Democracy Rising

"Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable" ~ President John F. Kennedy

Friday, November 04, 2005

Ethiopia's Violent Clashes Spread

More street fighting in Ethiopia today, this time spreading to areas outside the capital, Addis Ababa. Read the story from the BBC. It all begs the question, where is this violence leading? There are several routes which I will briefly outline.

The first is a state of emergency and an extremely harsh clamp-down with curfew's etc. I don't believe this can succeed as such action would usually, bring fear in to the hearts of those causing trouble and end the unrest -yet these people are prepared to die for their cause. It is impossible to frighten those who feel there is nothing to lose.

The second situation is the burning out of the protests. It is highly likely, as we have seen in Zimbabwe, that unless there is a leader prepared to join hands with his or her supporters and also die for the cause, little will change. A Mandela character is essential to force the governments hand. At the moment all reports imply that these supporters are rioting/protesting without the direct leadership of any opposition party officials. This situation cannot go on indefinitely, as Ethiopians will quickly lose faith with their 'weak' leaders and eventually resign to eternal dictatorship.

The third scenario is another Civil War. This may grow from the other two situations. Im not sure the routes from where this will grow, although there have been reports of resistance/terrorists fighters engaging in combat with security forces in recent weeks.

Obviously I feel the best way out of this situation would be for Meles Zenawi to resign, and allow a government of national unity to take over. For several reasons, covered in Ethiopundit's numerous articles, I think theres a better chance of Christmas falling on the 23rd this year, than that happening. If Civil War does break out, expect more of the same. Zenawi came to power in the cloak of democracy after a civil war, but soon revealed to be nothing more than a cuddly version of his predecessor. Let's hope the on-going crisis resolves soon, and with as few deaths as possible. One thing is for certain, Addis Ababa won't be returning to how it was this time last year as long as the EPRDF keeps its tight grip on power.


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