By | May 17, 2018


Dr. Abiy Ahmed’s Speeches, Menilek II and the Problem of National Integration in Ethiopia

By Guluma Gemeda, May 16, 2018

Dozens of Qeerroo were killed by the TPLF assassins after Dr. Abiy Ahmed said, “As of today there there will be no Qeerroo blood spill” over a month ago.

The Ethiopian Peoples’ Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF) has been intentionally ambiguous about the role of Emperor Menilek II in Ethiopian history. Depending on the political circumstances, its position has vacillated between total condemnation and mild acceptance. Until they came to power in 1991, the Tigrayan People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) leaders slammed Menilek for the conquests and the atrocities during his reign. But after seizing power and taking the emperor’s palace, they carefully calibrated their reproach without recanting the harsher criticisms of earlier period. Between December 1991 and April 1992, for example, when competing mass demonstrations had erupted in Finfinnee (Addis Ababa) highlighting the contradictory legacies of Emperor Menilek, TPLF leaders remained silent.[1]  Second, when a debate on Menilek’s leadership and legacies emerged during the centennial celebrations of the battle of Adwa, in 1996, the TPLF/EPRDF government issued conflicting statements. Responding to those who wanted to advance the popular image of the emperor, the regime authorized the renovation and rededication of the statue of Menilek at the city center. But it also attempted to dampen the focus on the emperor by sponsoring a competing national celebration at the battlefield in Adwa and emphasized the soldiers rather than the leader himself. On the other hand, acknowledging the views of those who criticized Menilek for the southern conquests and other atrocities, the regime put out messages that undermined the emperor’s legacies. Delivering such message, then President Negasso Gidada noted at the battle of Adwa centennial celebration speech that,

[B]efore the Adwa campaign, [Menilek had] invaded the peoples . . . in the Southern, Eastern and Western parts of Ethiopia and this brought cruel national oppression to bear upon the Ethiopian peoples. The negative role played by the central government, created by Menelik through forcing the different peoples to pay tribute and through violating their national rights, had at the time and since, caused Ethiopia to be the confluence of problems, and is well remembered by all the peoples of Ethiopia.[2]

But President Negasso also saluted Menilek’s ability to mobilize the people to fight against the invading Italian forces and his diplomatic skills in negotiating treaties with the European powers.

Third, during the Ethio-Eritrean War of 1998-2000 and after the 2005 highly contested elections, when their new land grab policies resembled or even surpassed those of Menilek’s era, TPLF/EPRDF leaders became circumspect in their criticisms of Menilek and his reign, apparently not to offend Ethiopian nationalists. Their usual branding of Amhara and Oromo opponents as ‘chauvinists’ and ‘narrow nationalists’, respectively, shifted to ‘terrorists’, a new catchword popularized after the 9/11attacks on the United States in 2001. Yet, when a heated debate between the supporters and admirers of the emperor and his opponents and critics erupted in 2011—after Tewodros Kassahun (also known as Teddy Afro) released a new song, Tikur Saw (Black Man), praising Menilek and celebrating his leadership at the battle of Adwa—the TPLF/EPRDF reluctantly canceled the singer’s concerts and distanced themselves from the controversies involving Menilek.[3]

In all these cases, TPLF leaders were caught between their ethnic policy, which is partly based on the argument that Menilek’s conquests were the root causes of the political problems of modern Ethiopia, and a commitment to upholding the unity of the same empire built by wars of conquests under emperor Menilek’s leadership.

Departing from TPLF/EPRDF ambiguity on Menilek II, however, in his inaugural speech and subsequent interview, Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed decidedly shifted to the old Ethiopianist view of the emperor which considers him as the ‘father’ of modern Ethiopia. In his acceptance speech, Dr. Abiy Ahmed emphasized historical Ethiopian unity; and in his post inauguration interview, he praised Menelik for protecting the country from foreign invaders and for introducing modern technologies, without mentioning the violence that attended the creation of the modern Ethiopian polity under the emperor. Since he took power, the new prime minister has continued to advocate the resurrection of Menilek’s old Ethiopia unencumbered by recent ethno-nationalist demands. Like many Ethiopianist scholars and nationalists, the prime minister praises Menilek. But so far, he has failed to acknowledge the atrocities of the emperor’s reign as the root causes of Ethiopia’s political problems.[4] In this regard, Dr. Abiy Ahmed appears to be oblivious to (or consciously choses to ignore) the works of Oromo scholars who have debunked the uncontested adoration of Menilek by highlighting the atrocities which were perpetrated in creating modern Ethiopian state. Because of the Oromo Studies scholarship over the last four decades, the historical assessment and the public discourse on the legacies of Menilek are now contested.

The following essay is extracted from a conference paper presented at the 57th African Studies Association meeting in Indianapolis, Indiana, in 2014. Although it was originally written before the appointment of Dr. Abiy Ahmed as the Prime Minister of Ethiopia, this essay helps to contextualize the prime minister’s speeches and frame the debate on the role of Emperor Menilek II and the legacies of his reign in modern Ethiopian history. The long version of this paper will be published later.

No doubt, Emperor Menilek II (r. 1889-1913) was an important figure in modern Ethiopian history. As a Shawan prince, he had been taken captive by King Tewodros (d. 1868), in 1856, at the age of twelve and remained in custody for the next nine years. After escaping from prison in 1865, he quickly regained his father’s crown and became the king of Shawa before he ascended to the Ethiopian throne in 1889. Both as the king of Shawa and emperor of Ethiopia, Menilek presided over the expansion of the Ethiopian state. Pursuing his grandfathers’ policy towards the Oromo, he annexed the vast territories west and south of the Awash River. Between 1875 and 1900, he occupied the Gibe Valley and Wallaga in the west; Arsi, Bale, and Harar, in southeast; Gurage land, Haydiya, Kambata, Kafa, Walayta and others, in the south.  The territorial expansion of Ethiopia continued until it was checked by the European powers—Britain, France and Italy—which carved out colonies around the Ethiopian empire. These conquests gave Menilek access to rich resources and the opportunity to export and exchange them for modern firearms. Thus, expansion to the south guaranteed his succession to the Ethiopian throne in 1889, when Emperor Yohannes died at the battle of Matama.[5]

Besides territorial expansion, Menilek also distinguished himself as successful leader by crushing the Italian army at the battle of Adwa in March 1896.  This is ironic because, as the king of Shawa, in the 1870s and 1880s, he was an ally of the Italians. Then, he independently negotiated treaties of commerce and friendship with Italy and used Italian agents to purchase firearms. Menilek also signed the controversial Treaty of Wuchale in 1889.[6] The Italians, on their part, hoped to use him to weaken Emperor Yohannes IV and to consolidate their hold on the Red Sea Coast before expanding further into the interior of Eritrea. However, after he assumed the Ethiopian throne, Menilek realized Italian ambitions over Ethiopia and turned against them. Early in the 1890s, competing interpretations of Article XVII of the Treaty of Wuchale led to controversies that directly led to the battle of Adwa on March 2, 1896.[7]

While contesting the Italian claims, in his bid for power, Menilek also realized the advantages of collaborating with European powers. He was very eager to expand and consolidate his power and the safeguard his empire using European support. In a circular to major European powers in April 1891, he presented Ethiopia as “a Christian nation surrounded by a sea of heathens”. He pleaded “Christian rulers” of Europe to “give us a place or two” on the coast.[8]  While beseeching for help, he also declared his intention to ‘participate’ in the scramble for land and carve out his share of territories in Northeast Africa. He wrote, “If powers at a distance come forward to partition Africa between themselves, I do not intend to be an indifferent spectator.”[9] Indeed, he had realized these intentions by preempting, challenging, and sometimes collaborating with Britain, France and Italy. Through conquests and a series of treaties with the British, the French and Italians, he finally created the present political boundaries of Ethiopia.

After the battle of Adwa, when direct occupation failed, the Italians and other European powers recognized Menilek’s sovereignty over Ethiopia and the territories he had conquered in the south. Between 1896 and 1906, they dispatched their diplomatic missions to Finfinnee (Addis Ababa) to negotiate treaties that regulated trade and colonial boundaries with Ethiopia. In collaboration with Menilek, both the British and French attempted to realize their respective larger colonial projects in the Upper Nile region.  At the same time, they urged the emperor to open the doors of his empire to foreign merchants and to protect their nationals and respective interests in Ethiopia as well. Foreign guests who visited Menilek’s court were impressed by the emperor’s political acumen, military accomplishments, and his willingness to collaborate with Western powers. They admired his openness to new ideas and technologies, particularly firearms, and his willingness to receive and protect foreigners. Some visitors characterized him as ‘careful, crafty, and persevering.”[10]

Enjoying a warm reception, European businessmen, artisans, and adventurers rushed to Ethiopia’s capital in search of concessions and trading monopolies. British, Frenchmen, Germans, Italians, and Russians all presented themselves as advisers, commercial agents or technicians.  Some Armenians, Greeks and Indians were already in Ethiopia even before the battle of Adwa. A few Europeans advised and facilitated the emperor’s acquisition of firearms when he was preparing for war against Italy. Especially, Alfred Ilg, a Swiss engineer, and Leon Chefneux, French businessman, played prominent role in Menilek’s purchases of firearms, and in arranging diplomatic and commercial deals with Western powers. For their services, both advisers were generously rewarded with monopolies in prospecting for mineral resources and in building a railway line from Djibouti to Addis Ababa.[11] Other foreigners obtained monopolies in collecting and exporting rubber and ivory, and in importing firearms and spirits. Some served as the emperor’s business agents.[12]

Friendly attitude towards a growing community of foreign merchants, diplomatic agents, explorers and prospectors in Finfinnee (Addis Ababa) propelled Menilek’s image abroad further to a higher level and earned him a status of an ‘enlightened’ monarch who was ‘pulling out’ his country from ‘backwardness’ into a modern nation. Some foreign observers created a fantastic persona of the emperor which did not match the reality. In a rare positive representation of an African king in the period of colonization, western newspapers, such as the London Daily News and the New York Times, printed reports portraying Menilek as an avid reader who loved literature and the arts. In 1895, the New York Times, for example, reported “This King intends to found a large library”, a project which apparently involved the collection of old Ethiopian manuscripts.[13]  A decade later, his modernist image was taken out of proportion when the New York Times reported again, quoting a certain Baron de Jarisburg, a Belgian explorer, who claimed that  “since his accession to the throne, twenty years ago, [Menilek] has transformed Abyssinia, a semi-barbarous power, to a State modeled on the lines of a constitutional European monarchy.” In the same report, the paper noted, Menilek was a ‘unique figure among African potentates”, versatile, and an “accomplished linguist” who “speaks French, English, and Italian fluently.”[14]  This is obviously unfounded, because Menilek did not speak a foreign language, and the extent of his love for literature outside Ethiopian religious texts is not clearly known.

The territorial expansion, military victory against Italy—a European power, a rare occasion at the height of European colonial expansion—and successful diplomatic deals with major western powers, including Britain and France, accorded Menilek unprecedented popularity among his domestic followers in the post-Adwa years. While northern rivals were effectively neutralized, Abyssinian commanders, who were appointed to the newly conquered southern territories, were generously rewarded and decorated. In return, they kept the subjects in check and remained extremely loyal to the king. Until old age and poor health excluded him from daily management of the empire in 1909, Menilek reigned uncontested.

Focusing on his diplomatic and military achievements, and the introduction of some aspects of modern infrastructures and institutions—such as the telegraph, minted currency, ministerial system, etc.—many Ethiopian nationalists and Ethiopianist scholars also consider Menilek as an enlightened, modernizing monarch.  The late Richard Pankhurst, for example, argued that, due to the emperor’s visionary actions and state sponsored innovations, “great transformations” took place during Menilek’s reign. Pankhurst praises the monarch for modernizing the Ethiopian state and the economy by facilitating agricultural production, introducing modern transportation and communication systems, leading to “the emergence of an embryonic market economy.”  He further argues that Ethiopia witnessed “the beginnings of a great transformation: a period of unprecedented change … due to the actions of a forward-looking ruler fascinated with modernization and new inventions.” [15] Similarly, the Sociologist Donald Levine depicted Menilek as a monarch who introduced modernity to Ethiopia; and through conquests of the southern territories, he argues, Menilek lifted the people out of ‘barbarism’ to civilization. Levine wrote, Emperors Menilek and Haile Selassie “put an end to human sacrifice, the slave trade, slavery, civil war, and introduced such elements of modernization as secular schools, hospitals, banking, printed currency, telecommunications, and modern transportation” into Ethiopia.[16]

Similarly, Ethiopian nationalists vigorously promote and want to sustain a popular image of the emperor as a modernizing figure and the ‘father’ of a multiethnic polity. In their view, Menilek was a military genius, skillful diplomat, and above all, a symbol of Ethiopian unity. Even the Derg, the military junta which toppled the monarchy in 1974, shared such sentiments.  After deposing Haile Selassie (r.1930-1974), the military regime tried to wipe out all vestiges of the old regime, but revered Menilek’s image.

Thus, many Ethiopians are still very reluctant to deal with anything that undermines Menilek’s popular image. For example, they are uncomfortable to discuss his early flirtations with the Italians and his collaborations with European colonial powers in carving out the boundaries of modern Ethiopia. The story of how he undermined the position of Emperor Yohannes IV to consolidate his power in Shawa, his willingness to dispose Eritrea, and the atrocities committed during the expansion to the south are rarely mentioned.

However, there are many negative stories about Menilek that counter the rosy image painted by Ethiopian nationalists and Ethiopianist scholars. For example, upon his return from captivity, he secured his Shawan throne by burning his opponent (Bezabih) alive and turning on the Qeen of Wallo who facilitated is escape from prison in 1865.[17] Ethiopianists also largely ignore or tend to minimize the long destructive campaigns and the violent destruction of the Oromo and other societies perpetrated by Menilek’s army when conquering the southern territories. The army maimed and massacred thousands at Anolee, Chalanqo, in Walayta and Kafa and other places. They plundered villages, destroyed farms and herds, and took women and children as captives on their way.[18]

After conquest, the gabbar-naftanya system was imposed on the subjugated peoples. This system created very exploitative economic relationship between the subjects (gabbar) and the conquering army (naftanya). It was a crude form of serfdom that involved the assigning of the conquered people to the imperial soldiers to provide them with wide ranging services besides the regular payment of tributes. The services that the gabbar provided to the naftanya included but not limited to cultivating and harvesting the military officers’ fields, construction of their houses, churches and roads, as well as the regulars supply of provisions to the soldiers. The burdensome obligations of the gabbar were further compounded by the alienation of land when the qalad system was imposed in the early twentieth century. The massive land gab involved the measurement and classification of land in the conquered territories into two groups—mengist (government) and sisso. The government took away two-thirds of the land and left a sisso (one-third) to the local elite (balabat). Thus, gabbar-naftanya system, through massive expropriation of land and serfdom, ruined the conquered peoples of the south and left enduring socio-economic and political cleavages that still hinder national integration. The descendants of the victims of Menilek’s conquests currently account for more than sixty percent of the population in Ethiopia, too obvious and too many to ignore.

But instead of accounting for such atrocities, Menilek’s admirers put a positive spin on the conquests of the south. For example, they emphasize the Pax Ethiopica that prevailed after the conquest, the expansion of trade and increased exports, and the survival of Ethiopia’s independence.[19] Even those who critique the conquest of the south usually do so out of frustration that it did not lead to progress, modernization and national integration. Messay Kebede, for example, argues that the conquest of the south contributed as much to Ethiopia’s stagnation as it did to its survival.  He wrote:

It [the conquest of the South] contributed as much to the survival of Ethiopia as to        its stagnation. First, the southern expansion revived the old warlike values at the time when the emergence of the value of invention and production was equally crucial. Second, it gave too much confidence to the ruling elite to the point of veiling the need for change and reform. … To all appearances, the southern conquest stifled a thought in the process of growing.[20]

Only very few Ethiopianists point out Menilek’s limited contribution to modernization and national integration. One of these, Richard Caulk, argues Menilek used “the usual methods of a strong ruler in a feudal or quasi feudal society.” Especially, Menilek was interested in the means of violence (firearms), some modern technologies, such as telegraph and posts, and images of modernization that appealed to the West who supported his power. He was interested in ‘cosmetic’ modernization, particularly those which had “serious political objectives”, but which did not promote economic independence and political liberalization.[21] Menilek’s conquests of the south were destructive. The southern territories were not only conquered but were also colonized and settled by northern military elite (naftanya) who impoverished local cultivators and tribute-paying gabbar. Conquests were accompanied by famine, human and animal pandemics caused by rinderpest, smallpox, cholera, and dysentery.[22]

Thus, despite the sympathetic Ethiopianists’ claims that Menilek was a modernizer, his rule had contributed to some of the worst and enduring economic and political problems of modern Ethiopia.  First, the emperor’s “open door” policy weakened the competitive edge of the indigenous business community. Unable to compete with expatriate businesses, local merchants were limited to supplying products to foreign firms or became their agents. Second, post-conquest administration was characterized by Amhara ethnic chauvinism (even when all soldiers were not Amhara and included some Oromo as well) and dominated by officials who depended on the imperial court. These imperial officers and their followers, irrespective of their ethnic origins, put heavy burden on the conquered peoples of the south. The imperial system facilitated the rise of royal absolutism and delayed the evolution of modern democratic institutions. It facilitated the destruction the gadaa democratic traditions of the Oromo and replaced it with autocratic and violent Abyssinian political culture.

Thus, seen from vantage point of the conquered peoples, Menilek’s image shifts from emmiye (a term of endearment) to a ruthless conqueror. The emerging scholarship from the south, such as the Oromo Studies, has challenged the one-sided, positive assessment of Menilek’s era by highlighting the violence and the costs of empire building. These studies show the dark side of Menilek’s reign and shed some light on the neglected aspects of Ethiopian history.[23]

The debate and controversies on Menilek not only indicate the end of an uncontested idolization of the emperor and his role in Ethiopian history, but reveal the underlying ethnic tensions rooted in the conquests of the late nineteenth century. They indicate the power of historical memory and the complex images of the emperor and the empire he had forged out of heterogeneous ethnic groups during the late nineteenth century. At present, the emperor’s image has become more complicated. For this reason, invoking Menilek is a hindrance rather than a fountain of Ethiopian unity. The challenge for Ethiopian nationalists and the new prime minister, who endorses the glorious narrative of Menelik, is how to bring genuine reconciliation, peace and unity while minimizing or denying the destruction of societies and the damage caused to the victims in the southern conquests to forge modern Ethiopia.

Finally, it should be noted, the subaltern view of Menilek, as articulated by the scholarship of Oromo Studies, is not aimed at wiping out the legitimate achievements of the king—such as the military victory at Adwa against the Italians and his diplomatic skills when dealing with the European powers. Instead, to balance the historical narrative, the Oromo Studies takes in to account what happened in Ethiopian and Oromo history during Menilek’s conquests. It refutes the effort to whitewash the atrocities perpetrated during southern conquests, the harsh exploitations that followed it, the massive land alienations and displacements, and the social and cultural destructions instituted by Menilek and his successors. Oromo Studies attempts to restore the voices of the victims of conquest, and highlights past and ongoing tragedies that the Oromo and other conquered peoples in the south endured. This is very important because a democratic and just society cannot be built on deception and one-sided historical narrative. Thus, praising Menilek and denying the harsh realities and the negative legacies of his reign may not bring the desired peace and unity quickly, or perhaps, not at all.

However, in his speeches, Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed is preaching peace and unity without addressing the root causes of violence and disunity in Ethiopia. Emphasizing national unity and praising Menilek and other controversial kings of modern Ethiopia at his inaugural speech and subsequent public appearances, he has wittingly allied himself with those who strongly advocate for the imperial, unitary narrative of Ethiopian history and polity, and ignored the destruction and pain many had suffered to ‘become’ Ethiopians. Unfortunately, this approach could inflame the underlying ethnic suspicions and tensions. For the Oromo, the prime minister’s speeches involve many insensitive and troubling ideas that disrespect many selfless Oromos who sacrificed their lives to restore the dignity and heritage of their people. Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed’s Ethiopianist rhetoric also ignores the underlying tenets of Oromo scholarship. It unconditionally endorses the unitary narrative of Ethiopian history and state. But, although captivating many Ethiopianists, this hinders his appeal to the Oromo and other ethno-nationalists, and may even derail his reform agenda, if he has one.

Notes

[1] The competing demonstrations in 1991-92 were organized by the Oromo and the Amhara ethnic groups. First, to introduce themselves and ingratiate with Oromo people, the Oromo People’s Democratic Organization (OPDO) organized and condemned Menilek’s conquest of southern territories and demanded the removal of his statue from the center of Oromo land. The demonstrators claimed that the statue is a shame and a constant reminder of the sufferings of the Oromo and other southern peoples who had lost their lands and freedom as the result of Menilek’s conquests. Then, the newly organized All-Amhara People’s Organization (AAPO) staged a counter rally defending Menilek’s statue and his legacies in Ethiopian history. This group submitted a petition to Tamirat Lyne, then Prime Minister of the Transitional Government, and demanded continued protection of the statue and the image of emperor as the ‘father of Ethiopian’ nation.
[2] Press Digest, March 7, 1996.
[3] The cancellation of the concert and the singer’s lucrative deal with the Heineken Beer Company in 2013 was influenced by opposition of the Oromo on the blog sphere.
[4] Dr. Abiy Ahmed’s in augural speech:
http://ethiomedia.com/1000dir/abiy-ahmed-historical-first-address.html
[5] Harold G. Marcus, “Motives, Methods and Some Results of the Unification of Ethiopia During the Reign of Menilek II,” in Proceedings of the Third International Conference of Ethiopian Studies, vol. I (Addis Ababa, Institute of Ethiopian Studies, 1966), pp. 269-280.
[6] Sven Rubenson, “The Protectorate Paragraph of the Wichale Treaty,” Journal of African History, vol. 5, no. 2 (1964).
[7] A lot has been written about the Battle of Adwa, March 1896. But the literature focuses on the military aspect and the historic significance of black African military victory against a European power in the age of colonization. The internal Ethiopian situation is often neglected in this context. See, G. F-H, Berkeley, The Campaign of Adowa and the Rise of Menilek (Westminster, 1902); Sven Rubenson, “Adwa 1896: The Resounding Protest,” in Robert Rothenberg and Ali Mazrui, eds. Protest and power in Black Africa  (New York: Oxford University Press, 1970); Richard Caulk, “Between the Jaws of Hyenas” : A Diplomatic History of Ethiopia, 1876-1896, Edited with an Introduction by Bahru Zewde (Wiesdaden: Harrassowitz, 2002); Paulos Milkias, and Getachew Metaferia, eds., The Battle of Adwa: Reflections on Ethiopia’s Historic Victory Against European Colonialism (New York, Algora Publishing, 2005); Raymond Jonas, The Battle of Adwa: African Victory in the Age of Empire (Cambridge, Maas: Harvard University Press, 2011).
[8] FO 1/32, April 21, 1891. It is interesting to note a similar diplomatic approach utilized by the TPLF/EPRDF regime vis-à-vis the West in new era of war on global terrorism.
[9] Ibid. It is important to note that Menilek’s intention not to remain ‘indifferent spectator’ is interpreted by his admirers as an attempt to defend African territories against European powers. On the other hand, his critiques consider this as an evidence of Menilek’s policy of expansion as an African colonizer determined to carve out land and as a participant in the scramble for colonies.
[10] G. F-H, Berkeley, The Campaign of Adowa, p.15.
[11] Richard Caulk, ‘Between the Jaws of Hynenas’.
[12] Bahru Zewde, “Concession and Concession-Hunters in Post-Adwa Ethiopia: The Case of Arnold Holz,” Proceedings of the Ninth International Congress of Ethiopian Studies (Moscow: Nauka Publishers, 1988), pp. 63-69.
[13] New York Times, June 25, 1895.
[14] New York Times, November 7, 1909.
[15] Richard Pankhurst, “Economic Change in the Late Nineteenth and Early Twentieth Century Ethiopia,” Annales d’Ethiopie, XX (2005): 217-18.
[16] Donald Levine, “A Revised Analytical Approach to the Evolution of Ethiopian Civilization,” International Journal of Ethiopian Studies.
[17]Asma Giyorgis Asma, Giyorgis and his work: History of the Gāllā and the kingdom of Šawā (F. Steiner Verlag 1987), pp. 590-591.
[18] J. G. Vanderheym, Une expedition avec le Negous Menelik: vingt mois en Abyssinie, Paris, Librairie Hachette, 1896; Martial de Salviac, Un people antique au pays de Menelik: Les Galla (Paris: Ouddin, 1901)/ An Ancient People, Great African Nation: The Oromo, trans. by Ayalew Kano, 2005); Abbas H. Gnamo, Conquest and Resistance in the Ethiopian Empire, 1880-1974 (Leiden and Boston, Brill, 2014).
[19] Teshale Tibebu, The Making of Modern Ethiopia, 1896-1974, Lawrenceville, NJ., Red Sea Press, 1995); Paulos Milkias and Getachew Metaferia, The Battle of Adwa: Reflections on Ethiopia’s Historic Victory against European Colonial Power (New York, Algora Publishers, 2005).
[20] Messay Kebede, Survival and Modernization: Ethiopia’s Enigmatic Present, A Philosophical Discourse (Lawrenceville, NJ., Red Sea Press, 1999), p. 256.
[21] Richard Caulk, in The Cambridge History of Africa, Vol. 6, 1870-1905, ed. by Roland Oliver (Cambridge, Cambridge University Press, 1985), 665.
[22] Ibid., p. 655.
[23] Among the publications which highlight the destructive conquests of the south and their legacies, see Bonnie Holcomb and Sisai Ibsa, The Invention of Ethiopia: The Making of Dependent Colonial State in Northeast Africa (Trenton, NJ: The Red Sea Press, 1990), pp.71-144. Asafa Jalata, Ethiopia and Oromia: State Formation and Ethnonational Conflict (Trenton, NJ: The Red Sea Press, 2006), pp. 65-101; Mekuria Bulcha, Contours of the Emergent and Ancient Oromo Nation: Dilemmas of the Ethiopian State and Nation-Building, 2nd. Revise ed. (Cape Town: Center of Advanced Studies of African Society, 2016), Part 3 & 4, pp. 279-629; Abbas H. Gnamo, Conquest and Resistance.

2 thoughts on “Dr. Abiy Ahmed’s Speeches, Menilek II and the Problem of National Integration in Ethiopia

  1. Dudu

    Interesting topic. We want this discussion to go to university and be discussed upon. It should by any means be used to make political point, advance or policy at all. We need political get out of such controvetial person and focus in making the study more of dealing and correcting the wrong doing.

    Reply
  2. muqdisho man

    And that time of Melenik era, Somalis were only people who battling against those Europian powers? 3 colonian powers italian britain and french and af course Abbissynia ruler Melenik,only Somalis organised by dervishes/daraawiish were fighting against those axis?
    I wonder were other tribes that time? I men afars oromos, etc. they were sleep, but good they woke up today, and we somalis we are stil struggling, Nice time.

    We are longer alone, our brothers are woke up too.

    Reply

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