volcanoes blanket the countryside.

UPDATE 21:28 UTC : These magnitudes can lead to serious damage if the epicenter is below or very near to Afambo (which is very nearby based on the seismological data) . We do not think that there will be injured people as the series started with moderate earthquakes and as people will stay on the streets after so many earthquakes.  The current situation tends to become very dangerous.

UPDATE 21:23 UTC : A Mw5.7 has been also recorded at depth 9km in around the same area. No record of damage has yet been recorded.

UPDATE 21:03 UTC : Lucas Tavares reports in our Facebook page : I was studying about this volcanoes past hours. Maybe the shakes surrounds the Mallahle or Nabro Caldera, there is’nt any known eruptions of these volcanoes! Shakes are becoming stronger!

UPDATE 20:58 UTC : We have still no trace (as expected) of what is really going on. This last 5.4 earthquake can be damaging at this shallow depth when the epicenter is located below a village or town. As we are unsure of the exact epicenter (the error margin may be 10 to 30 km different than reported by the USGS).

UPDATE 20:56 UTC : The earthquakes are continuing with the last one as the strongest so far with a magnitude of 5.4 at a depth of 10 km.

UPDATE 20:33 UTC : We are more and more convinced that one of the nearby volcanoes went into an active status as the distance to the ridge fault is to big to create this kind of earthquakes. Additionally almost all the earthquakes are occurring near the volcano complex on the picture (courtesy Google Earth)

UPDATE 19:37 UTC : This unusual series of moderate earthquakes have also occurred a couple of months ago in the Gulf of Aden. The earthquakes are typical for separating irregular tectonic plates. The series in the Gulf of Adenhad their epicenter in the immediate area of the ridge fault.
Due to the close-by volcanoes, an eruption pattern of the Dubbi volcano is still possible.  The pre-eruption pattern of both the Icelandic and Chilean volcanoes from the last few weeks is also present here. Compared to Iceland and Chile, Eritrea has other concerns than looking to beautiful eruptions. We will follow up these events and will come back to you as soon as we can get more data ?
UPDATE 16:11 UTC : Other agencies are reporting totally different and less dangerous numbers : GFZ: 4.9 @ 43 km and EMSC 4.7 @ 200 km
Moderate shallow earthquake with an epicenter almost below Afambo.
Approx. 15 km from the Dubbi volcano. The peak of the Dubbi volcano is 1625 m. There have been four known eruptions. In 1400 lava was determined to have reached the Red Sea while in 1861 ash was thrown over 250 km from the volcano. Two further events were suspected between 1861 and the 20th century.

During the late afternoon and evening of June 12 2011 a series of moderate earthquake struck at first near Afambo in Eritrea and later 100 km more to the south in Ethiopia. At the moment of writing, we do not know whether these earthquake have a tectonic or a volcanic origin.

Other moderate earthquakes which occurred after the first earthquake which is described in detail

M 4.5      2011/06/12 21:37     Depth 15.0 km      ERITREA – ETHIOPIA REGION
M 5.7      2011/06/12 21:03     Depth 9.9 km      ERITREA – ETHIOPIA REGION
M 5.7      2011/06/12 20:32     Depth 10.1 km      ERITREA – ETHIOPIA REGION
M 4.8      2011/06/12 19:44     Depth 9.9 km      ERITREA – ETHIOPIA REGION
M 4.7      2011/06/12 19:37     Depth 10.1 km      ERITREA – ETHIOPIA REGION
M 4.5      2011/06/12 18:01     Depth 10.1 km      ETHIOPIA
M 5.0      2011/06/12 19:21     Depth 10.0 km     ETHIOPIA
M 4.7      2011/06/12 17:47:21       13.538       41.588     Depth 10.0 km ERITREA – ETHIOPIA REGION
M 4.8      2011/06/12 17:18:10       13.381       41.764     Depth 9.9 km ERITREA – ETHIOPIA REGION
M 4.3      2011/06/12 16:33:12       13.507       41.722     Depth 10.0 km ERITREA – ETHIOPIA REGION
M 4.8      2011/06/12 16:24:44       13.436       41.682     Depth 10.0 km ERITREA – ETHIOPIA REGION
M 4.7      2011/06/12 16:12:03       13.397       41.734     Depth 10.0 km ERITREA – ETHIOPIA REGION
M 4.5      2011/06/12 16:09:30       13.443       41.696     Depth 2.9 km ERITREA – ETHIOPIA REGION

Most important Earthquake Data:
Magnitude : 5.1
UTC Time : Sunday, June 12, 2011 at 15:37:05 UTC
Local time at epicenter : Sunday, June 12, 2011 at 06:37:05 PM at epicenter
Depth (Hypocenter) : 10 km
Geo-location(s) :
Almost below Afambo, Eritrea
128 km (79 miles) WNW of Assab, Eritrea

Source:

http://earthquake-report.com/2011/06/12/unusual-series-of-moderate-…

 

NameElevationLocationLast eruption
metersfeetCoordinates
Alid910296614.88°N 39.92°EHolocene
Asseb910298612.85°N 42.43°EHolocene
Dubbi987533113.58°N 41.808°E1861
Gufa600196912.55°N 42.53°EHolocene
Jalua713233915.042°N 39.62°Eunknown
Mousa Ali2028665412.47°N 42.40°EHolocene
Nabro2218727713.37°N 41.70°EJune 13, 2

 

Eruption

Satellite images showed a large eruption occurring shortly after 2200 UTC June 12, close to 1 AM East Africa Time, in the Southern Red Sea Region. The eruption created a large ash cloud near the Eritrea-Ethiopia border region, eventually extending over 1,000 km (620 mi) into neighboring Sudan.[6]

Forecasters predicted that the ash plume may reach Israel.[7]

Geology

The erupting volcano is located within the Afar Triangle, in the larger Danakil Depression that holds many other active volcanoes. However, neither volcano thought potentially responsible for the eruption has seen activity in the past century, with Dubbi last erupting in 1861 and Nabro remaining quiet for thousands of years. No eruption of Nabro occurred in recorded history.

Earthquakes

A series of earthquakes[8], including two at magnitude 5.7[9][10] struck the region in the hours preceeding the eruption. The tremors may be volcanic in origin.[11]

References

  1. ^ News, BNO (June 13, 2011). “VAAC: Eruption underway at Dubbi volcano in Eritrea”. Channel 6 news. Retrieved 13 June 2011.
  2. ^ News, BNO (June 13, 2011). “UPDATE 1 — Volcanic eruption in Eritrea sends plume into the air, …. WireUpdate. Retrieved 13 June 2011.
  3. ^ VAAC, Toulouse. “Toulouse VAAC – Volcanic Ash Advisories”. Meteo France. Toulouse Volcano Ash Advisory Centre. Retrieved 13 June 2011.
  4. ^ Vervaeck, Armand (June 13, 2011). “Eritrea volcano eruption : Ash cloud advisory extending further into Africa”. Earthquake – Report. Retrieved 13 June 2011.
  5. ^ Gubin, Anastasia (June 13, 2011). “Africa: Volcán Nabro erupciona lanzando cenizas hasta Sudán” (in Spanish). The Epoch Times. Retrieved 13 June 2011.
  6. ^ Duran, Jim; Warren Miller (June 13, 2011). “Dubbi volcanic ash cloud expands westward through Northern Africa”. The Weather Space. Retrieved 13 June 2011.
  7. ^ Masa, Israel. “ענן וולקני מהר געש באריתריאה מתקדם לעבר ישראל” (in Hebrew). Masa.co.il. Retrieved 13 June 2011.
  8. ^ A, Solomon (June 13, 2011). “Series of moderate earthquakes hit Eritrea – Ethiopia border region”. Ethiopian Journal. Retrieved 13 June 2011.
  9. ^ Earthquake, USGS. “Magnitude 5.7 – ERITREA – ETHIOPIA REGION”. United States Geological Survey. Earthquake Hazards Program. Retrieved 13 June 2011.
  10. ^ Earthquake, USGS. “Magnitude 5.7 – ERITREA – ETHIOPIA REGION”. United States Geological Survey. Earthquake Hazards Program. Retrieved 13 June 2011.
  11. ^ Stuff, NZ (June 13, 2011). “Quake swarm hits Ethiopia-Eritrea”. Stuff.co.nz. Retrieved 13 June 2011.

 

Ivorian electoral clash at the foot step of Kenyan and Ethiopian elections

The recent Ivorian election has taken the foot step of Ethiopian and Kenyan elections  to contest the result and push the winner to exile if not prison, otherwise pressure  to power sharing. This model is set by Melese Zenawie in 2005 and later followed  by Kenyan  elections.

Ivory Coast is known for decades of prosperity and stability in the coup trodden region; its cocoa plantations known worldwide. When it comes to political alternation through election did not follow its immediate neighbor Ghana to riches   rather highly influenced by the Horn African’s model which is leading to instability and civil war.

Like the Ethiopian and Kenyan elections  loyal groups both candidates  claiming Ivory Coast’s presidency clashed in the streets of the commercial capital Thursday, killing at least 20 people and in  verge of another civil war.

Abidjan start taking the sprit Addis & Nairobi of Explosions and gunfire were heard throughout…

They shot a rocket-propelled grenade hitting an outer perimeter wall of the U.S. Embassy.

Since 28th of November election runoff Ivory Coast has been operating with two presidents and two governments.  Alassane Ouattara was declared the winner by the country’s electoral commission and was recognized by the U.N., U.S., France and the African Union as having beaten incumbent Laurent Gbagbo. However, the constitutional council overturned the results after invalidating a half-million votes from Ouattara strongholds.

The bloodshed in Abidjan is part of a risky push by Ouattara to take control of state institutions after the balloting that many hoped would reunite the West African nation following a 2002-03 war that split it in two.

Amnesty International warned that the regional powerhouse “has never been so close to a resumption of civil war.

According to the associated press, a senior Obama administration official said the U.S. and other countries have told Gbagbo to step down and leave the country within days or face travel and financial sanctions, and there are signs Gbagbo might agree to leave. He has like Melese Zenawie of Ethiopia has homes in multiple countries that he would not be able to use if sanctions are imposed.

The Riot police fired tear gas ordered by Gbagbo to use live rounds to disperse protesters in multiple parts of the city.

Ouattara supporters marching in the marketplace early in the day were confronted by and shoot at.

According to Associated press: – “They shot him in the stomach with a tear gas canister at point blank range,” said protester Ahmed Konate. »He fell to the ground in a cloud of gas and didn’t get up. He was dead.”

Ouattara is supported from the rebel-held north, while Gbagbo’s power base is in the south. He plans a second march Friday 17 December to take back other government buildings and hold a Cabinet meeting and called on his backers to help him take control of state institutions. On Thursday, they had vowed to march to the national television station to install a new state TV chief, but they did not get close to the building and were fired at causing victims. The two stations in the building are the only Ivorian broadcasters in the country.

The U.N. Ban Ki-moon has warned the politically charged environment could spark a new civil war.

Prof. M.T.

Southern Sudan Independence or Desperation

John Garang

“John Garang was a government army officer sent to quell a mutiny of 500 southern troops who were resisting orders to be shipped north. It took him 22 years to come back”

He was one of the few senior southerners who really believed in the concept of a united Sudan”

Peter Moszynski BBC  August 2005


Don’t Break Away From Sudan, West Tells South

Michael Wakabi

22 March 2010


Southern Sudan Could Open ‘Corridor of Terror’, Says West

httpvh://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HAwPJSrHrFI

Nairobi — Donor circles want Southern Sudan to drop its bid for independence in the referendum next January, as concerns grow that a rushed secession could trigger turmoil and instability beyond Sudanese borders.

In 2005, President Omar al-Bashir’s National Congress Party and the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement, led by the late Dr John Garang signed a Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) that ended 22 years of war between the North and South.

That CPA left the door open for the South to break away from the union if 60 per cent of voters decide so in the 2011 plebiscite.

Although the United States, which is considered to have a vested interest in the outcome of Sudan’s peace process says it “takes no position on what the outcome of that referendum should be,”

The EastAfrican has separately learned that key Western democracies and institutions, fearing that independence for the South in its present state could see the area slide into anarchy, have quietly urged President Salva Kiir’s government to go slow on secession.

“Independence for the South should be put off for a few more years primarily because of lack of capacity in the South to run a stable and secure state,” said a source privy to Western analysis of the evolving situation in Sudan.

He added: “There is no institutional infrastructure to support a state, so there is a high chance that the country will degenerate into a Somalia-like situation. This would open a ‘corridor of terror’ across the region that could be infiltrated by Al Qaeda and its associates to create instability that would run counter to Western interests.”

The West is spooked by the prospect of sudden independence for a fragile state — with a corrupt and fractious national leadership, a nearly non-existent civil service, a poorly established local police and professional military — immediately disintegrating into a civil war.

This could draw the international community into a costly intervention to rebuild a state that few countries want to underwrite in the current economic climate.

With new discoveries of oil in both Uganda and Sudan and the likelihood of further discoveries in the northeast of the Democratic Republic of Congo, peace in the region is essential to the exploitation of these resources.

Western strategists believe that even under the best of circumstances, the absence of institutional infrastructure in the South and independent communication links to the outside world mean Juba would remain hostage to Khartoum, making it difficult to get energy and other exports to outside markets.

Such a scenario would deny the infant state the resources to deliver to the population the promised benefits of independence, leading to high levels of discontent that could result in a breakdown of law and order, said one analyst.

Other fears revolve around the fact that the South is far from homogenous and united, with a real risk that it could spiral into uncontrolled violence as the different regions jostle over resources.

Apparently, the West would like to see some slack factored into the timeline for Juba’s independence ambitions, while the shaky alliance between the SPLM and al-Bashir — who has largely been “contained” by the ICC warrants against him — is propped up until such a time that institutional capacity and critical infrastructure have been developed in the South.

Apparently, Kenya and Uganda, which have separately announced plans to build key road and railway links to Juba, are partly implementing this strategy.

While it denies any direct interest in the outcome of the referendum, the United States says it is concerned about peace and stability in Southern Sudan and is working with both the SPLM and the NCP to “prepare for the 2011 referendum, and working with the parties to ensure that the process is fair and credible and that the will of the people, as expressed through the referendum, is respected peacefully.”

httpvh://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wUQgNjxJv0o

Lagging behind


Responding to enquiries by this newspaper, Joann M Lockard, public affairs officer at the US embassy in Kampala, said, “The United States is concerned about peace and stability in South Sudan. The parties in Sudan are behind in the implementation of the most contentious provisions of the CPA, which is why we have worked so hard in 2009 and will double our efforts in 2010 to implement the agreement before it expires in 2011.”

For their part, while officially professing the position of the Intergovernmental Authority on Drought and Development (Igad), which is to encourage the parties in Sudan to make unity as attractive as possible, Kenya and Uganda are pursuing a two-track strategy.

On one track, fearing to set a precedent that could lead to a ripple effect with sections of their own populations agitating for secession, Uganda and Kenya are not officially breaking ranks with proponents of a unified Sudan.

Uganda is still wary of what a split of Sudan would mean for its restive north, while Kenya has for years kept a wary eye on its northeastern regions bordering Somalia.

“In international law, it is very rare to find a country openly calling for the partition of another country because it sets a precedent that could come back to haunt them; in the case of Uganda, you must have heard Norbert Mao (chairman of Gulu District Local Council in northern Uganda) suggest that the north should break away from Uganda,” said Uganda’s Junior Minister for Foreign Affairs, Henry Okello Oryem.

According to independent sources however, Uganda and its EAC partners believe that despite the challenges the South faces, Juba is better off breaking away from its unproductive marriage with Khartoum.

httpvh://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pqcV4X3bBms

INTERNATIONAL CRISIS Condemns Ethiopia Woyan’s ETHNIC FEDERALISM Africa Raport N° 153 09/09/09/

[flagallery gid=19 name=”Gallery”]

Ethiopia’s known over 80 Ethnio linguistic  distribution and the existing  over 200 dialects  are living  sources of Woyane’s plan of Balkanization. And  its means of  legitimacy  in power for years to come. Prof. Muse

International Crisis Group

visit www.crisisgroup.org


Africa Report N°153 4 September 2009

ETHIOPIA: ETHNIC

FEDERALISM

AND ITS DISCONTENTS



Executive summary

The Ethiopian Peoples’ Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF), led by its chairman and prime minister, Meles Zenawi, has radically reformed Ethiopia’s political system. The regime transformed the hitherto centralised state into the Federal Democratic Republic and also redefined citizenship, politics and identity on ethnic grounds. The intent was to create a more prosperous, just and representative state for all its people. Yet, despite continued economic growth and promised democratisation, there is growing discontent with the EPRDF’s ethnically defined state and rigid grip on power and fears of continued inter-ethnic conflict. The international community should take Ethiopia’s governance problems much more seriously and adopt a more principled position towards the government. Without genuine multi-party democracy, the tensions and pressures in Ethiopia’s polities will only grow, greatly increasing the possibility of a violent eruption that would destabilise the country and region.

The endeavour to transform Ethiopia into a federal state is led by the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF), which has dominated the coalition of ethno-nationalist parties that is the EPRDF since the removal in 1991 of the Derg, the security services committee that overthrew Emperor Haile Selassie in 1974. The EPRDF quickly institutionalised the TPLF’s policy of people’s rights to self-determination and self-rule. The federal constitution ratified in 1994 defined the country’s structure as a multicultural federation based on ethno-national representation.

The government has created nine ethnic-based regional states and two federally administered city-states. The result is an asymmetrical federation that combines populous regional states like Oromiya and Amhara in the central highlands with sparsely populated and underdeveloped ones like Gambella and Somali. Although the constitution vests all powers not attributed to the federal government in them, the regional states are in fact weak.

The constitution was applauded for its commitment to liberal democracy and respect for political freedoms and human rights. But while the EPRDF promises democracy, it has not accepted that the opposition is qualified to take power via the ballot box and tends to regard the expression of differing views and interests as a form of betrayal. Before 2005, its electoral superiority was ensured by the limited national appeal and outreach of the predominantly ethnically based opposition parties. Divided and disorganised, the reach of those parties rarely went beyond Addis Ababa. When the opposition was able to challenge at local, regional or federal levels, it faced threats, harassment and arrest. With the opportunity in 2005 to take over the Addis Ababa city council in what would have been the first democratic change of a major administration in the country’s history, the opposition withdrew from the political process to protest flaws in the overall election.

The EPRDF did not feel threatened until the 2005 federal and regional elections. The crackdown that year on the opposition demonstrated the extent to which the regime is willing to ignore popular protest and foreign criticism to hold on to power. The 2008 local and by-elections went much more smoothly, in large part because the opposition Coalition for Unity and Democracy (CUD) was absorbed with internal and legal squabbles, and several other parties withdrew after their candidates experienced severe registration problems. The next federal and regional elections, scheduled for June 2010, most probably will be much more contentious, as numerous opposition parties are preparing to challenge the EPRDF, which is likely to continue to use its political machine to retain its position.

Despite the EPRDF’s authoritarianism and reluctance to accept genuine multi-party competition, political positions and parties have proliferated in recent years. This process, however, is not driven by democratisation or the inclusion of opposition parties in representative institutions. Rather it is the result of a continuous polarisation of national politics that has sharpened tensions between and within parties and ethnic groups since the mid-1990s. The EPRDF’s ethnic federalism has not dampened conflict, but rather increased competition among groups that vie over land and natural resources, as well as administrative boundaries and government budgets.

Furthermore, ethnic federalism has failed to resolve the “national question”. The EPRDF’s ethnic policy has empowered some groups but has not been accompanied by dialogue and reconciliation. For Amhara and national elites, ethnic federalism impedes a strong, unitary nation-state. For ethno-national rebel groups like the ONLF (Ogaden National Liberation Front; Somalis in the Ogaden) and OLF (Oromo Liberation Front; the Oromo), ethnic federalism remains artificial. While the concept has failed to accommodate grievances, it has powerfully promoted ethnic self-awareness among all groups. The international community has ignored or downplayed all these problems. Some donors appear to consider food security more important than democracy in Ethiopia, but they neglect the increased ethnic awareness and tensions created by the regionalisation policy and their potentially explosive consequences.

Nairobi/Brussels, 4 September 2009