Friday, March 24, 2017

ESPDP: A New Loyal Ally to TPLF?

EPRDF is convinced that it has controlled the mood of public protests that had been escalating when State of Emergency (SoE) was declared. (Now, the directives are lifted up.) This is true especially for areas surrounding the Capital, Addis Ababa. People whom I talk to tend to forget the high tension back in September 2016.  After Christmas in 2016, new series of concerts recompensated their bankrupcy of cancelled concerts on the eve of Ethiopian new year; public festivals (such as Timkat) went on as quitely as in the old good days. Political oppositions are as divided as before; and, the superficial alliance against TPLF, that was observed among the divided dissenting elites during the heyday of protests, has crumbled at the wake of declaration of SoE decree.

What so ever, post election 2005 changed EPRDF for good; so will post 2016 protests. In post 2005, the party declined in democratization records. It became a one-man party. Similarly, post 2016 protests are changing EPRDF from within too. TPLF, the power domain of the coalition, is facing unusual resistance from other two members of the coalition, ANDM and OPDO.

OPDO has conducted cabinet reshuffle within party and within Oromia regional State following Oromo protests. ANDM, on the other hand, didn't undergo any important reshuffle yet in both within party as well as regional state's positions. It even preserved its position of deputy premiership. TPLF cadres, unlike before, are blaming and criticizing the two parties for aggravating public grievances and protests in their respective regions. They are angry especially with ANDM which sounded to be no more under control of TPLF. There are implications to assume there are changes in loyality to alliance.
TPLF used to rely on its "divide and rule" principle regarding Oromo and Amhara politicians. But, protests are found to break that principle. In addition, OPDO and ANDM members are not necessarily against Oromo and Amhara protests, respectively. Therefore, the new loyal ally for TPLF becomes to be ESPDP, Ethiopian Somali People Democratic Party, a ruling party of Somali region and partner to EPRDF.

Tigray (base for TPLF) and Somali (base for ESPDP) regions have a lot of things in common. The number of their population is close to each other. Both have neighboring foreign countries that speak their language and they were divided by colonialism (Eritrea and Somalia, respectively). Both have politically motivated 'border conflicts' with neighboring regional states in Ethiopia; Wolkite area of Tigray-Amhara and South-East border of Oromia-Somali… TPLF wants to manipulate these resemblance into an alliance to stand against OPDO (basing Oromia) and ANDM (basing Amhara) both "representing" regions that are highly populated.

ESPDP showed its support to TPLF since the beginning of Amhara protests. Somali state was reported to donate ETB 10m to support "displaced Tigrians from Metema of Amhara region during Amhara protests"; Tigray state repaid the favor by donating some more amount to help rehabilitate recent drought victims in the Somali region. ESPDP supporters have even organized public demonstration against Oromo protests in Minnesota. Oppositions believe the recent 'border conflict' in Oromia-Somali region is waged by TPLF behind the curtain to give the alliance popular support.

OPDO officials complained about the "attack of Somali militia crossing Oromia border". The conflict is reported to have displaced 35,000 residents of the border.
TPLF affiliated websites and individual cadres (on social media) are publishing stories that blame OPDO for the Oromia-Somali border conflict. OPDO officials are also responding to them in every available means, interviews, blogs and social media posts as well. This, publicly criticizing TPLFites by another member of the coalition, was not a common thing before. Similarly, TPLF cadres campaigned too much for TPLF to throw away ANDM out of the EPRDF coalition because they are afraid it will overtake TPLF dominance. ANDM officials ignored them and continued untouched.

The Coalition of EPRDF, even though it is still dominated by TPLF, is shaken by OPDO and ANDM. Even though TPLF still controlled its dominance over the Federal government through lower hierarchies, the current trend is an implication that the dominance of TPLF will not go any further.
It is obvious that TPLF manipulates minority groups to get its dominance. During nomination for a candidate of chairman to EPRDF in 2015 party congress, TPLF had nominated no one. It just gave its vote to the SEPDM (basing SNNP) candidate, Hailemariam Dessalegn. Each party in the coalition has equal say to the other even though the number of population they say to represent differ. Therefore, TPLF  simply promoted Hailemariam by adding its votes to SEPDM congress members' votes. In this process, the most obidient ally use to hold power and serve TPLF dominance.

Now, with the growing disobedience and independence that OPDO and ANDM are showing, TPLF desperately needs SEPDP's alliance. It looks like it has already started working toward that.

Recently, we have learned that EPRDF has postponed the coalition's regular congress that should be held this year. The spoken reason behind the postponement is "the deep reform" (ጥልቅ ተሐድሶ) that the coalition promised after public protests of 2016. It should be completed first. The term 'deep' (ጥልቅ) added to the term 'reform' (ተሐድሶ) used after TPLF split in 2001.

It is no wonder EPRDF is shaken after the protests. But, change of dominant power in the coalition maybe a wonderful thing to the oppositions. The internal power struggle gives another chance for oppositions to win if they try harder.

Friday, March 10, 2017

የፌሚኒዝም ሀሁ…

ፌሚኒዝምን በተመለከተ ሊያወዛግቡ የማይገባቸው ጥያቄዎች ሲያወዛግቡ እመለከታለሁ፡፡ ጥያቄዎቹን የማያነሷቸው ገና ውይይቱ ውስጥ ብዙም ያልቆዩ ሰዎች ናቸው እንዳልል አምናና ካቻምናም ይህንኑ ሲከራከሩ የነበሩ ሰዎች አሉ፡፡ አንዳንዶቹ በንባብ የበሰሉ ይመስላሉ፤ መጽሐፍ አሳትመው ፌሚኒዝምን ሊታገሉ የሞከሩም አልጠፉም፡፡ ስለዚህ እስኪ ምናልባት ‹በፌሚኒዝም ሀሁ› አልተግባባን እንደሆን በማለት ይህንን ጻፍኩ፣

ፌሚኒዝም ምንድን ነው?

ፌሚኒዝም "ሴቶች ከወንዶች ዕኩል መብት እና ዕኩል ዕድል እንዲያገኙ የሚጥር ንቅናቄ" ነው፡፡ ፌሚኒስት ማለትም (ሴትም ትሁን ወንድ) የዓለማችን ስርዓተ ማኅበር አባታዊ (patriarchal ወይም ለወንዶች የሚያደላ ወይም የወንዶች የበላይነት ያለበት) መሆኑን በማመን፣ እንዲለወጥ በየዘርፉ ወይም በአኗኗር የተደራጀ ወይም ያልተደራጀ ጥረት  የሚያደርጉ ሰዎች ናቸው፡፡

ፌሚኒዝም ብዙዎች አንደሚፈሩት አባታዊውን ስርዓት አፍርሶ በሴት የበላይነት የሚተካ ንቅናቄ አይደለም፡፡ እርግጥ ስር የሰደደው አባታዊው ስርዓተ ማኅበር በሴቶች የበላይነት ልተካህ ቢሉት እንኳን በቀላሉ እና በቅርብ ጊዜ የሚተካ አይደለም፡፡ በሌላ በኩል ፌሚኒዝም ሴቶችን ወንድ የማድረግ ንቅናቄም አይደለም፡፡ ዕኩልነት ሲባል - የመብት፣ የትምህርት እና የሥራ - እንጂ የቁመት፣ የጡንቻ እና የመሳሰሉት አይደለም፡፡ ፌሚኒዝም ሴቶች በራሳቸው እና በዓለማቸው ዕጣ ፈንታ ላይ መወሰን የሚስችላቸውን ማኅበራዊ፣ ኢኮኖሚያዊ ወይም ፖለቲካዊ ዕድል ሁሉ ከወንዶች ጋር እንዲጋሩ ለማስቻል የሚደረግ ጥረት ነው፡፡ እርግጥ ነው ሴቶች ዕኩል መብት እና ዕኩል ዕድል ማግኘታቸው መብቱን እና ዕድሉን የተቀማ/የተካፈሉት የሚመስለው ወንድ መኖሩ የሚገመት ነው፡፡ ትግሉ ብዙ ተጉዟል፡፡ ሕጋዊ ጥያቄዎች በብዛት መልስ እያገኙ ነው፤ ማኅበራዊው ግን ገና ብዙ ግዜ ይወስዳል፡፡ ስርዓተ ማኅበሩ እንዳለ የሚመቻቸውን ሳያንገራግጭ የሚመጣ ለውጥም አይሆንም፡፡

ከዚህ ውጪ (ለምሳሌ ብዙ ባያሰጋም የአባታዊውን ስርዓት በሴቶች የበላይነት ለመተካት) የሚደረግ ንቅናቄ ከገጠማችሁ ፌሚኒዝም አይደለም፡፡ አነቃናቂዎቹም ፌሚኒስቶች አይደሉም፡፡ በዚህ መፍታት ይቻላል፡፡

ፌሚኒዝም ዘር አለው?

"ፌሚኒዝም አፍሪካዊ እሳቤ አይደለም፤ ምዕራባዊያን የጫኑብን አስተሳሰብ ነው" የሚሉ አስተያየቶች ደጋግመው ይደመጣሉ፡፡ ‹የአፍሪካ፣ የአሜሪካ የሚባል ሥልጣኔ ወይም እሳቤ የለም፤ የሰው ልጅ እንጂ› ብሎ ለሚያምን የኔ ብጤ አስተያየቱ በጣም የሚያናድድ ነው፡፡ ትልልቅ አገራዊ እሴቶቻችን ብለን የምንላቸው፣ ለምሳሌ ሃይማኖቶቻችን ሳይቀር (ክርስትና እና እስልምና ከመካከለኛው ምሥራቅ መጤ ናቸው) ከውጪ ተቀብለን እንደራሳችን፣ ከከባቢያዊ ሁነታችን ጋር አስማምተን እንዳልኖርን፣ አባታዊ ስርዓተ ማኅበር (patriarchy) ለማፍረስ ከምዕራባውያኑ ጋር በአንድ ሥም፣ አንድ ንቅናቄ ማድረግ መጤ እሳቤ እንደማስተናገድ ሊቆጠር አይገባውም፡፡ ሴቶቹም የኛው፣ ጭቆናውም የኛው ነው፡፡ የዚህ አቤቱታ አቅራቢዎች፣ ከፌሚኒዝም የተሻለ የመፍትሔ ሐሳብ ካለ ቢጠቁሙ፣ ፌሚኒዝምን በደረቁ ከሚተቹ የተሻለ ይረቱ ነበር፡፡ ፀባቸው ከሥሙ ከሆነ በአማርኛ - ሴታዊነት - በሚል ለመተርጎም ተሞክሯል፡፡

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Who Builds Walls and Who Pays for Them?

The Great Wall of China was not built for its would-be historic value nor for the tourist attraction it earned now. Neither do other walls of the world such as the really ancient Sumerian's Amorite wall, the Walls of Constantinople, the Berlin Wall and many others including our own Harar City Wall.

Who Builds Walls and Why?

In contrary to the saying 'good fences make good neighbours', walls are evidences of distrust and hate. Sumerian's Amorite Wall was built 4,100 years ago by Sumerian rulers to keep Amorites out of Mesopotamia. Walls of Constantinople (today's Istanbul) were built in the 15th century by Byzantine empire to keep away Arab conquerors. Great Wall of China was built from the 3rd century BC to 17th century AD by the orders of kings to defend Ming dynasty and to keep northern nomadic tribes of Mongule out. Berlin wall was built in the 19th century to stop people escaping communist East Germany to the west. The difference here, it is not West Germany that blocked entry but the East prohibited exit. Harar wall of Ethiopia was built in the sixteenth century by successor of Ahmed Ibn Ibrahim, Emir Nur Ibn Mujahid to protect the Sultanate from outside invaders.

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

How to Decrease Institutionalized Human Rights Violations in Ethiopia

Picture: Zeway Federal Prison
/under construction/
Sometimes, I think we who criticize government for violating human rights don't know how to protect them ourselves. I think even if the regime changes, the violations may continue. History tells us institutions like Maekelawi continue to function as before regardless of regime changes. Sometimes, I also think, even if the government officials at the top don't want the rights violations, the individuals at the lower level may continue to violet them because there is no institutional way of holding them accountable. (Our cultural beliefs on physical punishment shouldn't be disregarded. Even mothers go to the extreme of steaming their  beloved children with pepper smoke when they think the latter made mistakes.)

Tuesday, January 31, 2017

ጉደኛውን ተራራ (Tullu Gudo) አየነው!

ዝዋይ ሐይቅ፣ በተለምዶ ዝዋይ በምትባለው ባቱ ከተማ ዳርቻ ላይ፣ በታላቁ ስምጥ ሸለቆ ውስጥ፣ ከአዲስ አበባ በስተደቡብ 100 ማይሎች ርቆ የሚገኝ፣ 440 ስኵዌር ኪሎ ሜትር የሚሰፋ፣ ብዙም የማይወራለት፣ ብዙም ያልለማ፣ ታሪካዊ እና ተፈጥሯዊ ፋይዳው የላቀ፣ ትልቅ ሐይቅ ነው። ሐይቁ 5 ደሴቶች አሉት። በደሴቶቹ ላይ በኢትዮጵያ ኦርቶዶክስ ቤተ ክርስቲያን ስር የሚተዳደሩ የተለያዩ ቤተ ክርስቲያኖች አሉ፤ የታቦታቱ ቁጥር 44 ነው ይባላል።

በቱሉ ጉዶ ደሴት ላይ ባለችው የማርያም ቤተ ክርስትያን ጊቢ ውስጥ አንድ ሙዚዬም አለ። ሙዚዬሙ ውስጥ 'መጽሐፈ ሔኖክ' የሚባለው ዝነኛ መጽሐፍ አለ አሉ። ሔኖክ በመጽሐፍ ቅዱስ አማኞች የኖህ ቅድመ አያት ነው ተብሎ ይታመናል። የአዳም ስድስተኛ የልጅ ልጁም ነው። ሔኖክ ከእግዜር ጋር በምድር ላይ ተንሸራሽሮ የጻፈው የጉዞ ማስታወሻ ነው 'መጽሐፈ ሔኖክ'። መጽሐፉ መጽሐፍ ቅዱስ ጥራዝ ውስጥ ባይካተትም በኢትዮጵያ ኦርቶዶክስ ቤት በጣም ይከበራል። በዓለም ዙሪያም ታሪካዊ ፋይዳው ትልቅ ነው። የመጽሐፈ ሔኖክ ምዕራፎች ከፊሎቹ 300 ዓመት ከክርስቶስ ልደት በፊት፣ ከፊሎቹ ደግሞ 100 ዓመት ከክርስቶስ ልደት በኋላ የተዘጋጁ እንደሆነ በታሪክ ተመራማሪዎች ይታመናል።

የመጽሐፈ ሔኖክ ታሪክ ሲወሳ መጀመሪያ (የኛ ከሆነው የግዕዙ መጽሐፍ በፊት) ፍልስጤም ውስጥ በእብራይስጥ እና በአርማይክ ቋንቋ ከተጻፈ በኋላ 800 ዓመት ከክርስቶስ ልደት በፊት ጀምሮ የገባበት ጠፍቶ ነበር። ከዛ ምንም እንኳ ከፊል የላቲን ትርጉሙ በአውሮጳ ቢኖርም፣ በ7ኛው ክፍለ ዘመን (ከ1,500 ዓመታት በኋላ) ኢትዮጵያ ውስጥ ሙሉው የግዕዝ ትርጉሙ መኖሩ ተሰማ። ከዛ በኋላ መጽሐፉን ለመስረቅ አውሮጳዎች ያልደከሙት የለም። ግን ሳይሳካ ቆይቷል። የፈረንሳዩ ንጉሥ ሊዩስ ፲፬ ኮልበርት የተባለ መልዕክተኛ ልኮ ሞቶበታል። ሌላኛው ፈረንሳዊ ኒኮላስ ፒርስ ለማሰረቅ ሲደክም ኖሮ በተሳካለት ማግስት ሞተ። መጽሐፉን ከሟች የተረከበው ጆብ ሉዶልፍ የተሰረቀው መጽሐፍ 'የገነትና ሲኦል ምሥጢራት መጽሐፍ' መሆኑን አወቀ። በመጨረሻ፣ እኤአ በ1770 ስኮትላንዳዊው ጀምስ ብሩስ ጎንደር ላይ ተሳካለት። በሁለት ዓመታት ሁለት ቅጂ ጽፎ ቢወስድም፣ እሱ 'ከጉዞዬ ሁሉ በጣም አጓጊውና የማይገኘው ትሩፋቴ' ያለውን ማንም አላመነውም ነበር። 'ውሸታም ተብሎበታል' (ፍሊፕ ማርስደን እንደተረከው።) አሁን መጽሐፈ ሔኖክ ቱሉ ጎዶ ደሴት ላይ ይገኛል አሉ። በ9ኛው ክ/ዘመን አሕመድ ኢብን ኢብራሒም (በተለምዶ ግራኝ መሐመድ ወይም አሕመድ ግራኝ የሚባለው) ሙስሊም ጦረኛ የክርስቲያኑን መንግሥት ሲወጋ ክርስተያኖች ተሰደው ወደ ደሴቶቹ መምጣታቸው ይነገራል። ያኔ አክሱም ይገኛል የሚባለው 'ታቦተ ፂዮን'ም እዚያ ቆይታ ማድረጉ ይነገራል። ግራሀም ሀንኩክ 'ታቦተ ፅዮንን ፍለጋ' ተብሎ በተነገረው መጽሐፉ ላይ የታቦታትን መብዛት 'ዛፍን ለመደበቅ ጫቃ ውስጥ መትከል' የሚል ተረት አጣቅሶለታል - ታቦተ ፅዮንን ለመደበቅ ይሆናል በሚል።

ወደ ቱሉ ጉዶ ማስታወሻችን ስንመለስ፣ ወደዚያ ለመሔድ ያቀድነው አዋሽ 7 "ተሀድሶ" ላይ ሳለን ነበር። (አብረን የሔድነው እኔ፣ እያስጴድ ተስፋዬ እና ቴዎድሮስ እሸቱ እንዲሁም አዋሽ ሰባት አብሮን ያልነበረው በላይ ማናዬ ነበርን።) አዋሽ 7 አንድ የዛይ ብሔረሰብ ተወላጅ ተዋውቀን ነበር። የሚተዳደረው በአሳ አስጋሪነት ነው። በሕዝባዊ አመፁ ወቅት ከመንገድ ላይ ታፍሶ ነው እዚያ የመጣው። ሆኖም ስለአመፁ መንስዔና ምንነት የሚያውቀው ነገር አለ ለማለት ይቸግራል። ስለዛይ ማኅበረሰብ ሲያወራልን ለማየት ጓጓንና ቀጠሮ ያዝን። የዛይ ብሔረሰብ አባላት የሚኖሩት ቱሉ ጉዶ የተባለው የዝዋይ ደሴት ላይ ነው። የሚናገሩት ቋንቋ ትግርኛም ጉራግኛም ይመስላል። ግን ሁለቱንም አይደለም። ብዛታቸው 3000 ገደማ ነው ይባላል።

ቱሉ ጉዶ አፋፍ ላይ፣ በማርያም ቤተ ክርስቲያን ጀርባ ቆመን ቁልቁል ከሳር ጎጆዎች መካከል የቆርቆሮ ጣሪያ ያላቸው ሁለት ቤቶች አየን።  (ከታች በጀልባ እየተንሳፈፍንም አይተነው ነበር።) ደሴቷ ላይ የሚኖሩት ሕዝቦች እስከ 6ኛ ክፍል የሚማሩበት ትምህርት ቤት ነው። ከዚያ በላይ ለመማር 7 ኪሎ ሜትር ርቀት ላይ ወደሚገኘው አሰላ ወይም 24 ኪሎ ሜትር ርቆ ወደሚገኘው ዝዋይ በጀልባ መጓዝ አለባቸው። የሚተዳደሩት በእርሻ ወይም በግብርና ነው። በመስኖ የሚያለሙት አትክልት ያስጎመጃል።

እኛ ወደ ቱሉ ጉዶ የሔድነው በዝዋይ ስለሆነ ጀልባ ላይ ለመሔድ አንድ ሰዓት ተኩል፤ ለመመለስም እንደዚያው ፈጅቶብናል። የቱሉ ጉዶ ደሴት ከደሴቶቹ ሁሉ ጎላ ያለ እንደጡት መንታ ዓይነት ተራራ ነው። ይህንን ለማወቅ ግን ተራራውን መቅረብ ይጠይቃል። እስከዚያው አንድ ጉብታ ብቻ መስሎ ነው የሚታየው። ደሴቱ ከርቀት እየታየ ግን ቢሔዱ፣ ቢሔዱ የማይደረስበት ዓይነት ደሴት ነው።

ሌላው አስገራሚ ነገር፣ ደሴቱ ዙሪያ ያሉ ተንሳፋፊ ድንጋዮች ነገር ነው። በዙሪያው ተኮልኩሎ ሲታይ እንደማንኛውም ድንጋይ ይመስላል። ሲያነሱት ግን እንደቡሽ የቀለለ ነው። ወንዝ ላይ ሲጥሉትም ይንሳፈፋል። እርስበርሱ ሲጋጭ ደግሞ እንደማንኛውም ድንጋይ ጠንካራ ነው - ይፋጫል። ቢጠረብ እንደጀልባ ማገልገሉ አይቀርም። የትኛውም ያየሁት ባሕር ዳርቻ ላይ እንዲህ ዓይነት ድንጋይ ገጥሞኝ አያውቅም።

የሔድንበት ዕለት "ያስተርዮ ማርያም" (ጥር 21) ዋዜማ ስለነበር ብዙ ሰዎች ወደ ደሴቷ ሔደው ነበር። መጽሐፈ ሔኖክ አለበት የተባለው ሙዚየም ግን ዝግ ስለነበር የመጎብኘት ዕድል አላገኘንም። አብዛኛው ሰው እዚያው አድሮ በማግስቱ የማርያምን  ታቦት ለማንገሥ ስለሔደ የጎልማሳ ሰው እጥፍ ያህል ቁመት ያለውን ቄጤማ ቀጥፎ የቤተ ክርስቲያኗ ግቢ ውስጥ ጊዜያዊ ምንጣፍ ሠርቷል። በላይ ማናዬ የቄጤማው ሐይቁ ውስጥ መብዛት ለሐይቁ አደገኛ እንደሆነና ሊያደርቀው እንደሚችል ስጋቱን ነግሮ እኔንም እንድሰጋ አድርጎኛል። ሐይቁ እና ደሴቶቹ በክልሉ ቱሪዝም ቢሮ ብዙ ሊሠራበት ሲገባ ምንም አልተነካም። በቢሾፍቱ ሐይቆች ዙሪያ የሚታዩትን ሪዞርቶች ሩብ ያህል እንኳ በዝዋይ ሐይቅ ዙሪያ ቢኖር ለሐይቁ እንክብካቤ ማድረግ የሚቻልበት፣ እንዲሁም ሀብት የሚፈጠርበት ዕድል ይኖር ነበር።

ወደ ቱሉ ጉዶ ስንሔድ ስለደሴቱም ይሁን ስለሐይቁ የማውቀው ነገር ነበር ማለት አይቻልም። ስንመለስ በብዛት የጨመርኩት ነገር የበለጠ የማወቅ ጉጉት ነው። ዝዋይ ሐይቅ እና ደሴቶቹ ይሄን ሁሉ ውበት እና ታሪክ አዝለው ሲኖሩ እኔ የት ነበርኩ?

Thursday, October 13, 2016

How I'm Made a Dissident, Emotional Man and Usual Suspect

[WARNING: If a personal note bores you, don’t read this.]

I was 11 years old boy when EPRDF took power. As a kid, I had a confused feeling during the time the then 'Woyane' controlled Addis on Ginbot 20. During the nights before, we used to listen to 'Dimtsi Woyane’, radio broadcasted by TPLF from battlefield. I remember the elderlies were very worried however I kind of loved the guys from what they, the Woyanes, spoke on the radio. In addition, my father, despite being a member of the then national guard in the Ethio-Somali border, had said he had wished ‘Derg’ to be defeated, or at least my sister had told me he had said so. Derg’s defeat wasn’t just my father's dream come true for me. He also retired and reunited with his family.

Even though the 'Woyanes' were portrayed like monsters by the time they took control of Addis Ababa, I liked them. I stared at them wondering at their never cut hair, old shorts and sandals. I told a couple of them that 'I love them' when they come to our village for disarmament and search for illegal holds of arms.

Soon later, they are worn with good uniforms, and 'kesikis' shoes which I had wished to have a pair. Their name became popularly EPRDF and the 'Woyane' turned a derogatory term for 'Derg' propagandists already associated it with equivalence to 'separatists'.

EPRDF took control of state owned and widely listened only radio station and preached a lot about democracy, national liberation, equal rights and so on. It was my formative age. Everything I listened to was sweet and persuasive. In contrary, the elderlies in our neighborhood became so critical of the new regime. I didn't know why but I thought it was only because it is a government that EPRDF is hated and that only because newly formed opposition political parties are not given the governing chance, that they are preferred.

I didn't know why people became more concerned about their ethnic background. Discussions of the older people seemed always as if there is something to be worried. I couldn't get the slightest idea of what bothered them until I turned 18 and went with my father to 'Kebele' to get an ID. I was asked what my 'nationality' (not citizenship) was. I never felt belonging to any ethnic group before. I turned my face toward my father who took almost a minute to respond to. He looked like he lost an internal battle immediately after that. My mother and father are from different regions and it never mattered before. Until now, telling the 'nationality' written on my ID is embarrassing to me. I always felt it isn't representative of my identity. It is like I’m legally forced to feel belonged to one group and not to the rest.