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Ethiopia: Jawar Mohammed on Tunisian Revolution and Implications

Posted: Amajjii/January 27, 2011 · Finfinne Tribune | Gadaa.com | Comments (6)

Mr. Jawar Mohammed, an independent researcher based in the US and a graduate from Stanford University, discusses the reasons leading to the ongoing Tunisian revolution and its implications to other dictatorial regimes in Africa. Interview conducted by Mr. Solomon Kifle of VOA-Amharic (aired on 01/26/2011).

Listen to the Interview:

Afaan Oromoo: Listen also to Jawar's Interview on OCR-MSP (aired on 1/23/11).


Gadaa.com delivers information on Oromia and the Horn of African region: top news stories and analyses, politics, and culture, arts & entertainment, and more.



  1. Balaambal

    Jan 28, 11 at 1:48 am

    I don’t think this analysis works. This is completly traditional perspective and viewpoint that required the existance of only objective and subjective conditions. In the case of Tunisia, these conditions werenot almost fulfilled. The suicide committed by one youngester ‘gave rise’ to all these historical change. The people are more benefited rom the system than Egyptians and don’t mentionabout Ethiopians.Therefore, the preparation made by the current regimes in Egypt and other regimes may not necessarily save them if the people are committed for real channge. If they block social networks and mobile phone messages and if they make ready thousands of military & security these don’t break the power of a determined people. You will see sooner or later what will happen in Egypt!

  2. Barii

    Jan 29, 11 at 10:13 am

    Obbo Jawar’s analysis is very good. However, preparation alone does not save the regime in Egypt, Yemen, etc. What matters most is the way the military acts towards the protesters. If the military acts like it acted in Tunisia, which explained Jawar himself, Mubarak’s regime is doomed.

    if we try to draw parallel with the situation in Ethiopia, the problem of Ethiopia lies in the control of the military and the security. TPLF controls both military and security apparatus highhandedly. All of the core military officers (leaders) are TPLF and the same goes for the security apparatus. Thus the military and security leadership won’t collaborate with protesters if Ethiopia follows the road of the North. The remote possibility of military cooperation may come through internal crisis in the lower rank of military and refusal to obey the orders of the TPLF generals.

    Egyptians were excited to see the military roll into the city. People in Ethiopian won’t have much to celebrate if Agazi-led military butchers march into Addis Ababa. “Reality bites and it never lets go”. Let’s build our assessments based on the objective reality.

  3. Balaambal

    Jan 29, 11 at 5:33 pm

    If we should consider the objective conditions there couldn’t have been a revolution in Tunisia as there was no party or organized gruop to take power othere than the determined popular move. If we go by analysis only, trust me, there will be no change in Ethiopia per your objective analysis. The Agazi butchers you mention are human beings either to kill or to die with a goal (goal of subjugating the majority through the image they had already created in the minds of many as killers and to be feared). The main advantage that Woyanes always shrewdly exploit is the wrong analysis given about them based on the image they managed to be created. ‘Intellectuals’ grossly compare Egypt with Ethiopia; Tunisia against Ethiopia. If the people are determined to keep on resistance with some form of direction, it is the Woyane system that is more susciptible to change (eradication). But, there should be determination, readiness for sacrifice as in Tunisia and lately in Egypt. I assure you that both Jawar’s and Barii’s analysis is right from analytical point of view, however, it is not practically. As I mentioned earlier, the security and military in Ethiopia is fully controlled by TPLF but they make every effort to keep this secret.


    I brougt this issue to justify the fact that if the inevitable sacrifice is to be paid and if there is determination it is the TPLF that can easily break into pieces than the security and military system of Tunisia and Egypt that are more diversified and decentralized along the command line than Ethiopia ***. Therefore, let us not make them metals and ourselves flesh! Academic analysis has limitations and if it gives miscalculated directions/hints it will be more desastrous to the poor majority who have been suffering and willing to rise up. Finally, the case of Egypt will come to an end sooner or latter with people taking the upper hand.

    *** = Removed/Edited for civility

  4. Barii

    Jan 31, 11 at 10:21 am


    We are talking about unproven hypothesis that will be tested in due course if the revolution of the North blows to Ethiopia. Your assertions are not proven and practical either. Just elaborate how your hypothesis works and convince us. You don’t need to be alarmed at individual’s opinions.

    All the same, the importance of neutrality of the military is not only stated in this forum. Multitudes of experts explain that the most ingredient for the success of the Tunisian peaceful revolution is the neutrality of the military leaders that defied the regime’s order. Some even openly supported the protesters. The same holds true in Egypt as it stands now. Are the military leaders neutral in Ethiopia? Most definitely NOT. They are hand-and-glove with the TPLF. This is a matter of fact. The same holds true for the security apparatus in Ethiopia.

    If you’re talking about the internal cohesion of the military, your argument may hold some water. The disenfranchisement of OPDO-and ANDM-affiliated military officers is a case in point. However, claiming that the Ethiopian military will react the same as that of the Tunisian is very much farfetched.

  5. Balaambal

    Feb 1, 11 at 9:24 pm


    I have never been alarmed at your openion. Don’t forget that what we are writing here has got some audience/readers and if we focus more on the analysis than on what can be acted upon, we are misleading or discouraging some of these audiences specially those back home.
    The point I wanted to make is that whatever side the military & security of TPLF takes, we should bear in mind that it will be taken by TPLF commanders ***. Under such condition one can’t expect the neutrality of these apparatus; if we are sure of the oneness of the regime and its military & its cruelty (you said butchers) then no one dares to take risk of dying. Therefore, instead of maginifying the capacity of the military that is established to protect the interest of TPLF, we shall better make tangible assessment than hypothesis taking into account the objective conditions and the 20 years practical experience of our people with Woyanese. Oromsos in Oromia raise the issue of getting direction not about the cruelity of TPLF’s military. If sacrifice is feared no need of discussing about change as change mostly involves giving oneself. The people back home are a littel bit different from the way we view them from here. They are upset at absence of action from opposition organizations/parties and getting mad at our intellectuals who make annual meetings with similar analytical researches, recommendations but with no means of implemention and follow-up. As a result, Oromo youngesters backhome say that Oromo intellectuals and organizations are procrastinating – paralysis by analysis. That means, most of the time is being wasted not on action or on means as to how to act but in making detailed analysis that again take more time to synthesise and upon which the oppressors come with another assignment that takes another time for analysis. Hence, let us focus on actionable assessment not necessarily logically but that can bear a mini fruit.

    Last, I feel discomfort at what Gadaa editors/publisherd did to my previous comment. The writer of this comment has spent some time in Mikelawi. I don’t see any message that was against civility. I mentioned the people who have been badly treating prisoners at that center to give information to readers. If you need further information you can verify the identity and responsibilities of those people I mentioned. Other than this, if mere mentioning of names with ones real characters and acts makes an idea uncivilzed I better stop here. Galatoomaa!!

  6. Balaambal

    Feb 11, 11 at 10:10 pm

    Have you witnessed what a determined young generation and people did in Egypt? As per analysis, this history couldn’t have happened!! Please watch the video produced by Al Jezeera regarding the efforts of few energetic young Egyptians who organized themselves under “April 6 Movement”.