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News and Current Events / Peace in Eritrea and Democracy in Ethiopia
« Last post by staff3 on July 07, 2018, 08:24:53 PM »
Peace in Eritrea and Democracy in Ethiopia: EPRP’s slogan
By Obo Arada Aba Shawl alias Wolde Tewolde
July 7, 2018

The purpose of the Ethiopian Revolution was to bring Peace in Eritrea and Democracy in Ethiopia. However, because of the concept of Revolution and Democracy was understood thoroughly by few hundred dedicated Ethiopians, it took four decades for most Eritreans and Ethiopians to catch up with these concepts, theories and applications.

For most Ethiopians, unity precedes peace whereas for Eritrean majority, democracy have been associated with slavery or bondage. So herein lies the Ethio-Eritrean root causes of the problem. The Ethiopian proverb which says, “አለ ባለበቱ አይነድም ኧሳቱ” is relevant in this case. For forty-four years, a lot of Ethiopians and Eritreans were enamored with Revolutionary path without understanding the relationship of peace & war for Eritrean peace; between liberty & freedom for Ethiopian democracy. It is a case of tragedy and comedy. The leaders of all liberation fronts and organizations were copycat of one sort or another.
As if the above scenarios were not enough, the digital age have led Ethiopians and Eritreans to depend on copy & paste of materials to acquire knowledge. The community and society of these nations and nationalities have become more depressed than ever before. A confusion between Creation and Evolution is imminent.

Without the true owners of the Ethiopian Revolution, there was fascism by the DERG and personal dictatorial leadership following the fall of the DERG. The true Ethiopian and Eritrean Revolution have yet to be consummated as designed and implemented by Wallelign of Wollo and Tedros of Gonder.
So, what is the way out of this dilemma? Let us go back to the original sin of the EPRP.
E is E
P is P
R is C (change) and
P is political.
as deciphered from the above, EPRP = EPCP. There was and still there is no problem with the above values as presented and developed by EPRP Revolutionary collective leadership and party members.

Nowadays, according to the PM of Ethiopia or EPRDF, the slogan is love instead of peace and according to leader of Eritrea or EPDJ, the slogan is unity instead if separation. So, are we in the same position where we were forty-four years ago, or have we learnt something concerning PEACE in Eritrea & DEMOCRACIA in Ethiopia? I leave this to the readers of this article.
On the one hand, those Revolutionary leaders from both Ethiopia and Eritrea have known what peace meant in Eritrea and what democracy means in Ethiopia. Those leaders of both countries have read and re-read about War & Peace by Leo Tolstoy, Insurrection by Soviet Russia, Mao’s guerrilla warfare, the French as well as the American Civil Wars.

While on the other hand, the members of EPRP have consumed the literature of the Ethiopian as well as the James version of the Bible; the wisdom of the Pentateuch; the victory of the Romans and above all the knowledge of the Greeks. Armed with peace and democracy, the EPRP Revolutionary leaders have lived and role modeled to the tune of all Ethiopians and Eritreans alike.
Where is the beef? Readers might ask. It is a legitimate question and needs a legitimate answer if not at least a plausible argument. Here is the answer; -
The popular man colonel Aby has recognized Eritrea and peace seems eminent
Again, Dr. Aby has talked and displayed the elements of democracy in Ethiopia by releasing prisoners

historically peace in Eritrea and democracy in Ethiopia is the fruits or beef brought by EPRP’ s leadership, members and supporters in both Ethiopia and Eritrea. There should not be any doubt in this assertion as all facts and figures are documented. The current situation in both Eritrea and Ethiopia is the outcome of EPRP’s slogan of peace in Eritrea and Democracies in Ethiopia.
EPRP’s followers and supporters had gathered at Meskel Square in 1997 and now they are gathering at the HEART OF ETHIOPIA, the Blue Nile.

EPRP’s slogan as explained above is peace in Eritrea and democracy in Ethiopia.

EPRP’s symbolic values are the CROSS and GOD-JAM

Finally, peace among Eritreans and ዸሞክራሲያ among Ethiopians can be achieved by politics and policy respectively. It is unachievable by love - ፍቅር - and addition - መደመር - alone.

Philosopher Aby has already talked about subtraction by his slogan of “የቀን ጅቦች” This has many implications and ramifications. I have no clue what it means.

Dictator Isaias has also talked about “game over”. I don’t know what it means but I can sense that there is a lot of implications and ramifications as well.

Confused DebreTsion of Tigrai must stop and think for a moment about his name and its historical roots with its implications and ramifications.

All in all, the AID leaders i.e. Aby-Isaias-Debretsion must stop being paranoid of Amhara and Orthodox. Amhara is neither አማርኛ nor Orthodox is መደመር። አማርኛ is a language መደመር is a unified concept, theory and an application and is known as Orthodox - ተዋህዶ። we should not rock the true Eway Ethiopian Revolution which was and is “peace in Eritrea and Democracia in Ethiopia.”
አብር ለፍቅር
አብር ለብር
አብር ለትብብር (ተስፋ፤ሰላም፤ፍቅር ወዘተርፈ)might work

For comments and questions

News Release
2 July 2018

eLearning Africa: Could ICTs be the Key to Ending Hunger in Africa?

Education and technology can play an important role in ending hunger and malnutrition in Africa once and for all.

That is the view of leading experts in communications technology and food security, who will be attending a special session on malnutrition at this year’s eLearning Africa conference in Kigali, Rwanda from 26 – 28 September.

Current estimates show that around 14.5 per cent of people living in Africa’s poorest regions are hungry or malnourished. The most obvious victims are often children and, according to the World Health Organisation, hunger and malnutrition are still the biggest causes of child mortality in developing countries.

However, that could all be about to change.

Speakers from Ghana, Rwanda and Zambia will show how imaginative initiatives in the education sector in several African countries are already helping to combat malnutrition. They are convinced that ICTs, which are increasingly being used to improve African agricultural output, together with a new focus on providing the right people with the necessary skills, could be the key to ending hunger permanently.

One of the speakers at the eLA session will be Kofi Barimah of Ghana Technology University College (GTUC), who will explain how GTUC has used eLearning to enhance its nutrition programme. He points out that malnutrition is still a serious problem in parts of Ghana.

“’Kwashiorkor’, which has found its way into the English dictionary, was derived from ‘Ga’, a native Ghanaian language,” he says. “‘Kwashiorkor’ is a term reserved for severely malnourished children and infants resulting from a deficiency in dietary protein. The mere fact that the English name for a malnourished child comes from a Ghanaian language may help elucidate the seriousness of this problem in Ghana and Africa as a whole.”

With the aid of a small grant from the Catholic University College of Ghana and  in partnership with the University of Southampton and the International Malnutrition Task Force, GTUC has integrated an online course on “caring for infants and children with malnutrition” into its degree programme on Public Health.

The eLearning course, which has successfully integrated new learning and teaching materials, gives students and faculty members access to best practices for maternal and child nutrition, using both CDs and online learning.

“The project has been very much successful, with students applauding the IMTF and the UoS for such a wonderful intervention,” says Barimah. “The team has been able to roll out the integration of the first batch of students with promising results. Over one thousand students have been trained during the first year of the introduction of the modules and others are yet to benefit.”

Mudukula Mukubi of the Ndola Nutrition Organisation in Zambia will present evidence of the positive effects of ICTs on the delivery of key skills to households headed by women or children. The research is part of a project, funded by SPIDER, on self-help programmes for the households.

“The project seeks to address the lack of entrepreneur and livelihood skills faced by poverty-stricken women and child-headed households in the rural parts of Luanshya, Masaiti and Ndola districts of Zambia,” he explains. “The project provides skills training in poultry and soybean production... using ICT tools, including smart phones to access and exchange information on social media.”

Rwanda’s experience in implementing a World Health Organisation (WHO) programme on the Integrated Management of Childhood Illness (ICMI) will be the focus of a presentation by Jean de Dieu Gatete of the Maternal and Child Survival Programme (MCSP). The programme, which is part of the WHO’s strategy to reduce mortality and morbidity in children by improving the management of common illnesses, was adopted by Rwanda in 2006 and is currently practised in public health centres across the country.

However, in spite of national clinical guidelines for the treatment of all children under the age of 5, only 65 per cent receive the recommended care. Fewer than 40 per cent of practitioners in Rwandan health centres have received ICMI training. The MCSP programme, which has surveyed 148 Rwandan health centres in 12 districts, has been exploring options for introducing alternative, sustainable and low-cost approaches for the delivery of ICMI training to a larger number of providers.

“The project established that computer-assisted learning provided a real opportunity for training health care professionals at low cost (around $178 per participant) compared to the standard classroom based training ($472 per participant),” says Gatete.

With the aid of online learning as part of the MCSP programme, over 600 health care providers in 148 health centres have now already been successfully given on-the-job ICMI training.

“The completion of this computer-aided training programme (has) helped to increase the rate of ICMI trained providers from 40 per cent to 79 per cent in 6 months.”

Rebecca Stromeyer, the founder and organiser of eLearning Africa, said:

“The full programme for this year’s conference is now online and I am very pleased that it includes an in-depth focus on how ICTs can help to tackle the persistent problem of malnutrition in Africa. It is shocking that, in the twenty-first century, so many people still go hungry. I am sure, however, that ICTs can make a major contribution to solving the problem and to ensuring that children and mothers get the care they need.”

The eLearning Africa conference is accompanied by an exhibition of new products, services and solutions. It also hosts the annual eLearning Africa Ministerial Round Table, at which education and ICT ministers discuss the latest developments in education and technology.

For more information about eLearning Africa, please visit the conference website at or contact the eLearning Africa press office at

eLearning Africa is the key networking event for ICT supported education, training and skills development in Africa and brings together high-level policy makers, decision makers and practitioners from education, business and government. Over 12 consecutive years, eLearning Africa has hosted 16,228 participants from 100+ different countries around the world, with over 85% coming from the African continent. More than 3,300 speakers have addressed the conference about every aspect of technology enhanced education and skills development.

eLearning Africa 2018 - 13th International Conference on ICT for Education, Training and Skills Development
September 26 – 28, 2018
Kigali Convention Centre, Kigali, Rwanda
Organised by ICWE GmbH, Leibnizstrasse 32, 10625 Berlin, Germany,
Hosted by the Rwandan Ministry of Education and the Rwanda Convention Bureau
Contact: Rebecca Stromeyer,,,
Tel: +49 (0)30 310 18 18-0, Fax: +49 (0)30 324 98 3

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Events and Announcements / First Hijra Foundations 30th Annivarsary Event -Update
« Last post by staff3 on June 27, 2018, 11:20:02 AM »
First Hijra Foundations 30th Annivarsary

(JULY 14 AND JULY 15th) 2018   Metro Washington DC in Alexandria, Virginia ...

Image Link's_30th_Anniversary_July14&15th_2018.jpg

Latest Guest List update via YouTube Link below

Please share to via Your Contacts and Social Media...

Ethiopia needs to end the persecution of a key ethnic group to achieve real reform
Yohannes Gedamu, Georgia Gwinnett College June 21, 2018
A man and a boy load a donkey with jerrycans of water collected from a stream outside the village of Tsemera in Ethiopia's northern Amhara region
A man and a boy load a donkey with jerrycans of water collected from a stream outside the village of Tsemera in Ethiopia's northern Amhara region, (Reuters/Katy Migiro)
The political upheaval that Ethiopians have become accustomed to seems to be a thing of the past—for now. Many have praised the new prime minister Abiy Ahmed, who took office in April 2018, for restoring calm to much of the country. Some have even dubbed his reform agenda a massive turn around for Ethiopia.

There has been progress on his watch. Ahmed has overseen the release of political prisoners, as was promised by former premier Hailemariam Desalegn. Most recently he lifted the state of emergency that was imposed after Desalegn unexpectedly resigned in February 2018 after five years in power.

Ahmed has also promised to privatize state owned enterprises, and declared his readiness to stabilize Ethiopia’s tumultuous relations with neighbor Eritrea.

But it hasn’t all been rosy—especially when it comes to the ongoing eviction of ethnic groups in various regions in the country. The targeted eviction of ethnic Amharas in the regional states of Benishangul Gumuz and Oromia is especially worrying. Thousands of Amharas have been evicted, killed and tortured. Although cases of evictions have recently increased, the problem started in 2012 when thousands of Amharas were evicted from the Southern Region.

The Amharas are one of Ethiopia’s two largest ethnic groups; the other is the Oromo. Together the groups account for about 60% of Ethiopia’s population.

Mistreatment of Amharas has drawn the attention of several human rights organizations, including Amnesty International which has called out the pattern of ethnically motivated attacks and displacement.

To end such ethnic attacks and unfortunate instances of targeted evictions, Ahmed’s new administration must consider institutional reforms. My research shows that Ethiopia’s regional states and their constitutions have been designed in a way that bestows ownership of regions on certain ethnic groups. So, for Ahmed’s reform agenda to take full effect such laws need to be amended.

Why target Amharas?
The Tigrayan People’s Liberation Front, which is one of the constituent parties of the ruling Ethiopian People’s Revolutionary Democratic Front, has always considered ethnic Amharas an enemy. It has used their perceived historical dominance as the basis for forming a coalition of minorities to oppose their push for a united Ethiopia.

Take for instance the the regional constitution of Benishangul Gumuz. It states that “although all peoples who live in the region are recognized, the ownership of the region belongs to ethnic groups such as Berta, Gumuz, Shinasha, Mao, and Komo”. This means that residents from other ethnic groups are considered settlers or outsiders. Other regional constitutions contain similar provisions, which have historical roots.

When Ethiopia’s military regime was overthrown in 1991, the country’s unitary state structure crumbled and a new federal arrangement was introduced. The federal system was based on ethnicity, language and geographic considerations. Amharas, who are considered advocates of Ethiopian nationalism, were unhappy with the new arrangement.

They believed that it would put the national unity of the Ethiopian state in a precarious position. They also felt that a federal state would leave them vulnerable since millions of Amharas live in all parts of the nation.

They were right. As a result of the federal system, Amharas in various regional states are now considered settlers in their own country. For years, they have been subject to evictions, property destruction, and killings. Just recently documented orders (in Amhraric) that called for such evictions were made public. The orders were given by regional officers.

It’s unfortunate that there has been no sign of this stopping under Ahmed’s rule. Targeted evictions persist; the most recent happened in April 2018 when Amharas were thrown out of Oromia.

Prime Minister Ahmed has addressed the latest Amhara and other minority evictions calling them unfortunate events that do not represent the values held by the majority of Ethiopians. In a live address to the nation, he promised that government will address the issue as soon as possible.

So far, however, the new administration has been unable to control the regional forces that are behind the forceful evictions of Amharas from their lands. If the evictions continue unabated it will endanger the whole nation’s peace and security.

Ahmed’s reform agenda could also easily be derailed by the disenfranchisement of ethnic Amharas, who recently formed a new political party to represent their interests and those of other minorities such as the Wolayta and Gedio.

Solving the crisis
Ahmed’s new administration must quickly address this humanitarian catastrophe. Oromia Regional state has started to address it, but a lot remains to be done. One way to manage the situation is through a constitutional amendment to ensure that every Ethiopian can live anywhere in the republic. It’s only then the evictions of Oromos, Amharas and other minorities can become a thing of the past.

Constitutional amendments will require a consensus between the four parties within the ruling Ethiopian People’s Revolutionary Democratic Front, through a parliamentary process.

Finally, Ahmed must entrench the ideals of Ethiopiawinet (an Amharic word for “Ethiopian-ness”): tolerance, peaceful coexistence, mutual care, and the advocacy of values that bind all Ethiopians together. The fact that the premier has admitted past failures that entrenched ethnic violence and evictions is welcome progress.

The ConversationNow is the time to invite scholars, elders, religious leaders and all stakeholders to come together and forge a new alliance to ease ethnic tensions.

Yohannes Gedamu, Lecturer of Political Science, Georgia Gwinnett College

This article was originally published on The Conversation. Read the original article.
News and Current Events / Ethiopia: must listen Eskender Nega full speech
« Last post by staff3 on June 11, 2018, 04:35:25 PM »
Ethiopia: must listen Eskender Nega full speech in Metro Washington DC Eskender and his wife Serkalem ceremony of recognition...

Science, Technology & Education / Surveillance Self-Defense
« Last post by staff3 on May 31, 2018, 06:27:35 PM »
Surveillance      Self-Defense

Tips, Tools and How-tos for Safer Online Communications
A Project of the Electronic Frontier Foundation

We’re the Electronic Frontier Foundation, an independent non-profit working to protect online privacy for nearly thirty years. This is Surveillance Self-Defense : our expert guide to protecting you and your friends from online spying.

Read the BASICS to find out how online surveillance works. Dive into our TOOL GUIDES for instructions to installing our pick of the best, most secure applications. We have more detailed information in our FURTHER LEARNING sections. If you’d like a guided tour, look for our list of common SECURITY SCENARIOS.

New to Security?

All of our Starter Resources in One Place
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Cautionary lessons for Ethiopia from Egypt's short-lived revolution

Africa’s biggest rivals, Ethiopia and Egypt, recently held leadership contests. On 29 March, General Abdel Fattah al-Sisi of Egypt claimed 97% in his second uncontested presidential election. In Ethiopia, Abiy Ahmed, a former lieutenant-colonel in the military, assumed chairmanship of the long-ruling Ethiopian Peoples' Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF) and was sworn in as prime minister on 2 April. He replaces Hailemariam Desalegn, who resigned in February after six tumultuous years in office. The two countries, regimes, and popular revolutions are as alike as they are different. A closer look at Egypt’s treacherous post-Arab Spring transition offers a cautionary tale for the prospects of reform in Ethiopia.

Siamese twins?
To begin with, both Egyptians and Ethiopians languish under martial law: Egypt since its aborted 2011 revolution which toppled Hosni Mubarak, and Ethiopia since February 2018 — its second in two years. Prime Minister Abiy’s ascension is meant to halt years of relentless anti-government protests. In Egypt, al-Sisi provoked civil war by deposing the country’s first popularly elected president, Mohamed Morsi, followed by a bloody crackdown on dissent.

Second, both countries are characterised by a deep state within the governing structure whereby the top brass of the military, intelligence and security wield real power. Third, the two are client states of the United States and serve as its proxies in their troubled neighbourhood. Fourth, leaders of the shadowy deep state and their cronies own and operate huge business empires guarded at gunpoint. Finally, in both countries tyranny has historically enjoyed a measure of respectability: Egyptian Pharaohs and Ethiopian Atses mirror Russian Czars.

Different societies, regimes

Home to over 80 ethnic groups, diversity is Ethiopia’s challenge. Conversely, Egypt’s Arab identity supersedes all others. While Ethiopia is still 80% rural,  43% of Egyptians are urban, with only two metropolises, Cairo and Alexandria, accounting for close to a fourth of the country’s population of 99 million. Egypt is said to be 90% Muslim, but Ethiopia is split by the two major Abrahamic religions with a smattering of indigenous holdovers.
The two leaders are preoccupied with different priorities. Abiy, catapulted to power by popular protests and a rebellion by a previously marginal group within the governing EPRDF coalition, aims to overhaul the system without alienating entrenched Tigrean power (Tigray accounts for about 6 percent of the country’s 106 million population). Meanwhile, al-Sisi, the ultimate deep state persona, labours to make tyranny palatable after revolution-induced chaos while keeping his mortal enemy, the Muslim Brotherhood, at bay.

These differences inform how youth- and social media-driven revolutions in the two countries, both provoked by the deep state's excesses, panned out. Egypt’s was concentrated in a central public place, the iconic Tahrir Square, and lasted merely 15-18 days while Ethiopia’s slow-moving revolution has rolled out over the vast Oromo and Amhara territories since April 2014. These differences offer lessons for democracy advocates in Ethiopia.

Reforming Ethiopia

The substance of the reforms Ethiopians desire is familiar, even if details are not. Opening the political space —democratisation — is on everyone’s lips. Among the bottlenecks are three draconian legislations enacted in 2008/2009: media and civil society proclamations, and a sweeping anti-terrorism law, which together make treason out of routine exercises of constitutionally guaranteed rights. To the protesters, security sector reform — refocusing the deep state’s mandate and making its leadership reflect the country’s diversity — tops the agenda. None of this would matter unless and until the judiciary becomes independent. And no reform would be complete without meaningful dialogue with the opposition. 
The main problem is not the what of reform but the how. In Egypt, the deep state adopted a wait-and-see approach. First, it allowed the revolution and elections to take place. When the youth soured on a flawed transition leader, Mohamed Morsi, they launched a counter-revolution. Can Abiy escape Morsi’s fate? Although Abiy hails from within the EPRDF, he is resented by the establishment. As with Egypt, the youth protesters in Oromia, Abiy’s constituent state, who catapulted him to power, could as easily torpedo his train if reform falters.

Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed delivers a speech during his rally in Ambo on 11 April 2018. (Image: Zacharias Abubeker/AFP/Getty Images)

However, Abiy has an external advantage that Morsi lacked: Whereas both the Pentagon (US military) and Langley (the CIA) were suspicious of Morsi given his close ties to the Muslim Brotherhood, his outreach to both Hamas and Iran and general misgivings by western powers towards Islamist groups in the aftermath of their combined victory against the former Soviet Union in Afghanistan in 1989, Abiy provokes no such contempt. As a Protestant in a predominantly Orthodox Christian and Muslim country, he could, in fact, count on their largesse.
In fact, the US has extended its support to advocates of democratic freedoms in Ethiopia, which includes the new prime minister, in the form of a resolution by the House of Representatives that passed on 10 April. Among other things, Resolution 128 calls for lifting the state of emergency, initiating dialogue with the opposition and instituting badly needed reforms, all of which are central planks in the new prime minister’s agenda.
Secondly, Egypt is a unitary state as opposed to Ethiopia, a multinational federation, albeit one choked by lack of democracy. The presence of layers of jurisdiction and parallel security organs with dual loyalty does not necessarily eliminate the threat of military takeovers in federations, but it does significantly diminish their chances of success.
Third, the Egyptian army is a revered national institution unlike Ethiopia’s, which is dominated by the Tigrean minority. Fourth, the increasing assertiveness of two of one-time docile EPRDF member parties — the Oromo People’s Democratic Organisation (OPDO) and the Amhara National Democratic Movement (ANDM) —  and their warming alliance offer Abiy a buffer. He can still count, at least in the short term, on the support of young activists (Qeerroo), who drove the mass protests and strikes that ultimately resulted in Desalegn’s fall.

Fifth, with a hopeful and unifying inaugural speech and further outreach to the public, his appeal has transcended the EPRDF and his Oromo constituency, further insulating him against being dealt the same hand as Morsi by the country’s military, police and security services when they ousted him in 2013.

Is reform inevitable?

Although reform is hazardous even under the best of circumstances, Ethiopia’s angry deep state, whose omnipotence is exaggerated, can only delay it. The key question is: how much time will the populace, especially the Oromo youth, give Abiy to deliver? In a clear and dire warning to the prime minister, a Qeerroo was quoted as saying: "It does not mean that we have now gained freedom, just because he is an Oromo. We young people want a fundamental change, and if that does not happen we Qeerroo will rise up again."
Will Abiy’s OPDO maintain its newly gained public support against the resurgent Oromo Federalist Congress (OFC), whose leaders, just released from prison, enjoy star-like adoration? Two things are certain: Ethiopia won’t be a Jeffersonian democracy anytime soon and a level playing field will develop rather slowly. A working agreement between the OPDO and the OFC could help avert a showdown.

The EPRDF is both a dominant vanguard party and a liberation movement but it has never been universally loved except in Tigray, the home state of the Tigrayan People's Liberation Front, the founder and king-maker in the ruling coalition. Ethiopia holds its next elections in 2020. Although the EPRDF desires to rule indefinitely, it would struggle to hold on, even with reform. Can Abiy himself maintain his popular support if he leaves ill-gotten wealth in the hands of the nouveau riche and fails to hold perpetrators of gross human rights violations and other high crimes accountable? If he moves too fast, he risks an Egypt-like coup d’état. If he moves too slow? A sea of enraged youth on the streets could await.

A narrow path

Abiy’s only path to success remains reform. The path is steep, but Abiy has options to ease the way, such as rallying support from regional groups such as the ANDM and the OPDO as well as youth revolutionaries. Unlike the relatively centralised Egyptian revolution, Ethiopia’s Qeerroo-led movement is decentralised. By lifting the state of emergency, Abiy can allow anonymous Qeerroo leaders to emerge from the shadows.
Whoever wins over this powerful bloc unaffiliated with any established political party is bound to shape Ethiopia’s future. And none is better placed than Abiy. To do so, he will have to rely on his main benefactor, Lemma Megersa, president of the Oromia Regional State, and Lemma’s counterpart in the Amhara state, Gedu Andargachew. He could prod them to initiate reforms of their own, and the Southern Peoples Democratic Movement to renew itself.

The upcoming EPRDF congress in August provides Abiy with the perfect opportunity to wipe the slate clean. Finally, he has to insist that donor communities — especially the U.S. and Europe — make good on their statements of concern about Ethiopia by throwing their weight behind the new leader’s reform agenda.
Clearly, Ethiopia’s path to reform is uncertain. Abiy faces enormous challenges. Will he pack his Cabinet with reformists or hardliners? Will the powerful heads of intelligence and defence forces stay or go? And who would replace them? These early moves will offer clues as to whether Abiy will be a "placeholder" like his predecessor or an assertive leader capable of moving Ethiopia forward.
(Main image: People protest against the Ethiopian government during Irreecha, the annual Oromo festival to celebrates the end of the rainy season, in Bishoftu on 1 October 2017. An Ethiopian religious festival transformed into a rare moment of open defiance to the government one year after a stampede started by police killed dozens at the gathering. — Zacharias Abubeker/AFP/Getty Images)
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