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The worst enemy threatening Ethiopia’s otherwise well-built looking ruling party comes from within

 Tesfalem Waldyes and Tsedale Lemma


In mid April 2012, Bahir Dar, a lakeside city 578 km north of Addis Ababa and the capital of the Amhara regional state, has comfortably hosted the Tana High Level Security Forum in Africa, the first of its kind international conference attended by a few former and serving African head of states including Ethiopia’s late Prime Minister Meles Zenawi and former Nigerian President, Olusegun Obasanjo. Nearly a year later, it hosted the 9th Congress of the Ethiopian Peoples’ Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF), a league of four regional and ethnic based parties that make up Ethiopia’s ruling government. More than 2,500 people including Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn, members of the military, veterans of the armed struggle and senior politicians (who were all speeding through the city with identical, tinted Toyota Land Cruisers), foreign delegates of sister parties and representatives of civil society organizations have swamped the city for four consecutive days from 23rd – 26th March.