Which Way Ethiopia: Revolution, Civil War, or National Reconciliation? (Messay Kebede, PhD)


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30 Responses

  1. Girma Kassa says:

    Excellent and timely article Dr Messay. I hope HMD listens to your recommendation and do the right thing.


    • Chala says:

      If you been out of ethiopia at least more than 10 years you won’t qualify to predict any thing close.

      As i guess you left the country 22 years a go. that means 78% of ethiopians are age under 35.

      so majority of the people you know been under age of 10 when you left the country.

      If you want to predict close one you need to visit ethiopia and tour around all the killis and talk the people and see the truth then we can read what ever you say after that.

  2. Abdi says:

    This is the best exit strategy for EPRDF and the best way to transfer power with out blood shed. It is a win-win strategy that will bring change to our country. It is the fear of losing their economic power that force them to cling on power. Let them have whatever they got, it is their blood money for fighting almost all of their youth age. Thank you Dr. Messay for your thoughtful advice.

  3. teshome says:

    You said “Which Way Ethiopia: Revolution, Civil War, or National Reconciliation?”
    Dr know it all, It only strain common to understand where Ethiopia is exactly now. Ethiopia refuses either of your hypothesis.
    I believe you didn’t think twice when you write this trash or you might have missed your anti psychotic pills.
    There are no gimmicks, Ethiopia is one of the most stable East African countries who brought an amazing growth and development. You might have a lot of political grievance but there should be at any stance you would come with this rubbish conclusion. I am afraid that you have the faculty to think or you might be suffering from premature dementia compounded with psychosis to give a wrong picture to you readers.

    In the first place, Ethiopia has already passed a deadly revolution. CIVIL WAR you are talking about….I think has ended 20 plus years ago.
    RECONCILIATION..No reconciliation with chauvinistic political parties.
    …..OR ARE you demanding to watch this dreadful events as a reply like a foot ball game.
    You are simply good for nothing professor.

    • Kibir says:

      You are so disrespectable, damn this is the problem with ethiopian people, we are so uncivilized, you called him all types of names just for having a point of view???

      This is why we can’t have a real democracy in our country, because some of our leaders share ur kind of behavior.

      I actually agree with you to an extent but damn were you raised by hyenas? No manners at all.

    • Maraki says:

      Teshome pls leave ur adjectives for your personal communications and discuss on substances presented by Pr Messay. Hope you remember Mussa Imbrahim of Libya and Foolish Ali of Iraq who said no to reconciliation up to the last minute.

  4. deraw says:

    what some insane proffesors like this guy and mesfin dont know is the year is 2013 not 2005 and 90% of ethiopians now like eprdf except sick diaspora who are racist still think tigre rules .thats not true there is constitution and it works why dont you infidels come and see .we dont want any any any any diaspora ‘politician’ to speak on our behalf forget us we forget you ethiopia is not your toy if not we are ready to sacrifice against you.down with diaspora!!!!death to diaspora!!!!

  5. efrem says:

    Dr. Messay, with due respect, I disagree with some of your points. I would like also to apologize beforehand for the strong words that I will use in my comment. This is because I don’t find suitable alternative words that explain it more.
    I was also expecting you to add more scenarios regardless of their probability of happening (I even bet some of them have greater probability than yours). Here are additions to your scenarios, which may help you open your eyes and analyze the situation with honesty rather arrogance, hate, and extremism.
    1. Lovely scenarios
    a) The government reforms its policies that may lead to more equitable and enabling playing field and the opposition wins (of course this scenario assumes the opposition are better than the ruling party…..God knows it…).
    b) The Party reforms its policies and coupled with emerging young EPRDF elites, it buys the heart of majority Ethiopians and stays in power for many years to come.
    In one way or the other, both scenarios could result fundamental reformation of exiting institutions and establishment of new ones that could buy the confidence of majority of Ethiopians.
    2. Ugly scenarios
    a) The government stays without reform, even increase its repression. I expect it can live at least for the next 15-20 year. Then, the key figures will get retired or dead. This gives the new young EPRDFiets to take the opportunity to reform policies.
    b) Let me borrow your assumption that revolution leads to civil war (Ethiopian context). You took for granted that the civil war would be between Tigrians and non Tigriants. That shows how your prediction terribly got wrong (of course it also shows your wishful thinking and arrogance). I would rather take for granted that the civil war would be between cardes(regardless of their ethnic background, be it in the police or military) and those who are convinced of the need for change ( the general people, including those in the police and military).
    c) I will again borrow your assumption (revolution-civil war). This could lead to secession of many ethnic regions (I expect ethno-centric elites from Tigray, Oromia, and Somalia would use this opportunity to secede).
    d) Again with revolution-war, as has been seen in Syria, this invites neighboring countries to participate in it by supporting more or less of the others. I expect Eritrea would take the opportunity to make sure there will never be a strong and united Ethiopia. In doing so, they may support the ethno-centric elites of Tigray, Somalia, and Oromia as the final outcome deletes the notion of ‘tiny’ country.
    In one way or another, these scenarios would darken our hopes and may be ‘undo’ everything ‘us’.
    You really don’t know Ethiopia, may be you forgot it… 🙂
    3. May God/Allah help us!!
    In one or another Ethiopia would continue to be strong and united with exemplary democracy and development. In light of this, we got what we want with no/little loss.

    • Ahadu says:


      Well stated! Your addition greatly complements Dr. Mesay’s thesis.

      I am sure he has thought about these scenarios, but chose not to discuss them because they have a potential of dissuading many people from participating in such actions that bring about revolution/ civil war, with worse eventualities in store.

  6. Meron says:

    To the so called professors and Doctors in the diaspora who don’t know Ethiopia except in the extremist medias of the diaspora, please leave Ethiopia alone. There are of course some problems in Ethiopia, but they don’t want your twisted mind and good-for-nothing education to self them. Please keep away from Ethiopia.

  7. Selamawit Solomon says:

    Dear all, all of the disappointing comments for our highly educated Messay Kebede (PhD) aren’t mine. It is his own students who said that & if you can find positive comments about him, please let us know it.

    Some of User Comments For Professor Messay Kebede (PhD)

    ASI 374
    He tries too hard to push his views onto you and doesn’t take into account that you may see it from another spot. He’s from Africa and has a strong accent that makes it difficult to understand everything without trying pretty hard to pay attention, class was painfully boring.

    Sounds like he’s on an oxygen tank, spoon feeds the readings, couldn’t read one of his comments, & when asked him what he wrote, he couldn’t read his own handwriting.

    No. Just no

    He is aweful. He has a very heavy accent and hard to understand. There is no structure to the class and its impossible to study for tests. Also when you get your test back his you can’t even understand his comments because his handwriting is so awful.

    I would avoid this teacher if you can. He is not monotoned, but he still manages to make every class incredibly dull. Everything is lectured and he has only a few quizzes, but he is not an easy grader. This class will put you to sleep.

    The most boaring and a very unintrested prof ever. I wish he at least appear intrested to teach, He seems someone is frocing him to live in Ameria and teach.

    This Professor is very vague in his lecture, he speaks for himself has no contact with students. I wonder how he was teaching in his home country. A survey and review of his background as a teacher is importnat.

    Kebede is difficult to understand, lectures constantly and is relatively a pain as a prof. I am actually sitting in his class at the moment… and he just reads from the packets/handouts that he sends out… read the packets as much as you can and you might be ok.


    • Gezaee says:

      Selamawit, he is an elder; in our culture it is morally mandatory to respect people. Prof. Messay is what he is and we can not do anything about it. We all have our own limitations including the Prof. I suggest class room matters remain in class rooms. It is not good to violate people’s dignity and rights because we do not like them. What I am, I am, it is not my fault; I grew up in Ethiopia and it is really hard to change because we have a very suppressive culture. It is not our fault; it is the fault of the systems we lived and born in. That is why we were condemning Mr. Abebe Gelaw for abusing Meles Zenawi because he did not like him. You do not insult or degrade people because you do not like them. So Salamawit, you did google and found out the weak link of Prof. Messay and using it to attack him? No human is perfect or without limitation. One big problem among Ethiopians, we never listen. Anways, please respect people for who they are despite their opinions.

      This does not mean I endorse violence. We must reject violence and embrace civilization. Violence is for stone age people. This is 21 century. We do not need violence to solve our problems.

  8. Ahadu says:


    Well stated! Your addition greatly complements Dr. Mesay’s thesis.

    I am sure he has thought about these scenarios, but chose not to discuss them because they have a potential of dissuading many people from participating in such actions that bring about revolution/ civil war, with worse eventualities in store.

  9. Samri says:

    Professor Messay Kebede, the fanatic Derg high level blue uniform wearing cadre who now lives in exile in the USA and spews out, time and again, vitriolic attacks.

    The philosophy professor Messay Kebede in one of his writing has proclaimed that in order to bring democracy to Ethiopia, EPRDF has to be deposed through violent means. Would you expect that kind of teaching from a philosopher?

    After reading that, I was curious to see what kind of professor he was. I checked on rate my professor and as I expected the majority of the students who commented said, Messay Kebede teaches like a dictator. It is ironic though that Messay kebede an advocate of democracy is actually a dictator of his classroom.

  10. Mehret says:

    Education is useless. Want to win this argument? Choose a sample full of mesay. I always see the evils of education though the articles of this guy. Please Mesay “phd” read an article by Tecola Hagos recently and see if you can improve.

  11. Mamo says:

    The professor never learns even from his own mistakes. The one time Mengistu’s ideological right-hand man needs to sober up and read his own convoluted articles he published over the years.

    He is not contributing for the democratic struggle. I wish he and his former ESEPA comrades retire and leave the political stage for those who have political credibility in their quest for justice and rule of law. It is a pity that we even chat about his writings.

  12. Lema says:

    Well articulated article. I LOVED IT. And I could not get enough of it after reading it five times.

    I agree with the writer that Ethiopia’s way would most probably be a Civil war which would look like the one we are witnessing in Syria.

    Messay you are a great thinker and an outstanding writer. Keep it up!!!

  13. Meron says:

    Dr. Messay Kebede, watch these videos:


  14. wishfull says:

    Trying to appease woyanes is tantamount to trying to tame a serpent or like trying to domesticated a hyena. Woyanes are subhumans who don’t understand reconcilation.
    Your article conclusion is just a wishfull thinking. It is not gonna happen. The only solution is public uprising.

  15. Kudus Yared says:

    Can you all Ethiopian PHDS leave your title when you articles? We know you are PHDS. Just leave your PSHDS. I can assure we Ethiopians so so backward. Check out how Ethiopians run thier only injera business restraunt. Most Ethiopians are not even able to do any business outside Ethiopia part from Taxi related job and apart from those elite amhara officials who left through bole long ago, like Almariam. Why are not Ethiopians able to do any other business except driving taxis and poliitics of woyane woyane rally across Europe, and USA? I am disappoiinted men. The restraunts low standards. Some of them they do not have toilets; I think they still live in Ethiopians villages and not able to upgrade themselves. They never sell anything except Injera. They also say they have unique natural or real Ethiopian restraunt, but when you go in, what u find is rice injera? oh my God? The amhara elites rule of 100 years really made us the dumbest people on earth. What is wrong with us guys? do we know anything except war, hate? Anyway, you can not teach an old dog a new trick. you can not repair an adult. You can only repair a child. Older Ethiopians are gone forever. On the last breath of life will change them. While people are living stone ages, our PHDS are campaigning to stop the Dam of Nile? Are these even human? what the fuck Ethiopia if its people are abusive, killer, rapist, arrogant, ignorant, uncivilized ? what I am going to do with Ethiopia whether it is ruled by Dr. Berhanu or by Dr. Messay Kebede? The illness of only my way is the incurable illness.

  16. Mario says:

    Which way Ethiopia:revolution,civil war or national….?

    ባንድ ኣገር ኣንድ ፖለቲካዊ ኣብዮት ብቻ ነው ያለው። ከዛም agricultural,industrial, social…revolution እያለ ይቀጥላል። የኢትዮጵያ ኣብዮት በ1966 ከፈነዳ በኋላ በደርጎች ከተጠለፈ በኋላ ደርጎችም የኢትዮጵያን ችግር ተገንዝበው መፍትሄ መሻት የሚችሉትን ዜጎች እንዳሉ ከጨፈጨፋቸው በኋላ ኢህኣዴጎች በ17 ዐመታት መራር ትግል ኣብዮቱን ለማስቀጠል ችሏል። ኣሁን ደርጎች ራሳቸው ያበላሹትን ኣብዮት ተቃንቶ መቀጠል ሲጀምር ሌላ ኣብዮት ወይ የእርስ በርስ ጦርነት ወዘተ ይሉናል! ኣብዮት እንደወጥ በየጊዜው የምትወጠውጠው የመሰላቸው ይመስላል!

    የኛ PhD ሰውዬ እኛ ስልጣን ካልያዝን ጦርነት ወይም ኣብዮት መነሳት ኣለበት ይለናል! እኔ እንደ ኢትዮጵያዊ መሳይ ከበደ የሚባል ሰው ለኢትዮጵያ ወይም ለኢትዮጵያውያን ይሄን ኣደረገ ሲባል ሰምቼ ኣላውቅም!

    ኣቶ መሳይ ከበደ ፖለቲካ የምታራምድ ከሆነ በምትታወቅበት ቦታ መጀመር ይገባሃል! እንደ ወያኔ ከታች ከባዶ ጀምረህ ወደላይ መምጣት ነው!የትግራይ፣የኦሮሞ፣ያማራ ወዘተ ህዝብ የት ያቃሃል?

    ያም ሆነ ይህ ብቻ በኢትዮጵያ ባሁኑ ጊዜ የኢንዱስትርያል ኣብዮት የሚካሄድበት ጊዜ ነው!

    መሳይ ከበደ ምን ያህል ጨካኝ እንደሆነ ለማወቅ ኣያዳግትም! የሱ የስልጣን ስስት ካልተሳካ የእርስ በርስ ጦርነት ማወጁ ነው! ቀደምት ኣባቶች እንዳሉት ደግሞ “እሳት ኣንዳጁን ይፈጃል”!
    የምታነደው እሳት ካለ መጀመርያ ኣንተን ያነዳል!

    እግዚኣቢሄር ኢትዮጵያን ከስስታሞች ይጠብቅ!

  17. Tedla G says:

    I would like to thank you to our dear brother Messay kebede for his contribution and also inviting everybody to this discussion. I really share most of his opinon and intelectual analysis on the subject. but, my view is different when it comes to justic.
    I say, we all must have to work hard in order Justic to prevail in our Country by all cost !

  18. DaveIb says:

    Another rubbish article by Derg Cadre.
    No room for Derg people (YALEFEW SERAT NAFAKIWOCHE!)in the new Ethiopia.

  19. Germame Neway says:

    I found your article not original. In fact very apologetic at best and alarmist at worst. With your kind of expertise and extensive involvement in the nitty gritty of Ethiopian politics, this piece is more in its head liner broad strokes and less about the Ethiopian people at large. I do not read the ETHIOPIAN PEOPL,only reduced in their ethnic identity by ethnic politics by the master tribe. All your analysis is top-down-statism. The original sin-STATE POWER.All you scribes stems from the point of view of power politics you so familiar and an expert adviser from afar to the very despotic politcal system by rearranging the deck of the political card to smooth or avoid disaster to the power holders.You could have develop and write with dispassionate discourse the the probable scenario without invoking fear and unrelated secniore like comparing Ethiopian society with Syrian society as starkly different as Egypt or keya or Sudan etc… This is very amateurish and end up personal opinion which does express your wish and fears as a political opinion not scholarly outcome based on empirical evidence prevails in our beloved homeland ,Ethiopia. I hope Prof. you employ your vast knowledge and expertise with out being political and shifting and wavering positions.Stay out of punditry. Otherwise you will be like many of of us who just go with the wind.

  20. tn. says:

    a transitional government of hodgepodge political imbeciles, an attempt at dilution of one form over the other has as much likelihood of creating a civil war.
    the most likely civil war, by the shear number of weaponry presence and logistical ease is bound to happen in the north.
    IMO, this article and the discussions of this weekend will fade away starting Monday, with the government perhaps making a few adjustments on items that it deems are of apparent danger to it immediately.
    geo-political ethiopia of the habashit making has been tired, re-tired, re-fried many many many times and has both in analysis and actual fact on the ground repeatedly failed to materialize anything to the majority of the people in the south and has not at all helped most of the people in the north. the people north to south have been mentally, physically, morally debased to a functionally illiterate “elite” who has yet to show an iota of data to claim that it actually represents what the people want.

  21. Ewnetu says:

    With all due respect to Prof Messay, I beg to differ with your approach and methodology of writings in that your writings are neither substantiated by facts nor reflect the realities on the ground innEthiopia but guided by emotions and to that extent are wrongly oriented and misguided by the mentality of hate politics of the 1960’s and 1970’s.No wonder you are the product of that generation. From what I observed and followed from your writings, much should not be expected as you are not using your intellectual faculty to analyze the contemporary Ethiopian politics but your personal motives and intentions from a fixed premises and narrow perspective of dismissive politics. That is why I do not see theoretical as well as conceptual arguments and reasons nor empirical evidences in your articles to prove or disprove the political system and policies exercised back home right or wrong. Policy is about choice and not about wishes. Do not undermine the wisdom of the Ethiopian people. They know there interests. They differentiate the good from the bad. Today they do not need a patron. They now their rights and obligations and they now their sovereign right to vote in or vote out their elected governments. Do not make the mistake of intellectual arrogance and elite chauvinism to assume that the Ethiopian people are ignorant of their needs and aspirations. There is no way that the Ethiopian peoples are going back on self determination and self-administration and group rights. Gone are the old days of injustice and inequality and denail of the identity of the Ethiopian nations and nationalities. They know what they have achieved and did not acheive in the 22 years. Fore sure, they know how far they have travelled in terms of peace, development and democracy and good governance. They also know the distance that they have to cover to achieve, the ideals of Ethiopian renaissance. They know thatnthey aare on the right path and own policies that are yielding results and bearing fruits. They also know the strength of EPRDF as they do know its weakness. They know when it is right and when it is wrong. They appreciate when it is right and criticize when it is wrong. Take it from them, they are well aware of that EPRDF’s strength out weighs its weakness. It is not because of fear or ignorance they elect it again and again. No they elect it because they know well that it serves their interest and endeavors to fulfill their aspirations and ambitions. If that were not the case, they know the weapon they possess and will not hesitate to make a different choice. Your scenarios will not have place in today’s Ethiopia. Time will tell!

  1. May 22, 2013

    […] Which Way Ethiopia: Revolution, Civil War, or National Reconciliation? (Messay Kebede, PhD) (awramba… […]

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