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Alemayehu G. Mariam
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Blog Entries by Alemayehu G. Mariam

Ethiopia: Broken Contract, Broken Faith, Broken Country

Posted March 22, 2011 | 03/22/11 02:35 PM ET

Over the past week, Meles Zenawi has been waxing eloquent on contract and leasehold law. Asked by a local journalist whether the winds of change blowing in North Africa could make a detour to Ethiopia, he said that was impossible because he and his party have a five-year "contract" with...

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Thugtatorship: The Highest Stage of African Dictatorship

Posted February 27, 2011 | 02/27/11 05:47 PM ET

Thugocracy in Africa

If democracy is government of the people, by the people and for the people, a thugocracy is a government of thieves, for thieves, by thieves. Simply stated, a thugtatorship is rule by a gang of thieves and robbers (thugs) in designer suits. It is becoming crystal clear...

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Out of Touch in the Horn of Africa?

Posted February 20, 2011 | 02/20/11 10:00 PM ET

The Berlin Conference of 2009

In 1884, the Berlin Conference was convened by the European imperial powers to carve out colonial territories in Africa. It was called the "Scramble for Africa".

In 2009, another Berlin Conference was convened by a high level group of diplomats (referring to themselves as...

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Africa's Youths United Can Never be Defeated

Posted February 14, 2011 | 02/14/11 12:03 AM ET

Mubarak, Irhal!

A specter is haunting Africa and the Middle East - the specter of an awesome army of youths on the move, in revolt, marching for freedom, chanting for democracy and dying for human rights and human dignity. Millions of youths are standing up and demanding dictators to stand...

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A Declaration in Defense of Human Rights in Ethiopia

Posted February 7, 2011 | 02/07/11 04:05 AM ET

John F. Kennedy said: "Those who make peaceful change impossible, make a violent revolution inevitable."

The English colonial government made peaceful change impossible in the American colonies leading to the American Revolution in 1776, an event memorialized in the American Declaration of Independence and celebrated annually on July 4.

On...

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After the Fall of African Dictatorships

Posted January 31, 2011 | 01/31/11 12:25 PM ET

After the Fall from the Wall

What happens to Africa after the mud walls of dictatorship come tumbling down and the palaces of illusion behind those walls vanish? Will Africa be like Humpty Dumpty who "had a great fall" and could not be put back together by "all the king's...

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As African Tyrants Fall

Posted January 24, 2011 | 01/24/11 09:43 AM ET

The Invincible Dictators

Mohandas Karmachand Gandhi (The Mahatma or Great Soul) is today revered as a historical figure who fought against colonialism, racism and injustice. But he was also one of the greatest modern revolutionary political thinkers and moral theorists. While Nicolo Machiavelli taught tyrants how to acquire power and...

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Referendum for Sudan, Requiem for Africa

Posted January 19, 2011 | 01/19/11 12:25 PM ET

Sudan's Best and Worst of Times

It is the best of times in the Sudan. It is the worst of times in the Sudan. It is the happiest day in the Sudan. It is the saddest day in the Sudan. It is referendum for the Sudan. It is requiem for...

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Corporations Are Persons, But Women Are Not?

Posted January 11, 2011 | 01/11/11 11:10 AM ET

In Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission (2010), the corporation was elevated to the highest level of democratic citizenship and endowed with the right to free speech under the First Amendment as the equal of human beings (arguably including women).

U.S. Supreme Court Associate Justice Antonin Scalia joined the majority...

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Looking for Bob Marley and Fela Kuti

Posted January 10, 2011 | 01/10/11 05:55 PM ET

Music as a Weapon of Protest

It is said that "music is a universal language." Using a few notes and inspiring lyrics, musicians and song writers have waged relentless battles against the perpetrators of tyranny, oppression, inequality and injustice. Music is a divine language that can pierce through the stony...

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Why Do Things Always Fall Apart in Africa?

Posted January 3, 2011 | 01/03/11 11:21 AM ET

Ivory Coast, December 2010 -- Laurent Gbagbo says he won the presidential election. The Independent Ivorian Election Commission (CEI) said former prime minister Alassane Ouattara is the winner by a nine-point margin. The African Union, the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), the United Nations, the United States, the...

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Ethiopian Groundhog Year 2010

Posted December 26, 2010 | 12/26/10 07:16 PM ET

Groundhog Year in Prison Nation

In December 2008, I wrote a weekly column entitled "Groundhog Year in Prison Nation" summarizing some of my weekly columns for that year. I used the "groundhog year" analogy following the title of the motion picture "Groundhog Day" in which a hapless television weatherman is...

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Ethiopia: "So What!"

Posted December 19, 2010 | 12/19/10 08:52 PM ET

"So what! Soo what!! Sooo whaaat!!!" was the repetitive mantra of dictator Meles Zenawi recently in response to pesky questions lobbed at him in parliament about his so-called Growth and Transformation Plan [1] (GTP), which will presumably make Ethiopia self-sufficient in food production in the next five years and expand...

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Ethiopia: The Anuak's Forgotten Genocide

Posted December 11, 2010 | 12/11/10 02:20 AM ET

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Anuak Refugees (photo by Doug McGill)

A Conversation With Obang Metho[1]

Note: A report by the Harvard Law School Human Rights Program on the Anuak concluded[2]:"From December 2004 to at least January 2006, the ENDF (Ethiopian National Defense Forces) attacked...

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The "Fantastic Somalia Job"

Posted December 5, 2010 | 12/05/10 03:00 PM ET

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The Tangled Web of Lies

"Oh what a tangled web we weave, when first we practice to deceive," said Sir Walter Scott, the English novelist and poet. It looks like the U.S. of A is really in a pickle tangled in a web...

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Reflections on Thanksgiving in America

Posted November 29, 2010 | 11/29/10 01:06 AM ET

In 1620, one hundred and two prospective settlers left England and set sail for over two months to come to the New World. They landed in what is now Plymouth, Massachusetts. Nearly one-third of them were religious dissenters escaping persecution. A group of English investors had provided the voyagers transportation,...

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Ethiopia: Talking Trash, Speaking Truth

Posted November 22, 2010 | 11/22/10 12:19 AM ET

The View From the Sewers

Looking up from the sewers, everything must look like garbage!

Last week, dictator Meles Zenawi ripped the final election report of the 2010 European Union Election Observer Mission to Ethiopia (EU EOM) as "trash that deserves to be thrown in the...

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Ethiopia: Profiles in Journalistic Courage

Posted November 14, 2010 | 11/14/10 09:46 PM ET

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Honor Thy Independent Journalists

I often write about the trials and tribulations of Ethiopia's independent journalists, sometimes in tones of lamentation[1], other times in wistful philosophical reflection[2]. I have always defended the constitutional and human rights of Ethiopian citizens "to seek, receive...

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Ethiopia: Remember the Slaughter of November (2005)!

Posted November 6, 2010 | 11/06/10 11:04 PM ET

Cruel November

November is a cruel month. Bleak, woeful, and grim is the month of November in the melancholy verse of Thomas Hood:

No warmth, no cheerfulness, no healthful ease,
No comfortable feel in any member--
No shade, no shine, no butterflies, no bees,
No fruits,...

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Ethiopia: Education Unbanned!

Posted November 1, 2010 | 11/01/10 12:35 AM ET

Distance Learning in Ethiopia Un-Banned?

Last week, it was quietly announced that the official wholesale ban on distance learning educational programs in Ethiopia has been lifted. In August 2010, the ban was imposed out of the blue "because of quality concerns". According to one report[1], following six-weeks of "negotiations" between...

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