The donor communities, particularly the UK, the US and the EU, should stand with the Ethiopian people by ceasing all military, financial and diplomatic support to the tyrannical government.

By Alemante Gebre-Selassie (The Guardian) |

The deadly protests that have rocked Ethiopia over the past several months, resulting in the declaration of a six-month state of emergency, stem from many regional and national grievances, most of which reflect a sense of economic and political marginalization by wide sections of the country.

The unrest in the south dates back to November 2015, when demonstrators opposed a government plan to expand the boundaries of Addis Ababa into the Oromo regional state. Farmers were particularly upset, worrying that they would lose their farms in the government’s notorious “land grab” policy. Those protests have claimed the lives of hundreds of people and still counting.

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In July, another wave of protests began in the Amhara region when the government arrested members of the Welkait Committee, who were demanding the reversal of a 1991 decision by the ruling party to annex three districts of the Amhara region into the Tigray regional state. The inhabitants of these districts identify as ethnic Amhara and want to be reintegrated into the Amhara regional state, of which they have been a part for centuries.

The larger context for these protests, however, is the fact that for the last quarter century Ethiopians of various ethnicities have been subject to a system of governance whereby the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF), which represents a mere 6% of Ethiopia’s population, controls virtually all key levers of economic and political power. The TPLF, its cronies, party loyalists and their families control more than 70% of the modern economy, including communications, transport, agriculture and the defence industry.

Continue reading this story on The Guardian
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