Ethiopia’s new Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed is moving quickly to open up the strategic Horn of Africa country to Western capital. But far from the move being seen as a progressive reform, many Ethiopians and observers are concerned that the new direction is leading the nation into “debt slavery”.
Nearly five months after a change in power in Ethiopia, the country is witnessing an outbreak of deadly communal violence in several regions. The surge in conflict has come after many years of political stability in the Horn of Africa nation, stirring fears that the country may be facing widespread chaos and even break-up.
Thousands march in the capital
The people of Ethiopia have been suppressed and controlled for generations. Under the current EPRDF government, freedom of expression has been curtailed and an atmosphere of fear and intimidation fostered. Peaceful assembly has not been allowed, contrary to the constitution, and all political dissent stamped on.
In 2005, after parliamentary elections that many, including the European observers, deemed to be unfair, students took to the streets in the capital Addis Ababa to demonstrate against what they saw as electoral fraud. Continue reading
Ethiopia’s parliament this week voted to push ahead with the country’s controversial Blue Nile hydroelectric dam project. The move is bound to raise the political stakes even higher following threats earlier this week by Egypt that it would go to war over Ethiopia’s plan to build a $4.7-billion dam on the great river.
Egypt claims that construction of the dam in Ethiopia will cause grave detriment to its supply of fresh water and spell ruin to its economy.