How to Stop Ethnic Nationalism From Tearing Ethiopia Apart

Ethiopian Army soldiers stand as a children stand behind them at Mai Aini Refugee camp, in Ethiopia, on January 30, 2021. - Eritrean refugees in Ethiopia fear their suffering may not be over, as Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed strains to end a brutal conflict in the northern region of Tigray that has rendered them uniquely vulnerable. Nearly 100,000 refugees from Eritrea, an oppressive, authoritarian nation bordering Ethiopia to the north, were registered in four camps in Tigray when fighting erupted in November between Abiy's government and the regional ruling party, the Tigray People's Liberation Front (TPLF). (Photo by EDUARDO SOTERAS / AFP) (Photo by EDUARDO SOTERAS/AFP via Getty Images)

BY ADDISU LASHITEW | First Published in Foreign Policy

On Nov. 28, 2020, Ethiopia’s military took control of Mekele, the capital of Tigray region, after a monthlong fight with the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF).

Before the conflict, the Tigray region under TPLF rule was edging toward de facto independence. After the TPLF lost its hegemonic position in Addis Ababa in 2015—where it had dominated Ethiopia’s ruling coalition for decades—it relocated political and bureaucratic personnel to Mekele. When national elections were postponed due to COVID-19, the TPLF rejected the constitutionality of the decision and went ahead with its own regional election, which it won handily.

Then, it declared that it no longer recognized the federal government as legitimate, and it successfully thwarted the appointment of a new head to the Ethiopian army’s Northern Command, effectively apportioning to itself the most heavily armed section of the National Defense Force. This was followed by a coordinated, preemptive attack on the Ethiopian army’s Northern Command in the early hours of Nov. 4 that enabled the TPLF to take control of the army headquarters in Mekele and several other bases. Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed quickly appeared on TV to launch a military operation to dislodge the TPLF from Tigray.

The conflict in Tigray is not merely a political squabble between the TPLF and Abiy’s Prosperity Party, but a struggle for sovereignty between the federal government and a regional state. This is also not the first time the federal government went to war to reclaim control of an intransigent regional state. In August 2018, the federal government undertook an armed operation to dislodge Abdi Mohamoud Omar (also known as Abdi Ilay), the then-president of the Somali regional state—leading to many deaths and the displacement of civilians, especially ethnic minorities.

Ethiopia’s constitution, which was ratified in 1994 under the auspices of the Ethiopian People’s Revolutionary Democratic Front, which was dominated by the TPLF, is unique in endowing sovereignty upon the country’s nations and nationalities. Its position is also radical because it allows an unqualified right for self-determination, up to secession, to Ethiopia’s more than 80 ethnic groups. This has raised the stakes in federal-regional disagreements, and potentially increased the risk of conflict by allowing secession to be a bargaining chip in political disputes.

For its supporters, the ethnic-based federal system represents a triumph for the age-old quest of Ethiopia’s disenfranchised ethnic groups for autonomy and self-rule. The federal system is seen as the answer to the “question of nations and nationalities”—a school of political thought that critiqued and rejected sociopolitical domination by Ethiopia’s northern Christian elites, mainly ethnic Amharas and, to a lesser degree, Tigrayans. Ethnic federalism was intended to create a new dispensation that ensured that the political, cultural, and economic rights of all ethnic and religious groups are equally respected.

But the turmoil of the past few years has also exposed the limits of Ethiopia’s experimentation in ethnic federalism. Even its ardent supporters cannot conceivably deny that ethnic federalism has raised as many questions as it has answered, and that it has made Ethiopia a more fragmented, polarized, and conflict-plagued country.

The endorsement of the Marxist-Leninist notion of self-determination in Ethiopia’s constitution was all the more puzzling in light of historical developments at the time of its inception. In the early 1990s, just as Ethiopia’s constitution was being drafted, the Soviet Union and Yugoslavia—two federations that had enshrined ethnic self-determination in their respective constitutions—were going through violent episodes of disintegration.

The TPLF and other architects of Ethiopia’s constitution could not have missed the ominous signs on open display; They most likely considered their own country’s eventual breakdown as an acceptable, perhaps even desirable, outcome. The bloody dissolution of Yugoslavia, which was attended by bitter interethnic wars, was also a red flag for what self-determination could entail in a multiethnic mosaic like Ethiopia. It was already clear from the 1984 national census that only 30 of Ethiopia’s 580 woredas (districts) at the time were actually monolingual ethnic islands.

The experiment in ethnic federalism has led to the formation of powerful, militarized, ethnic regional states that harbor old grievances against one another, along with unresolved border disputes that could ignite conflicts at any time. Unless the power of these regional administrations is checked proactively, there is tangible risk that they could be drawn into devastating conflicts that will wreak havoc not only in Ethiopia, but also in neighboring countries, each of which shares at least one ethnic group with Ethiopia.

Boundary disputes between ethnic regions are hard to resolve, because almost all ethnic boundaries are artificial concoctions that lack historical precedents. Prior to the creation of these boundaries in 1994, Ethiopia’s many dozens of ethnic groups seldom had administrative boundaries entirely based on ethnic affiliation. Administrative boundaries were typically porous as people freely moved across geographies, especially in the lowlands, where people followed a mobile, nomadic lifestyle. None of the regional states of the federation existed in their current form and many, such as Amhara and Oromia regions, ever historically existed as separate, independent entities, within Ethiopia or outside. The top-down manufacturing of ethnic nations, complete with sovereign territorial boundaries, has begotten simmering border disputes that threaten to plunge the country into a civil war.

Even from the perspective of ethnic rights, the current system has not enabled the majority of the country’s ethnic groups to exercise the right to self-rule. An arbitrary nomenclature of ethnic classes has been used to allow certain ethnic groups to be organized as autonomous regional states, while denying the same right to other groups of similar population size.

The current system has not enabled the majority of the country’s ethnic groups to exercise the right to self-rule.

The constitution, for example, lumped together around 20 million people of no less than 50 ethnic groups within a region called Southern Nations, Nationalities, and Peoples’ Region (SNNP), while allowing the creation of a Harari regional state in Harar City, with a population of less than 300,000. Hararis were accorded statehood despite making up only 9 percent of the population, purportedly in recognition of the unique historical and religious significance of the city of Harar, which is fully encircled by Oromia, a massive region with close to 40 million inhabitants. These size differences create asymmetric power relations among competing administrative polities and the associated political entities that administer them, leading to political, administrative, and economic imbalances.

A highly exclusionary ethnonationalism will create persistent risks of volatility and violence, which could undermine democracy by making authoritarian positions more palatable on the grounds of peace and security. It also creates the risk of major ethnic groups—the Amhara and the Oromo—forming alliances that co-opt smaller ethnic groups, leading to a political settlement that is neither inclusive nor progressive.

It is clear that Ethiopia’s ethnic federalism needs a major overhaul in order to sustain a peaceful electoral democracy. Without a reform, the system remains a risk to itself and the country, as ethnic rivalries could easily descend into cycles of violence that will endlessly repeat the traumatic experience of the past five years.

Fixing Ethiopia’s broken federal system will require a constitutional reform that establishes new checks and balances to mitigate the risk of ethnic politics exploding into downright violence. One potential approach would be a referendum on political devolution that elevates administrative zones to the level of administrative states, thus replacing regions. Zones, which are currently the second-tier administrative units after regions, are typically inhabited by a distinct majority ethnic group.

The elevation of zones to state-level members of the federation can ensure ethnic self-administration, which would be in keeping with the constitutional emphasis on autonomy and self-rule. At the same time, it would significantly reduce the likelihood of major military or political clashes between neighboring regions, and between regions and the federal government. It would also lead to zonal states that are relatively uniform in size, facilitating a more fair and equitable sharing of political and other forms of power across them.

More importantly, having zonal states as main administrative units would be a significant step toward ensuring self-rule among dozens of nations and nationalities. This solution would, for example, automatically resolve the contention in SNNP, where Wolayta Zone and 10 other ethnic zones are demanding the right to statehood. It will also put to rest many territorial disputes including the ones over Welkait, Humera, Tsegede, Tselemte, and Raya, in which the Amhara and Tigray regional states are pitted against each other.

Ethiopia has more than 60 zones, and having so many first-tier administrative units can introduce many administrative challenges. This, however, is a technicality that can be resolved through procedural mechanisms. Kenya, for example, has adopted 47 counties as its major administrative units after a constitutional change that was enacted following the 2007 post-election violence. The devolution of administrative power to county governments has improved governance quality and given more voice and power to citizens. A Council of Governors, comprising the administrative heads of the 47 counties, coordinates collective action over issues that cut across counties.
Political devolution does not have to lead to the dissolution of the current regional states.

This political devolution does not have to lead to the dissolution of the current regional states. The regions, which can be seen as collective associations of major ethnic groups, can be reformed to serve as traditional, cultural entities charged with cultural stewardship and the pursuit of interethnic harmony.

Many African nations have similar traditional structures parallel to formal political structures. For example, Nigeria and Ghana each have dozens of traditional chiefdoms and kingdoms that do not have official political power but wield considerable influence as stewards of traditional ethnic cultures. If supported by proper governance mechanisms, the presence of parallel administrative structures could enrich and promote cultural interaction, reducing the risk of interethnic political conflict. It can also help redefine the meaning of ethnic “territorial homeland” to its cultural rather than political connotation, reducing the risk of border friction between ethnic groups as well as the disenfranchisement of minorities.

The violent end of the TPLF-dominated era has demonstrated the perils of organizing political power along ethnic lines. The episode also presents an opportunity to rethink Ethiopia’s political system and remake it to accommodate competitive politics. Without reform, Ethiopia’s ethnic federalism holds the seeds of endless conflict that will undermine the country’s very existence.

Devolution of political power to zonal states could offer a path out of the current conundrum and reduce the risk of a catastrophic conflict among militarized ethnic regional states. If approved at the ballot box and executed effectively, such a change can help usher in a democratic system in which the rights of individuals and ethnicities are balanced. It could also lead to a more sober, secular, and constructive political discourse that focuses on building communities rather than tearing them apart.

Addisu Lashitew is a research fellow at the Brookings Institution. Twitter: @AddisuLashitew

The constitution’s endorsement of the right to self-determination is based on the contentious supposition that ethnic groups can be neatly subdivided into mutually exclusive categories, each with a claim to a distinct territorial homeland. In reality ethnic identities are fluid and overlaid, and ethnic territorial jurisdictions are often overlapping and contested.

Even in Tigray, the only regional state that nominally existed before the current constitution, regional boundaries were entirely redrawn upon the creation of new administrative units in 1994. Much of the current West Tigray and North West Tigray zones (Welkait, Humera, Tsegede, and Tselemte) and some parts of South Tigray (Raya Azebo) were apportioned from the former provinces of Gondar and Wollo, which were mainly inhabited by Amharas.

These territories, which roughly make up one-third of present-day Tigray, are vigorously contested by Amhara nationalists as their own—a dispute that contributed to the involvement of the region’s special forces in the recent war in Tigray. Had Tigray under the TPLF proceeded with secession, it would have only been a matter of time before it descended into an intractable border war with the rest of Ethiopia, just as Eritrea did after winning its own de facto independence in 1991, which was formalized through a referendum in 1993.

The 1998-2000 Eritrean-Ethiopian border war, which led to the death of more than 100,000 people from both sides, helped entrench the TPLF’s rule in Ethiopia, but it also severely weakened Eritrea, sowing the seeds of a deep-seated animosity between the TPLF and Isaias Afwerki, Eritrea’s authoritarian president. At the peak of the Tigray conflict in November 2020, the TPLF fired a series of rockets at the capital of Eritrea, accusing it of sending in its army to Tigray, an allegation that Eritrea denies but is supported by recent independent reports.

One of the most devastating effects of Ethiopia’s ethnic federalism is its utter failure to protect minorities. For instance, the 1994 constitution created a new region called Benishangul-Gumuz as one of Ethiopia’s nine (now 10) administrative regional states, as a homeland to the Benishangul and Gumuz ethnic groups. The region’s constitution affirms that the region “belongs” to five native ethnic groups: the Berta, Gumuz, Shinasha, Mao, and Komo. Other important minorities like Amharas, Oromos, and Agaws, who make up at least 40 percent of the region’s population, are treated as second-class citizens without a right to create their own (ethnic) parties for legitimate political representation.

The failure to safeguard minorities extends to all regional states, leaving minorities in a precarious situation where they live with a constant fear of eviction. A narrative of “natives” versus “outsiders” and a political discourse grounded in ethnic grievances inevitably feeds into cycles of violence. In times of political change and instability, such as the period since 2015, ethnic tensions have boiled over, making minorities victims of brutal killing, eviction, and displacement.

The number of these incidents is despairingly too great to count but includes recent episodes where Amharas were displaced by the thousands in Oromia, Oromos were displaced from Somali region, Tigrayans were violently evicted from Amhara region, as well as a perpetual violence in Benishangul-Gumuz region that has brought death and destruction to hundreds from all ethnic groups. These tragic events have not only traumatized millions but also frayed the tender threads of trust and social capital that have held communities together for centuries.

Moreover, in its fixation on ethnic autonomy, the current constitution has severely impaired, perhaps intentionally, the political power of urban centers—which are ethnic melting pots and thus do not fit the ideological straitjacket of ethnic purity. Since the constitution defines land as a property of ethnic groups, cities without a specific ethnic identity have been left without land, and hence without a right to statehood.

The capital, Addis Ababa—despite being the economic and political hub of the country with far greater population that four of the original nine regional states—is constituted as a federally administered enclave that, according to the constitution, is located “within the State of Oromia.” In a country where ethnic identity has become the most fundamental variable of political and economic organization, multiethnic urban centers like Addis Ababa and Dire Dawa are reduced to being staging grounds of political influence among competing ethnic parties rather than being able to administer themselves.


  1. You see the irony of this war. Weyannes looted Ethiopia resources for the last 30+ years and now shabiaa is looting Weyannes properties in day light with green light from Aby solders.
    Have you ever heard the story of Nigerian university of theft. Well, they provide you these days a certificate of Covid 19 negative travel test with less than 25 dollar. That country and south Africa are heading down to disaster.

  2. Full of chicken scratch. You can tell this writing is full of here and there words but not based on facts on the ground. It’s the usual cheap shot

  3. 30 years of wrong can’t be undone in 2 years. TPLF/EPDRF raised a generation with tribal narrow minded mindset. It is going to take a long time to reverse that. It will be a very long bumpy ride. But we will get there. Don’t go too far, we have people loyal to there tribe here on Nazret, Soress, Abebaw & co, Aba Mela, Agazian and others are beating their tribes’ drum all the time. Creating unbiased majority is going to be hard work, Buckle up.

  4. Bunch of well dressed and educated smart slave, we know what will happen when the slave become a king right? He take you back to your slavery with in a days.
    The delusional Ethiopian nationalist are same as bunch of terror mongers in my opinion because they lack the main vision and they are bunch of useless emotional people.
    If one want Ethiopia to excel as a country you must let the people decide what they want to do at the same time educate the people before you give them the right to decide. Vote without knowledge like walking on land mine.
    Always remember you can’t kill an idea with a gun, you can only kill a person, the idea lives forever. The only way to have a prosper country is by education.

    The barbaric evil demented Abiy brought in Eritrria and Somali soldiers to rap and kill poor woman’s in Tigray. Wow. I hate the fkn TPLF but it makes me sick when a country is sold like this. What a disgrace.

    • One should have a college degree to vote? Elaborate please. Isn’t education relative? I guess you are high school graduate. Do you agree if someone with college degree say you shouldn’t be allowed to vote?
      What is wrong with being nationalist? As long as Ethiopian nationalists preach what they believe.

      Abiy brought Eritrean and Somalian soldiers? proof please. Complain when you are willing to go back and fight.

      • “Abiy brought Eritrean and Somalian soldiers? Proof please?”

        ‘The northern military command killed by TPLF defence force’ prof please?

      • Listen, you are one in here promoting slavery. You are against education all the time, what is the point Of Ethiopia if people can’t decide for themselves? Why do you vote for Abiye? Just because he said Ethiopia? Do you know his passion? Do you know his purpose? Please come on now.
        Election comes soon what does the farmer know about abiye? What what?
        Don’t disagree for the sake of disagreement if you want discussion you need to face the truth.
        Those who had PhD well dressed ignorant lack the proper education from the grass root, what is democracy? Please explain to me.
        Democracy is not pimping your people to outsider, u can make it political as much as you want the truth on ground is that the Eritrean soldier and Somalia soldiers including Fano committed crime against woman and children including rape. Go check the CIA phone how they enter and go read victim statements. Please stop this ba.
        What makes Abiy any different that Sebhat nega? He is equally criminal

        • Aba Geda,
          Aba Geda can you enlighten us what’s the motives of Abiy? Who is behind Abiy’s regime? Who are Abiy’s allies? Just your thoughts bro! You know in my humble opinion I suspect we are now facing extreme authoritarian regime or something else.

          • Abiye is sabotaged by the wicked Amhara, you know as much as I do shoving and forcing nationalism in to peoples thraught did not help mengistu so here we are seeing another kizenam Abiy trying to dance with the Amhara disregarding the will of the very people that brought him to power. I will take Setan over this guy. It seems to me that he is only interested in his temporary power nothing els.
            He sold the poor people of Tigray to Eriteria and Somali
            I am sick of that country evil people.

          • Abiye is sabotaged by the wicked Amhara, you know as much as I do shoving and forcing nationalism in to peoples thraught did not help mengistu so here we are seeing another kizenam Abiy trying to dance with the Amhara disregarding the will of the very people that brought him to power. I will take Setan over this guy. It seems to me that he is only interested in his temporary power nothing els.
            He sold the poor people of Tigray to Eriteria and Somali. What a crazy world
            I am sick of that country evil people.

        • Buddy, you ask what does the farmer know about abiy. But what if you are the farmer for some people who are more educated than you? Let me make it clear for you. If i think I am better educated than you and I say you shouldn’t be allowed to vote because you are not well educated. Does that sit well with you? You think you are better than a farmer. Okay may be you are. But there are many people who think you shouldn’t be allowed to vote because of the level of education you have.

          To be honest i think you are ignorant, but i still think you should be allowed to vote based on whatever level of understanding you have. All I can do is try to make you vote like me. At the end of the day as a citizen you should have the right to vote like anyone who has the highest education in the country. with all due respect, you are so stupid voting should be reserved to those have higher education status. Tell us in which part of the world that kind of thinking worked.

  5. I chose to be human than a politician. I can’t do politics anymore. My people are dying at the hands of their sworn enemy, with their own gvmt tying their arms not to fight back while passing ammunition to the enemy. A 14 yrs old girl is given a choice between death or rape. The hidden war….the crying no one see, the screams no one hear. A life where a young girl must shave her hair and dress like a boy to survive, a time where it is considered a curse to have daughter…..humanity under attack!!!!!!

    • Blame TPLF. They sow fruits of tribal division, you cheered. Now what you see is the fruit of that seed of tribal division sown by TPLF. Time to show regrets and repentance. Many told people like you to be human than politicians 30 years ago, you guys just woke up when the flame reached your village.

  6. Newera,

    At some point you need to get evolved. You have always responded to my comments in the same way saying “TPLF was doing it too” or “ the people of Tigray didn’t say anything in the past” Revenge and vengeance kills no one but the person himself.

    Children and little girls don’t have race or ethnicity. Children don’t deserve to be traumatized with a borage of bombing with fighter jets, little girl shouldn’t be subjected to sexual assault. Don’t dwell to the past, the past is only to learn from. The sad reality is, your kind of people wouldn’t hesitate to team up with the devil to hurt Tigreans. All you see in Tigray is the land never the people. You see, this kind of rootless attitude by Amhara people like you that have no empathy is the reason why we can’t live together.

    • The same sh!t equating the people of Tigray with TPLF. Why do you all of a sudden start seeing the evil in the past 6 months? You thought the flame doesn’t come to your door steps. You should have cared to children of Tigray starting 30 years ago. TPLF started a dangerous game that put them at risk. Many of us the flame TPLF started can burn all Ethiopians regardless of ethnicity from the start. You can cry crocodile tears now but you stated silent or cheered when the fire was some where else. The wise thing is admit the mistakes, demand TPLF to face justice and work with peace loving Ethiopians from all tribe to correct past mistakes. This let us not talk about the past so your tribe members’ crime stay hidden isn’t the way to go. A dictator from your tribe stayed in power for more than two decades. Where was these cry then? In fact he was a visionary. Sadly we are seeing his vision now. While you cry for children of Tigray, his children are in Addis living large. That should be outraged you. But in your true tribalist nature, you are pointing your finger on people from other tribes. Wake up bigot.

    • The cowards can only film him? What happen to the generation that shook the mountains? Hiding and sending clips to Twitter?

      The other thing is if it is true and the guy is Eritrean soldier, how ironic? Back in 1991 there was a rumor Eritreans stealing in Addis Ababa with the help of Tegadlays. Ain’t karma a b!tch

  7. It is expected of us that we have been keenly watching watch is going on in the old country. We should not also lose sight of what is going on right here where all call it home. Today the former President Trump was acquitted of all charges by the senate. It is very welcome news for those 74 million plus people who voted for him. It has also left the road open for him to do whatever he wants to his political life. He will now be like a wounded leopard. The next four years are going to be very interesting. He and his protégés have a huge mass that feels threatened and looking for a savior. Not scary but worth to closely watch. The pandemic will be over sooner or later within a year or two and it may not be a lingering issue to be politicized. If the economy goes sour in 2023 or during the months leading to 2024, there is a good chance Trump may even be re-elected. It he is not, another protégé could win the election. Phew!!! It is going to be a heck of a ride!!!!

    • Nobody is watching a YouTube clip for more than one hour. I like and respect Abrha Belay but I agreed and disagreed with view points in the past. I am sure he made points which I agree and disagree in this clip as well. No matter what he said, TPLF got us in the place where we are. Suffering is happening all over the county, Tigray is no different. Again crying to the people from people from our tribe is narrow mindedness. Let us see the problem from all Ethiopians point of view. Tigray, benishangul, Oromiya, Shashemene, Gedeo, etc. I hate to say this but what makes Tigray special. Because we are from that tribe? Where were we when crimes were committed in Shashemene?

      • Newera, this is by far the most humanly comment you have posted. I probably have not wrote much about the suffering of innocent people in Benshangul both Amhara and Gumuz people but my heart goes out to them also. In the end, the innocent take it on the chin. Although it is natural to be angry given what is going on in our home land, I am trying not lose my cool but there are cruel people here who are so insensitive of what they write and that makes me sick.

  8. I am surprised, when did Newera start to be non-ethnocentric and anti-ethnic federation? Is this after the humiliations of the stubborn TPLF people like Sebhat Nega et al? I would rather bet on አባ መላ to convert him to being non-ethnocentric than ኒው ኢራ. He just moves in the direction of the wind – once upon a time he was an ardent TPLF supporter, then diehard separatist OLF Jawar Abamench supporter; and now, Abiy Ahmed ODP supporter. He does not question; he spreads his arm to embrace any newcomer customer. Here is why. Okay, let us all agree that the defeat of TPLF is one great thing to the country, but what is the point of holding election while the country is strangled with tribal federation and illegal constitution? Is this not an obvious strategy to crown ODP as king? Well, for a change to be qualitatively different it has to undo the frameworks of the defunct system. What Abiy Ahmed and his ODP-PP doing is putting the cart before the horse. We for sure know there will not be change. However, it is natural change will take place without the will of any individual powerful or foxy. Not doing the right thing will have cost. Unlearning ODP-OLF will fall while crossing the same bridge TPLF attempted. Mark my word, it will not be far to see those diehard ODP-OLF thugs like Shimelis Abdissa or Taye Denda to be dragged like Sebhat Nega, Aby Woldu or point blank busted like Seyoum Mesfin or Abay Tsehaye. They are doing monkey business and they have supporters like ኒው ኢራ who are doing the same monkey business , virtually.

    • Kikikikiki, whoooooooo, you got newera.

      Look, you can believe and say your mom shits gold from all her holes. That is your believe. Freedom of believe and speech. I never supported TPLF or Jawar. I said they should be allowed to believe and speak freely. I just don’t agree with them. You are an idiot, you can’t differentiate between saying people have rights and supporting them. Your support an hate is based whether people are related to you by religion, tribe or other identities. Not me. I expose evil whether the people who commit crime related to me or not. on In this very website you said Amaharas who killed medical professionals and dragged them on the streets were right while vilifing people who committed similar crimes in other parts of the country because the criminals do not share ethnicity with you. On this very website you cried foul when church’s got burned but you gave us excuses when a mosque got burnt in your ethnic region. I am not a bigot who has different standards based on my bias. But you know from the start I am against identity politics. Your religious and ethic partiality is well known here. Focus on yourself and be a better person. Newera is above partiality.

    • force her grandfather to have sex with her? Does that sound an Ethiopian or an African would do? Raping we can believe but forcing others to have sex with woman? Really? That i really what westerners do. These news smells very fishy. I think highly BBC either misled or fabricated it. But nice try Agazian. We believe you have no alternative motives searching for articles like this on BBC. You did the same thing when TPLF was on power for 27 years ;}

      • I don’t expect you to believe that because it is unbelievable but it is true. How about the mother who lost her 5 children in Zelambessa, all under 12yrs old, in front of her eyes. They left her to survive, although she said she begged them to shoot her as well. This war is a war of revenge and vengeance by the Eritrean regime. Issayas’s plan is to wage an endless civil war in Ethiopia where both Tigray and Ethiopia become weak and he comes out the dominant force in the region. Of course, for the inexperienced PM of Ethiopia, nothing matters as long as he remains the 7th king of the country

        • Please, isn’t it the same army from 3 years ago when TPLF was in power? The same army went to peace keep all over Africa? From Rawanda to Somalia? Did the same army killed and raped when it liberated parts of Tigray like Zalanebssa and Shiraro during the shabia TPLF war? Why do the army started raping now?

          Isayas is Isayas because of TPLF, it is hard to say for a fellow country person but we told you so. The wise thing is t lo admit past wrong doing, for a great coalition with multiethnic Ethiopians and move the country in the right direction. Pointing fingers on others who don’t share identity with us is asking for more division.

  9. Please, isn’t it the same army from 3 years ago when TPLF was in power? The same army went to peace keep all over Africa? From Rawanda to Somalia? Did the same army killed and raped when it liberated parts of Tigray like Zalanebssa and Shiraro during the shabia TPLF war? Why do the army started raping now?

    Isayas is Isayas because of TPLF, it is hard to say for a fellow country person but we told you so. The wise thing is t lo admit past wrong doing, for a great coalition with multiethnic Ethiopians and move the country in the right direction. Pointing fingers on others who don’t share identity with us is asking for more division.

    • Most of the crimes are committed by the Eritrean forces not the Ethiopian army but the Irony is, the Ethiopian army doesn’t try to stop it. The Ethiopian forces have suffered a heavy casualties at the early battles with TPLF so they are outnumbered by the Eritreans and pretty much very demoralized and impotent to do anything. All the major battle fronts are now controlled by the Eritreans and most of the fight is going on with the Eritrean army as well. From what I hear, majority of the Ethiopian soldiers are either dead or captured and sent to sudan.

      • Yeah, that sounds like a wet dream. I don’t except truth from a hard TPLF supporter. Even if your story is true, other than innocent Tigrians and Eritreans caught in the middle, hearing TPLF and EPLF army killing each other is music to many Ethiopians ear. May be Abiy and the people who are leading the couture smarter than we thought. You know, they kept Ethiopian soldiers out of it so Shabia and woyane eat each other.

        • RealNewera,

          You said, “May be Abiy and the people who are leading the country smarter than we thought. You know, they kept Ethiopian soldiers out of it so Shabia and woyane eat each other.”

          You nailed it! You are genius on this comment. I salute and take my hat off to you sir! Wow!

          • Aba mela,

            The Ethiopian soldiers are many of them dead, most of them when they were heading to Mekelle through afar. They perished on the horrific mountains, they didn’t know the area. The Eritreans were there too but they fool them saying they can only do heavy artillery from behind. It was human wave after human wave to make it to Mekelle at any cost in 72hrs.

            Why do you think Sudan is deep in Gonder Armacheho and Ethiopian gvmt is saying nothing. The civil war may continue until TPLF liberates Tigray, the struggle is only getting stronger as many more young Tigreans are joining. Just curious, why can’t the 30million Amhara fight and liberate their land from Sudan? እነኝህ አረመኔ ፋኖና እማራ ሚልሻ ንፁሀን ማረድ እና መፎከር ብቻ ነው የሚያውቁት cowards.

  10. Abebaw,

    You said, “Okay, let us all agree that the defeat of TPLF is one great thing to the country, but what is the point of holding election while the country is strangled with tribal federation and illegal constitution?”

    Really? Are you asking this question? አበባው በጣም ሀቀኛ ሠው ነህ ማለት ነው:: አሳማኝ አሳማኝ የሆኑ ዋና ዋና ነጥቦችን በቅደም ተከተል ላስቀምጥልህ ችላለሁ ለምን ብልፅግና ይሄን ምርጫ የግድ ማድረግ አለብኝ ብሎ እንዳመነ:: የማልናገርበት ዋናው ምክንያት ግን ከፖለቲካ አቋሜ አንፃር ነው::
    #1 *** ይሄ ምርጫ በመደረጉ ይዞት የሚመጣው ትልቅ ውድመት ግን እንዳለ ልብ ይሏል::

  11. If I were one these running dogs of the defunct goons den of the TPLF, I will just give up on life and commit suicide. Wait a minute! How about that 30 billion US dollars my hommies pilfered between 1991 and 2018? I have secret bank accounts stacked up with my share of the loot. No, I will not commit suicide but keep my mouth shut, disappear in the thin air and enjoy life to the fullest. What can I say? Remember I am a millionaire, you losers!!!! Kkkkkkkkkkkkkk!!!!

  12. The analysis clearly and in a readable simple language reflects the political crisis that ethnicity generates : the Ethiopian experience being a case in point. Ethnicity is a negative energy that generates hatred, polarization and endless conflict and in essence is against the law of development and has no spiritual or logically sound political tenets

    In the EPRDF political framework Ethiopia did not exist. Walelegn ignorantly described Ethiopia as a prision of nations and nationalities. The TPLF ignoring the role their fathers played in the formation of the Ethiopian state and implemented Walelegn’s misconceived political narrative. From Tigrean nationalism the leaders of the TPLF currently described as a junta transformed themselves to a family parochially motivated mafia organization.

    The people of Tigray suffered because they were associated with the junta. Visiting the rural areas even as close as Mekele the people suffered from poverty and discriminatory governance. Now the people of Tigray are paying heavy price. They are misunderstood and in effect mentally tortured.

    As the author clearly described in the report the so called federalism did not work. The experiment is not genuine but by design it is meant implementing a dictatorial rule by proxy for the benefit of merciless corrupted individuals.

    The Ethiopian people finally got rid of the mafia led EPRDF. Sadly the group got its sanctuary in Tigray under the cover of Tigrayan nationalism; but when the war broke out the people did not support the junta.

    Ethiopia has prevaled because Ethiopia is the making ofEthiopians whose vision has been framed in the making of a great nation grounded on proactive civilization, commitment and determination.

    Democracy is a relative term which depends on context. But what is true is that Ethiopia remained an independent nation of its own making. The fake narrative of ethno nationalists would not break Ethiopia. The story of the TPLF is a hard evidence that others should learn from.

  13. ነገሮችን ሁኔታዎችን strategic policyዎችን በሰከነ መልኩ ለመረዳት የሚጥር አዕምሮን ሁሌም አደንቃለሁኝ:: እንደ ሽምብራ ማሳ ባላፊ አግዳሚ ንፋስ የማይወዘወዝ የራሱ የሆነ መረዳት ያለው ሰው ነብሴ ነው::

    ሙሴ የመጀመሪያውን ተዓምር ያደረገው በፈርዖን ፊት የያዘውን ዱላ ወደ እባብነት በመለወጥ ሲሆን ይሄንኑ ተዓምራት የግብፅ አስማተኞች ደግሞ በዚህ እጅጉን የተካኑበት ነገር ነበር:: እናም በትራቸውን ወደ እባብነት ቢለውጡትም እባብ የሆነችው የሙሴ በትር ግን ወደ እባብነት የተለወጡትን የፈርርዖንን በትሮች ለመዋጥ ችላለች::

    If one ask what is the point of all this religious blabbering? The point is does your snake has the ability to swallow another snake? Or you just become a victim of adaptation? ኢሳይያስ አፈወርቂ ዘመን የፈጀ እባብ ቢሆንም ቅሉ አቢይ አህመድ ደግሞ የትኛውንም እባብ ስልቅጥ አድርጎ መዋጥ የሚችል ሆኖ ተገኝቷል::

    #Learn how to use your enemies
    # Learn how to identify your enemies
    # Learn the habits of your enemies because the mind is the sum total of one’s habits.
    #identify the enemies habit in order to control the enemy mindset
    # encourage or multiply the enemy any habits that can weaken his endurance

  14. Agazian,

    You are absolutely right! Many of Ethiopian soldiers almost 90%of them lost their life in this battle; However you have to ask yourself why Abiy engaged in a war with TPLF? What was the purpose of the war? As you know TPLF is a regional government and elected by Tigray people. TPLF’s impacts on the central government is so minimal. Why Abiy Wants to eliminate TPLF though?

    • Aba mela,

      TPLF cornered Abiye politically asking him to have a discussion with all political parties on how to deal with the power vacuum after his term is expired but he gave an open ended schedule to have an election saying he will have election 1 year after corona is gone from the face of the earth, he could have dealt with them politically but he rather chose to eliminate them since there is another enemy of theirs, Issayas, who were waiting to revenge on TPLF and over all the people of Tigray.

      In short he went to war with TPLF because they challenged his power. But he wouldn’t have done it if he was not so sure Issayas was going to back him up thick and thin in every way possible. It was a win win for both. The Amhara also supported him unconditionally for territorial grab purposes but little did they know that they are the main losers. What ever sacrifices needed will be paid no matter how long the war lasts to bring back Tigray occupied territories from Amhara but Al fashga is gone for ever.

  15. What is new here? Nothing.

    One person always telling the truth. The TPLF leftovers always twisting the truth and spreading lies after lies. The Azemaris always underming the work of others and promoting their wicked agenda. The extremists getting worse and threatening. I am done and out of here for good!

    • Damo,

      It looks like you have come in to a close contact with your soul, you can’t defend the indefensible anymore. I am guessing you are going to a monastery to be come a monk. I don’t know if that will cleanse your life time sins, but it is worth trying. I know the monks will sanitize your sins with a wholly water first before you infect them with your sins lol. You know this place as venomous as it is, it is also addictive, you are coming back as I did many times.

  16. It looks like that our beloved is going away slowly but surely! I’m greatful to for giving us a place to express our feelings! I thank all the friends I met on that I love and respect very much! I can’t mention them all, but thanks a million to all of you for helping me mention my sanity, knowing that there are tons of Ethiopians that love their motherland and fellow Ethiopians, regardless of ethnicity and religious affiliations has given me Hope!
    Thanks Abebaw, Ittu, Gashe Mamo, Shewarega, where ever you are Addis Ababa Sefere, Lasta, Sodo, Michael84, etc. Wish you all PEACE, GOOD HEALTH and HAPPINESS!
    May God bless and protect defenseless peaceloving Ethiopians throughout Ethiopia, that have endured hell on earth for the last 47 years, mostly the last 30 bloody disastrous horrific years!
    Let freedom ring in Ethiopia!
    Free Eskinder Nega and his associates!

    • Dear Hope!!!

      How are you my brother? I hope and pray that this comment with find you and blessed family doing fine. By Grace of The Almighty all is well with everyone the Ittu family.

      Since November those patriotic people of that glorious country had organized themselves into bands of brothers and sisters to prove to doubters and hapless bigots that as long as they are alive their motherland will still be around in one piece just as their grandparents proved to the bullies and the rest of the world 125 years ago. Once again in 125 years they shed their Allah Blessed lives in the escarpments and ravines of Tigray to teach their tormentors one and last lesson. When the dust settled, there were Oromos, Amharas, Tigrayans, Afars, Somalis, Gambelas and every group of the south still standing up tall and breathing fire. They are telling each other ‘Go get’em tiger(ess) I got your back!’. The goons of the TPLF who had been tormenting their own kin and kit are no more. They are deemed irrelevant just as those generals of Baratieri after 12:00 o’clock high noon on 1896. They now live in the memorials of their running dogs and the BBC, AP and Al-Khadabeen networks. Chairman Debre and his daydreamers thought that country which produced us all, that gem of the colored, that Blessed creation whose children saved both major religions of the world(Bilal ibn Rabah and Mary Magdalene) is kept together just by one dowel. Those miscreants thought it would be no sweat to send that historic country asunder. But it did not take even a whole week for the goons either to bite the dust or run like a scared rabbit. Even Roger Rabbit was seen on the floor roaring in laughter at the sight of their running. On my Longines timer Chairman Debre and army have broken Usain Bolts records. Let’s just say it was just embarrassing. All that bravado, all that daring the more than 116 million proud people was gone just at the first sight of Jula kicking their $$$e$ with the fire spitting Madobes, Labhans, Qeerroos and Fanos in tow. The BBC and AP’s in all were telling us that Debre had 250,000 of the most ‘battle hardened/soldiers found nowhere on this good earth. What the world came to see was one of the most seasoned men-in-arms rushing to refugee camps in Sudan in a jiffy. Jula, Qeerroos and Fanos were going like ‘I’m here for a fight!! What a shuk!!! Where is Debre?!!! That chicken!!!’

      In regards to our beloved waterhole Nazret, I think like other similar websites, it could be a part time job for the dear editors. In such pandemic crushed economy spare time can be in a very short supply. Let’s hope it will be around for many years to come.
      Dear editors!!! Take a bow from Hope and this high mileage beyond-repair Afro/Ethio-centric.

      Nice to see you brother!!!

      • Anche shemagele twisted heart useless fart called ITTU,
        You must quit now, you are one of those shemagele who live up to 90 years and don’t know why you exist. What a cursed soul you have. Who are you trying to liberate?
        Mr know it all, go die with your mouth ignorance

        • You should never say that to me. I did not say anything addressed to you. I did not call you out. You’re wrong. You are getting lost with me here.

        • Aba Geda, The man is so evil! He has no feelings for human life. I don’t know what his motive is to have that much hate specially at his age. I think he is insane

    • I think Tamagn Beyene is saying all peace loving Ethiopians have been saying. Bring TPLF to justice and help peace loving people of Tigray. Thank you for sharing, I heard him doing just like that. He never said attack a peaceful person. He said bring TPLF to justice. You made us respect the guy even more

      • I don’t know wh many Amhara have problems with that video. He was praising the Tegaru farmers saying he is glad he was born from them and how great they are, what is wrong with that. There was no insult to anyone in that video. In the name of Ethiopia, we were forced to praise Amhara culture, people, history and language, those days are gone. All nation nationalities are great and have the right to praise their people and be proud of them.

        • Really, would you say the same if the speech was by Tamagene Beyene? Don’t make me laugh, if Abiy say the same thing about Oromo farmers, prop TPLF like you would cry foul. Why not praising all Ethiopian farmers? The dead midget was “leader of the country”, but he chose to praise Tegaru farmers. Yes, it is a problem when you choose people from one identity in a multi country. The dead midget was narrow minded tribalist. He spread division and hate, we are witnessing the result.

          My point is you supported the dead midget who showed his partiality as seen in this clip while spreading falsehood about Tamagne. Fool tegadalys like you.

          • There is nothing wrong with praising your people but Amhara chauvinist don’t like to hear anything good about any other ethnic other than Amhara. That is changed. Oromo are proud of Oromo people, culture, language and history. The same is true with Tigray. We don’t praise Amhara anymore, we praise our people. All nation nationalities should do the same

          • You are making my point. You are narrow minded. Parise good without identity. Hate evil without identity. The dead midget should have said whatever he said to praise Tigray farmers to all farmers in the country. But he chose division and the country is in hell.
            If someone who shares you identity praises you, ask him/her if that is a true praise or a praise based on partiality.

    • Is that really Getachew Reda? It is only audio so it is hard to tell if the voice is his or not. But if it is him, I am glad he able to call from Tigray. That means there is phone communication for peaceful people who live in Tigray. That is in fact if he is still in Tigray. May be it is an impersonator or I am afraid he may be outside the country, in one of the neighboring countries other than Eritrea. Next time we may hear from Seyoum Mesfin.


      Did the journalist asked him about TPLF leaders who are captured or dead? Or he only asked him whether the war is over or not? I couldn’t watch until the end.

      • Newera, There is this thing called Satellite phone where you can make calls from anywhere in the world. The leaders such as Siyoum Mesfin were apprehended from their family house and put in Eritrean prison for a while then they executed them there and brought them to Tigray and throw them in a maintain to make it look like they got killed in a battle. How would anyone believe them a blind man with an amputated arm would fight is beyond me.

        • lol, I know there is this thing called Satellite phone. My confusion is why Getcho chose to use it now? Where was he the last 3 months? He just got the Satellite phone?
          They executed leaders such as Siyoum Mesfin but spared Sebhat Nega, Abay woldeu and Keriya? How does that make sense?

  17. On another development, I read news on another website that tells the recent shooting to death of a member of an opposition party in the city of Bishoftu. I am crestfallen by this tragic news and my family would like to extend our heartfelt sympathy to the loved ones of the victim.

    I am gonna wait for more facts about this very sad news. Beside politics this gentleman could have been a father, a husband and a loved one of his kin and kit. Now his children are fatherless and his wife suddenly a grieving widow. In such highly charged up environment the killer can be anyone. In any case, this murder is gonna send a sense of undeserved insecurity on members of the opposition parties who are already in disarray for faults of their own. They have chosen weakness in schism over strength in unity. They have been telling us that they are rather Oromos, Amharas, Tigrayans, Afars, Somalis so forth more than they are Ethiopians. They seem to be betting their hedges that one of these days they will be in charge and bring the dough home, not to the people but to themselves. That country does not need more than 80 parties to solve its two major problems: Bad governance and poverty. Is somebody trying to tell me that those peasants and urban dwellers from my Itu clan need black milk from a green cow and those in Amhara and everywhere else need green milk from a purple cow? All of them are identical in their want: A stable and peaceful country where no one is above the law and legit means to bring the dough home to their homes. They don’t need 80 wobbly parties to pull them in 80 directions. You can see it yourself how some of these minuscule parties are led by inept individuals even by the signs/symbols they chose for their party for the coming election. One of them had the nerve to pick a thumb in an upward position. They better not show that outside the country. It could mean profane ‘up yours’ in many countries. What were they thinking? Thank Almighty nobody chose the sole of their shoes as their election sign. Just imagine what it is going to look like if the next election ends up to be 50-50 with 50% of the seats won by the PPP and the rest among the other 45 minuscule outfits. That will be just more and unnecessary pain to the sickened country. Utter chaos!!! Then the White Citizens Council will be like ‘Nothing new here. Niggers, you know!’

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