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HomeGeopolitical CompassSub-Saharan AfricaHindering or Birthing Democracy: The West’s Legacy in Ethiopia

Hindering or Birthing Democracy: The West’s Legacy in Ethiopia

Author: Hambisa Belina

Affiliation: Morgan State University  

Organization/Publisher: Awash Post

Date/Place: March 8, 2021/US

Type of Literature: Commentary 

Word Count: 2500


Keywords: The West’s legacy, Ethiopia, Disintegration, Democracy




Ethiopia is on the verge of a disintegration      mainly embedded in the country’s formation as a dependent colonial empire through Western colonial powers’ intensive military support      to successive Amhara elites to subjugate several autonomous historical states in the Horn of Africa. Today, the country is facing internal and external conflicts. Externally, Ethiopia is in an imminent border conflict with Sudan and disputes with Egypt and Sudan over the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD). Most recently, the country is in a devastating war with itself in the Tigray region, where it has used drones from the UAE against its own population. Oromia, the largest ethnic constituency and region in the country, has been under informal military rule since 2018. Many ethnic groups in the Southern region have been demanding self-governance, to which the government has reacted through disproportionate use of force. The Amhara region is at war on all its fronts. Thousands of Ethiopians have fled the conflicts in Benishangul-Gumuz and Tigray states, seeking refuge in war-torn South Sudan and fragile Sudan respectively. The Amhara militias and invited Eritrean troops have been involved in war crimes and crimes against humanity in Tigray, to which the Amhara leaders remain unaccountable. Far from facilitating all-inclusive dialogue and democracy in Ethiopia, Western governments and international organizations including the UN, World Bank, IMF, EU, and AU continue to give financial, diplomatic, military support     , and political legitimacy to the Ethiopian government against the country’s marginalized nations, nationalities, and people in Ethiopia. 


By: Jemal Muhamed, CIGA Research Associate



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