Thread on #politics and #religion in #Ethiopia 1/14: The country is bracing for a new, nationwide, protest, with possible ensuing widespread violence on Sunday 12. Feb. This time ostensibly over #religion and control of the Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church #EOTC. #Oromo #Tigray
2/14: The conflict in #EOTC has deep roots, but flared up recently when a group of #Oromo clergy broke with the Church leadership and established a separate Synod, arguing that Oromo representation and culture had been marginalised throughout centuries.
3/14: #Oromo clergy protested that Afaan Oromo was not used in Church, leading to an alienation of the Church from its flock & the decrease of adherents, as well as clergy appointed to #Oromia “don't understand the language and the culture of the people”.
4/14: The #EOTC leadership called out the #Oromo breakaway as illegal, violating the “dogma, canon and administrative procedures” of the Church, and excommunicated the Oromo clergy supporting it.
5/14: #AbiyAhmed accused religious institutions of “politics, corruption, and racism”, and claimed that “The level of theft / corruption in these institutions is shocking.” Concomitantly he asked the #EOTC to negotiate the internal discord.
6/14: To rally support for its authority & control of #EOTC, Addis Patriarch reached out to #Tigray breakaway Synod and invited them back to the fold, blaming the “politicians” for the war on Tigray & the separation of contact to their flock in Tigray.
7/14: Concomitantly, it was reported that the #Oromia Synod requested the 'See of Selama' #Tigray Church Council to work with them, to join in a common front against the continued “Amharised” #EOTC.
8/14: The 'See of Selama' #Tigray Orthodox Church made it clear it was established “by the blood” sacrifice of #Tegaru during the atrocity war by #Ethiopia, a war supported by the #EOTC; and would maintain its independence.…
9/14: #Ethiopia gov became increasingly anxious about the situation and criticism it received by all Church fractions. Hence they acted as usual in such situations, accusing Church activists of nefarious motives, a “red line” had been crossed, and ordered arrests & crackdown. Image
10/14: The #EOTC leadership in response denounced #Ethiopia gov. claiming it “is bent on destroying the Church once and for all”. Promising to fight for the “dignity of the Church to death or exile” the Church fathers rejected government's interference.
11/14: #AbiyAhmed claims he “solved” a religious dispute in the town of Jimma early on in his political career. His involvement so far in the #EOTC dispute has however not been productive. It seems difficult to reconcile the different factions, however as it goes beyond religion.
12/14: The #EOTC leadership claims that “The holy church has laid a foundation for the unity of the country” and that the #Oromo faction now “divides the church, destroys the unity of the country, cause conflict, bloodshed and disturbs peace.”
13/14: The control of #EOTC may thus serve as a metaphor of the control of #Ethiopia: a centralized rule, or devolved power. The fragmentation of EOTC may thus also mirror the fragmentation of Ethiopia, aligning political forces behind the various Church fractions.
14/14: The future of #EOTC will in this respect herald z future of #Ethiopia. #EOTC bestowed z Emperor with divine authority. When z Church today denounces the new “7th King” & claims to be the sole protector of Ethiopia – religion once again take the centre stage in the country.

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More from @KjetilTronvoll

Feb 7
1/12: Analysing politics in #Ethiopia is to try to capture a moving target. Our scholarly approach and understanding have over decades been "blunted" by the incessant fundamental political events happening every so often: large scale conflicts, mass atrocities, revolutions, etc.
2/12: This constant stream of political shocks has become a “normal”, leading to a heedless state of mind and blunting our methodological and analytical approaches and frames in understanding long durée political evolvement in #Ethiopia.
3/12: The developments over the past few years, should however be a wake-up call for us all. Throughout a turbulent history, some core metaphors and narratives have underpinned and projected a notion of this enduring historically imposed or imagined community called #Ethiopia.
Read 12 tweets
Nov 2, 2022
1/: My initial reflections on the #Tigray - #Ethiopia #peaceagreement. First, it is commendable that the parties have reached an agreement. Admittedly, this was surprising. One should sincerely hope that the agreement will pave the way for durable peace.
2/: However, the #Tigray - #Ethiopia #peaceagreement circulating (still not in signed version) leaves many questions unanswered. Although the parties have committed themselves not to question any part of the agreement, it obligates us analysts to point out some issues of concern.
2b/: A huge disclaimer here: there is confusion on which text of the agreement is authentic. The agreement I base my points on is confirmed by several internationals as authentic, but we have to wait for the full signed version to appear before one can conclude on that.
Read 17 tweets
Oct 15, 2022
1/: The world´s biggest ongoing armed conflict is not #Russia ´s attack on #Ukraine, but #Ethiopia and #Eritrea´s massive offensives on #Tigray. Reliable estimate is that up to 1 mil. troops are engaged in the war theater.
2/: The ongoing combined #Eritrea / #Ethiopia offensives on #Tigray use WW1 tactics of ordering massive human wave attacks on Tigray defense lines. The carnage is horrendous. Likely as many as 100.000 have been slaughtered over the last weeks.
3/: #Ethiopia & #Eritrea are continuously shelling & bombing #Tigray towns, indiscriminately killing droves of civilians. The perpetuation of #Warcrimes is standard operating procedure.
Read 8 tweets
Oct 13, 2022
#Ethiopia's civil #war finds its origin in the withering & collapse of z ruling party #EPRDF. In a new article, I explore what led to z breakdown of #Africa's biggest party, emphasizing how z process was perceived from z point of view of #TPLF.
Comparative research points to both endogamous & exogamous factors contributing to party instability. Differences in local constituencies, ideological outlooks, & policy preferences, as well as variations in ethnopolitical identities, are all factors that may undermine consensus.
Furthermore, the governance structure of the country may also impinge on party stability, because federal models may be more divisive in nature than unitary states.
Read 6 tweets
Aug 25, 2022
1/4: @WFPCheif Beaseley is outraged & condemn #Tigray auth of #Ethiopia for “stealing” @WFP fuel from storage in Mekelle. My #UN source is equally outraged over Beaseley’s twisting of truth, when WFP initially loaned z fuel from Tigray, as is also written in their own sitrep: Image
2/: @WFP has during operations in #Tigray been bringing in own fuel, as well as loaning from local authorities upon signed receipt. To accuse reg gov to “steal” something which was initially given to WFP on loan is either a misappropriation of English, or appears as politicking.
3/: One may however criticize #Tigray authorities of the manner in which the fuel was taken out of the @WFP warehouses, and their notification to the WFP in this regard. But to characterize it as a “theft” by @WFPChief is something which is not becoming of that position.
Read 4 tweets
Jun 2, 2022
1/ The #Ethiopia/n government has informed the diplomatic community in the country on the “measures taken by the Government on human rights violations related to the conflict in the northern part of the country.”
#Tigray #warcrimes #CrimesAgainstHumanity #genocide
2/ One may argue however that it seems evident that PM #AbiyAhmed, #PP government, and #ENDF military leadership in #Ethiopia are ultimately politically and juridically responsible for the #warcrimes, #crimesagainsthumanity, and possibly #genocide for their war in and on #Tigray.
3/ ICRC in #internationalhumanitarianlaw commentary: “Commanders & other superiors are criminally responsible for war crimes committed by their subordinates if they knew, or had reason to know, that the subordinates were about to commit or were committing such crimes... (cont.)
Read 13 tweets

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