Ethiopia’s war: The last gasp of minority ethnic chauvinism and pseudo-democracy

Posted on November 20, 2020


Ethiopia’s reputation as an African country never colonised by a European power is belied by the fact that ethnic chauvinists have politically dominated its multicultural peoples for almost 200 years. 

Today’s needless war has its roots in this cursed history. Mythical Ethiopia was the land of serfdom, and the rulers’ brutality produced rebellions over the ages. 

A progressive student movement challenged the feudal monarchy in the late 1960s and early 1970s. Still, the military hijacked the resistance and installed a most violent government precipitating open rebellions across the country. 

The combination of the victory of the Eritrean liberation movement in 1990 and the tenacity of the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) led to the regime’s collapse and Eritrea’s independence. 


The TPLF took over Ethiopia and divided it into a centralised ethnic federation. Many Ethiopians momentarily celebrated the demise of the military.


To read more on this OP-Ed by Professor Abdi Ismail Samatar, please click on the link below:

- Author Professor Abdi Ismail Samatar

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