The aftermath of that election, although it won Lidetu and his party seats in parliament, alienated him from a strong support base due to a split within the Coalition for Unity and Democracy CUD. The impact continued during the general elections as EDP failed to win a single sit in parliament. Solomon Goshu of The Reporter sat down with Lidetu to talk about his new book. Lidetu Ayalew: I was studying in London for two years. And in that capacity, I am carrying out what is expected of me.

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Since Abiy become the new prime minister of Ethiopia, Ethiopian politics has taken a new turn. He has released political prisoners, promoted media freedom and increased inclusion of women into the political arena. He has also invited the opposition to the discussion table, and reduced tension in the year feud between Ethiopia and Eritrea. As a result, some politically-oriented Ethiopians believe Abiy has taken exquisite and peerless actions. There are also several reprehensible issues, which have started under his tenure.

Communal violence has peaked whilst agreements with opposition groups was met with skepticism. This skepticism from the opposition has resulted in a new coalition party aimed at undermining the incumbent government in the upcoming Ethiopian election. On the other hand, Abiy disbanded the longest ruling party in the country, the EPRDF, an action that has resulted in a widening dichotomy within his inner-circle.

With all these various issues and considerations, there is much anticipation as to how the upcoming elections will unfold. Ethiopia is a mosaic of communities with a nucleus of federalism.

Ethiopia has as many as 80 ethnic groups, each with its own language. It has been considered a symbol of African independence throughout the colonial period, was a founder member of the United Nations and the African base for a number of international organizations.

Ethiopia is currently the primary regional actor when it comes to east African countries, owing to its population size as well as military capabilities. Each one of these four parties represent a regional state and are eligible to nominate candidates for the prime minister portfolio.

However, Ethiopia may sometimes become a volatile country in Africa since specific ethnicities have dominated the country whilst marginalizing other communities. There are several cultural and identity-related issues unsettled between Amhara, Tigray and Oromo communities. Still, these ethnic groups have become the political dynasty in Ethiopia. The question is why only these three communities are eligible to engage in the top decision-making positions whilst others are disregarded, especially Somalis, who represent the third most populous community and the inhabitants of the second largest area in Ethiopia.

One may assume Ethiopia is not yet a democratic country with free and fair elections. Disparity and injustice are the underlining causes of this blatant social disarticulation in Ethiopia. The Somali region becomes a soft target and susceptible community for any hetero and naked aggression from the ruling communities respectively. Over 3. This internally human displacement and uprooting are caused by disparity, rising acrimony and communal violence among different communities. The Global Peace Index GPI has ranked Ethiopia number as a peaceful country out of countries, twelve points down from the ranking of Plenty of political analysts believe this dismal ranking is caused by weak leadership in both federal and regional levels.

Ethiopia's Ethnic Clashes [AP]. Mass protests have erupted over land rights in Ethiopia since , when anti-government demonstrations broke out among the Oromo, and later spread to the Amhara, the second biggest ethnic group in the country. The protests later shifted into demands for greater political representation at the national level; however, were met with a harsh government response.

In his last speech, he stated he would stay in his post in a caretaker capacity, until the EPRDF named a successor. He was sworn in as the newly elected prime minister on 2 April This opposition group was advocating the call for self-determination for the Oromo people in opposition to the Abyssinian colonial rule led by Amhara ethnic group.

This opposition has advocated for autonomy of its respective region as a reaction against the marginalization and disregard of its people by the Federal political quota system.

Ogaden is the second largest region in Ethiopia, after Oromia, and is the third populous region after Oromia and Amhara regions respectively. Another opposition party is Gimbot 7, the third oldest opposition entity in Ethiopia, created in It has pursued the establishment of a national political system in which government power is assumed through peaceful and democratic process based on free and fair elections.

This opposition group has surfaced after the election which were overshadowed by allegations that the ruling EPRDF rigged the election, leading to various demonstrations, and resulting in the killing of over people.

When Abiy became prime minister in April , he initiated negotiations with the opposition groups, which ultimately led to the release of political prisoners, detained under terrorism charges, affiliated with the three opposition groups July 5, Since then, members of the opposition who had fled Ethiopia have returned to the country, with the hope the country was on a positive trajectory.

However, the opposition groups have rebuked the federal government of Ethiopia, mainly for not implementing the various signed agreements. These four parties are eligible to hold the highest political positions in the country since the establishment of this party. Abiy has received criticism after he announced the creation of a new political party, the Ethiopian Prosperity Party EPP in November Most of his inner-circle subordinates boycotted the new party.

EPP has been established months prior to the forthcoming election in August Several visible demonstrations have taken place since October in Addis-Ababa and several other regions. These protests against the incumbent government and its leader Abiy Ahmed begun after the government took action against well-known activist and Media Mogul, Jawar Mohamed.

Jawar, a dual Ethiopian-American Citizen, has enormous influence in the country, having participated in demonstrations against the previous governments in Abiy and Jawar were close friends during those demonstrations, and several observers believe Jawar was one of the key players who enabled Abiy to become prime minister.

However, the relationship between the two men deteriorated and turned into a political animosity. Abiy and Jawar belong to the same Oromo community consisting of close to 40 million people.

Since Abiy took office in April , he seems to have undermined his relationship with several politicians, including Jawar Mohamed and Daud Ibsa, whilst improving his rapport with Lemma Magersa.

In January , Jawar organized a huge rally from Oromo ethnic, especially the youth, in which he delivered a speech and set forth his political ambition. Jawar sounded not as an old ally of Abiy, but rather as one of his fierce opponents.

While the new rift has deepened between Abiy and his former allies, another coalition of political parties was established. The leaders of these parties have vowed they would run in the August election.

These political intentions could be another challenge which incumbent Aby will have to encounter this year, as they were in the previous government inner-circle.

Some Ethiopians believe the Somali region of Ethiopia suffers negligence and lack of developmental projects, especially infrastructure. The level of education in this region is low. Humanitarian issues are also rampant, as Qalooji IDPs hosts thousands of Somalis who have fled across the border between Oromo and Somali regions.

The regional administration in the Somali region seems to be struggling. There are also other issues of high unemployment, inter-clan conflict in the region. The local leadership tends to shame their predecessors as scapegoats for its current ineffective decisions. Disparity within the Somali community is common due to the lack of accountability and transparency in the local administration. As a landlocked country, Ethiopia depends on its neighbors, who have seaports in the Horn of Africa, to conduct import and export exchanges.

This geographical limitation has led Ethiopia to be concerned with its long-term goals. With such a position, Ethiopia has several regional linkages with its neighbors, namely Somalia and Egypt. After its completion, the dam will be the largest hydroelectric power plant in Africa, as well as the seventh largest in the world. However, such a colossal project has several geopolitical dimensions; namely how Ethiopia will reconcile its differences with Sudan and Egypt, which border the Nile and plan to benefit from the dam project.

Ethiopia's geography and need for access to the sea [Getty ]. On the top of these challenges, one should not underestimate the possible role of Jawar Mohamed, who holds large support of the largest ethnic group, in curbing the ambition of Prime Minister Abiy and his government.

The external factor remains significant. The border conflict among local different communities, and the religious differences have became, as some analysts have portrayed, inevitable, inexorable, invincible, ineluctable, intractable, amok, dumfounded and pandemonium. Anwar Abdifatah Bashir is a freelance Journalist, Horn of Africa geopolitics analyst, and the author of four books. Ethiopia Rally [Getty]. How to Work with the Federal Government? Anwar A.


Lidetu Ayalew

Since Abiy become the new prime minister of Ethiopia, Ethiopian politics has taken a new turn. He has released political prisoners, promoted media freedom and increased inclusion of women into the political arena. He has also invited the opposition to the discussion table, and reduced tension in the year feud between Ethiopia and Eritrea. As a result, some politically-oriented Ethiopians believe Abiy has taken exquisite and peerless actions.


Lidetu was born in in the historical town of Lalibela , Ethiopia - also known as Bugna woreda. He came from a modest family background, started his career working in NGOs later owning a profitable auto import business. He enrolled in Addis Ababa University and earned B. Lidetu rose to political prominence by forming the Ethiopian Democratic Party EDP in with an initial membership of men and women. He organized various demonstrations protesting some of the policies of the government, particularly alongside students. One of his achievements was his organizational role in founding the CUD Kinijt and bringing it to national political dominance. He was the vice chairman of this coalition party until internal issues caused the coalition to break up.


From the Introduction: For me, the ultimate goal of the struggle goes beyond just changing the government. What gives meaning to this struggle is the development of a confident, capable generation that is fully cognizant of its rights and makes Ethiopia infertile ground for dictators. Therefore, the current challenges facing me do not discourage me, but rather reinforce my belief in the necessity for this struggle. In any case, reinforcing the struggle in a sustainable way is more important than my personal feelings.



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