In the seventh installment of TGHAT Forum, Khadijah Abdurahman joins Goitom Gebreluel and Patrick Wight to discuss the ideologies of support for genocide in Ethiopia.
First, at the level of the state, we discuss the origins of Ethiopian nationalism and explain why it lends itself to such brutal forms of governance. The often fascistic nature of governance in the country is rooted in Ethiopia’s particular experience of state formation. Specifically, Menelik II, in concert with European colonial powers, forged the current borders of the Ethiopian empire in the late 19th century.
Second, we try to understand why much of Ethiopian civil society has either been silent or openly supported the war in Tigray. A coalition of over two-dozen Ethiopian civil society groups recently put out a call for peace. Many of these organizations and their leaders were either vocally or tacitly in support of the war up to this point. We ask whether this represents a true change of heart.
Finally, we discuss the reaction of outside actors to the Tigray war, specifically the international left. A cohort of self-described “anti-imperialists” have entered the fray of Horn of Africa politics to either refute the atrocities in Tigray as CIA propaganda or to justify them based on the TPLF’s history of working with Washington vis-à-vis the global “war on terror.” We discuss what is truly motivating these commentators.
This panels discussion is based on the ideas discussed on this article TIGRAY, OROMIA, AND THE ETHIOPIAN EMPIRE written by Ayantu Tibeso, J. Khadijah Abdurahman.