The Horn Institute for Peace and Development (HIPAD) organized a panel discussion of Ethiopia’s Mounting Crisis on the 13th of November 2020 at Safari Apartments, Mogadishu, Somalia.
The discussion began with welcome address and introductory remarks by Mr. Hassan Mudane, Associate Director at HIPAD. In his introductory address, Mr. Mudane stated that “Ethnic politics has been a perennial question in Ethiopia, to a greater or a lesser degree, but a fuller understanding of the relationship between various collective identities and political and economic struggles is needed in the quest for a sustainable solution.” In addition, he suggested that “It is the time to think about the possible institutional mechanisms that can contribute to transforming politics away from it.” Finally, he pointed out that HIPAD Roundtable Programme prepares participants for life experiences.
Ms. Habeba Bella, studied Master’s degree in Public Policy at Ethiopian Civil Service University. In her presentation pointed out that “All Ethiopia’s neighbours in the Horn are deeply concerned about the regional instability a war in Ethiopia would cause – except one. Underpinning Abiy’s reconciliation with Eritrea – or more precisely with President Isaias Aferwerki – was a mutual distrust of Tigray.” She also stated that “In Ethiopia social media is a double-edged sword: capable of filling a sore need for more information but also of pushing the country toward even greater calamity.”
Mr. Ahmed AbdiHadi, Studied a Postgraduate Diploma in Law at Somali National University (SNU). By putting Ethiopia’s crisis in a historical perspective, Ahmed noted that “The current mounting crisis in Ethiopia has not appeared from the clear blue sky. Its roots are deep in Ethiopia’s history and its outcome will dictate the country’s future.”Additionally, he added that “Throughout its history, Ethiopia has been in a state of flux. Its central authority has waxed and waned and its borders have grown and shrunk as regions on the periphery have had more or less independence. During the 20th century, Ethiopia struggled with the impact of globalisation. It was able to resist Italy’s imperial ambitions and Emperor Haile Selassie benefited from the national unity this challenge created. But his regime, though attuned to the need to maintain a delicate regional and ethnic balance, proved too sclerotic to respond to the new challenges of a rapidly changing world. It fell to the brutal centralisation and Marxist modernisation of the Derg, which sought to maintain its authority through force and terror.”
The Discussion is covered the historical aspects around the genesis of Ethiopia’ crisis. In short, the following topics were covered:
- A Brief History of the Ethiopian politics
- What’s behind the Ethiopia Crisis
- How it could destabilize its neighbors
The Main aim of the HIPAD Roundtable Programme was to ensure that the attendees received as much information and guidance as possible to maximize their chances of success. It allowed participants to get their questions and concerns answered by the guest-speakers. The feedback was extremely positive as the attendees felt the discussion added to their knowledge. They expressed the desire for such roundtables to be more frequent.
The discussion was attended by a total of 23 participants. They were teachers, youth activists, writers, journalists and students.