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Topic of the Month

Part – I

By Tsegaye R Ararssa

 
Between 1991 and 1995, Ethiopia had another historical opportunity to (re)constitute itself as a polity. Having used (or abused) that opportunity, on December 8, 1994, the Constitutional Assembly adopted a constitution that came into force in 1995 (see interview here). The controversy around the constitution 21 years after its adoption suggests that the acceptability of the constitution among the various sectors of the society is still a work in progress. A simple content-context-process analysis of this constitution will quickly show the cracks of its legitimacy. Such lack of legitimacy at the moment of ‘(re)founding’ the polity and the deficit in basic consensus about the state-society relationship has a profound impact on the durability and practical utility of the constitution as a frame of governance in the country.

Mahlet Fasil & Kalkidan Yibeltal

 

Ambo and Adaba

 

What is now widely acknowledged as the ‘Oromo protests’ started in early November 2014 in Ginchi town, about 80km west of the capital Addis Abeba. It was pioneered by a small group of community members who protested against a planned take-over by the government of a plot of land – a land used by youngsters in the small town and its surrounding as a Sunday football pitch. Protesters then picked up the much larger, albeit mired in confusion, issues of the proposed Addis Abeba Abeba Master Plan. The protest then spread throughout the Oromiya regional state, the largest unit of the federated Ethiopia, like a bush fire.