Friday, December 09, 2016

Ethiopia at a crossroads as it feels the strain of civil unrest

(Dec 09, (Dublin))--State of emergency restores calm, for now – but fissures remain in a fragile federation. No longer are bands of young men marauding on the outskirts of the Ethiopian capital, Addis Ababa, trying to set fire to foreign-owned factories. Nearly two months into Ethiopia’s six-month state of emergency, it appears to be having the desired effect: protests rocking its two most populous regions have subsided.

It remains to be seen, though, whether this is the beginning of a sustained period of calm or a temporary break in the most persistent and widespread protests this country has seen since the Ethiopian People’s Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF) ruling party came to power following a revolution in 1991.

At that crucial juncture Ethiopia embarked hopefully on a struggle to emerge in the modern world on its own terms. It succeeded in doing so by employing a unique political model that is “an alloy of revolutionary theories, pragmatic neoliberalism and intrinsically Ethiopian customary practices”, says historian and long-term Horn of Africa expert Gérard Prunier. Read more from The Irish Times »

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