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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:The great purge and ideological paradox in contemporary Ethiopian politics
Author:Milkias, PaulosISNI
Periodical:Horn of Africa
Geographic term:Ethiopia
Subjects:political ideologies
political conditions
political conflicts
Tigray People's Liberation Front
Abstract:Since the war between Ethiopia and Eritrea ended in May 2000, a Tigrayan ultra-nationalist faction of the Ethiopian regime has opposed Prime Minister Meles Zenawi of the Tigray People's Liberation Front (TPLF) every step of the way. However, in 2001 the Prime Minister made a high-level purge, which not only relieved the dissenters of their official functions but also sent some of them to gaol. Seemingly, this ideological difference and policy conflict suddenly erupted on the world stage, but it is not a new phenomenon. It is in the tradition of the TPLF that took over government in Addis Ababa in 1991, and the Maoist and later Enver Hoxaist ideological bent that guided it from its inception. In the conflict, Meles Zenawi has taken the bold step of appearing to follow two lines at the same time - one capitalist, the other Marxist-Leninist. He dons a freewheeling capitalist garb as a palliative for the West as well as for Ethiopia's beleaguered entrepreneurs, but is incorrigibly Marxist-Leninist at heart. By employing several variables that look at the communist vs. capitalist paradigm, party-owned vs. private enterprise, free press, transparency, democracy and civic groups, the role of the opposition and corruption or 'rotten Bonapartism', which has lately become Meles' 'bÍte noire', this essay provides an explanation for the Ethiopian Prime Minister's attempt to engage in two diametrically opposed discourses during the most recent scramble for power in Mekele and Addis Ababa. Notes, ref. [ASC Leiden abstract]