Ethiopian News: Contraband Items Caught In Ethiopia
The third installment of Addis Wog (meaning new discourse), a periodical discourse platform organized by the Office of the Prime Minister, attracted various scholars as well as big shot government officials this week, including former Oromia and Amhara regional presidents and the newly appointed defense and foreign ministers, Lemma Megerssa and Gedu Andargachew, influential figures in all-out political reform process started in Ethiopia a year ago.
The front-row seat was reserved for other ministers including Sileshi Bekele (PhD), Minister of Water and Energy, Adanech Abebe, Minister of Revenues, Getahun Negash, Minister of Innovation and Higher Education, Tilaye Gete, Minister of Education, and Umer Hussein, Minister of Agriculture. Minister of Peace Muferyat Kamil and Chief Justice Meaza Ashenafi were among the panelists.
The latest Addis Wog, which was held on May 10, 2019 on the theme “The Rule of Law in Democratic Transition,” entertained a series of discussions on national issues.
The discussants of the panel, which lasted a little more than three and half hours, have underscored that, currently, Ethiopia is making the transition from ‘rule by law’ to ‘rule of law’.
While introducing the subject of the discussion, Yonas Tesfa (PhD), the moderator and an international law and development expert, explained that, in ‘rule by law’, the law is used to elongate the government’s stay in power while putting citizens’ rights, freedoms and livelihoods at secondary level. The ‘rule of law,’ in contrast, stands for citizen’s rights and freedoms and it is respected both by the general public and the government.
“With its all positive achievements, what has been prevalent before one year was ‘rule by law’, and with all its drawbacks, what has been done is to bring about the ‘rule of law’,” Yonas pointed out.
One of the panelists, Dagnachew Assefa (PhD), a philosophy professor at Addis Ababa University, asserted that, as literatures indicate, politics and monopoly of violence are inseparable. Hence, the problems that the country is facing now emanates from lack of understanding of the nature of the government, which is its territorial integrity and monopoly of violence.
According to Dagnachew, the purpose of nationalism is either to feel belongingness, look for one’s home, or entertain the feeling of victimization. While the first two are positive attributes to nationalism, the third one remains to be challenging and a source of conflicts in the country.