On the 26th November 2021, Addis Ababa University warned its graduates that it may revoke their academic degrees if they supported the TPLF. African Arguments has noted that this “chilling effect” of the war on academic freedom extends beyond Ethiopia. While the statement from Addis Ababa University is repugnant enough, it is a tiny tip of the iceberg of the involvement of Ethiopian Universities in the genocidal war on Tigray (see this database).
The graph below for 14 universities was generated using some of the figures gathered from different media reports for some of the universities. The average contribution to the ENDF in support of the war on Tigray of the universities in this sample is 27.4 million birr. What is the opportunity cost of reallocating 383.6 million birr from a dwindling higher education sector to a genocidal war on a country’s own people? When a university supports a genocidal war, does it have any place for scientific integrity?
The following is a list of 25 Ethiopian universities supporting in all possible ways the ongoing genocidal war on Tigray. Below, we present, with links, the different activities the Ethiopian universities did in support of the war. We try to collect sources showing what 25 Ethiopian universities have done in support of the war.
- Adama Science and Technology University: The President of the university on a day of 2021 graduation said the university’s employees donated their one month salary totaling 11092000 Birr to the Ethiopian forces to support the war on Tigray (Graduation video, from minute mark 51:00 to 52:00). Several universities donate money to the ENDF. Ambo University, Jimma University, Haramaya University, Addis Ababa Science and Technology University, Adama Science and Technology University and Metu University have donated money (Source: Ethiopian Press Agency, December 13, 2021, archived).
- Addis Ababa Science and Technology University: Addis Ababa Science and Technology University donated 7.8 million birr, which is one month’s salary of its staff and an additional 5 million birr to ENDF. In total the university has donated 12.8 million birr, according to the university’s president Dereje Engida (PhD) (Source: Aastu_official, August 12, 2021, archived). The university donated 16 million birr in cash and 4 million birr in kind on 13 December, 2021 (Sources: Aastu_official, December 13, 2021 and Ethiopian Press Agency, December 13, 2021).
- Addis Ababa University: Addis Ababa University donated 1.87 million worth of a vehicle, clothes and other logistics to ENDF. The University’s president Prof. Tassew Weldehana pledged to continue supporting the army (Source: Amhara Media Corporation, November 27, 2021, archived). Addis Ababa University warns to take measures against graduate academics supporting TPLF; measures may include revocation of academic degrees. (Source: Addis Standard, November 26, 2021).
- Ambo University: Ambo University is among several universities that donated money to the ENDF (Source: Ethiopian Press Agency, December 13, 2021, archived).
- Arba Minch University: The university’s staff donated more than 28 million birr to the ENDF (Source: Amhara Mass Media Agency, September 6, 2021, archived). The university staff say they stood with the ENDF (Source: Arba Minch University, November 23, 2020, archived).
- Arsi University: Duguma Adugna (PhD), president of Arsi University, says they went to the ministry of defense to donate “30 million birr in cash to be paid from students’ budget and employees’ salaries, and 700 quintals of teff worth 3.5 million birr” to the ENDF (Source: Addis Media Network, December 3, 2021, archived).
- Bahir Dar University: Bahir Dar University donated food worth of 1.2 million birr for a military fighting in Tach Gaint front. Prof. Meareg was killed after he had been accused in this post (archived) on the university’s staff page. (Source: Bahir Dar University, November 13, 2021, archived).
- Bonga University: “Our heroes, our national prides, our patriots, our defence forces, you are not walking alone!! Together we can!” (Source: Bonga University, August 7, 2021, archived). On November 8, the university donated 15 million birr in cash and 30 oxen worth of 1.2 million birr to the ENDF. (Sources: Bonga University, November 8, 2021 (archived) and Fana BC, November 8, 2021 (archived)).
- Debark University: Debark University’s procurement director stated that the university has been providing logistics and food to ENDF, Amhara special forces, fano and militia since the war broke out in north Gondar zone and its vicinity. (Source: Debark University, September 23, 2021, archived).
- Debre Berhan University: Academic and support staff of Debre Berhan University are preparing food for the soldiers. (Source: Fana BC, November 27, 2021, archived). Volunteering scholars campaigning to mobilize the people. (Source: Debre Berhan University, September 23, 2021, archived).
- Debre Markos University (DMU): The University’s staff are preparing food on a daily basis and professors and support staff are mobilizing and organizing the people in different districts. As part of the ongoing financial contributions the different Colleges and Directorates of the University are making, staff members of the Library and Documentation Directorate have donated 18,000 birr. (Source: Debre Markos University, December 10, 2021, archived). Blood donation and “our blood for our army,” campaign. (Source: Debre Markos University, December 10, 2021, archived). DMU academic and support staff donate 71000 birr and buy 708 shoes and 554 pairs of socks. (Source: Debre Markos University, December 6, 2021, archived). This video shows(archived) the university staff preparing food for the soldiers in the university compound using the university’s facilities and resources. Ato Beyene Wubshaw, an instructor at DMU donated 1 quintal of teff to the army. While individuals can decide on their disposable income, the way it has been publicized is intriguing. This video [archived] features, with similar tone and publicity, an academic staff who joined the army. (Sources: Debre Markos University, December 18, 2021 (archived) and DMU, October 11, 2021 (archived) ) Another DMU campaign message (in English). (Source: DMU, November 17, 2021, archived).
- Debre Tabor University: The minister of the ministry of peace along with staff of Debre tabor University helped in the farms of families of residents who joined the fighting. (Source: FBC, December 4, 2021, archived).
- Dilla University: Dilla University donated 30 million birr to the ENDF. The University president says ‘to win the war, everyone should contribute what they can.’ University staff members decided to join the army following PM Abiy’s call to do so. Abiy is a true leader, DU president Chirotaw Ayele (PhD). (Source: Dilla University Page, 26th (archived), 25th (archived), 16th(archived) November 2021).
- Haramaya University: Haramaya University is among several universities that donated money to the ENDF (Source: Ethiopian Press Agency, December 13, 2021, archived).
- Hawassa University: Ayenew Bedaso (PhD), president of Hawassa University, says they went to the ministry of defense to donate “45 million birr in cash collected from the university and its staff” to the ENDF (Source: Addis Media Network, December 3, 2021, archived).
- Jigjiga University: Jigjiga donated one million birr in cash and 150 goats to ENDF. (Source: Fana BC, November 23, 2020, archived).
- Jimma University: Jimma University donated birr 35 million collected from the University’s internal revenue and staff. According to the University’s president Jemal Abafita (PhD), the total donation in cash, logistics and personnel has reached 77 million. The university also coordinated the donations of the south west cluster of universities. (Source: Ethiopian Press Agency, December 13, 2021, archived)
- Metu University: Metu University is among several universities that donated money to the ENDF (Source: Ethiopian Press Agency, December 13, 2021, archived).
- Mizan Tepi University (MTU): Mizan Tepi University has handed over 20 million ETB worth of support in cash and in kind. Around 4 million birr worth of 20 oxen and other food items were collected from university staff. The University president Ahmed Mustafa (PhD) handed over the contributions in Debre Berhan. The university staff were preparing food from Nov. 22-26, 2021. (Sources: Waltainfo, December 4, 2021 (archived), Mizan Tepi University, December 4, 2021 (archived) and November 23, 2021 (archived)).
- Samara University: Samara University donated 3 million birr in cash and more than 300,000 birr worth of logistics on August 25, 2021. (Source: Samara University, August 25, 2021, archived).
- University of Gondar: Professors and local youth who took basic military training graduated. (Source: University of Gondar, November 21, 2021, archived). “Our university staff have also donated 4,600,000 birr (four million six hundred thousand birr) for the law enforcement campaign, and recently the university community pledged to reduce its salary to donate a combined 50,000,000 (over fifty million birr) for the campaign.” (Source: University of Gondar, September 6, 2021, archived). University of Gondar revoked  Eleni Gabre-Madhin’s Honorary Doctorate Degree that it bestowed on July 6, 2013, citing Eleni’s participation in a zoom meeting and expressing “unpatriotic views”. (Source: University of Gondar, November 30, 2021, archived).
- Werabe University: Werabe University donated one million birr and the university staff donated blood to ENDF. (Source: Walta Tv, November 28, 2020, archived).
- Wolaita Sodo University: On their facebook page, the University stated that “Wolaita Sodo University donates over 45.5 million Birr in cash and kind to the F.D.R.E Defense Forces. The University has donated 39 million birr in cash and 6.5 million birr in kind to the Ethiopian Defense Forces (EDF).” According to, Prof. Takele Tadesse, president of the University, the university has donated 2 million birr and 100 quintals of pure teff to the Defense Forces in the first round of the fundraising program. In the second round, the university contributed 39 million birr. Prof. Takele Tadesse said, “…[university will] continue supporting Ethiopian Defence Forces further. Ethiopia will win, -our internal gangs and our foreign enemies will be ashamed. The university administration and the entire staff will always stand by our heroic defense force.” (Source: Wolaita Sodo University, November 20, 2021, archived).
- Wolkite University: Wolkite University joined the ‘white envelope’ campaign. (Source: Wolkite University, September 21, 2021, archived).
- Wollo University: Wollo University has given away four buildings in Tita campus to be used as treatment centers for injured ENDF members. (Source: Wollo University, October 17, 2021, archived). Wollo University staff in Kombolcha Technology Institute have completed their basic military training. (Source: Wollo University, September 7, 2021, archived). Two Tigrayan lectureres of the University, Birhanu Gidey & Haile Habenom, were killed on 21 Oct at 20:00 local time behind their condominium residence by their colleagues. Asst. Professor Haile Habenom’s research work can found here.