The current conflict and resultant crisis in Ethiopia has its roots in the conquering and colonization of the Ogaden Somalis, Oromo, Sidama people and others by the Abyssinian dictatorial reign Empire for over a century with its constant political and economical upheavals.
The present tragedies are due to the struggle between the colonized peoples trapped in Ethiopia, who are fighting for their inalienable right of self-determination, and the regime of Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF), which is imposing its rule by brutal force. The regime has created ideal conditions for internal civil wars, hunger, poverty, and disease to ransack the country. It has destabilized the Horn Africa through its destructive policies by waged wars against some of the neighboring countries, mostly Eritrea, Somalia. Besides, in the name of its “democracy”, the regime is fighting mercilessly against the oppressed Ogaden Somalis, Ormos, Sidama and others in Ethiopian, who have been denied of their basic human rights and fundamental freedoms.
II. Introductory Remarks:
The aim of this presentation is to expose some features of models of domination used by successive minority Abyssinian Empires. The centre of focus is the current one, which is dominated by the Tigreans, who constitutes 4% of the Ethiopian population of 70.7 million (UN, 2003). The Ethiopian Empire consists of the core Abyssinian state, which was first founded by the Tigreans and then consolidated over centuries by the two ethnic groups of Abyssinia—Tigreans and Amhara. Emperor Menelik II (1889-1913) of the Amhara ethnic group is the creator of present day Ethiopia. At the beginning he was a vassal king under emperor Yohannes IV (1871 - 1889) of Tigray, and later on as an emperor, Menelik conquered the Ogadenia, Oromia and other non-Abyssinian peoples during the era of “scramble for Africa” with the help of Europeans. In conquering and incorporating these peoples’ territories, he transformed the core state of his ancestors into an Empire state increasing its size by two-thirds. Ethiopia is Africa's oldest independent country and, with the exception of a five-year occupation by Mussolini's Italy, has never been colonized. However, the policies of the successive dictatorial regimes in Ethiopia have led to turmoil, famines, and wars, which brought millions of people to the brink of starvation in the 1970s, 1980s and at the present. These rulers have never been embarrassed of their dreadful actions against innocent and defenseless oppressed peoples within the Empire. Because of its wrong political and economic managements in the last century, Ethiopia remains to be one of Africa's poorest states, with a very low income per capita (US$100 World Bank 2001) and a population that is almost two-thirds illiterate!!
The most common characteristic political tools used by Abyssinian Empires were:
Dependence on violent use of state power to suppress democratic change and to deny the right of self-determination of oppressed peoples
Strategic Policy of Divide and Rule
Destabilization of people-based sustainable growth as a threat to despotic political power
Heavy dependence on external aid, mostly from Western Europe and North America
Misplaced political and economical priorities
Minority rule with a large army for keeping the empire together forcefully
Government domination of all Media with no real press freedom at all
Devotion to developing Abyssinian culture, language and identity by eradicating the cultural heritages and national identities of the conquered peoples.
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