1. Wolkite University
• Optimisms and cautions for a democratic
political transition in Ethiopia: Abiy’s
Prosperity Party versus TPLF as a Showcase
• PI- Wassihun G/egziabher
• Dr. Robel Fantu
• Bekalu Wachiso
2. Project Overview
• The political polarization between the
prosperity party of the central government and
the TPLF regime of the regional government
has been passing through various stages of
transactional, conflictual, and deadly
internationalization of domestic fire exchanges.
• Both parties splited officially when the PP, a
unified federal party, emerged out of the
3. • Since then, the antagonstic relations between
the two has multiple faces and colors.
• The ideological accusations, federalist vs
unitary tendencies, between the two
fragmented the state apparatus, and regional
associations of the federal polity.
4. • This intensification of polarization between
the two particularly expressed in the party to
party ideological warfare between the Amhara
region and Tigray region.
• Accusations from the TPLF side:
• Abrogation of constitutional structures
• Unitarist tendency of the PM
• The monarchical system was in the making.
• The identity of the Ethinic groups in danger.
5. • It was let us save the state,
• on the contrast, the PP, accused the TPLF of
• Plotting insecurity and disturbing other
• Conducting illegitimate elections.
• Looting massive resources over the 27 years.
6. • Then, these diversions and polarizations have
been intensifying in many forms.
• Finally, war broke out and the possibility of
peaceful dialogues, calls for discussions, and
accountability from both sides differed.
• Then the intensification began to have an
• The horn affair became fragile and
7. • Promises: Savingt eh country from further
dangers, appraising the causes of such
anomalies, reversing conflictual and deadly
• The study aimed at appraising the
phenomenon and establishing a sound
structural opportunities and drawing feasible
mechanisms of transforming conflict to peace
8. • This study attempts to situate transition to a
new political governance in the context of
time, resistance culture, political history, and
nationalism-the key factors.
• There are hectic nationalism and power
• However, there are also pregnant democratic
possibilities that need to be mapped and
9. • When the nationally defined public spaces are
difficult to specify at this moment, the paths
have to be crafted and stakeholders have to
10. • Specific Objectives
• To examine the drivers and nature of the current
political transition by taking the relationship
between PP and TPLF as a showcase.
• To examine the challenges that are holding the
transition back from the rail of democracy by
taking the relations of PP and d TPLF as a
• To investigate the prospects of the current
political transition under Abiy’s leadership.
• To set forth possible mechanisms of managing
the current political transition to drive it towards
11. • Progress summary
• 1. Interviews
• Interview sessions held with strict
• Interview sessions focused.
• . Why polarizations rolled despite attempts by
many actors to reverse?
• What key factors drove the polarizations?
• Which key events drove the polarization to
12. Key preliminary findings
• Cycle of Provocation
• Fighting has been going on since November 2020,
destabilizing the populous country in the Horn of
Africa, leaving thousands of people dead with
350,000 others living in famine conditions.
• Eritrean soldiers are also fighting in Tigray for the
Ethiopian the government. All sides have been
accused of atrocities.
• A power struggle, an election and a push for
political reform are among several factors that led
to the crisis.
13. • The conflict started on 4 November, when
Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed ordered
a military offensive against regional forces in
• The ethnic federalism under the oversight of
the TPLF regime finally came under new
officials who were under the TPLF leaders in
the EPRDF hirearchy.
14. • The power reshuffling y the new leaders of PP
created severe criticism from the TPLF regime.
• Constitutional narrations contradictory.
• Historical interpretations contradictory.
• Hence, the attitude and knowledge on
building democracy clashed between the two.
15. • The rift grew when the central government
suspended funding for Tigray and cut ties with it
in October. At the time, Tigray's administration
said this amounted to a "declaration of war".
• Tensions increased, and the eventual catalyst was
when Tigrayan forces were accused of attacking
army bases to steal weapons.
• The tit-for-tat has been fueled throughout by
dangerous rhetoric. While Abiy has accused
Tigrayan “traitors” of undermining the state and
fomenting unrest, the TPLF believes it has been
singled out by a heavy-handed “dictator” intent
on bringing “the people of Tigray to their knees.”
16. • Mr Abiy said Tigray had crossed a "red line".
• "The federal government is therefore forced
into a military confrontation," he said.
17. Complicated feelings?
• Within PP, territorial claims and disputes
source of internal debate within PP.
• The parallel process of dispute between the
TPL and ADP another aspect of the PP versus
• To that end, the following broad elements
could be proposed by the African Union — as
a baseline for negotiations — with support
from the United Nations, from neighbors such
as Sudan, and from the European Union, the
United States, the Gulf states, and China.
20. • 1. Cessation of hostilities: First, the fighting
must stop; the modalities of a cessation of
hostilities — including provisions for
redeployment, control of the military’s
northern command, and a monitoring
mechanism to prevent flare-ups — could be
determined in consultation with AU officials
and independent security experts.
21. 2. Mutual acknowledgment of legitimacy:
Second, the Tigrayan regional government
could acknowledge the legitimacy of Prime
Minister Abiy’s government, in a transitional
capacity, until the convening of national
elections — date to-be-determined — next
22. • Dialogue and elections — terms and timing:
Ethiopian elites must renew a political
dialogue now, ahead of national elections; it
should expand on existing efforts and involve
not only Abiy and the Tigrayans, and leaders
of all ten federal states, but Ethiopians across
the political and ideological spectrum.
23. • What remains to be studied?
• 1. FGDs- with some key stakeholders both
national and international actors.
• 2. Logical analysis of the implications of the
• 3. Drawing more sound structural solutions
and institutional establishments to transform
the country to a new phase.