Politics and Libel: A Critical Look at the Ethiopian Diaspora


Awramba Times is a US based online journal providing up-to-date news and analysis about Ethiopia email us: [email protected]

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27 Responses

  1. dubale says:

    nice article! Please people do not equate “habesha” to Ethiopia. Habesha represents only the Northern part of Ethiopia

    • Aster says:

      Hi Dubale,
      I don’t know what your definition of Habesha is, but Habesha means mixed people. Interestingly, if we take look the majority of the people who are not from north part of Ethiopia are also mixed. In fact many of these people’s distinguishable look could be easily linked to different parts of countries in Africa. So, I think based on its definition Habesha should be used to describe not just the north part of Ethiopia, but is also it should be used to describe those other mixed people who classify themselves as Ethiopian as well.

      • Paulos says:


        Where did you get this definition of Habesha? a mix of what and what? abet abet difret…, ere ebakachu…ask senior, midium and junior Ethiopian historians and all will tell you different definition.


        • Aster says:

          Hi Paulos,
          It is possible that Habesha could have more than one definition. If you don’t agree with the definition I have provided, could you please defined what Habesha is then? Thanks,

  2. idris says:

    The cycle of the diaspora goes like this
    1) To secure asylum in in one of the western countries you have to oppose the governemnt. You fabricate lies after lies
    2) once you secure asylum, you insure food security
    3) once you insure food security and save some money, you need to visit your family back in Ethiopia. And once you satisfy you love of money, you need to get power and respect back in Ethiopia. so, you need to go back to Ethiopia. But this is not possible unless the government changes
    4) so, you have to further oppose the government hoping that it will fail
    5)But goverments do not change easily. And they should not. so, the cycle of opposition continues
    -another point that i observed when i was abroad was and when reading the different websites and listen to the paltalk rooms: I concluded that wow ethiopia is disintegrating soon or the government will change soon. But this had never happened and it was like that for the last 30 years
    This was diaspora gets old and wastes his/her time desperately without accomplishing any of their hopes except that of insuring the food scurity.

    • Chala says:

      I think the write didn’t consider few other facts.

      1. the silent majority

      the one thing i disagree with you is when you talk about diaspora the number is around 2 to 3 million so how can you brand all this with few 10 to 20% of extremist. the majority about 80% of the diaspora is silent. they might not call themselves number one in all thing but they are supporting ethiopian economy with foreign currency. number one income to the gov.

      2. the different b/n the money collector and the money giver.

      What i mean is the one who are collecting money in diaspora most of them they haven’t worked for a single day for more than 20 or 30 years so for them any bad news come from ethiopia is good news for them as they can collect more money using that and they can have more people in the demonstration.

      3.the media influence
      media influence is not easy. it is the same as back home. in ethiopia 95% the media is controlled by the gov and you only hear good about ethiopia. when you come out you see the opposite 95% talks how life in ethiopia is hell. that is why Shabia is giving up in war and started funding ESAT.

      4. big EGO problem

      every one in diaspora whether who is scientist or parking attendant think b/c he is leaving out side ethiopia thinks he is better than ethiopian back home and feels he knows more than every one in Ethiopia . after two month start to think like the west and says africa is dark and no one knows nothing there.

      enough for now

      • Mahari says:


        Your analysis of the so called diaspora appears more explanatory than the very opinionated subjective articles that deserves the trash bin.

  3. AleQa Biru says:

    I approve this article.

    Nice criticism. I accept the criticism as a member of the Ethiopian Diaspora.

  4. Hirut says:

    Hager/Country means the people not the land. Diasporas are part of the country. Just because they do not reside in that land it donot make them less or more part of the Ethiopia country. Diasporas are loaning the Ethiopian government their hard earned money to build infrastructures like the dam bond. They are actively sacrificing their time,energy and money for the betterment of the country whether they are in Yemen, Kenya , Usa or so on.So the question do they like they country should not even be asked.

  5. Gebre says:

    Enlightened piece. I thank the writter and the admin

  6. Atnafu says:

    The critic is hard but true.We are all in the diaspora one or the otherway spoiled and are in kind of “Musina”. Life is sweet and we love sweets.To be responsible and to be less selfish is not easy.So i admire those who prefer to stay home even they have the possibility to leave or those even return back home after testing the comfortable life of the west. These reflextions and some of the writers generalizations are offcourse only the surface values. The real causes might be complex which needs deep examination and research. May be some scholar in the field of social sciences can collect relevant empirical data as to the reason for the obvious lack of contribution of the Ethiopian diaspora to their country of origine.

  7. Bikila says:

    I really appreciate the genuine concern of this writer on some aspects of Ethiopian diaspora like stereotyping. But, at the same time he should have mentioned the positive contribution the diaspora is making in terms of skill and knowledge transfer and the more than $ 4 billion which the diaspora is sending in remittance to the country, annually.

    Moreover, 11% of the population in Ethiopia live by this remittance.
    I think it is the responsibility of each diaspora to be a voice to the voiceless of millions of Ethiopians back home.

    The Ethiopian government record on human rights and freedom of expression is apparent to the world and therefore no need to staging demonstration to get political assylum.The incumbent prime minister has himself admitted that a person is disconnected from reality in the country if she/she assumes that human rights is fully respected in Ethiopia.

    So we have to take time before rushing into blaming the diaspora.

    • teshome says:

      What is your source? Ethiopia is getting a 4 billion dollar remittance is not only a disinformation but also a lie.
      My friend unsourced information are technically a lie.


      According to a World Bank study,[11] Nigeria is by far the top remittance recipient in Africa, accounting for $10 billion in 2010, a slight increase over the previous year ($9.6 billion). Other top recipients include Sudan ($3.2 billion), Kenya ($1.8 billion), Senegal ($1.2 billion), South Africa ($1.0 billion), Uganda ($0.8 billion), Lesotho ($0.5 billion), Ethiopia ($387 million), Mali ($385 million), and Togo ($302 million). As a share of Gross Domestic Product, the top recipients in 2009 were: Lesotho (25%), Togo (10%), Cape Verde (9%), Guinea-Bissau (9%), Senegal (9%), Gambia (8%), Liberia (6%), Sudan (6%), Nigeria (6%), and Kenya (5%).[17]

  8. Gezaee says:

    The world is talking about great great ideas to change the way we live, but Ethiopians are chewing their tribal names? shame shame shame: Read the following please:


    • degefa says:


      You see,

      doing a long term research, or strategic thinking need at least mind peace. You can’t think of a small idea, not such the one you presented, when you are unable to feed your kids, when you see 100s of beggars surrounding your paths, people arbitrarily detained, you may also detained, even labeled as terrorist…and of when one of your brother, or friend suffer the kality death house. Your mind can’t allow you seeing these people know poor yesterday, become millionaire overnight, when you see the road inaugurated yesterday and costed us 10million started to crack in only week time…you can’t think what you said when etv tell you whole day and night lie, but you paid tax to these journalists….you can’t think what you said, when you see government allow ethnic cleansing, and you can’t think science when….

      my friend, it is not Ethiopians (bit it these of us at home, and these at diaspora) are unable to science (we have seen many extra doings of few Ethiopians), but what the brutal regime doing make you sick. EPRDF never liked you think strategically. they wish us only think temporary things such as the fake BPR (we spent all 5 years, and over 100,0000,000 birr to it) then we shelf-ed it and rushed to GTP….even without simple explanation of why we just abandoned BPR and why we did—-we keep doing same, while Sebhat and Azed loot as billions as possible. We just live and work to make them rich. That is all. We can’t loot, coz Ethiopia is our country. Sew segewen yeserekal? But that dosenot matter for AZEB, and for most of the tplf and OPDO.

      When you talk of labeling, i know mentioned tplf and OPDO, then you can label me as DEHDEG. But simply Ethiopian never affiliated your stupid politics.

      Then, my friend do what you need to do first. Never compare incomparable! Yu can’t bild a house when you donot have the materials. the saying goes…Hiduna enchet kuretu….kezanm beten seru.

      How can i get rest and sleep and think, when tplf officially told the Muslims during the whole 20 years, go and cut the throats of Christians?—but now they are in position to cut the throat of Bereket himself and he has no idea how to manage it this time—-too late….it has cost America billions and thousands of human power to catch Bin laden, coz they themselves trained him.

      It is not easy to manage the evil you fabricated, biased, and fueled for 20 years.

      My God save Ethiopia and her people, Christian and Muslims, but dissent Christians and dissent Muslims, also dissent Leaders, if there is one.

      • Gezaee says:

        Dear Degef,

        I agree with most of your opinion. But the cause is ignorance. People ignorant; you would not expect TPLF members to become so corrupt after living in caves for 17 years and betraying people who gave their lives for freedom. But I am out of this game.

  9. Adane says:

    Ths article is written by Dawit Kebede (the editor of this site) himself. Because he has a diaspora phobia. KKK

  10. bmw says:

    toxic diaspora, enemy of poor Ethiopia.
    they think only there refugee status . we have to expose them ,also some born in Ethiopia but their citizenship western or USA,they r not more Ethiopia.
    plz sent us their name and photo.we will put their pics in the church and mosques .market places . they r bands.

  11. Thorn says:

    First of all the name diaspora has been used by the tug government as another form of divide and rule. In alienating this group the existing ruling party able to discount any reasoned opposition from this group as immaterial. This group is denied it’s birth right by memorandum and ordered to buy its Ethiopian nationality from the existing ruling party for the sum of 500 previously and now 100 us now. The irony was the TPLF elite and its supporter’s were never requested such proof when they seize political power and turn our country upside down in many ways. Thus, criticizing the diaspora by this article is as hasty as requiring proof of nationality by imposing a fee to prove what you already are.

  12. Abegaz says:

    To me, the writer of this piece is largely ignorant. A medical doctor will not choose to be a cleaner if things at home are encouraging. During the king time no professional travelled abroad to stay. Why is this so now? The answer lies in here in those ethiopians that travelled in the past.

    Now you get 2000 birr and you are unable to feed yourself let alone have a family. Plus there is no political will. You decide to stay home if you can elect a government you want; under this condition there is hope to help your country and move her forward.Even crticizing the government leads arrest for life. This generation has even been robbed of its hope. Who in the right mind risks death crossing the red sea and travelling in the junggles of amazon and mexico if there is hope in Ethiopia. The cost of goods and services is as close as to the west while income is under unblievable bottom. Leading day day life is beyond the shoulders of my country men and women. Today poverty is at 99% of the population.People eat by turn in every household. Food was not a problem in old Ethiopia except drought time.

    God gave us a mind to think, please think rationally. Let us first restore hope to the nation and let us allow people to elect its leaders. There was free and fair election system during the king and the derg time to elect parlament representatives and kebele leaders. Let us at least restore that and restore hope to this nation, please. It will be one step forward in the right direction. How can in the 21st century we regress? Even the Derg and and the king laugh at us by our achievement after crying for so long for democracy. We cannot even elect a person of our choice to lead us at the kebele level. Oh shame!! cry the beloved country!!

  13. Mario says:

    The author of this article is no other person, but Dawit Kebede himself. Why he is telling us all this shit is pretty obvious. Actually woyane/TPLF affair with the diaspora is a love-hate kind of relationship for the following reasons:

    First the love affair:
    1. The diaspora is a source of remittance for woyane/TPLF. It is what is called “Lame bora” or a cow for milking. They never denied or lied to that.

    2. The diaspora is a source of bribe, pillaging and misappropriation when at home (Ethiopia) for all sorts of reasons. The description, “toxic diaspora” used by woyane/TPLF agents to denigrate the diaspora is partly a lie.

    3. The diaspora is a pre-text or propaganda means for woyane/TPLF to cause confusion and mistrust among the Ethiopian people and create collusion among people of all walks of life. Thus, the diaspora is accused of being anti-Ethiopia, anti-development, anti-this and anti-that to garner support locally and internationally.

    Now the hate bit

    1. Woyane/TPLF hate the diaspora because it has the means to expose the regime’s faults, misgivings, corruption, abuse etc, etc, both internationally and locally. It is a pain in the neck in many ways.

    2. The diaspora is a force that threatens woyane/TPLF power grip, both by peaceful and/or violent means. By the regime’s own admission, it is never imagined or perceived, but real.

    3. The diaspora has many sympathetic organizations and governments. That is diminishing the woyane/TPLF ability to dis/misinform the international community in a manner it fits them by the day.

    4. The diaspora is not a group of gullible people, but the best of the country and not that easy to threaten to submission and/or lie to convince in any manner. That is one hard luck of woyane/TPLF.

    The message to Taye ze Hawassa is:

    Woyane/TPLF and their agents hatred towards the diaspora has no match in any part of the world. That is why they intentionally politicize the diaspora to create mistrust, cause collision and division among people day in and day out. The outcome? To hang onto power as long as needed or wished.

    Taye ze Hawassa know that well and works hard towards that end.

    • ZeHawassa says:

      First of all, you are trying to hide yourself by giving an Italian name. The article is just a truth, it is a matter of accepting the truth or not. Just try to evaluate things by your own way and analysis. For me, Ethiopia is much much better than the so called Remittance. The article is asking to understand each other, to start critics from ourselves before we point to others, to respect each other, to learn how we can discuss on different ideas so that we find solutions…… I hope you will re-read it, so that you get something from the article. Wake up bro!

  14. Bikila says:

    The volume of remittance in Ethiopia according to the National Bank of Ethiopia report in the first six month of 2012 was at $1.76 billions outperforming export during the same period. Please also refer the Institute of African Economics Study(IAES) Working Paper No WP-A02-2011

    Remittance is an extremely important source of foreign exchange for Ethiopia, perhaps larger than the export earning of the country in its foreign exchange generation capacity. However, the industry is besieged by a number of problems. In this study we have administered structured questioners to six private banks operating in the industry; the only two public banks engaged in the remittance business, the only cooperative bank engaged in the business; and two remittances business firms which are currently in operation in the country and one informal sector operator. The result of our analysis shows that the volume of remittance in Ethiopia could be between US $ 2 to 4 billion per year (an average of about US$ 3 billion). This is about the size of Ethiopia’s total export and development aid combined.

  15. Garo says:

    Nothing good is being done for the large majority of the people who live in that country.I refuse to part of of tiny minority of the TPLF junta who is ruling the country at a gunpoint. Those who choose to invest in the country are putting their own interest before the interest of the people. This guy thinks eighty percent that is opposed to the TPLF is unpatriotic. What a rubbish.

  16. w .yilma says:

    Well done Taye! You characterized the Diaspora “Ethiopians” very clearly. Yes most of those who are barking like an old dog are not only corrupt, but also criminals. I said criminals because they stand against the interest of their country. Most of them betrayed their country, because most of them are working, and receiving financial and logistic support from our sworn enemies. They are sectarians because they preach hate against one specific ethnic group.They are naive and idiot, backward ignorant because they considered themselves as a number one Ethiopian. They simply define Ethiopia as their own, and deprived others right! It will never happened and the old system will never come again. wearing Ethiopian flag and standing against her interest are two different things. Only insane people do this. We must respect all and define Ethiopia as a place and home for all, not for the self proclaimed narrow minded and toxic “special Ethiopians”.
    I have a hope Ethiopia will rise and shining again. Because the youth have a potential to change the course of history. To make a positive change we need to change our thinking. we have very complex problems, but to solve these we need to adopt critical thinking, a venue to solve complex problems. This responsibility rest on the shoulder of the youth.
    Having said this we also have a hope. Not all Diaspora is barking like an old dog. The majority of Diaspora Ethiopians love their country no matter what differences they have with the current government. These groups stand for their country in time of need. They never betray their country like those on the minority side.
    Last we can change the course of history if the silent majority comes out of its shell. The more we become silent, the more minority Diaspora become dominant, and continue to damage the images of our beloved country.
    Let us stand up and start a new chapter by working together with our differences. We can make a better country if we mange to work together with our differences. This is the venue for democracy.
    Long Live Ethiopia

  17. Akalu says:

    all new generation Oromain’s & others… Jawar

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