Ethiopia’s peaceful revolution


Ethiopia’s Peaceful Revolution

“As Dr Abiy continues his path of close relations with Eritrea expect to see a growing wave of criticism, maybe even demonization, once his “honeymoon” period with the western media goes stale.”

The uniquely African Empire of Ethiopia has seen itself launched into a peaceful revolution that promises to transform one of the planet’s poorest countries into a modern peoples democracy.

Being that I have spent my entire life living by the principle of “political power grows from the barrel of a gun,” or as Marx said,“Force is the midwife of change,” to see a peaceful revolution next door in Ethiopia is almost too much to grasp hold of. I first thought this was a “soft coup” by the Americans, but this is much more than that. American acquiescence was necessary, but the new government lead by Dr. Abiy Ahmed has started what can only be called a revolution.

Prime Minister Abiy, elected such by a parliament 100% appointed by the former regime, is young, charismatic and has put forward a programof change that is remarkably similar to what Eritrea’s President Issias Aferworki has been saying for the past 25 years and more. Calling on all Ethiopians, the good doctor, past soldier, intelligence officer and for the past 8 years a politician, is urging his countrymen and women to learn from socialist Eritrea next door.

“To see a peaceful revolution next door in Ethiopia is almost too much to grasp hold of.”

He has suggested the Ethiopian diaspora emulate the Eritreans and start donating $1 a day to their homeland. National service and national education training centers such as Eritrea’s Sawa are being discussed. And of course, if Ethiopia is really to begin to break with its history of debt bondage and beggary, the Ethiopian diaspora, like the Eritreans, will have to start paying an income tax on their foreign earnings of 2%. Eritrea, 4 million population, gathers $300 million a year or more from its diaspora so Ethiopia should be able to make a serious dent in its budget deficit by introducing the 2% income tax.

P.M. Abiy’s task is a giant one, for Ethiopia is a big country with many different ethnic groups and, like Eritrea next door, roughly half Muslim and half Christian. A divide and rule policy of instigating ethnic based conflict by the previous regime has left the country burnt and bleeding, with almost a million people internally displaced.On top of this, almost perennial droughts and famines have wracked the land, brought on by western industrialization-induced climate change.

“Prime Minister Abiy is urging his countrymen and women to learn from socialist Eritrea next door.”
Ethiopia should be a thriving country with a well off citizenry for it has rich lands, lots of water, minerals and even energy. The problem has been its leaders this past century starting with Haile Sellasie,“Emperor.” His claim to power was based on his grandfather’s use of Italian-supplied firearms to conquer and loot their neighbors, mostly the Oromo, from whom the new PM derives. Once in power, having completely subjugated the Oromo, amongst others, Haile Sellasie turned his eyes toward the coast and the dream of having his own port on the Red Sea. This meant annexing the Italian colony of Eritrea with its much more advanced economy and of course, the ports of Assab in the south and Massawa in the north.

The violent subjugation of Eritrea is central to the modern history of Ethiopia and today’s Ethiopians see the recent development of peaceful relations as god’s blessing.The Eritreans fought a 30 year independence war which helped trigger the overthrow of Haile Sellasie, and eventually would see the Eritrean rebel army defeat Haile Sellasie’s replacement, Colonel Haile Mengistu Mariam, and drive him into exile in ZImbabwe.

The Eritreans left their erstwhile allies of the Tigrayan rebel army in control of Ethiopia and returned to their main task of establishing their newly independent country. When, two years later, the Eritreans formerly declared their independence and joined the UN the Tigrayan-dominated Ethiopian government did its best to sabotage international recognition, understanding that Eritrean independence would mean loss of control of the main port of Assab. Never mind that Eritrea gave Ethiopia rent-free use of Assab, the prestige lost in losing Eritrea to independence drove the new Ethiopian government controlled by the ethnic minority Tigrayan regime to reignite Ethiopian national chauvinism and eventually, just seven years after Eritrean independence, a new war of conquest was launched in 1998.

Black Agenda Report for more

Comments are closed.