Reflections from Ethiopian-Eritrea diaspora in other African countries on the Ethiopian conflict

Samuel Ghebhrehiwet an example of former freedom fighter who became disillusioned with Isaias Afwerki

I have friends and acquaintances who are Tigray, Amhara, and Eritreans living in other African countries who I have been in primary contact or indirectly the past few weeks. As their lives are now mostly tied to where they live economically it allows for a certain amount of objective detachment although there is still love of homeland and concern for family still living in their country of origin. 

The Eritreans have high hopes that the course of events will finally lead to the fall of the Isaias Afeworki. At the same time they see him as having a superb sense of survival. They note that in his current absence in attempting to save Abiy Ahmed he is betting some protection by the international community against future Tigray invasion.

For the Amhara they initially bought into the dream that Ethiopian prominence might allow them more opportunities to expand their business maybe into a growing Ethiopia but now they see that the ostracization of Abiy Ahmed with the international community is a negative that could not be easily overcome so perhaps it is time for a change.

For the Tigray it actually creates a dilemma. Many Tigrayans have complained that they spent too much time developing Addis Ababa (Finfinne) which added to the dependency of Mekelle and Tigray on central services derived from Amhara. The isolation from electricity, internet, international air services, ground transportation to ports, etc. is now clearly seen as an unacceptable strategic weakness that must be corrected. Whether Ethiopia remains unified state or a loose confederation this vulnerability must be eliminated.

 

Author: Professor Tony Magana

Professor Tony Magana is Head of the Department of Neurosurgery, School of Medicine, College of Health Sciences at Mekelle University in Mekelle, Ethiopia. He directs a neurosurgery residency and training program as well as neuroscience research.

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