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Editorial

Editorial

Arguably, Ethiopia’s nation building course is far from over. Many agree it is in fact far from being on the right track. But inarguably Ethiopia is a state – a state that has its own constitution with a clearly marked distinction between the executive, the judiciary and the legislative; a state that is playing international and regional roles of its own creed and capacity; a state that is signatory to numerous international conventions ranging from protecting individual liberty to its environment.

But if one goes by the country’s recent crackdown against journalists, bloggers, opposition party members and Muslim protestors, it is compellingly easy (and tempting) to question whether the country’s security apparatus is acting as if this is a failed state and getting along with it.

In many ways than few, the Ethiopia of 23 years before look nothing like the Ethiopia of today. Nor should it, under any circumstance, look the same anyway – for better or worse. Fortunately, Ethiopia is a lot better today than it was then; and not without proof. Ethiopia’s absolute command-turned-mixed-economy was a source of pain for its citizens; communist Ethiopia had little space to accommodate its educated youth; and famine was a thing scheduled to strike at a disturbing interval of every few years.Today that Ethiopia has turned the tide upside down and is at a point of no return to that place. That is one reason worth celebrating.

From the print edition

Once again Ethiopia is in the headlines.It is not for its dazzling double digit economic growth, nor for its once familiar tale of famine and poverty that it tries so hard to leave behind, or not even for two consecutive mega state visits by the US Secretary of State John Kerry and Chinese Premier Li Keqiang; but for its inexplicable and heavy-handed onslaught against three independent journalists and a group of six bloggers, who were detained from their homes on Friday April 25th and Saturday April 26th by plain-clothed security personnel.