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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?
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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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