The Addis Standard newspaper published a lengthy article dealing with the crises currently afflicting the country of Ethiopia, and the security risks it poses to the Horn of Africa.
It elaborated on the aspects of geopolitical history that contributed to the establishment of the modern state and the role played by the European colonizer in that. He also touched on internal and external threats, especially the Renaissance Dam crisis and relations with Sudan and Egypt. Read also Le Monde: After Tigray, new internal fronts open in Ethiopia Former Ethiopian Defense Minister: For these reasons, Eritrean forces will not leave Ethiopia After distinguished relations for more than a century… What are the reasons for the tense relations between America and Ethiopia? 9 questions about the impact of the armed conflict between the central government of Ethiopia and the Tigray region on Sudan
Since the victory of the Abyssinian forces over the Oromia region and the greater southern region, Ethiopia has been engrossed in an “unfinished” state-building project. Its dominant feature is the tireless effort to build a unified national state, contrary to the desires of peoples and nationalities demanding the right to self-determination.
Ethiopia has been mired in “authoritarian” regimes and a persistent culture of political denial with varying levels of atrocities committed. Perhaps this culture is reflected in the denial of historical precedents of atrocities, state violence and the demands of peoples and nationalities for their rights, and on the contrary, it participates in writing a unified and selective history of the state, according to the Oromo Labor Council in its article in the newspaper.
The democratic transition process and the hope for peace and development that sparkled in 2018 stumbled after the movement of social protests sparked by the Oromo youth, and soon an authoritarian rule was consolidated in the country.
In its article, the Council notes that the peoples and nationalities in Ethiopia, “which for half a century have been struggling to gain recognition of their collective rights,” have been following the current situation and feeling imminent danger and existential threat.
Ethiopia is currently facing crises with multidimensional and intersectional geopolitical, security, economic and social features. Government forces are committing flagrant human rights violations, while urgent demands to hold perpetrators to account fall on deaf ears.
Impunity has spread until it has become the norm in the state, according to the article. These crises are rooted in the country’s political history, and have become reflections of contradictory visions for Ethiopia’s future.
The Euro-Mediterranean Business Council believes that the current situation calls for an unprecedented will to put an end to the crises that are plaguing the country and endangering the stability of the Horn of Africa.
The Council considers Ethiopia a country full of contradictions and conflicts since the birth of the modern empire in the late 19th century, which was established through a brutal war during the European colonizer’s invasion of parts of the African continent, and its manifestations were economic exploitation, political oppression, cultural marginalization, and the imposition of the language, religion and culture of a particular ethnic group on ethnicities. other.
The article moved to talk about the current stage in which Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed took over the reins of power, as he proceeded to restructure the government coalition by forming the “Prosperity” party on the ruins of the Ethiopian People’s Revolutionary Democratic Front.
The Prosperity Party seeks to achieve at least 3 goals: giving individual rights priority over collective rights, establishing a presidential system of government, and replacing the federal structure of the state based on ethnic and linguistic pluralism with one based on geography.
The article then reviewed in detail the crises afflicting Ethiopia, which it summarized as follows:
It foreshadows the deep-rooted contradiction that has accompanied the establishment and structure of the state, and in its folds, the current political divisions between the parties. The ruling Prosperity Party, some other unionist political parties that dominate the economy and government offices, and military power use their influence to exclude the widely accepted federal political parties such as the Oromo Liberation Front and the Oromo Federal Congress Party.
The Addis Standard article indicates that the next elections will be held with the exclusion of Tigray, one of the founders of the union.
The difference over the state’s structure – a contradiction directly related to the right to self-determination and shared rule – lies in the power struggle that culminated in a fierce war between the federal government and the Tigray region.
The security crisis has persisted in different parts of the country, and there is credible evidence that the Amhara Regional Government is deploying its own forces to fuel conflicts in other parts such as Benishangul-Qimuz and Western Oromia.
The manifestations of this crisis are manifested in the rush for resources and political power, driven by a tendency towards the centralization of the state and at the behest of “reactionary forces”.
economic and social crisis
The two political and security crises, which stem from deep differences over the structure of the state, have repercussions on the social and economic conditions and their fate. Ethiopia suffers economically from among the highest inflation rates in its recent history. https://imasdk.googleapis.com/js/core/bridge3.467.0_en.html#goog_786879761
There are informal sectors, a black market that is growing in activities, and a scarcity of foreign exchange that is crippling the capabilities of an already declining economy. The economic crisis, in turn, results in a social crisis represented by a rising unemployment rate that pushes most young people towards irregular migration and human trafficking.
In addition, internal displacement, increased mobility between rural and urban areas, and increased risks resulting from organized robbery and theft are all manifestations of economic and social crises.
Ethiopia is currently suffering, in light of deep disagreements over the structure of the state and mismanagement of the transitional phase, from unprecedented internal and external risks, including:
Tensions are acutely escalating in many regions, notably in Oromia, Tigray, Benishangul-Qemuz, Afar, Somali Region and Amhara, with possible outbreaks of violence before and after the elections.
The systematic and violent exclusion of political parties with a pluralistic vision of the state structure that offer alternatives to existing policies, such as the Oromo Liberation Front and the Oromo Federal Conference, worsened the situation, making the Oromo people without representation in these elections.
It appears – according to the article – that this is due to the intention of the Abi Ahmed government and its endeavor to consolidate its power by winning the upcoming elections without meaningful competition.
The Euro-Mediterranean Business Council claims – in its article in the newspaper – that these manifestations of emerging risks will likely exacerbate regional instability far beyond the Ethiopian borders.
The developments following the war on the Tigray region may have already raised geopolitical tensions. Relations with Sudan and the border dispute with it are rapidly deteriorating, which threatens the outbreak of a large-scale war.
As for the Ethiopian-Egyptian relationship, which has been linked to the Nile for a long time, it faces a dead end with regard to the Renaissance Dam. Even relations with Kenya are not so good either. Moreover, the intervention of the Eritrean forces in the wars in the regions of Tigray and Oromia further complicated matters and exacerbated internal tensions.
Although this will have a rapid impact on the Horn of Africa, and more broadly on East Africa, the repercussions of possible mass displacement and refugee crises will have far-reaching effects.
The emerging risks exacerbate the existing crises, social, economic and security ones. Humanitarian disasters, and the displacement of the population in an unprecedented manner, may follow their chapters if the situation continues as it is.
The Oromo Council expressed its belief that the accumulation of all these crises and dangers is an indication of the imminent collapse of the state, which will not be limited to Ethiopia alone, but will also affect the entire Horn of Africa and beyond.
The Addis Standard newspaper article appealed to the international community to urgently put pressure on all parties, especially the Addis Ababa government.
The Council concluded its article by setting preconditions that it deems necessary to implement before engaging in meaningful dialogue. Among them: the release of all political prisoners, the cessation of hostilities and war throughout the country, the abolition of the labeling of political parties and groups with terrorism, the reopening of political facilities and the media to all, the unconditional withdrawal of Eritrean forces from the Tigray and Oromia regions, and the removal of military and intelligence oversight from civilian life. .