Monday, June 13, 2005

News Blues

Is there a blues song for nothing happening? The wind has stopped, the sun's stuck in a lukewarm state and shedding leaves suspended mid air, no one is laughing, no one is crying. I'm sure there are others who feel otherwise, but me and my 17" monitor are feeling the nothing-happening news blues. (Maybe i should clarify, it's the I-can-t-believe-all-that-transpired and so-nothing-happens-now-? after shock).

So let me see if i have this straight. University students started a demonstration in a land where there's 'democracy', but not the right to assembly, and were consequently chased, harassed, shot down ...and those were still found to be standing were imprisoned. The poorer residents of Addis, who really can't afford to strike, (like the day laborers and merkato-ites) stood by the University students, feeling the wrath of the Agaazi (where does this word come from?), while Boleans (oh, Boleans!) took just about enough time to weather the worst of days in silence and rushed to their favorite cafe's at the earliest possible opportunity. (You may ask, quite appropriately, ’who are you to criticize, with your caramel frapuccino at hand?’ Point taken.)

So, now the opposition is signing an agreement to resolve the contested results at some 300 constituencies 'peacefully' (EPRDF is the one with guns ... is the opposition saying that they'll do their best not to get shot? Hard life it is to be the opposition). At some point there was news on preconditions set by the opposition, which demanded that the detained students also be released. And the EU (god damn the EU!) was trying to convince the opposition not to set any preconditions.

In conclusion: with the exception of the death of 20 something youths, who soon cease to mere statistics in Ethiopian history, nothing happened.

Correct me if I missed details.

Well, there are a lot of lessons to be learnt here and I don't think they were worth the death of all those people. One important lesson is: EPRDF is here to stay. NPR interviewed Donald Levine, a University of Chicago sociology Professor who has written books on Ethiopia (and ethnic federalism at that! Well, not EPRDF's version ... ) . He made a good point that the survival and success of the opposition will depend on its ability to beat EPRDF at its own game.

This view, by the way, is not new. When so much handwaving was being done by EPRDF and the opposition alike, supporters of the opposition were divided into two camps. Those who felt the opposition should lick its wounds, take what it has won so far (which, as EPRDF had not suspected it, is really quite a lot) and prepare for 2010 elections. Others felt it should fight it out ... to the end, where ever that 'end' was. I don't think i like this 'end' much.

The high and mighty road can only expose and hurt the opposition. Somebody should translate Long Walk to Freedom in Amharic.

There's one other interesting news that has been somewhat shadowed by EPRDF's killing spree. Addis Ababa has become Oromia's new capital city. I'm not quite sure what that means for CUD/UEDF, which have won all 23 seats in Addis Ababa, but I'm sure a lot of disagreements will ensue. EPRDF never ceases to amaze!

6 comments:

Brother Roy said...
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king said...
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kredietlenenhypotheken said...
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alberthaanstra said...
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alberthaanstra said...
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wu said...
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