Diaspora: Why Should U.S. Solve Ethiopia’s Domestic Problem?

The last time the U.S. brokered a political deal in Ethiopia in 1991 under the guardianship of Ambassador Herman J. Cohen, we ended up with the presently failing system of government. Now there is a new Diaspora idea floating around the internet soliciting the Trump administration to referee Ethiopia's current domestic problems. But in fairness the future of Ethiopia is up to Ethiopians not a foreign power, nor should it be. As we have said before instead of declaring state of emergency, "the Ethiopian government along with the people of Ethiopia and the Ethiopian Diaspora can help shape a constructive dialogue -- to facilitate and empower the political space being demanded by a new generation of leaders and pro-Ethiopia opposition voices -- while still maintaining the longstanding friendship and the ongoing partnerships between USA and Ethiopia." In the meantime Bloomberg news reports from Addis Ababa that the next PM might actually hail from the protest-hit regions. (Photo: Ethiopian Embassy in Washington, DC/AP)


Ethiopia’s Next Leader Could Come From Protest-Hit Region

Ethiopia’s ruling party could choose the leader of the protest-hit Oromia region as its next chairman, a step toward succeeding Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn, a party official said.

The Ethiopian People’s Revolutionary Democratic Front will probably decide on a new head within the next two weeks, Getachew Reda, a member of the EPRDF’s executive committee, said in an interview on Tuesday. Lemma Megersa, the leader of the Oromo Peoples’ Democratic Organization, has been touted as a potential successor to Hailemariam.

“There is nothing institutional, moral or legal that stands in the way of Lemma becoming chairman,” Getachew said in the capital, Addis Ababa. “This is not in any way an endorsement of anyone. Technically, anyone can come in.”

Hailemariam resigned Feb. 15 after failing to quell more than two years of sporadic and often deadly anti-government protests in the Oromia and Amhara regions. The next day, the government declared a state of emergency, the second time since 2016 it’s suspended the constitution to deal with the unrest. The demonstrations occurred amid conflict between the Oromo and Somali regions that has forced more than 900,000 people to flee their homes.

Ethiopia Faces Watershed Moment After Prime Minister Resigns

Ethiopia, Africa’s fastest-growing economy over the past decade, is a key U.S. ally in its battle against al-Qaeda in the Horn of Africa. Home to more than 100 million people, the $72 billion economy has drawn investors including General Electric Co., Johannesburg-based Standard Bank Group and hundreds of Chinese companies.

The Oromo and Amhara communities together make up more than half of Ethiopia’s population, Africa’s second-largest after Nigeria…Lemma is a member of the EPRDF Council, but isn’t a member of Ethiopia’s parliament, the House of People’s Representatives. That means the council could elect him chairman, but a new prime minister “will have to become a member of parliament,” possibly through a special by-election, Getachew said.

Read more »

Crisis in Ethiopia: elections, and fast! (Open Democracy)
Ethiopia’s Great Rift (Foreign Policy Magazine)
U.S. Urges Ethiopia to Reconsider State of Emergency
Ethiopia Vows No Military Takeover Amid Latest Emergency (AP)
UPDATE: Ethiopia Says State of Emergency Will Last Six Months
Ethiopia: Seize the Moment (Editorial)
PM Hailemariam Desalegn Resigns (Reuters)
UPDATE: Eskinder Nega & Woubshet Taye Released From Prison
Ethiopia drops charges against Zone 9 bloggers
Bekele Gerba Freed Amid Protests
Signs of Hopeful Debate Emerge Online as Ethiopia Grapples with Future
Ethiopia’s Crisis of Ethnic Politics Taking Toll on Poor People
Ethiopia: 2,300 More Prisoners Pardoned
Interview: Merera Gudina Calls for Dialogue (AFP)
Ethiopia: Is This the Start of Reforms or Just a Pause in Repression? (The Economist)
Ethiopia: Media Roundup of Reactions to Announced Release of Political Prisoners

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