Factional feud over Wollo: The Manipulative Allure of the mob

By Zecharias Zelalem ||| It’s a scenario that is tragically becoming increasingly frequent and less of a head-turner in Ethiopia. People living in a shared community of residents hailing from different ethnic groups saw a dispute escalate to gun battles, leading to the deaths of anywhere between a dozen and thirty people in Ethiopia’s Wollo region over the weekend. Located in the Amhara state’s North Shewa Zone, the clashes took place in zonal areas belonging to communities of both Amhara and Oromo farmers. Exactly what instigated the latest bout of communal violence isn’t clear, but residents of the area are known for being armed and unhesitant about resorting to the use of firearms to protect their livelihoods. The widespread availability of weapons obviously exacerbated things and the Amhara regional government was forced to request a prompt deployment of federal army troops. The army put an end to the weekend of mayhem and a degree of normalcy has finally returned to the area.… Read More Factional feud over Wollo: The Manipulative Allure of the mob

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Oromo-Somali conundrum: Can Ethiopia tame the Liyu police?

By Zecharias Zelalem ||| Ethiopia says hundreds of Oromos killed and hundreds of thousands of civilians displaced from their homes in still ongoing violent clashes in the Eastern part of the country.

Conflict along the border of Ethiopia’s Oromia and Somali states is not new. The two states have seen sporadic episodes of clashes and raids along the common border for more than a decade.… Read More Oromo-Somali conundrum: Can Ethiopia tame the Liyu police?

A can of worms opened by the BBC: What is the Ethiopian Orthodox Church’s official language?

By Zecharias Zelalem ||| In a news article released a couple of days ago, the BBC made somewhat of a gaffe when it referred to the Amharic language, spoken by over 20 million Ethiopian native speakers, according to the country’s 2007 national consensus, as being the “official” language of (Ethiopia’s) Orthodox Church. The statements have proven controversial, and have sparked a debate with some Ethiopians taking issue with what they felt was a lazily researched description of the Amharic language.… Read More A can of worms opened by the BBC: What is the Ethiopian Orthodox Church’s official language?

Bullish Ethiopia reminiscent of another autocratic state: Mohammed Morsi’s Egypt

By Zecharias Zelalem ||| Ethiopia’s ruling Ethiopian People’s Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF) government, made global headlines in early October when some eleven months after the country became engulfed in an endless sea of political manifestations and protest movements, it declared that it would impose a six month state of emergency across the country. … Read More Bullish Ethiopia reminiscent of another autocratic state: Mohammed Morsi’s Egypt

Ethiopia’s zealots of yesteryear and their desperate bid to remain politically relevant

By Zecharias Zelalem ||| This week will see the culmination of the US presidential campaign with Americans of all stripes down to the fat lady set to cast their vote in an election that frankly the whole world will be waiting upon with the utmost curiosity. But while Americans will end what has been at times a comical diatribe between two stumbling, misspeaking titans in their own right, a much lower key event that will be taking place in the same country later this week is suggested to have implications in a country on the other side of the planet: Ethiopia.… Read More Ethiopia’s zealots of yesteryear and their desperate bid to remain politically relevant

PHONY HANDSHAKES AND FAKE SMILES: How Eritrea based “mergers” and “deals” have exposed our political immaturity above anything else

By Zecharias Zelalem |||

A major Ethiopian political plot twist, which saw a leader of an Eritrean based militant group and several hundred of his underlings defect back to Ethiopia from their armed opposition stance in Eritrea last year, was all the rage at the time in our political junky scene… Read More PHONY HANDSHAKES AND FAKE SMILES: How Eritrea based “mergers” and “deals” have exposed our political immaturity above anything else

The Diaspora community’s Oromo quandary

By Zecharias Zelalem ||| A couple of months back, an article I had written on the Oromo protests elicited some negative responses from several personal acquaintances, among them, an Ethiopian community leader of a city in Western Canada. Despite knowing me well enough personally to judge whether I would dare speak on contentious topics using rhetoric he considers off limits to “patriots,” he let me know he was “shocked” and “appalled” with my statements before blocking me on Facebook.… Read More The Diaspora community’s Oromo quandary

Bloomberg’s Blooper on the Oromo Protests

The tidal wave of emotion which has swept the country since the start of the Oromo protests movement about a month or so ago shows no sign of slowing, with some activists claiming that the number of cities and towns engulfed by unhappy, frustrated, yet very vocal and determined masses of unarmed marchers has reached a staggering one hundred in the Oromia region alone… Read More Bloomberg’s Blooper on the Oromo Protests

Our approach to the Oromo Protests is a DISASTER and here’s why

It’s been about a month or so now since reports have emerged of the resumption of last year’s Oromo protests against the Ethiopian government’s planned implementation of the Addis Ababa Master Plan. The flame which had been lit in Haramaya University has now engulfed the country, with daily protests being held at universities across the country.… Read More Our approach to the Oromo Protests is a DISASTER and here’s why