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The origins of the Tigray People's Liberation Front

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Abstract

The Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF), at its inception, was grounded in an ethno-nationalist consciousness generated by the cumulative grievances of Tigrayans against successive central governments of Ethiopia. An association of Tigrayan elites, the urban-based Tigrayan National Organization (TNO), prepared the groundwork for the formation of the TPLF. The TPLF, for its part, utilized class and ethnonationalist ideologies to mobilize Tigrayans until it ousted the Mengistu government in 1991. This article analyzes how this ethno-nationalist organization emerged, grew and finally came to dominate Ethiopia — a state with an emerging multi-national character.

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... The Woyane revolt and, indeed, other popular 20th century peasant revolts in Ethiopia were a direct response to the transformation of feudal power structures that were occasioned by the modernising state (Tareke, 1996). There is agreement that the Tigrayan rebels had no secessionist aims but that the revolt and the conditions that resulted thereafter helped to crystallise a sense of Tigrayan nationalism, which was posited against the dominant Shewa-Amhara ruling class (Berhe, 2004;Prunier, 2010;Young, 1996). The Tigray peasant revolts were primarily a response to the changes brought about by the extensive transformation in political organisation-the modernisation of the state (Tareke, 1996). ...
... The key organising principle in the formation of the OLF was 'revolution and decolonisation of Oromia' (Jalata, 1993, p. 393). For the Tigrayans, the Woyane rebellion and other struggles that took place in Tigray against imperial rule laid the foundations for the emergence of the ethnonationalist TPLF (Berhe, 2004). At the time of their formation, the OLF and TPLF were thrust onto a violent national political landscape that was dominated by multiple ethno-nationalist struggles against the Dergue regime. ...
... We see this in the role played by various Tigrayan intellectuals in earlier political agitations. From the onset, the Tigrayan intellectuals framed and articulated the Tigrayan struggle along class and ethno-nationalist lines (Berhe, 2004;Gebregzhiaber, 2019). The Tigrayans expressed tangible grievances about the peasant existence and marginalisation of Tigray by the imperial government, which continued under the Dergue. ...
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This article investigates the historical and structural foundations of the war between the northern Tigray region of Ethiopia and the federal government. It does so by employing Mamdani's theoretical framework of rethinking the politics of national belonging. The article considers one of the central propositions in Mamdani's broad vision of political decolonisation, that of reimagining the relationship between nation and state in the face of violent contestations over national belonging. The article argues that the recurring civil wars in Ethiopia indicate that the country's ongoing pursuit of a nation-state is a futile exercise that will continue to produce cycles of political violence. Despite not being colonised, Ethiopia has not escaped the destructive consequences of colonial modernity that the rest of the postcolonial world continues to grapple with. The article thus locates Ethiopia's protracted and violent search for nationhood within the narrative of postcolonial modernity in Africa.
... Little research was conducted in the 1980s and early 1990s due to the problems of limited access under conditions of civil conflict. Since the 1990s, studies focused on the more recent history of the political struggle (Young 1997b ;Hendrie 1999 ;Berhe 2004). Today, Tigray is a center of attention of largely natural 59 science and survey research focusing on land degradation and natural resources management (NRM) (Hengsdijk et al. 2005 ;Holden et al. 2004 ;Nyssen et al. 2004b ;Feoli et al. 2002 ;Zeleke and Hurni 2001 ;Nyssen 1995 ;Hagos et al. 2002 ;Gebremedhin et al. 2003), food aid or poverty (Devereux 2000 ;Sharp and Devereux 2004 ;Hoddinott 2003 ;Ezra and Gebre-Egziabher 2000 ;Redda 1983 ; van der Veen and Gebrehiwot 2011), and decentralization (Egziabher and Berhanu 2004 ;Adem 2004 ; Gebre-Egzabher and Kumssa 2002 ; Segers et al. 2007 ;Segers et al. 2008a ;Chanie 2007). ...
... (side by side with Eritrea 13 ) became a center of resistance. The Tigrayan People's Liberation Front (TPLF) is rooted in these historical grievances of Tigrayan marginalization in Amhara-dominated Ethiopian politics (Berhe 2004 ;Young 1997b). ...
... Today, the TPLF continues to provide the core of the EPRDF 19 -led government in Ethiopia (Berhe 2004). The EPRDF committed itself to creating a society based on the right to self-determination and embarked on reform for decentralization (Keller and Smith 2005). ...
Thesis
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Progress in human development is threatened by the complexities of global environmental change - a defining challenge of our time. Appropriate societal responses are needed to address disturbances and increasing vulnerability of social-ecological systems. This changing context calls current development thinking into question and requires new approaches, policies, and tools to cope with growing uncertainty. With a focus on capacities instead of vulnerabilities, an approach is needed emphasizing the role of communities in planning interventions and strengthening community resilience. This research draws on vulnerability, social-ecological systems and drylands development theory to advance an integrated understanding of resilience at community level and its role towards sustainable development. To develop a general approach for development actors to characterize a community's resilience and plan locally targeted interventions is the overall objective of this research. A participatory approach towards defining and assessing community resilience forms the basis, as it is assumed this would enable development actors to more efficiently address development concerns and empower communities to strengthen their resilience. Underlying factors that determine community resilience in selected dryland communities in Tigray, northeastern Ethiopia are identified. Here, most of the population depends on subsistence agriculture, while food insecurity and poverty persist despite concerted regional development efforts. This research compares and consolidates local perceptions of determinants of community resilience that form the basis for guidelines towards a methodological framework for determining levels of community resilience in Tigray. The guidelines were used to compare levels of community resilience of communities, with implications for operationalizing community resilience in the context of drylands development practice. Findings reflect the importance of recognizing that resilience is not about maintaining a status quo, but about addressing how societies can develop in a changing environment. Prominence of resilience thinking can promote a development practice better suited to address the challenges and opportunities that changes create for poor dryland communities. Resilience thinking does not provide quick solutions, but contributes a long-term, multi-dimensional perspective of building capacities for improved responses to current needs and future change. Resilience is not a solution in itself but can contribute towards developing more resilient trajectories for drylands development.
... In the middle age, between 1755 and 1855, the country experienced a period of anarchy (Bekele, 1990a;1990b;Berhe, 2004) commonly referred to as Zemene Mesafint (Era of Princes). During this period the country was divided into several chiefdoms; although the Kingdom continued, the real power was in hands of regional princes and nobilities rather than the Kings or Queens Pankhurst, 1967). ...
... Yohannes IV fall in the battle of Metemma in 1889 fighting against the Sudanese Mahdist State. As Aregawi Berhe (2004) has rightly pointed, despite the success of Tewoodros and Yohannes "in re-establishing the Ethiopian state, the reigns of these two emperors were never stable or peaceful, due to both internal conflicts and external invasions" (p. 571). ...
... Socialist government in Ethiopia. TPLF under the banner of the Ethiopian People's Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF) controlled Addis Ababa in 1991(Paulos, 2007;Berhe, 2004;Vaughan, 2003). Nominally, EPRDF is coalition of four parties "Oromo Democratic Party" (ODP) (formerly known as "Oromo People Democratic Organisation (OPDO), "Amhara Democratic Party" (ADP) (formerly known as (SEPDM), and TPLF. ...
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This dissertation starts with a theoretical discussion on the primordial, perennial, and constructivist approaches to the concept of ethnicity. It argues that ethnic politics is positively correlated with ethnic conflict through ethnic security dilemmas, amplifying grievances, and feeding on greed. Although ethnic diversity and polarisation may affect the degree of ethnic conflict, the key factor is the political structure. Ethnic federalism and ethnic parties are structural elements that feed ethnic conflict. Since 1991, Ethiopian politics has been highly ethnicised; ethnic parties flourished, an ethnic federal system has been implemented. The 1995 constitution which exists to date institutionalised ethnic politics in Ethiopia. The implications have been massive internal displacements, the proliferation of ethnicity in every aspect of life, further disintegration due to the emergence of new ethnic groups, increasing rivalry between regional states, ethnic voting, and polarised cities. The dissertation provides some recommendations to the government of Ethiopia. Keywords: ethnicity, ethnic politics, ethnic conflict, ethnic federalism, ethnic parties, Ethiopia.
... Any effort at exploring the regime's historical past in order to understand its post-1991 politics leads to the TPLF-the organizational mantel of the EPRDF, its source of ideology and its virtual vanguard party. Founded in 1975 with the goal of liberating Tigray and having formed the multiethnic EPRDF coalition in 1989 to gain a national base and legitimacy in Ethiopia, the TPLF traces its origins in the Marxist-inspired student movements of the late 1960s and early 1970s in Ethiopia (Young 1997;Berhe 2004). It was a staunch socialist movement with its hardcore secret party, the Marxist-Leninist League of Tigray (MLLT, Malelit), embracing in the 1980s Albanian socialism which rejected political and economic liberalization (Young 1997). ...
... As seen in the second chapter, ruling parties with a violent past are more cohesive than merely neopatrimonial parties (Levitsky and Way 2010). With remarkable unified and strong organizational capacity, the Marxist-Leninist TPLF was a tightly organized front with hierarchical party structures, a disciplined leadership and membership, centralized decision-making, and secrecy-factors which led in the mid-1980s to the secret establishment of a small, highly centralized, and clandestine Malelit party leading the front from the shadows until end of the war (Berhe 2004). The post-war organization and operation of the TPLF/EPRDF closely resembles its past practices and principles. ...
... This professional commitment is seen as creating trust and legitimizing physician authority over patient treatment. 18 Haug and others note that the greater the differential between provider knowledge and expertise and that held by patients, the greater the scope of professional power (Haug, 1976) -an observation pertinent to Ethiopia where the education gap is especially large. Parsons briefly distinguishes between individual provider activities and those of medical societies: the latter are seen as having an incentive to avoid engaging in policy work even on medical issues for which physicians have direct expertise if it will cause conflict among members (Parsons, 1951). ...
... You need initiators to take it up to the top of 33 The TPLF's commitment to improving women's status had immediate pragmatic as well as longer-term yields. Its early reforms furthering gender equality (education, later marriage) proved a strong recruiting device for rural girls and women -important as over a third of the TPLF fighters were women (Berhe Gebrelibanos, 1999;Berhe, 2004;Veale, 2003b;Young, 1994). ...
Conference Paper
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Unsafe abortion is one of the three leading causes of maternal mortality in low-income countries; however, few countries have reformed their laws to permit safer, legal abortion, and professional medical associations have not tended to spearhead this type of reform. To the contrary, theory predicts and the empirical record largely reveals that medical associations shy from engagement in conflictual policy-making such as on abortion, except when professional income or autonomy is at stake. Using interviews with obstetrician-gynecologists (10) and others familiar with the reproductive health policy context in Ethiopia (44) and other primary data, this research examines why, counter to theoretical expectations and experience elsewhere, the Ethiopian Society of Obstetricians & Gynecologists (ESOG) actively supported reform of national law on abortion. We find that ESOG leadership's participation was motivated by both their professional experience as obstetrician-gynecologists and their personal and ESOG's organizational commitments to reducing maternal mortality. ESOG policy contributions were also associated with circumstances that relaxed or removed negative repercussions to medical society involvement in policymaking, including those related to organizational structure and experience and to the political environment. This study can inform efforts to facilitate medical society participation in policy reform to improve women's reproductive health elsewhere in the region.
... Likewise, TPLF was formed to struggle for the independence of Tigray. In fact, according to Aregawi (2004), TPLF was originally an ethno-nationalist movement that aimed to secure the self-determination of Tigray within Ethiopia. ...
... Factionalism was strongly forbidden, and ideas would filter upwards but once policies were adopted, power was intended to flow only downward (Paulos, 2003). The TNO's immediate goal was achieved when it transformed itself into an armed organization, the TPLF, in February 1975 (Aregawi, 2004). Ethno-nationalism is the most basic foundation pursued by TPLF since its inception and has persisted until today (Tefera, 2019). ...
Article
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It is about the political strategy of TPLF in post-2018 Ethiopia.
... Likewise, TPLF was formed to struggle for the independence of Tigray. In fact, according to Aregawi (2004), TPLF was originally an ethno-nationalist movement that aimed to secure the self-determination of Tigray within Ethiopia. ...
... Factionalism was strongly forbidden, and ideas would filter upwards but once policies were adopted, power was intended to flow only downward (Paulos, 2003). The TNO's immediate goal was achieved when it transformed itself into an armed organization, the TPLF, in February 1975 (Aregawi, 2004). Ethno-nationalism is the most basic foundation pursued by TPLF since its inception and has persisted until today (Tefera, 2019). ...
Article
The upsurge of TPLF led regime to power installed ethnic politics and deconstruction of Ethiopian history with corporate corruption, ultra-vires and pseudo-federalism. The misappropriations of national assets added with autocratic nature of the regime procreated erratic political oppositions and protests since the party set on to power. The political marginalization at intra-party level also created split, which brought state elites in Amhara and Oromia regions to support the acute popular protest. These political scenarios have compelled TPLF to abscond into Mekelle and the coming of reformist leaders to power in 2018. This paper thus aimed to uncover TPLF ’s political strategy in post 2018 Ethiopia by employing a qualitative case study with a secondary data obtained from Mass Media, commentaries and digitized outlets. The loss of key political positions and attachment of the regime’s wrong deeds to TPLF has bugging its elites after the coming of the new premiership. As counter to the reformist leaders, TPLF undertook huge militarization, destabilization and proxies, inducing popular fear, supporting like-minded regional oppositions to propagandize sensitive political issues to regain its lost prestige. This power rivalry created political absurdism, where political decisions and policies of the reformists had continued to be officially banned by TPLF in a way that disastrously impacted the survival of the state. Thus, it is important to undertake political reconciliation to freeze the prevailing political deadlocks for the continuation of the polity.
... The ruling party's past reforms to improve women's status and its receptiveness to further reform emboldened civil society reform supporters. The party was known to be secular, had enacted several substantial policy reforms to improve the status of women, and prioritized improving women's status as a necessary step toward achieving socioeconomic development [65][66][67]. Interviewees saw the ruling party's long-standing political ideology and experience as predisposing it to further progressive reforms related to women and reproductive health. ...
... The growing numbers of active civil society organizations, a relatively free press, and government receptiveness to structured civil society involvement in Penal Code reform enabled those in the reproductive health field and women's rights advocates to contribute. Interviewees described the government's model of national policy change as one in which education and outreach to build public support for policy enactment were viewed as prerequisites and keys to actual policy implementation-a modus operandi dating back to its roots as an insurgency movement [65,72]. ...
Article
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Background: In 2005, Ethiopia took a bold step in reforming its abortion law as part of the overhaul of its Penal Code. Unsafe abortion is one of the three leading causes of maternal mortality in low-income countries; however, few countries have liberalized their laws to permit safer, legal abortion. Methods: This retrospective case study describes the actors and processes involved in Ethiopia's reform and assesses the applicability of theories of agenda setting focused on internal versus external explanations. It draws on 54 interviews conducted in 2007 and 2012 with informants from civil society organizations, health professionals, government, international nongovernmental organizations and donors, and others familiar with the reproductive health policy context in Ethiopia as well as on government data, national policies, and media reports. The analytic methodology is within-case analysis through process tracing: using causal process observations (pieces of data that provide information about context, process, or mechanism and can contribute to causal inference) and careful description and sequencing of factors in order to describe a novel political phenomenon and evaluate potential explanatory hypotheses. Results: The analysis of key actors and policy processes indicates that the ruling party and its receptiveness to reform, the energy of civil society actors, the "open windows" offered by the vehicle of the Penal Code reform, and the momentum of reforms to improve women's status, all facilitated liberalization of law on abortion. Results suggest that agenda setting theories focusing on national actors-rather than external causes-better explain the Ethiopian case. In addition, the stronger role for government across areas of policy work (policy specification and politics, mobilization for enactment and for implementation), and the collaborative civil society and government policy relationships working toward implementation are largely internal, unlike those predicted by theories focusing on external forces behind policy adoption. Conclusions: Ethiopia's policymaking process can inform policy reform efforts related to abortion in other sub-Saharan Africa settings.
... [ii] Hammond (1989), Berhane-Selassie (1991), Adugna (2001), Mjaaland (2004), Berhe (2004), Burgess (2013). See also Civil Code 1960 andKrzeczunowicz (1967). ...
Article
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This fieldwork focused on exploring local men's, women's and clergy's perceptions and understandings of spousal abuse in juxtaposition to: a) a theology-informed analysis of Church teachings concerning the metaphysics of gender relations, marriage and spousal abuse, and b) an analysis of culture-specific gender ideals and norms. This research has been motivated by the aim to identify local mechanisms and resources for changing attitudes that sustain spousal abuse and, especially, the relevance and feasibility of theology-informed and clergy-centred solutions. Ms Istratii presents here an overview of the project and fieldwork, contextualising it in the relevant literatures and the rationale for its epistemological and methodological innovations. While early to reach any conclusions, some research findings are delineated in ways that suggest intricate, multifarious realities on the ground and the need for multidimensional approaches to normative change.
... The Tigray People's Liberation Front (TPLF) is the core of the EPRDF as it was instrumental in forming it and has provided its ideological direction as well as much of its leadership (Young, 2004). The TPLF was formed by Marxist-Leninist students who left the civilian movements after the 1974 Revolution, and launched a rural-based struggle in 1975 (Berhe, 2004). ...
... The bayto provided a mechanism for top-down wartime governance and served to implement the TPLF's war policies and "generate the maximum contribution to the movement's project" according to one of the founders of the TPLF. 40 Civilian administration supported the military agenda, and health workers and local administrators in liberated zones were regarded as "fighters" in the "people's struggle". 41 During the famine of the mid-1980s, the Front had the capacity and local legitimacy to organize a massive movement of the population from Tigray to TPLF-controlled camps in Sudan. ...
Article
In a number of cases, rebel movements that won civil wars transformed into powerful authoritarian political parties that dominated post-war politics. Parties whose origins are as victorious insurgent groups have different legacies and hence different institutional structures and patterns of behaviour than those that originated in breakaway factions of ruling parties, labour unions, non-violent social movements, or identity groups. Unlike classic definitions of political parties, post-rebel parties are not created around the need to win elections but rather as military organizations focused on winning an armed struggle. Key attributes of victorious rebel movements, such as cohesive leadership, discipline, hierarchy, and patterns of military administration of liberated territory, shape post-insurgent political parties and help explain why post-insurgent parties are often strong and authoritarian. This article seeks to identify the mechanisms that link rebel victory in three East African countries (U...
... 49 Those members of TUSA who participated during the formation of TNO were seven in number. These include Zer'u Gessesse (Agazi), Fantahun Zer'atshion (Gidey), Mulugeta Hagos (Asfeha), Embaye Mesfine (Seyum), Alemseged Mengesha (Hailu), Amha Tsehaye (Abay) and Aregawi Berhe (Berihu) (Aregawi, 2004 , pp. 578- 79). 50 Zer'u, Fentahun, Mulugeta and Embaye, Alemseged, and Aregawi were the students of Law, Mechanical Engineering, Natural Science, Social Science and Political Science respectively. ...
Article
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This paper examines how the educated people of Tigray took over the illiterate ones to fight against the imperial government. Local songs, poems and sayings used against Emperor Haileslasie are discussed. Following the liberation of Ethiopia from the Italian occupation in 1941, Emperor Haileslasie introduced a number of reforms, many of which were rejected by the people of Ethiopia. The imperial government used different measures including force to implement its policies. This created resentment in the people over whom repressive actions were undertaken. What happened in Tigray in 1942/43 is a good example. The Qedamay (First) Woyane Rebellion of 1942/43 broke out due to high taxation, maladministration, corruption, political feud etc. Although the rebellion failed because British Royal Arms intervened, the people did not remain submissive to the regime. A number of Tegaru University students from different Awrajas of Tigray joined Hailslasie I University at different times. The university served as an academic and political school where they agreed on how to save their communities from miserable lives. They formed an organization called Tigrean University Students Association (TUSA) that served them as an umbrella and binding pot. Members and supporters of this association were ready to pay any sacrifices for the betterment of their people. They made the society fight against the feudal regime and did everything to solve the problem of their people. With time, TUSA supporters increased. The association was renamed MAGEBT, then TNO and finally TPLF. Many Tegaru University students paid with their golden lives, time and properties in their struggle against the feudal regime. Finally, they successfully toppled the imperial regime. However, their struggle continued after the end of the imperial regime. Due to the absence of well organized civil government, another oppressive government, the Derg, assumed power.
... It is stated that the program was aimed at politicizing the young students with the ongoing political conditions of the country. 15 Initially, the imperial government did not know the university students' hidden agenda and no serious supervision was done on them. But, later, the former realized the challenge of the latter against it after which the number of police forces in the town was increased greatly. ...
Article
During the imperial regime of Emperor Haileslasie, there were only three secondary schools in Tigray Province. These were Atse Yohannis of Enderta, Nigiste Saba of Adwa and Agazi of Agame Awrajas. These secondary schools were centers of dissent. Linguistic oppression, maladministration and lack of adequate social institutions created very strong dissatisfaction among the people of Tigray Province. As what was happening in other parts of the province, there was very strong student anti-government political movement in Agazi Secondary School. Since the late 1960s, strike, demonstration, fighting against the police and breaking government vehicles became common political activities in the school. Both university and high school students of Agame Awraja arranged meetings, distributed several pamphlets and composed many revolutionary songs which agitated mass-based armed struggle against the imperial regime. Their strong determination to pay any form of sacrifice for the betterment of their society marked the end of the imperial regime in September 1974. This article is based on primary and secondary sources. The former includes numerous archival materials, information obtained from interviews of knowledgeable individuals, while the latter consists of books, articles and theses. These sources are critically examined and cross-checked for their reliability. Key words: Students, boycott, demonstration, opposition, Agazi, Adigrat, Agame.
... The Tigrayan People's Liberation Front, widely regarded through the 1980s as a good fit for the liberation struggle narrative, also engaged in banditry and other criminal activities as it launched its war against Ethiopia's government, but such actions were seen as necessary if it was to pursue the noble cause of liberation from the oppression of Ethiopia's Marxist government. 18 Thus as Liberia's civil war began, Taylor struggled to claim the mantle of the leader of a liberation struggle against a growing tide of opinion that was more inclined to critical observation of his personal deeds, negative judgments about his motives, censure of how the NPFL mobilized and organized its fighters, and concern about the rebels' treatment of civilians. ...
... However, EPRDF is often referred to as the 'Tigrayan front' because of the dominant position of the TPLF in government and key military positions (Berhe, 2004;Habtu, 2005;Ishiyama, 2012). Ishiyama (2012) summarizes the relationship between the TPLF and other members of EPRDF in the Ethiopian government as follows: "All four regional-ethnic parties were created by the TPLF and formed the EPRDF. ...
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In this paper, we analyze the implications for the economic valuation of the provision of public goods, considering respondents' perceptions of the institution(s) that provide the service. The specific behavioral mechanism whereby institutional distrust (ID) shows itself is through the activation of screening of choice options (choice set formation). However, ID-induced choice set formation might be confounded with the consumer budget constraint, especially in a developing country context, leading to biased welfare estimates for service improvement. We formulate a semi-compensatory hybrid choice set formation (SC-HCSF) model that enables us to 1) discriminate the effect of a budget constraint from that of ID-induced choice set formation and 2) characterize their separate impacts on welfare estimates using a spatial framework. We compare our model results to those from a standard Random Parameters Logit (RPL) Model. The RPL underestimates (overestimates) welfare when individuals have a low (high) ID. Based on our empirical model results, we demonstrate that the impacts of ignoring institutional trust issues can be highly deleterious to project appraisals, particularly in settings where legislative and regulatory institutions are perceived to be endemically corrupt. JEL classification: DO2, D60, C01, Q50
... The 1995 FDRE constitution guarantees the freedom of religion. So as to ensure religious freedom of citizens, the constitution clearly prohibits the interference of the government in the affairs of the religion under article 11 (3). Citizens can follow their own religion as there is no state religion which is imposed by the state (Art. ...
Article
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The objective of this paper is to examine the place of customary and religious laws and practices in the Ethiopian constitutions. To this end, the study made comparison as to the place of those elements in the four constitutions, thereby implying the changes and continuities. As a result, the study shows that the 1995 FDRE constitution better incorporated the customary and religious laws and practices as compared to other constitutions. The 1987 PDRE constitution is also relatively good compared to the 1931 and 1955 Imperial constitutions in terms of recognizing those elements in a way that can ensure equality of all sections of the society.
... When they completed their military training they were sent back to Tigray accompanied by an EPLF veteran fighter of Tigrayan origin by the name Mehari Tekle to serve as a military leader in the emergent liberation organisation. The first batch which was trained by the EPLF, the future senior TPLF leaders and latter EPRDF government leaders include: Abay Tzehaye, Siye Abraha, Awalom Weldu, Agazi, Seyum Mesfin, Aregawi Berhe (Drar 1999:7; Berhe 2004:586). Nevertheless, already, in 1976, due to the TPLF's Manifesto of that year, relations between the two organisations suffered serious setbacks. ...
Article
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The article highlights some of the embedded plausible causes of the war that are quite often glossed over. It argues that at the centre of the conflict stand different perceptions of history, identity, as well as claims and counterclaims of state rights, decolonisation process, and nation-state formation. Beyond the minor border skirmishes of May 1998, the contested interpretation of history and identity formation, and the concomitant search for a separate identity and sovereignty, on one hand, and denial of that separate identity and sovereignty, on the other, explain the Eritrea-Ethiopia conflict. In that sense the Eritrea-Ethiopia conflict will be found to revolve around the status of Eritrean independence. Moreover two sets of the conflict – Tigray-Eritrea and Ethiopia-Eritrea – have further complicated the search for settlement of the conflict. The first step towards finding a lasting solution that would normalise relations between the two countries would be Ethiopia's definitive and unconditional recognition and acceptance of separate Eritrean identity and sovereignty, including its colonial boundaries. Both the people of Tigray, and Ethiopia as a whole, need to accept this reality. Secondly, Ethiopia's legitimate interest should be addressed in a manner that will not undermine Eritrea's sovereignty. Only then will Ethiopia's need to have access to the sea find lasting and amicable solution acceptable to both sides.
... The TPLF conceded the prevalence of this problem when it evaluated its ten-year experience in 1985 and noted that: Evaluations and debates within the TPLF were concentrated within the narrow circle of the vanguard communist force. 5 If differences emerge, they will be considered as big secrets and are maintained within the top leadership. Additionally, relationships between the TPLF, which remains the dominant force within the EPRDF and the other members of the ERPDF, are still characterized by asymmetry in which the former continues to enjoy disproportionate power. ...
Article
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Ethiopia People Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRD) is a political party in charge of government power since 1991. EPRDF is established in 1989 out of Rebel group to party transformation with the view to oust the military government called Derg. It is a coalition of four parties political organization i.e. Tigray People Liberation Front (TPLF)- which is an architect of EPRDF, Amhara National Democratic Movements (ANDM) in 1980, Oromo People Liberation Organization (OPDO ) and Southern Ethiopian People Democratic Movement ( SEPDM) However, in spite of the nominally coalition structure of the EPRDF, from the beginning the TPLF provided the leadership and ideological direction to other members of the coalition. To maintain the dominant position within the coalition the TPLF has transferred its rebel time internal governance network that focuses on traditional Marxist Leninist organizational lines, with an emphasis on “democratic centralism”; and a tradition of hierarchically organizational structure to the newly established political organization i.e. EPRDF. Consequently, the EPRDF intraparty network and governance system is dominated by the use of ML (Marxist-Leninist) authoritarian methods and hegemonic control, rigid hierarchical leadership; Democratic centralism, the dominance of the party apparatus behind the façade of regional and local autonomy, an extensive patron-client mechanisms; the use of force to silence opposition within and outside the party; intertwined State institutions and the party system and excessive reliance on party entity instead of state administration units; and gim gema (self-evaluation) are worth mentioning. These intraparty network and governance system have severely limited genuine democratization within the party as well as hampered the democratization process in the country. The party is facing increasing pressure and challenge from within the party and the public at large demanding equal status and fair political economic representation. In effect, EPRDF is in deep crisis shattered by internal divisions, crises as well as external public pressure forcing the party to entertain democratic principles and culture. Hence, it is recommended that the organizational structure and the values and principles governing the organization should be revisited within the framework of democracy which allows adaptability and flexibility given the various change agents in the socio-cultural, economic, political environment.
... But, this agenda was quickly modified into cultural and political autonomy of Tigray within democratized Ethiopia (Aregawi, 2008;Tronvoll and Vaughan, 2003). To achieve its objective, TPLF utilizes class and ethnic-nationalist ideologies to rally Tigrayans until 1991 (Aregawi, 2004). Though class-based debates exist before and during TPLF's inception, later ethno-nationalism become its ideological layer (Tefera, 2019). ...
... The new freedom of ownership enjoyed also allowed more radio dramas that were powerful in mobilising the population in support of the rebels. Culture was indeed a considerable force rarely exploited elsewhere but used by the TPLF to mobilise a broad spectrum of the populace (Berhe 2004). ...
Article
The article explores the historical genesis and function of an Ethiopian rebel radio station in the fight against the rule of Mengistu Haile Mariam (1974–1990) through mobilisation, politicisation and organisation of the Tigrean population in and outside Ethiopia. As a motivational technology, the clandestine radio added momentum to the rebellion helping it expand into northern, central, southern and western Ethiopia in the late 1980s when the Tigray Peoples Liberation Front formed the nucleus of an emergent Pan-Ethiopian rebel group: Ethiopian Peoples’ Revolutionary Democratic Front. The architects of the rebel movement were aided in the recruitment of fighters and conscientisation of the Tigray and other national groups through different strategies that helped acquire legitimacy in the “counter-state” of rebel held territories and beyond. Broadcasting from Ethiopia's cloud-capped highest mountain Ras Dashen and then from an inconspicuous cave to evade detection and bombing, the radio was a symbol of resistance that provided combat and political news and alternative perspectives to those of the government. The insurgent radio was also engaged in countering image threats from the Mengistu Haile Mariam state as well as rival rebel entities that had engaged in reputational attacks against it. The historic radio invoked mythology, heroism and martyrdom as important mass communication strategies of the insurgency until the culmination of the war in 1991.
... In this context, Tigrayan women were able to fight alongside men. It is generally agreed that this resulted in the improvement of Ethiopian women's social status (Hammond, 1989;Tsehai Berhane-Selassie, 1991;Minale Adugna, 2001;Mjaaland, 2004;Aregawi Berhe, 2004;Burgess, 2013;Civil Code 1960;Krzeczunowicz, 1967). Given this religio-historic matrix, one might presume that there would be disapproval towards conjugal abuse in the region. ...
Article
In recent years, there has been a proliferation of studies on intimate partner violence in Ethiopia. The latest Ethiopian Demographic and Health surveys have established that marital violence, affecting women primarily, is commonplace and is widely “justified” by populations across Ethiopia. Surprisingly, very little research has been conducted on the ethnographic realities of conjugal abuse or, and especially, on the interface of people’s attitudes about the issue with their religious beliefs and folklore systems. Paralleling the wider field of gender-based violence studies in African development, many of the available studies presuppose feminist explanations that associate conjugal abuse with gender inequalities, which are fostered through cultural or religious parameters. These are presented without providing, however, rigorous empirical evidence to demonstrate the connections. This paper presents a previously unexplored theology-informed anthropological study into the realities of conjugal abuse and attitudes in the predominantly Orthodox Täwahedo population of Aksum, Northern Ethiopia. This study utilised a decolonial conceptual and methodological approach and combined a gender-sensitive ethnographic analysis in the local languages with an investigation of the local religious tradition from an informed insider’s perspective. This study provides a preliminary look into some of the mechanisms that have contributed to the perpetuation of conjugal abuse and its tolerance in the rural communities and the city of Aksum. It adds considerable complexity to the interpretation of attitudes towards conjugal abuse that are not currently captured in population surveys or existing studies from Ethiopia. Résumé Ces dernières années, les études sur la violence entre partenaires intimes en Éthiopie se sont multipliées. Les dernières enquêtes éthiopiennes sur la démographie et la santé ont établi que la violence conjugale affectant principalement les femmes est courante et largement légitimée dans toute l’Éthiopie. Étonnamment, très peu de recherches ont été menées sur les réalités plus ethnographiques de la violence conjugale et en particulier sur les connexions entre l’attitude des gens face à la question et leurs croyances religieuses et systèmes culturels.Parallèlement au champ plus large de la violence liée au genre dans le développement de l’Afrique, de nombreuses études disponibles présupposent des explications féministes, associant la violence conjugale à des inégalités de genre favorisées par des paramètres culturels ou religieux, sans fournir de preuves empiriques rigoureuses pour démontrer ce lien. Cet article présente une enquête anthropologique originale, fondée sur la théologie, sur les réalités et les attitudes des individus face aux abus conjugaux chez les chrétiens orthodoxes Täwahedo d’Aksum, dans le nord de l’Éthiopie. Cette étude a adopté une approche conceptuelle et méthodologique décoloniale et a combiné un cadre analytique sensible au genre théorisé de « l’intérieur » avec une étude approfondie de la tradition religieuse locale. L’étude fournit un premier aperçu de certains des mécanismes qui ont contribué à la perpétuation de violences conjugales et à la tolérance envers celles-ci dans les communautés urbaines et rurales d’Aksoum, ajoutant une complexité considérable à l’interprétation des attitudes face à la violence conjugale qui ne sont actuellement pas prises en compte dans les enquêtes démographiques et autres études produites en Éthiopie.
... As the late Donald Levine, the renowned American sociologist who extensively studied on Ethiopia, once said, so much of the tragedy that Ethiopia has faced till today has to do with a Socialist-Leninist inspired historical narrative of students during the Ethiopian Student Movement that also became an overarching organizing principle for several political groups throughout Ethiopia including the ones that captured state power today (Levin,6 March 2012 on Ethiopian Satellite Television; see https://www. youtube.com/watch?v=f8kX_cMqRIo&pbjreload=10 2. Further discussion of the TPLF program can be found in Berhe (2004). Liberation Front and Oromo Liberation Front in a rather manipulative way to protect the interest of ethnic groups that they claim to represent. ...
Article
Ethiopia is currently undergoing a significant political transition, a transition that began with the ascendency of Abiy Ahmed as a new chairman of the Ethiopian People’s Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF) and Prime Minister of the country. In a span of a little over a year, bold political reforms have been introduced. At the same time, these reforms have exacerbated ethnic tensions in the country. In a country that has experimented with ethnic federalism and where ethnicity is the main political organizing principle, the pressure towards ethno-national political movements is quite strong. This pressure has transformed the political identity of many groups, including the Amhara. Despite its longtime role as a major constituency for pan-Ethiopianist movements, many Ethiopians claim that the Amhara, the second largest ethnic group in Ethiopia, has recently exhibited a trend towards ethnonationalism. In this paper we explore two questions. First, is there evidence that an Amhara nationalism is emerging? And if so, what may be causing this? Using recent data from both the Afrobarometer and World Values Survey, we find a growing sense of defensive Amhara nationalism among Amhara respondents, although there is no indication of a general abandonment of the “Ethiopianist ( Ethiopiawinet)” ideal. We argue that this defensive nationalism is a product of a “security dilemma” dynamic facing the Amhara as the result of the continuation of the “Oppressor/Oppressed” narrative that has been adopted by the EPRDF regime. This ethnonational appeal resonates with young Amhara males, and those who believe that their group has been unfairly treated by the current regime.
... 59 A veteran of the party underlined that Revolutionary Democracy is 'intrinsically linked to both the ethno-nationalist and ultra-leftist stances of the faction led by Meles Zenawi' in the party. 60 Furthermore, Revolutionary Democracy called for the market to function but also required strong intervention by the state. The TPLF claimed that the crucial actors that serve the purpose of accomplishing the economic goals of the front were the state and revolutionary democratic forces. ...
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The Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) has led Ethiopia for close to three decades as a core party within the Ethiopian People’s Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF) coalition. Various ideological claims permeated the consolidation of power by the TPLF, which now seems to be questioned by the new leadership in the EPRDF. This article locates the critical junctures in the history of the party and analyses how those junctures relate to power concentration rather than to ideological shifts as purported by the party. It argues that the circumstances surrounding the ‘shifts’ in ideologies by the TPLF show that ideologies were used to consolidate power within the party and later impose domination at the state level. A thorough investigation of the ideological history of the TPLF is crucial as Ethiopia seems to be standing at a critical ideological crossroad. Through a deep hermeneutic interpretation, the article concludes that leftist ideological threads such as a focus on vanguard rule, party-directed economy, and Stalinist understandings of ethnicity run throughout the ideological shifts of the TPLF. The article synthesizes the cosmetic ideological shifts in the context of a pragmatic party that has been applying market socialism.
... These pre-existing issues should not be assessed in isolation from Tigrayan women's efforts to improve the status of women and to address violence and inequalities affecting women and girls, especially in the period since the liberation struggle against the Derg (Hammond, 1989;Tsehai Berhane-Selassie, 1991;Minale Adugna, 2001;Mjaaland, 2004;Aregawi Berhe, 2004;Burgess, 2013;Krzeczunowicz, 1967). The consequences of the ongoing conflict and strategies to support victims/survivors need to be identified with an understanding of regional history and wider sociocultural and gender frameworks and available resources locally. ...
Technical Report
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Unexpectedly, on 4 November 2020 (four days after the official start date of project dldl/ድልድል), a conflict erupted in Tigray region. The eruption of the war raised an urgent need to pay attention to violence experienced in political conflict and to war trauma and to understand the implications for domestic life and family relations in the conflict-affected communities, as well as identify appropriate approaches considerate of Tigray's religio-cultural fabric. To address these objectives, a rapid scoping literature review was undertaken in the three months following the outset of the conflict to identify the state of evidence on the relationship between political violence and domestic violence internationally paying particular attention on the role of religio-cultural parameters in this relationship. Urgent responses to SGBV and efforts to promote children’s protection are currently being led by international humanitarian agencies in coordination with relevant government ministries, as well as organisations working in the region with access and capacity to contribute to the wider humanitarian response. It is hoped that the presentation of this evidence can help international, regional, national and local actors, including women’s organisations in Tigray currently working in the warzone to identify how they might better support affected individuals in ways that not only respond to the immediate consequences of war-related violence but also consider previously existing forms of violence and resources to prevent and address further abuse in domestic and communal life post displacement while the conflict is still ongoing and in post-conflict society when peace is, hopefully, restored.
... EPRDF was composed of three ethnic groups: the Oromo Peoples' Democratic Organization (OPDO), the Amhara National Democratic Movement (ANDM) and TPLF, and one multiethnic group: the South Ethiopian Peoples' Democratic Front (SEPDF). However, EPRDF was often referred to as the 'Tigrayan front' because of the dominant position of the TPLF in government and vital military positions (Berhe, 2004;Habtu, 2005;Ishiyama, 2012). Ishiyama (2012) summarizes the relationship between the TPLF and other members of EPRDF in the Ethiopian government as follows: "All four regional-ethnic parties were created by the TPLF and formed the EPRDF. ...
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In this paper, we analyze the implications for the economic valuation of the provision of public goods, considering respondents’ perceptions of the institution(s) that provide the service. The specific behavioral mechanism whereby institutional distrust (ID) shows itself is through the activation of screening of choice options (choice set formation). However, ID-induced choice set formation might be confounded with the consumer budget constraint, especially in a developing country context, leading to biased welfare estimates for service improvement. We formulate a semi-compensatory hybrid choice set formation (SC-HCSF) model that enables us to 1) discriminate the effect of a budget constraint from that of ID-induced choice set formation and 2) characterize their separate impacts on welfare estimates using a spatial framework. We compare our model results to those from a standard Random Parameters Logit (RPL) Model. The RPL underestimates (overestimates) welfare when individuals have a low (high) ID. Based on our empirical model results, we demonstrate that the impacts of ignoring institutional trust issues can be highly deleterious to project appraisals, particularly in settings where legislative and regulatory institutions are perceived to be endemically corrupt.
Article
The Eritrean independence war (1961–1991) from Ethiopia was an important factor in the overthrow of Emperor Haile Selassie in 1974. But Eritrean nationalists’ failure to cooperate with Ethiopian civilian revolutionaries who brought about the downfall of the monarchy is partially to blame for the subsequent escalation of the war for Eritrea. Piggy backing on grassroots revolutionary momentum and thinly disguised behind progressive rhetoric, a military junta took power in Addis. Determined to preserve the Ethiopian imperial edifice, the new government remained true to its persistent declarations that it would fight Eritrean independence by every means available. As its military revved up its operations, it became clear that Eritrean battlefield victory against such forces and peaceful coexistence with Ethiopia afterwards required a new strategy of working in concert with Ethiopians of different stock from those who founded and presided over the empire. This paper shows Eritrean nationalist leaders of the 1970s and 1980s mustering the political guile necessary to reap irreversible gains from allying with Ethiopians opposed to the central government in Addis Ababa.
Article
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The Ethio-Eritrean war (1998-2000) is often considered a turning point in the nationalist discourse of the Ethiopian People’s Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF) and the main cause of the reactivation of a strong Pan-Ethiopian nationalism (here taken as synonymous with Ethiopianness), after the introduction of “ethnic federalism” in 1995. This paper argues that Pan-Ethiopian and “ethnic” nationalism coexisted in TPLF-EPRDF’s nationalism before the 1998-2000 war. As a political and pragmatic tool to grasp and keep power, the “multifaceted” nationalism of the EPRDF was adapted and adjusted to new circumstances. This explains the ease with which Pan-Ethiopianism was reactivated and reinvented from 1998 onwards. In this process, the 2005 general elections and the rise of opposition groups defending a Pan-Ethiopian nationalism also represented an important influence in EPRDF’s nationalist adjustment.
Article
The violence trap theory stipulates that rent-based, closed-access orders impede development, whereas open-access orders make development possible. Transition toward an open-access order occurs gradually through standardizing elite privileges, legal perpetuity mechanisms, and political-military consolidation. Using this framework, this article identifies important variables that are missing from prevailing narratives of political development in African states. Accordingly, within-case analysis of Ethiopia’s recent political transitions reveals progressive development transitions under Emperor Haile Selassie and regression toward a fragile state after the 1974 revolution. With the revolution of 1991, a new regime reconsolidated the state but maintained a closed-access order, excluding competing elites by monopolizing rents through ethnic patronage. The legacies of these transitions may illuminate institutional mechanisms impeding development in present-day Ethiopia. With this line of inquiry, this article establishes a framework for analyzing institutional development impediments in contemporary African states.
Article
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Recent scholarship on the institutionalization of politics in Africa has highlighted the consolidation of constitutional leadership turnover in electoral democracies. However, leadership turnover is not limited to democracies, and is increasingly also regularized in a subset of non-democratic regimes ruled by dominant parties. Why have some dominant ruling parties in Africa been able to facilitate leadership turnover while others have not? With evidence from a detailed case study of Ethiopia’s leadership transitions, we argue that the historical persistence of ideology and its institutional expressions are important drivers of dominant parties’ ability to manage leadership turnover. In Ethiopia, the ideology of ethno-national self-determination (forged in the 1960s) influenced political development for decades, culminating in the adoption of constitutional ethnic federalism and the creation of a ruling party alliance comprised of ethno-national parties. This institutional backdrop defined the contours of transitions in 2012 and 2018. It also explains contestations over the nature of federalism in Ethiopia, including the outbreak of conflict in Tigray in 2020. In addition to highlighting the role of ideology in African politics, this paper brings a comparative perspective to the study of Ethiopia, a country that is often studied in isolation.
Article
Revolution, civil wars, and guerilla warfare wracked Ethiopia during three turbulent decades at the end of the twentieth century. This book is a pioneering study of the military history and political significance of this crucial Horn of Africa region during that period. Drawing on new archival materials and interviews, Gebru Tareke illuminates the conflicts, comparing them to the Russian and Iranian revolutions in terms of regional impact. Writing in vigorous and accessible prose, Tareke brings to life the leading personalities in the domestic political struggles, strategies of the warring parties, international actors, and key battles. He demonstrates how the brutal dictatorship of Mengistu Haile Mariam lacked imagination in responding to crises and alienated the peasantry by destroying human and material resources. And he describes the delicate balance of persuasion and force with which northern insurgents mobilized the peasantry and triumphed. The book sheds invaluable light not only on modern Ethiopia but also on post-colonial state formation and insurrectionary politics worldwide.
Chapter
Twenty years after the end of the 1998–2000 conflict between Eritrea and Ethiopia we still need to develop a better understanding of those events based on a critical assessment of the political history of the region. This chapter attempts to contribute toward a deeper involvement of historians and historiography in the understanding of this conflict. I argue that, though the 1998–2000 conflict bears obvious elements of specificity related to contemporary regional and international politics, important elements of understanding can be retrieved through a broader retrospective gaze focusing on the way social, economic and cultural interactions have moulded regional politics. Dynamic interrelations, together with elements of rivalry and antagonism, have layered through time, shaping the nature of the present relationship between Eritrea and Ethiopia. Those elements of rivalry and even antagonism should not be interpreted in mechanical terms as necessary causes for the recent conflict but rather as successive layers of tension and uneasiness that within given geopolitical balances (or unbalances) of powers could prevail over peaceful interactions and provide a platform for conflicting relations.
Article
The Ethio-Eritrea border war, which took place from 1998–2000, was not formally resolved until the signing of a peace declaration on 9 July 2018. Known as a ‘fight between two bald men over a comb’, this conflict has long puzzled social scientists and political analysts. While the two countries provided different explanations for the conflict to rally public support and justify the price of war, the author argues that the conflict exceeded the logics of territorial integrity. Rather, he contends that given the colonial legacy of intentionally instituting borders to divide communities and ethnic groups, it is not possible to fully understand the border dispute without accounting for the transnational nature of the ruling ethnic groups. This is because the border and ethnic conflicts that have characterised post-colonial Africa have usually been linked to the creation of inter-ethnic groups, intra-ethnic competition and artificial boundaries between neighbouring nation-states. The Ethio-Eritrea border dispute is best understood through the lens of an ethno-linguistic struggle for supremacy disguised as a patriotic campaign against invaders. The paper concludes by reflecting on the durability of the 2018 peace declaration.
Article
By analyzing Ethiopia's rule over Eritrea and Indonesia's rule over East Timor, Third World Colonialism and Strategies of Liberation compares the colonialism of powerful third world countries on their smaller, less powerful neighbors. Through a comparative study of Eritrean and East Timorese grand strategies of liberation, this book documents the inner workings of the nationalist movements and traces the sources of government types in these countries. In doing so, Awet Tewelde Weldemichael challenges existing notions of grand strategy as a unique prerogative of the West and opposes established understanding of colonialism as an exclusively Western project on the non-Western world. In addition to showing how Eritrea and East Timor developed sophisticated military and non-military strategies, Weldemichael emphasizes that the insurgents avoided terrorist methods when their colonizers indiscriminately bombed their countries, tortured and executed civilians, held them hostage, starved them deliberately and continuously threatened them with harsher measures.
Article
The core issue examined is the link between sovereignty and statelessness as this plays out in The Horn of Africa and in the West. The book provides a valuable insight into how nations create and perpetuate statelessness, the failure of law, both national and international, to protect and address the plight of stateless persons, and the illusory nature of nationalism, citizenship and human rights in the modern age. The study is one of a very few which examines the problem of statelessness through the accounts of stateless persons themselves.
Article
Images of war, narratives of suffering and notions of ethnicity are intrinsically linked to Western perceptions of Africa. Filtered through a mostly international media the information of African wars is confined to narrow categories of explanation emerging from and adapted to a Western history and political culture. This book aims at reversing this process; to look at war and suffering from the point of view of those who fight it and suffer through it. In doing so it reveals that the simplistic models explaining contemporary wars in Africa which are reproduced in a Western discourse are basically false. This book examines the understanding of war and the impact of warfare on the formation and conceptualisation of identities in Ethiopia. Building on historical trajectories of enemy images, the recent Eritean-Ethiopian war [1998-2000] is used as an empirical backdrop to explore war's formative impact, by analysing politics of identity and shifting perceptions of enemies and allies.
Chapter
Compared with the other nations studied Ethiopia entered the modern world of independent nations with a head start. Although invaded by Italy for a brief period, Ethiopia survived the ills of colonialism, was one of four African member states of the League of Nations, and was a founding member of the United Nations and the Organization of African Union. However, neither its independence nor its head start allowed it to establish a democratic system. Ethiopia remained at the back of the pack when it came to education, industrialization, and urbanization, and a grassroots democratic movement would not emerge until the 1960s. Like many African nations, Ethiopia would become a victim of the cold war and suffer through a communist dictatorship which nationalized everything in the country including civil society. Ethiopia’s progress towards democratization began at the end of the cold war only to be sharply curtailed in 2005. This chapter follows Ethiopian civil society from Imperial rule to military dictatorship, democratic transition, and regression to electoral dictatorship.
Article
Comparing Ethiopia with other countries on the African continent, one can observe similarities and distinctiveness. Unlike any other sub-Saharan country, Ethiopia has never been colonized by any European country and unlike most other African countries, Ethiopia opted for a federal political system in the 1990s after the end of the military rule. While most African countries are also characterized by significant ethnic and religious diversity, most of these countries discarded the idea of federalism as a principle of state organization. The question why Ethiopia opted for a federal system and how the distinct features of the Ethiopian federal system can be explained and understood is the focus of this chapter. Comparing Ethiopia with other federal systems, one will come across a number of features which are rarely found elsewhere. The founding on ethnic groups and the constitutional interpretation through the Upper House of Parliament can be mentioned as examples. It can be argued that the institutional set-up of the federal system can be explained to a large part by Ethiopia's history. Using assumptions of institutionalism this chapter will try to explain the specific characteristics of the Ethiopian case. Since institutionalism as theoretical framework has been discussed at length, it will not be discussed again in this chapter. The following section will briefly outline historical events which are assumed to be of explanatory value for the development into federalism. Thereafter the specific characteristics of the Ethiopian federal Constitution will be explained and discussed.
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Contrariamente à vasta maioria de Estados africanos, que adquiriram independência por meio de processos de descolonização de potências coloniais europeias, a Eritreia obteve a condição de Estado independente ao se retirar formalmente de um Estado africano soberano já estabelecido. Tal evento representa um desenvolvimento político memorável na África pós-colonial devido a ao menos duas razões: (i) foi a primeira vez que um movimento de secessão obteve sucesso na sua busca por independência; (ii) a luta por independência ocorreu em meio a um contexto continental particularmente hostil ao surgimento de novos Estados. Baseando-se em fontes de dados qualitativos secundários, o presente estudo examina a secessão da Eritreia contra o pano de fundo acadêmico que enfatiza o contexto social, político e econômico no qual as lutas secessionistas ocorrem. Argumenta-se que a secessão bem-sucedida da Eritreia se baseia na intersecção entre a política doméstica e a política global, combinando fatores como as históricas e legais reivindicações por autodeterminação territorial da região, as políticas de alienação do Estado de origem, a efetividade das estratégias operadas pelos movimentos de secessão, o fim da Guerra Fria, bem como o papel de apoio desempenhado pela superpotência vitoriosa do referido conflito. O estudo também adiciona novas e sistemáticas contribuições ao debate acerca dos determinantes para a secessão bem-sucedida na África pós-colonial.
Article
Because insurgent group formation typically occurs in secrecy and in poorly monitored areas, the empirical record on conflicts’ start is spare and systematically omits rebels who fail before committing substantial violence. This article argues that this presents a fundamental challenge for the study of conflict onset and demonstrates the theoretical and empirical problems it causes in studying a controversial relationship: how ethnicity influences armed conflicts’ start. Unusual evidence on all armed groups that formed in Uganda since 1986 indicates that ethnic mobilization was unimportant to the initial formation of rebel groups—but mattered after nascent groups had already formed. Contrasting evidence from Uganda with a prominent argument that ethnic marginalization induces rebellion shows why lack of evidence about how insurgencies begin can lead to broader inferential pitfalls.
Thesis
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My thesis explores the era under which the military in Ethiopia usurped power, following the 1974 student-led demonstrations to dismantle the monarchy. The military regime, or Derg, were influence by socialist ideology as were the students that led the protests. These students would form revolutionary groups that came into conflict with the Derg and with each other, with the violence spilling over onto the civilian population. In addition to political violence, the Derg aimed to repress religious practices and prohibited many culturally based traditions completely changing the way of life for many Ethiopians. My research discusses the role of the Ethiopian coffee ceremony and how it functioned as a way for Ethiopians to cope with the social upheaval of Derg rule and how it became a space of cultural continuity and stability.
Book
Cambridge Core - Socio-Legal Studies - Media, Conflict, and the State in Africa - by Nicole Stremlau
Chapter
Media, Conflict, and the State in Africa - by Nicole Stremlau August 2018
Book
This book investigates the end of the Cold War in Africa and its impact on post-Cold War US foreign policy in the continent. The fall of the Berlin Wall is widely considered the end of the Cold War; however, it documents just one of the many "ends", since the Cold War was a global conflict. This book looks at one of the most neglected extra-European battlegrounds, the African continent, and explores how American foreign policy developed in this region between the late 1980s and the early 1990s. Drawing on a wide range of recently disclosed documents, the book shows that the Cold War in Africa ended in 1988, preceding the fall of the Berlin Wall. It also reveals how, since then, some of the most controversial and inconsistent episodes of post-Cold War US foreign policy in Africa have been deeply rooted in the unique process whereby American rivalry with the USSR found its end in the continent. The book challenges the traditional narrative by presenting an original perspective on the study of the end of the Cold War and provides new insights into the shaping of US foreign policy during the so-called ‘unipolar moment’. This book will be of much interest to students of Cold War history, US foreign policy, African politics and international relations.
Thesis
The most important factor that inspires the work of this dissertation is the loss of ecosystem services. Soil erosion, deforestation, and loss of biodiversity are prevalent in developing countries. Thus, reliable estimates of their values are crucial for policy making and sustainable management of environmental and natural resources. However, empirical evidence shows that many valuation studies conducted in developing countries are of poor quality, questioning the reliability of their results. Therefore, the core work presented in this dissertation aims at improving the reliability of stated preference (SP) studies by addressing critical issues across four self-contained articles using three examples of SP surveys related to the Blue Nile ecosystem service valuation and watershed management. The dissertation answers three core research questions: 1) What incentive mechanisms can motivate farmers to participate in a new integrated private and common land management activity to reduce both on-site and offsite impacts of soil erosion and hence provide ecosystem services? 2) How much are ecosystem service users willing to pay for watershed management in the Blue Nile Basin?, And 3) How can stated preference methods be improved to get reliable value estimates? From this PhD study, we can draw three general conclusions regarding managing watershed externalities and application of SP methods in a developing country context. 1. There is no uniform incentive to motivate ecosystem service providers to implement land management strategies to reduce both on-site and offsite impacts of soil erosion. Thus, policy design to address both the on-site and off-site effects of soil erosion in the Ethiopian highlands of the Upper Blue Nile Basin should consider the heterogeneity of preference for incentives across different groups of farmers. 2. Citizens are willing to pay a substantial amount of money for environmental services. However, from our results we can conclude that the overall WTP for environmental services are often underestimated. 3. SP methods can provide reliable estimates of value in a developing country context. However, several issues need to be considered in the design of the survey instrument as well as in the data analysis.
Article
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This article focuses on emerging forms of ethnic identification among Italians of Ethiopian and Eritrean origins. In 2013, in parallel with the so-called refugees’ crisis in Europe, children of immigrants engaged in the Milanese management of forced migrations in the diasporic neighbourhood of Milano Porta Venezia. They legitimated their actions by emphasising a shared Habesha ancestral ethnicity with the asylum seekers from the Horn of Africa. The article considers their ethnic identification in relation to the changes in the public discourse on the Mediterranean route. These ethnic identifications and mobilisations are interpreted as claims for social recognition as Italians rather than a form of the revivification of their ancestral ethnicity in the analysis. The Black Mediterranean represent a privileged analytical and physical space to work on the resignification of Afro-European subjectivities in contemporary Europe.
Article
A whitewashed neo-Renaissance façade set into a high rock escarpment above the village of Abreha wa-Atsbeha, in East Tigray, Ethiopia, stands in stark contrast to its sunbaked highland surroundings. Behind this façade is a relatively large rock-cut structure, one of the oldest medieval church buildings in Ethiopia. An Italian Renaissance Face on a “New Eritrea”: The 1939 Restoration of the Church of Abreha wa-Atsbeha addresses how the restoration of this church conducted by Italian Fascist authorities represents the appropriation of local history by both Fascist Italy and Ethiopia's own imperial rulers. As Mikael Muehlbauer describes, while the façade classicizes the building, evoking both the Italianita of the Renaissance and the Romanitas of imperial Rome, earlier murals inside claimed it for Yohannes IV, the nineteenth-century Tigrayan emperor of Ethiopia.
The Generation:The history of the Ethiopian People's Revolutionary Party (Part 1) (The Red Sea Press
  • Wallelign Mekonen
Wallelign Mekonen, quoted in Kiflu Tadesse, The Generation:The history of the Ethiopian People's Revolutionary Party (Part 1) (The Red Sea Press, Trenton, NJ, 1993), p. 54.
For a broader understanding of shiftinnet, see Timothy FernyhoughSocial mobility and dissident elites in northern Ethiopia: the role of banditry
For a broader understanding of shiftinnet, see Timothy Fernyhough, 'Social mobility and dissident elites in northern Ethiopia: the role of banditry, 1900–1969', in Donald Crummey (ed.), Banditry, Rebellion and Social Protest in Africa (James Currey, London and Heinemann, Portsmouth, NH, 1986), pp. 151–72.
Ethnic conflict in the Horn of Africa: myth and reality
  • Hizkias Assefa
Hizkias Assefa, 'Ethnic conflict in the Horn of Africa: myth and reality', in K. Rupesinghe and V. A. Tishkov (eds), Ethnicity and Power in the Contemporary World (UN University Press, Tokyo, 1996), p. 35.