Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia
ye-Ītyōṗṗyā Fēdēralāwī Dīmōkrāsīyāwī Rīpeblīk
Flag Coat of arms
Anthem: Wodefit Gesgeshi, Widd Innat Ityopp’ya
(“March Forward, Dear Mother Ethiopia”)
(and largest city) Addis Ababa
9°1.8′N 38°44.4′E
Official language(s) Amharic [ 1 ]
Recognised regional languages Other languages official amongst the different ethnicities and their respective regions .
Ethnic groups
*. Oromo 34.5%
*. Amhara 26.9%
*. Somali 6.2%
*. Tigray 6.1%
*. Sidama 4.%
*. Gurage 2.5%
*. Welayta 2.3%
*. Hadiya 1.7%
*. Afar 1.7%
*. Gamo 1.5%
*. Gedeo 1.3%
*. Other 11.3% [ 2 ]
Demonym Ethiopian
Government Federal parliamentary republic 1
– President Girma Wolde-Giorgis
– Prime Minister Meles Zenawi
– Traditional date 980 BC
– Current constitution 1991
– Total 1,104,300 km 2 ( 27th )
426,371 sq mi
– Water (%) 0.7
– 2011 estimate 82,101,998 [ 3 ] ( 14th )
– 2007 census 73,918,505
– Density 74/km 2 ( 123rd )
194/sq mi
GDP ( PPP ) 2010 estimate
– Total $86.123 billion [ 4 ]
– Per capita $1,015 [ 4 ]
GDP (nominal) 2010 estimate
– Total $29.717 billion [ 4 ]
– Per capita $350 [ 4 ]
Gini (1999–00) 30 ( medium )
HDI (2010) 0.328 ( low ) ( 157th )
Currency Birr ( ETB )
Time zone EAT ( UTC 3)
– Summer ( DST ) not observed ( UTC 3)
Drives on the right
ISO 3166 code ET
Internet TLD .et
Calling code 251
1 According to The Economist in its Democracy Index , Ethiopia is a “hybrid regime”, with a dominant-party system led by the Ethiopian People’s Revolutionary Democratic Front .
2 Rank based on 2005 population estimate by the United Nations.
This article contains Ethiopic text . Without proper rendering support , you may see question marks, boxes, or other symbols instead of Ethiopic characters.
Ethiopia ( / ˌ iː θ i ˈ oʊ p i ə / ) ( Ge’ez : ኢትዮጵያ ʾĪtyōṗṗyā ), officially known as the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia , is a country located in the Horn of Africa . It is the second-most populous nation in Africa, with over 82 million inhabitants, [ 3 ] and the tenth-largest by area, occupying 1,100,000 km 2 . Ethiopia is bordered by Eritrea to the north, Djibouti and Somalia to the east, Sudan and South Sudan to the west, and Kenya to the south. With its capital at Addis Ababa , it is also the mostpopulous landlocked nation in the world.
Ethiopia was a monarchy for most of its history, and the Ethiopian dynasty traces its roots to the 2nd century BC. [ 5 ] Ethiopia is also one of the oldest sites of humanexistence known to scientists today, having yielded some of humanity’s oldest traces. [ 6 ] It may be the region from which Homo sapiens first set out for the Middle East and points beyond. [ 7 ] [ 8 ] [ 9 ] Alongside Rome, China and Persia, the Ethiopian Aksum Empire was considered one of the four great world powers of the 3rd century. [ 10 ] [ 11 ] [ 12 ] During the Scramble for Africa , Ethiopia was the only African country that retained its independence and one of only four African members of the League of Nations . After a brief period of Italian occupation , Ethiopia became a charter member of the United Nations . When other African nations received their independence following World War II , many of themadopted the colors of Ethiopia’s flag , and AddisAbaba became the location of several international organizations focused on Africa.
Modern Ethiopia and its current borders are a result of significant territorial reduction in the north and expansion in the south toward its present borders, owing toseveral migrations and commercial integration as well as conquests, particularly by Emperor Menelik II and Ras Gobena . In 1974, the dynasty led by Haile Selassie was overthrown as civil wars intensified. Since then, Ethiopia has seen a variety of governmental systems. Ethiopia is one of the founding members of the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM), G-77 and the Organisation of African Unity (OAU). Today, Addis Ababa is stillthe headquarters of the African Union , the Pan African Chamber of Commerce (PACCI) and [ 13 ] UNECA . The country has one of the most powerful militaries in Africa and Addis Ababa is the headquarters of the continental African Standby Force (ASF). Ethiopia is one of a few African countries where an indigenous alphabet isstill used. [ 14 ] Ethiopia also has its own time system and unique calendar, seven to eight years behind the Gregorian Calendar. It has the largest number of UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Africa. [ 15 ]
The country is a land of natural contrasts, with waterfalls and volcanic hot springs . Ethiopia has some of Africa’s highest mountains as well as some of the world’s lowest points below sea level. The largest cave in Africa is located in Ethiopia at Sof Omar . Ethiopia has one of the largest number of rivers in the world while the country’s northernmost area at Dallol, Afar is the hottest place year-round anywhere on Earth . Ethiopia is a multilingual , multicultural and multiethnic society of around 80 groups, with the two largest being the Oromo and the Amhara , both of which speak Afro-Asiatic languages . The country is also famous for its Olympic gold medalists in running,rock-hewn churches in Lalibela, and as the place where the coffee bean originated. Currently, Ethiopia is the top coffeeand honey-producing country in Africa, and home to the largest livestock population in Africa. The Ethiopian Aksum region was the first major empire in the world to convert to Christianity and it was one of the first countries to officially adopt Christianity as a state religion in the 4th century. [ 16 ] Ethiopia has a Christian majority and a third of the population is Muslim . Ethiopia is the site of the first hijra in Islamic history and the oldest Muslim settlementin Africa at Negash . Until the 1980s, a substantial population of Ethiopian Jews resided in Ethiopia. The country is also the spiritual homeland of the Rastafari religious movement .
Ethiopia, which has Africa’s second biggest hydropower potential, [ 17 ] is the source of over 85% of the total Nile water flow and contains rich soils, but it nevertheless underwent a series of famines in the 1980s, exacerbated by adverse geopolitics and civil wars, resulting in the death of hundreds of thousands. [ 18 ] Slowly, however, the country hasbegun to recover, and today Ethiopia has the biggest economy by GDP in East Africa and Central Africa. [ 19 ] [ 20 ] [ 21 ] as the Ethiopian economy is also one of the fastest growing in the world. It is a regional powerhouse in the Horn and east Africa.Recently, human rights abuses have been reported in Ethiopia, however under Premier Meles Zenawi the country has become a leading economic, diplomatic and political force in Africa.
1 Names
The Greek name Αἰθιοπία (from Αἰθίοψ , Aithiops , ‘an Ethiopian’) appears twice in the Iliad and three times in the Odyssey . [ 30 ] The Greek historian Herodotus specifically uses it for all the lands south of Egypt, including Sudan and modern Ethiopia. Pliny the Elder says the country’s name comes from a son of Hephaestus (aka Vulcan) named Aethiops . [ 32 ] Similarly, inthe 15th century Ge’ez Book of Aksum , the name is ascribed to a legendaryindividual called Ityopp’is , an extrabiblical son of Cush, son of Ham , said to have founded the city of Axum . In addition to this Cushite figure, two of theearliest Semitic kings arealso said to have born thename Ityopp’is according to traditional Ethiopian kinglists. Modern European scholars beginning c. 1600 [ 33 ] have considered the name to be derived from the Greek words aitho “I burn” ops “face”. [ 34 ] [ 35 ]
The name Ethiopia also occurs in many translations of the Old Testament, but the Hebrew texts have Kush , which refers foremost to Nubia / Sudan. [ 36 ] In the (Greek) New Testament, however, the Greek term Aithiops, ‘an Ethiopian’, does occur, [ 37 ] referring to a servant of Candace or Kentakes , possibly an inhabitant of Meroe which was later conquered by the Kingdom of Axum . The earliest attested use of the name Ityopya in the region itself is as a name for the Kingdom of Aksum in the 4th century, in stone inscriptions of KingEzana , [ 38 ] who first Christianized the entire apparatus of the kingdom.
In English, and generally outside Ethiopia, the country was also once historically known as Abyssinia , derived from Habesh , an early Arabic form of the Ethiosemitic name “Ḥabaśāt” (unvocalized “ḤBŚT”). Themodern form Habesha is the native name for the country’s inhabitants (while the country has been called “Ityopp’ya”). In a few languages, Ethiopia is still referred to by names cognate with “Abyssinia,” e.g., modern Arabic Al-Ḥabashah , meaning land of the Habasha people.
The term Habesha , strictly speaking, refers only to the Semitic-speaking groups, particularly the Amhara and Tigray-Tigrinya people who have historically dominated the country politically, aswell as the Gurage and other smaller communities like the Harari of eastern Ethiopia. However, in contemporary Ethiopia, the word Habesha is sometimes used to describe all people from Ethiopians and Eritreans. Abyssinia can strictly refer to just the northwestern Ethiopian provinces of Amhara and Tigray , as well as central Eritrea , while it was historically used as another name for Ethiopia. [ 39 ]
[ edit ] History
Main article: History of Ethiopia
[ edit ] Prehistory
East Africa, and more specifically the general area of Ethiopia, is widelyconsidered the site of the emergence of early Homo sapiens in the Middle Paleolithic 400,000years ago. Homo sapiens idaltu , found at site Middle Awash in Ethiopia, lived about 160,000 yearsago. [ 40 ]
[ edit ] Antiquity
Coins of the Axumite king Endybis , 227–235 AD. British Museum . The left one reads in Greek”AΧWMITW BACIΛEYC”,”King of Axum”. The rightone reads in Greek: ΕΝΔΥΒΙC ΒΑCΙΛΕΥC, “King Endybis”.
Around the 8th century BC, a kingdom known as Dʿmt was established in northern Ethiopia and Eritrea. Its capital was around the current town of Yeha , situated in northern Ethiopia. Most modern historians consider this civilization to be a native African one, although Sabaean -influenced because of the latter’s hegemony of the Red Sea, [ 41 ] while others view Dʿmt as the result of a mixture of Sabaeans of southern Arabia and indigenous peoples. [ 42 ] However, Ge’ez , the ancient Semitic language of Ethiopia, is now thought not to have derived from Sabaean (also South Semitic). There is evidence of a Semitic-speaking presence in Ethiopia and Eritrea at least as early as 2000 BC. [ 43 ] [ 44 ] Sabaean influence is now thought to have been minor, limited to a few localities, and disappearing after a few decades or a century, perhaps representing a trading or military colony in some sort of symbiosisor military alliance with the Ethiopian civilization of Dʿmt or some other proto-Aksumite state. [ 45 ]
After the fall of Dʿmt in the 4th century BC, the plateau came to be dominated by smaller successor kingdoms, until the rise of one of these kingdoms during the 1st century BC, the Aksumite Empire , ancestor of medieval and modern Ethiopia, which was able to reunite the area. [ 46 ] The Aksumites established bases on the northern highlands of the Ethiopian Plateau , and from there expanded southward. The Persian religious figure Mani listed Aksum with Rome, Persia, and China as one of the four great powers of his time. [ 47 ]
In 316 AD , a Christian philosopher from Tyre, Meropius , embarked on a voyage of exploration along the coast of Africa. He was accompanied by, among others, two Syro- Greeks , Frumentius and his brother Aedesius . Thevessel was stranded on the coast, and the natives killed all the travelers except the two brothers, who were takento the court and given positions of trust by the monarch. They both practiced the Christian faith in private, and soon converted the queen and several other members ofthe royal court.
[ edit ] Middle Ages
Lebna Dengel , nəgusä nägäst (Emperor) of Ethiopia and a member of the Solomonic dynasty .
The Zagwe dynasty ruled many parts of modern Ethiopia and Eritrea from approximately 1137 to 1270. The name of the dynasty is derived from the Cushitic -speaking Agaw of northern Ethiopia. From 1270 AD onwards for many centuries, the Solomonic dynasty ruled the Ethiopian Empire .
In the early 15th century, Ethiopia sought to make diplomatic contact with European kingdoms for the first time since Aksumite times. A letter from King Henry IV of England to the Emperor ofAbyssinia survives. [ 48 ] In1428, the Emperor Yeshaq sent two emissaries to Alfonso V of Aragon , who sent return emissaries who failed to complete the return trip. [ 49 ] The first continuous relationswith a European country began in 1508 with Portugal under Emperor Lebna Dengel , who had just inherited the throne from his father. [ 50 ]
King Fasilides’ Castle .
This proved to be an important development, for when the Empire was subjected to the attacks of the Adal General and Imam , Ahmad ibn Ibrihim al-Ghazi (called ” Grañ “, or “the Left-handed”), Portugal assisted the Ethiopian emperor by sending weapons and four hundred men, who helped his son Gelawdewos defeat Ahmad and re-establish his rule. [ 51 ] This Ethiopian–Adal War was also one of the first proxywars in the region as the Ottoman Empire and Portugal took sides in theconflict. However, when Emperor Susenyos converted to Roman Catholicism in 1624, years of revolt and civil unrest followed resulting in thousands of deaths. [ 52 ] The Jesuit missionaries had offended the Orthodox faith of the local Ethiopians, and on 25 June 1632 Susenyos’s son, Emperor Fasilides , declared the state religion to again be Ethiopian Orthodox Christianity , and expelled the Jesuit missionaries and other Europeans. [ 53 ] [ 54 ]
[ edit ] Zemene Mesafint
Emperor Yohannes IV led Ethiopian troops in the Battle of Gundet , among other campaigns.
All of this contributed to Ethiopia’s isolation from 1755 to 1855, a period called the Zemene Mesafint or “Age of Princes”. The Emperors became figureheads, controlled by warlords like Ras Mikael Sehul of Tigray , Ras Wolde Selassie of Tigray , and by the Oromo Yejju dynasty , such as Ras Gugsa of Begemder, which later led to 17th century Oromo rule of Gondar, changing the language of the court from Amharic to Afaan Oromo . [ 55 ] [ 56 ]
Emperor Tewodros II ‘s rule is often placed as the beginning of modern Ethiopia, ending the decentralized Zemene Mesafint (Era of the Princes).
Ethiopian isolationism ended following a British mission that concluded an alliance between the two nations; however, it was not until 1855 that Ethiopia was completely united and the power in the Emperor restored, beginning with the reign of Emperor Tewodros II . Upon his ascent, despite still large centrifugal forces, he began modernizing Ethiopia and recentralizing power in the Emperor, and Ethiopiabegan to take part in world affairs once again.
But Tewodros suffered several rebellions inside his empire. Northern Oromo militias, Tigrayan rebellion and the constant incursion of Ottoman Empire and Egyptian forces near the Red Sea brought the weakening and the final downfall of Emperor Tewodros II, who committed suicide in 1868 after his last battle with a British expeditionary force .
After Tewodros’ death, Tekle Giyorgis II was proclaimed Emperor. However, he was later defeated in the Battles of Zulawu (21 Jun 1871) and Adua (11 Jul 1871) by Dejazmach Kassai with the aid of John Kirkham , a British advisor who had trained his troops with modern weapons. Tekle Giyorgis was captured and deposed and Kassai was declared Emperor Yohannes IV on 21 January 1872. In 1875 and1876, Turkish/Egyptian forces, accompanied by many European and American ‘advisors’, twice invaded Abyssinia but were initially defeated at the Battle of Gundet losing 800 men, and then following the second invasion, decisively defeated by Emperor Yohannes IV at the Battle of Gura on 7 March 1875, losing at least 3000 killed or captured. [ 57 ] From 1885 to 1889 Ethiopia joined the Mahdist War allied to Britain, Turkey and Egypt against the Sudanese Mahdist State. On 10 March 1889 Yonannes IV was killed whilst leading his army in the Battle of Gallabat (also called Battle of Metemma).
[ edit ] From Menelik to Adwa
Ethiopia as we currently know it began under the reign of Menelik II who was Emperor from 1889 until his death in 1913. [ 58 ] From the central province of Shoa, Menelik set off to subjugate and incorporate ‘the lands and people of the South, East and West into an empire.’ [ 59 ] He did this with the help of Ras Gobena ‘s Shewan Oromo militia, began expanding his kingdom to the south and east, expanding into areas that had not been held since the invasion of Ahmed Gragn , and other areas that had never been under his rule, resulting in the borders ofEthiopia of today. [ 60 ] At the same time there werealso advances in road construction, electricity and education, development of a central taxation system, and thefoundation and building of the city of Addis Ababa– which became capital of Shoa province in 1881 which Menelik then ruled as Ras, and subsequently became the new capital of Abyssinia on his accession to the throne in 1889. [ 61 ] Menelik had signed the Treaty of Wichale with Italy in May 1889 in which Italy would recognize Ethiopia’s sovereignty so long as Italy could control a smallarea north of Ethiopia (part of modern Eritrea). [ 62 ] In return Italy was to provide Menelik with armsand support him as emperor. [ 63 ] The Italians used the time between the signing of the treaty and its ratification by theItalian government to further expand their territorial claims. This conflict erupted in the battle of Adwa on 1 March1896 in which Italy’s colonial forces were defeated by the Ethiopians. [ 64 ] The Great Ethiopian Famine of 1888 to 1892 cost it roughly one-third of its population. [ 65 ] [ 66 ]
[ edit ] Haile Selassie era
Haile Selassie’s reign as emperor of Ethiopia is the best known and perhaps most influential in the nation’s history. He is seen by Rastafarians as Jah incarnate.
The early 20th century was marked by the reign of Emperor Haile Selassie I , who came to power after Iyasu V was deposed. It was he who undertook the modernization of Ethiopia, from 1916, whenhe was made a Ras and Regent (Inderase) for Zewditu I and became the de facto ruler of the Ethiopian Empire. Following Zewditu’s death he was made Emperor on 2 November 1930.
Haile Selassie was born from parents of three Ethiopian ethnicities: the Oromo and Amhara , which are the country’s two main ethnic groups, as well as the Gurage .
The independence of Ethiopia was interrupted by the Second Italo-Abyssinian War and Italianoccupation (1936–1941). [ 67 ] During this time of attack, Haile Selassie appealed to the League of Nations in 1935, delivering an address that made him a worldwide figure, and the 1935 Time magazine Man of the Year. [ 68 ] Followingthe entry of Italy into World War II, British Empire forces, together with patriot Ethiopian fighters, officially liberated Ethiopia in the course of the East African Campaign in 1941, while an Italian guerrilla campaign continued until 1943. This was followed by British recognition of full sovereignty , ( i.e. without any special British privileges), with the signing of the Anglo-Ethiopian Agreement in December 1944. [ 69 ] On 26August 1942 Haile Selassie I issued a proclamation outlawing slavery . [ 70 ] [ 71 ] Ethiopia had between two and four million slaves in early 20th century out of a total population of about eleven million. [ 72 ]
In 1952 Haile Selassie orchestrated the federation with Eritrea which he dissolved in 1962. This annexation sparked the Eritrean War of Independence . Although Haile Selassie was seen as a national hero, opinion within Ethiopia turned against him owing to the worldwide oil crisis of 1973, food shortages, uncertainty regarding thesuccession, border wars, and discontent in the middle class created through modernization. [ 73 ]
He played a leading role in the formation of the Organisation of African Unity (OAU) in 1963.
Haile Selassie’s reign came to an end in 1974, when a Soviet-backed Marxist-Leninist military junta , the ” Derg ” led by Mengistu Haile Mariam , deposed him, and established a one-party communist state which was called People’s Democratic Republic of Ethiopia .
[ edit ] Mengistu era
The ensuing regime suffered several coups , uprisings, wide-scale drought , and a huge refugee problem. In 1977, there was the Ogaden War , when Somalia captured part of the Ogaden region,but Ethiopia was able to recapture the Ogaden after receiving military aid from the USSR , Cuba , South Yemen , East Germany [ 74 ] and North Korea , including around 15,000 Cuban combat troops.
Logo of the EthiopianPeople’s Revolutionary Party (EPRP).
Hundreds of thousands were killed as a result of the red terror , forced deportations , or from theuse of hunger as a weapon under Mengistu’s rule. [ 73 ] The Red Terror was carried out in response to what the government termed”White Terror”, supposedly a chain of violent events, assassinations and killings carried out by the opposition. [ 75 ] In 2006, after a trial that lasted 12 years, Ethiopia’s Federal High Court in Addis Ababa found Mengistu guilty in absentia of genocide . [ 76 ]
In the beginning of 1980s,a series of famines hit Ethiopia that affected around 8 million people, leaving 1 million dead. Insurrections against Communist rule sprang upparticularly in the northern regions of Tigrayand Eritrea. In 1989, the Tigrayan Peoples’ Liberation Front (TPLF) merged with other ethnically based opposition movements toform the Ethiopian Peoples’ Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF). Concurrently theSoviet Union began to retreat from building World Communism under Mikhail Gorbachev ‘s glasnost and perestroika policies, marking a dramatic reduction in aid to Ethiopia from Socialistbloc countries. This resulted in even more economic hardship and the collapse of the military in the face of determined onslaughts by guerrilla forces in the north. The Collapse of Communism in general, and in Eastern Europe during the Revolutions of 1989 , coincided with the Soviet Union stopping aid to Ethiopia altogether in 1990. The strategic outlook for Mengistu quickly deteriorated.
In May 1991, EPRDF forces advanced on Addis Ababa and the Soviet Union did not intervene to save thegovernment side. Mengistu fled the countryto asylum in Zimbabwe, where he still resides. The Transitional Government of Ethiopia, composed of an 87-member Council of Representatives and guided by a national charter that functioned as a transitional constitution, was set up.In June 1992, the Oromo Liberation Front withdrew from the government; in March 1993, members of the Southern Ethiopia Peoples’ Democratic Coalition also left the government. In 1994, a new constitution was written that formed a bicameral legislature and a judicial system. The first formally multi-partyelection took place in May1995 in which Meles Zenawi was elected the Prime Minister and Negasso Gidada was elected President.
[ edit ] Recent history
Prime Minister of Ethiopia Meles Zenawi .
In 1994, a constitution was adopted that led to Ethiopia’s first multi-party elections in the following year. In May 1998, a border dispute with Eritrea led to the Eritrean-Ethiopian War that lasted until June 2000 and cost both countries an estimated$1 million a day. [ 77 ] This has hurt the nation’s economy, but strengthened the ruling coalition. On 15 May 2005, Ethiopia held another multiparty election , which was a highly disputed one with some opposition groups claiming fraud. Though the Carter Center approved the preelection conditions, it has expressed its dissatisfaction with postelection matters. The 2005 EU election observers continued to accuse the ruling party ofvote rigging. In general, the opposition parties gained more than 200 parliamentary seats compared to the just 12 in the 2000 elections. Despite most opposition representatives joining the parliament, certain leaders of the CUD party, some of which refused to take up their parliamentary seats, were accused of inciting the post-election violence that ensued and were imprisoned. Amnesty International considered them ” prisoners of conscience ” and they were subsequently released.
The coalition of opposition parties and some individuals that was established in 2009 to oust at the general election in 2010 the regime of the EPRDF , Meles Zenawi’s party that has been in power since 1991, published its 65-page manifesto in Addis Ababa on October 10, 2009.
Some of the eight member parties of this Ethiopian Forum for Democratic Dialogue (FDD or Medrek in Amharic) include the Oromo Federalist Congress (organized by the Oromo Federalist Democratic Movement and the Oromo People’s Congress ), the Arena Tigray (organized by former members of theruling party TPLF), the Unity for Democracy and Justice (UDJ, whose leader is imprisoned), andthe Coalition of Somali Democratic Forces .
In mid 2011, two consecutive missed rainyseasons precipitated the worst drought in East Africa seen in 60 years. Full recovery from the drought’s effects are not expected until 2012, withlong-term strategies by the national government in conjunction with development agencies believed to offer the most sustainable results. [ 78 ]
[ edit ] Politics
Main article: Politics of Ethiopia
See also: Rulers and Heads of State of Ethiopia , Foreign relations of Ethiopia , Human rights in Ethiopia , and Ethiopian National Defense Force
The politics of Ethiopia takes place in a framework of a federal parliamentary republic , whereby the Prime Minister is the head of government . Executive power is exercised by thegovernment. Federal legislative power is vested in both the government and the two chambers of parliament.
On the basis of Article 78 of the 1994 Ethiopian Constitution, the Judiciary is completely independent of the executive and the legislature. [ 79 ] The current realities of this provision are questioned in a report prepared by Freedom House .
According to The Economist in its Democracy Index published in late 2010, Ethiopia is an”authoritarian regime”, ranking 118th out of 167 countries (with the largernumber being less democratic). [ 80 ] Ethiopiahas dropped 12 places on the list since 2006, and the latest report attributes the drop to the regime’s crackdown on opposition activities, media and civil society before the 2010 parliamentary election , which the report argues has made Ethiopia a de facto one-party state.
[ edit ] Governance
The election of Ethiopia’s547-member constituent assembly was held in June 1994. This assemblyadopted the constitutionof the Federal DemocraticRepublic of Ethiopia in December 1994. The elections for Ethiopia’s first popularly chosen national parliament and regional legislatures were held in May and June1995 . Most opposition parties chose to boycott these elections. There was a landslide victory for the Ethiopian People’sRevolutionary DemocraticFront (EPRDF). International and non-governmental observers concluded thatopposition parties would have been able to participate had they chosen to do so.
The city hall in Addis Ababa .
The current government of Ethiopia was installed in August 1995. The first President was Negasso Gidada . The EPRDF-led government of Prime Minister Meles Zenawi promoted a policy of ethnic federalism, devolving significant powers to regional, ethnically based authorities. Ethiopia today has nine semi-autonomous administrative regions that have the power to raise and spend their ownrevenues. Under the present government, some fundamental freedoms, including freedom of the press , arecircumscribed. [ 81 ] Citizens have little access to media other than the state-owned networks, and most private newspapers struggle to remain open and suffer periodic harassment from the government. [ 81 ] At least 18 journalists who had written articles critical of the government were arrested following the 2005 elections on genocide and treason charges. The government uses press laws governing libel to intimidate journalists who are critical of its policies. [ 82 ]
Zenawi’s government was elected in 2000 in Ethiopia’s first ever multiparty elections; however, the results were heavily criticized byinternational observers and denounced by the opposition as fraudulent. The EPRDF also won the 2005 election returning Zenawi to power. Although the opposition vote increased in the election, both the opposition and observers from the European Union and elsewhere stated that the vote did not meet international standards for fair and free elections. [ 81 ] Ethiopian police are said to have massacred 193 protesters, mostly in the capital Addis Ababa , in the violence following the May 2005 elections in the Ethiopian police massacre . [ 83 ]
The government initiated a crackdown in the provinces as well; in Oromia state the authorities used concerns over insurgencyand terrorism to use torture, imprisonment, and other repressive methods to silence critics following the election, particularly people sympathetic to the registered oppositionparty Oromo National Congress (ONC). [ 82 ] The government has been engaged in a conflict with rebels in the Ogaden region since 2007. The biggest opposition party in 2005 was the Coalition for Unity and Democracy (CUD). After various….continue reading page 2 click here