Political forum under the theme of “Regional Security Dilemma and its implications to the political and security dynamics in Ethiopia securitization and security dilemma” has been held at Ayder Enlightenment Forum (AEF) on November 9, 2018 at Ayder campus.

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The guest speaker, Mr. Meressa Tsehaye, Director of Gebrehiwot Baykedagn Center for Strategic Studies at Mekelle University and Associate Professor in peace and conflict studies, presented his outstanding scholastic view over the issue for discussion. Mr. Meressa started his presentation from the international context to the regional and internal scenarios that are mentioned to have major impact to the Ethiopian politics.

According to Mr, Meressa, the international political dynamics including dealing with nation hood (national consensus) and state hood (foreign relations and policy), Nation and State building, the new order and American world order restructure, the economic, security and technology aspect, and the other super power nations, will have direct or indirect impact to the Ethiopian politics. Furthermore, the current world system (USA vs China) and regional powers (Isreal & UAE) have also wide impact to the current situation in Ethiopia said the speaker.

The other major issue is the political dynamics that has been happening in the horn of African states. In this regard, the role of the interest groups in the horn (for instance the case of OLF, TPLF), that might happen due to the breakdown of the nation building in the middle, the case of mutual interventionists, the politics economy of young states, the hindrance of nation building process in the region, the interest of middle east countries (the scramble to the horn) in the region, and the fragile and war zone nature of the regional politics have also undeniable contribution to the Ethiopian politics, said Mr. Meressa.

The Eritrea’s factor is also mentioned as a major factor that has imbedded in the current Ethiopian politics according to the speaker. Hence, the challenge of history and legitimacy, the war-born state of Eritrea, Ethio-Eritrea war (1998-2000), Mele’s policy to president Isaias, President Isaias’s policy to Ethiopia, the Post-normalization state of being, the question of capacity and legitimacy, and the threat of ‘Balkanization” are the fundamental factors that are discussed as showcases to impact the Ethiopian politics.

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On the other hand, the Post- 2015 and the political and security dilemma that took place in the country is also thoroughly discussed as major factors. And these factors brings vicious challenges to the Ethiopian politics, and thereby it results to form forces which in one hand supports territorial restoration and Federalist forces in the other hand, said the speaker. And this also brings another political and security dilemma among groups such as the dilemma between Pan- Amhara vs Pan-Ethiopianist, Post-2015 TPLF and Tigray Narratives, Secessionist and Federalist Oromia, Irredentist Somalia (ONLF) and the Flag challenges.

At the end, after shade lighted on the major premises towards the issues of liberalization or demineralization versus federalism as an alternative ideology to fellow, Mr. Meressa stated the political nature of the current Ethiopia. Therefore, ‘the current EPRDF lost unity of purpose and command, thus, lost legitimacy and capacity to rule the country said. Thus, Ethiopia may face, among other fates, government collapse; and fear of state collapse become dominant agenda in daily discussion of citizens. Also, the defacto power is in hands of self-administering regions and region’s ruling ethno nationalist parties. As a result, EPRDF and Ethiopianism become a secondary priority and diminishing legitimacy.’ said in his concluding remark.

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After the speaker’s presentation, insightful and warm discussion have held in the forum. At the end of the forum, Dr. Amanuel Haile, Chief Executive Director of the College of Health Sciences, has made concluding remark about the forum. Dr. Amanuel, said this kind of forum will have paramount significance to reshape and enlighten our thoughts as a society. And he highlights about the contribution we can make to overcome the current crisis and to stand united as a nation.