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Is Ethiopia a Failing/Failed State? A Concerned Compatriot’s Quest

Editor’s note : The views expressed in the article do not necessarily represent the views of

Ethiopia _ failed State

By Sisyphean God fly, USA

According to the political theories of Max Weber, a state is defined as maintaining a monopoly on the legitimate use of physical force within its borders. When this is broken (e.g., through the dominant presence of warlords, paramilitary groups, corrupt policing, armed gangs, or terrorism), the very existence of the state becomes dubious, and the state becomes a failed state.

A failed state is a political body that has disintegrated to a point where basic conditions and responsibilities of a sovereign government no longer function properly. A state can also fail if the government loses its legitimacy even if it is performing its functions properly. For a stable state it is necessary for the government to enjoy both effectiveness and legitimacy. Likewise, when a nation weakens and its standard of living declines, it introduces the possibility of total governmental collapse. 

The Fund for Peace characterizes a failed state as having the following characteristics:

  • Loss of control of its territory, or of the monopoly on the legitimate use of physical force,
  • Erosion of legitimate authority to make collective decisions,
  • Inability to provide public services,
  • Inability to interact with other states as a full member of the international community.

In this piece I would like for all of us to ask some tough but necessary questions about the status of the country we all love. At this juncture, does Ethiopia fulfill the conditions listed above to be classified as a failing/failed state?  

  1. In the North, TPLF is in control of Tigray region, parts of Northern Wollo, parts of Gondor, and parts of Afar region. TPLF is advancing forward to control more territory. In the West, the Sudanese army is still in control of a large tract of Ethiopia’s territory. In various places across the Oromia region, Oromo Liberation Front (OLF) terrorists are in control of territories once under the Ethiopian State.  In Benishangul-Gumuz, separatist forces are in control of territory. Ethiopia has certainly lost control of its territory in the North, West, and many other parts of the country. As evidenced by the myriad of wars and attacks  by forces against the government, the Ethiopian state has surely lost its monopoly on the legitimate use of physical force in its territories.
  1. In the political, economic, militaristic, and social spheres, we see ample evidence of centralized decision making. Sources tell us that whatever Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed says is implemented without questioning its validity and accuracy. The collective decision-making process is non-existent or dead. In today’s Ethiopia, Abiy Ahmed dictatorially decides the country’s fate. 
  1. The Ethiopian government has failed to provide the very basic service of protecting its citizens from massacre, displacement, terror and want. Keeping citizens secure through an organized military that has a monopoly over the use of physical force is a core public service provided by well-functioning states. In various parts of Ethiopia, citizens are arbitrarily massacred, displaced, and terrorized. Many ethnic Amharas are murdered on a regular basis   in Wollo, Gondar, Bensangual-Gumze, Western Wollega, North Shawa, Eastern Wollega, Addis Ababa, Shashemene and several other localities throughout Ethiopia. Ethnic Afars and Ethiopians from other ethnic groups are killed, displaced, terrorized, and live in a perpetual state of panic. 

In Ethiopia prices of basic commodities increase daily. These double-digit price upsurges have destroyed and are decimating the purchasing power of the people. The vast majority of Ethiopians are unable to afford food, housing, medical care, and education. The government failed to provide relief from these unrelenting inflation in the country. Ethiopians are suffering the horrors of hunger, ill health, skyrocketing housing, and crushing poverty.  

  1. Insulting and public shaming of major development partners, lenders and donors is by no measure a smart diplomatic tactic.  Because of repeated mistakes, miscalculations, and misplaced alignments, Ethiopia’s ability to interact with other states as a full member of the international community has been diminished. Ethiopia’s government has totally capitulated on the diplomatic front. In continually escalating rhetoric, the government continues to alienate the country’s long-term allies and friends. The recalling of Ethiopia’s diplomats from its Embassies and missions across the world as well as closing several diplomatic posts is another example of diplomatic surrender. This gross diplomatic failure is contributing to losses in the military, economic and political front. 

In present day Ethiopia, lies, deceit, duplicity, hateful rhetoric, personal vendetta, avoidance, confusing propaganda, and oratory are used by government officials primarily by the Prime minister as a governance tool. Military, political, economic, diplomatic, and social policy decisions are centralized. The Prime minister is the ultimate lone decision maker. We are witnessing the disastrous results of such an administration. The Prime minister is responsible for all the good and bad. All of Ethiopia’s failures reflect on Abiy. Abiy Ahmed is causing more harm to Ethiopia and Ethiopians’. With every passing day, Ethiopians’ suffering is intensified, and the country is approaching collapse. 

Should not we all objectively question the wisdom of such a governance style and demand change? Should not we all collectively tell Abiy to go and save our country? This is about saving Ethiopia. We need to separate Abiy from Ethiopia. Ethiopia has many capable citizens. Abiy had his chance, and he tried his best. He has failed and he must go! 

I know Ethiopia is a resilient nation. But the government in power led by Abiy Ahmed has failed Ethiopia and Ethiopians. 

Let us all be honest and ask: Is Ethiopia a failing/failed state? If the answer is yes, we all have a collective responsibility. LET SAY ENOUGH IS ENOUGH AND TELL ABIY TO GO. 


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  1. The way I see it at the present time, Ethiopia is not a failed state yet but it is a reparable failing one. It is not a ‘failed’ state yet because most of the country is still stable and peaceful where majority of the inhabitants in such locations still value the benefits of law and order. But that does not mean they are not susceptible to violence that may leech from other ‘failed’ localities. That country is in a precarious situation. That is not because of the capability of the goons of TPLF but the vulnerability of the state structure itself. Can anyone of you tell with absolute certainty that Shane wasn’t alerted by insiders that security forces would leave an area at such day and time? Are you audacious enough to tell me that Debre and goons were not tipped that major metropolitan towns like Waldiya are ‘Citta Aperta’ for his forces just to march in and occupy with the least damage? Anyone? Nobody, ha? That was what I thought. I have another one for you! It is a live one! I remember a video in which hundreds of OLA fighters being fed and just spoiled by the ‘people’ of Tigray on their way back from their Eritrean bases when they were allowed back to the country. You remember that? I strongly suspect that it was then when Debre inked a strategic alliance with the current Shane marauders. So their recent ‘alliance’ declaration was just a formality, icing on the cake so to say. Before that those two were sworn enemies to each other and had bloodied history. So, Ethiopia is in ‘failing’ state and not a ‘failed’ one yet but unless unfair current foreign pressure/bias eases domestic bigots will be left on a higher fighting moral ground thus rendering the country a ‘failed’ state. Then it will be kiss and good bye. Then there will be no devil left in hell because they will all be lodging in Ethiopia. 120+ million people will be on move!!!

  2. This seems to be a tplf troll in hiding. Are you kidding when you sat that Abiy is a dictator – when he got elected by the people by a landslide. What you are not happy with Abiy is that he is too smart (intellecually, IT-wise) for the west and sycophants like you. Go away tplf nightmare.

  3. Subject: “Is Ethiopia a Failing/Failed State? A Concerned Compatriot’s Quest”, By Sisyphean God fly, USA, September 2, 2021

    Humble Commentary,3 September 2021
    The Author was honest enough to conclude the narrative with these words:
    QUOTE Let us all be honest and ask: Is Ethiopia a failing/failed state? If the answer is yes, we all have a collective responsibility. LET SAY ENOUGH IS ENOUGH AND TELL ABIY TO GO. UNQUOTE

    Now let us approach the Article step by stem of the cardinal issues.
    a) Honest:y: It is the foundation of individuals and societies in general . No more word is necessary;

    b) Is Ethiopia a failing/feiiled state? Let us be very careful in answering the question.
    Ethiopia, Is an enviable ancient country around the Globe.
    Ethiopia — the Black African Country — has enviable rich history no less than any country around the Globe.

    c) The Author pricks the Reader a little deeper by a reminder

    “we all have a collective responsibility” Wow! Wow! wow! it is a daring and dangerous statement.
    Permit me to be bold: Ethiopians do NOT like direct and penetrating question. For example: It is like asking a prominent Ethiopian with
    extraordinary European Education, as attested by Doctor of Philosophy Degree paper, 15 by 13 inch size,, from well known acclaimed
    Universities abroad. The ANSWER in a QUESTION FORM: Was there a single example of “COLLECTIVE RESPONSIBILITY” from the era of
    Emperorship all the way down to the notorious group of military soldiers named DERG. Oh, by the way, I love to mention about the famous
    creator of Derg. He is still alive, happily, and well secured in an African Country whose leader had unforgettable favour in a moment of life or
    death for the African Leader. Don”t be shocked if you encounter him at my favourite Merkato. I don’t need a credit for the waning !!!!!!!!!!!

    d) My FAVOURITE the Youngest Prime Minister of Ethiopia – Abiy

    The Author of the Article expressed an opinion in ten words: — direct and to the point: “LET SAY ENOUGH IS ENOUGH AND TELL ABIY TO GO” I will say ‘hURRAY ‘ to DEMOCRACY. And I add: let democratic freedom of expression, in a dignified proper manner, following the ancient Ethiopian dignity be the guiding principle AMEN – INSHALLAH

  4. Tplf using many methods, even pausing as friendly attacks ethiopia. There is mot ONE ethiopia countering this attack by tplf or foreign groups. The war against Ethiopia is full on whic was brought by its own self with lack of knowledge and still the way information coming out for ethiopia support, is counter priductive that will make ethiopua even more attacked. Except the ones defending ethiopia against Tplf, militarily, who are dying in vain without hard work of media. Diplomacy, politucal, etc. By the way this is not negative crticism but positive

  5. War with Eritrea that lasted 25 years. Qeerro in Oromia, Fano in Amhara, fear of a terrorists attack any time. Was not Ethiopia a failed system and an ethnic dictatorship under Tplf?


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