Friction Increases in Ethiopia Due to Gov’t Measures

Addis Ababa, Jun 14 (Prensa Latina) Political frictions increase today within the ruling coalition Ethiopian People’s Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF), with senior officials criticizing ”fundamental flaws” in political and economic decisions made during the last month.
The Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF), a member of EPRFD, fears that the model of ‘state of development’ hitherto implemented, on the basis of greater control by the State, is being replaced by ‘neoliberal’ regulations.

In turn, they question the decision to fully accept the Algiers peace agreement of December 2000, signed with archrival Eritrea, including negotiations on the border town of Badme, currently controlled by Addis Ababa but awarded to Asmara in the aforementioned agreement.

Badme belongs at the moment to Tigray, governed by TPLF, and the favorable position to yield the city caused some protests among the population.

A dispute over the issue led to a bloody two-year war between 1998 and 2000, which killed some 70,000 people on both sides.

Since then, the two countries are immersed in constant tension along the common border zone, punctuated occasionally with sporadic clashes on a small scale.

In turn, the Executive Committee of EPRFD chose to extend the mixed ownership or total privatization of state enterprises, such as railway projects, sugar development, industrial parks, hotels and other manufacturing industries.

Although some observers see it as a necessary measure to sustain growth, others warn about the convenience of being careful, so as not to lose the economic independence that has always characterized this nation of the so-called African Horn.

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