Ethiopia’s multifaceted challenges require a nuanced understanding of the last 30 years’ political evolution. In the last three years, the country is trying its best to move away from the Tigray’s People Liberation Front (TPLF) dominated reign of the Ethiopian People’s Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF).
Ever since its inception, the TPLF, though representing a region barely 6% of the Ethiopian population, has had the lion’s share of political power, holding key positions: the role of Prime Minister, National Security, Foreign Relations, Defense, and so on. The euphoria of the proclaimed ‘unity and democracy’ under EPRDF did not last very long. Rather, it was soon replaced by the resentment that the elites of the TPLF brought upon the party and its government by open dominance, ethnocentric nepotism, and repression. By exploiting fault lines among its rivals, the TPLF encouraged divisiveness. For example, in order to weaken national identity, the TPLF managed to cause division within the Ethiopian Orthodox Church, one of the oldest churches in the world. The synod was split into two: domestic and the other in exile, until unity was restored through the hard work of the current Prime Minister, Dr. Abiy, with the return of Patriarch Abune Merkorios after 27 years in exile.
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