In the summer of 2008, I picked up a couple of newspapers when I returned to Finfinne. Among them was the Addis Neger. The quality of the paper; its fairness, the depth of research and the balance of views expressed blew me off as I flipped through the pages. From Dilla to Moyale, Ciro to Awaday, people took turns to read a week old copy of Addis Neger left in our car.
The now infamous post 2005 election crackdown wiped out all independent papers in the country. As such, I did not expect to see a paper of such great quality. I feared that Addis Neger wouldn’t last long under a regime that is considered among the leading enemies of free press in the world. This week what I feared happened. After months of incessant harassment and intimidation, the young groups of journalists were forced to close down the paper and flee the country.
Generals Tadesse Birru and Asaminew Tsige are two soldiers separated by generation, ethnicity and political views. The former was an Oromo who was a senior general under Haile Silassie’s rule. The latter is an Amhara, who until very recently was a top general serving Meles Zenawi’s regime. Yet their life stories mirror each other as the unjust history of Ethiopia repeats itself. Both served as loyal soldiers of their respective systems until they realized how unjust and illegitimate their rulers were and rose up against them to bring about change. In the process, both generals suffered great humiliation and degradation at the hands of the very systems they protected for decades.
Underestimating, Misunderstanding, and Mishandling the Power of Nationalism
A Rejoinder to Professor Messay’s Response
By Jawar Mohammed
Although this debate began because Professor Messay claimed the ideology of self determination is to be blamed for OLF's lack of success in the past two decades, he has not shown any evidence to back up his assertion. He has not provided us with a single case where the “right” ideology resulted in success and “bad” ideology led to the failure of insurgency, nor does he explain how exactly advocating for the right to self determination weakened the OLF.
By Jawar Siraj Mohammed
Due to their immense talent and creativity, artists express the unspoken and often suppressed feelings of the society. This creativity is power, a power not just to express the views of the society but also to resonate what is hidden and change public opinion about policies. That is the very reason why artists are among the primary enemies of every dictator.
By Jawar Siraj Mohammed, Stanford University
Dear Dr Eleni,
I just finished reading an article you recently wrote titled "Let's be like the Market" in which you made a passionate call to your critics not to engage in destructive ethnic bigotry but rather focus on rebuilding a country in need of grassroots economic development. You have stressed the importance of being like the market - a market that does not care about who is selling and who is buying but what is sold and for how much, hence we should not judge people based on their identity but by their characters and deeds. In an ideal world, I agree with you. But what if the market is imperfect, distorted, manipulated and has been for the most part monopolized by a single company or group? Can you still advocate embracing such an imperfect market?