Ethiopia growing to resemble Eritrea

By Kjetil Tronvoll

What do we know about Eritrea’s influence over current Ethiopian ideological, political, economic, and security policies? Recent statements by Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed and his senior political advisors may make you wonder.

Ideologically, Ethiopia has adopted the Eritrean model of “enforced territorial nationalism” – all citizens must subscribe and comply to the national symbols and dictates emanating from the “king” or the central authority.

If not, they are considered enemies of the state.

Politically, Ethiopia has adopted the Eritrean perverse “self-reliance” model. 

PNGing or deporting humanitarian and UN agencies and construing the US and the West as an “enemy” of their sovereignty and development.

Economically, Ethiopia has (again) succumbed to Eritrea’s manipulative involvement. The Ethiopian Defence Forces are draining the foreign currency reserves due to their mercenary activities in western Tigray; black-market foreign exchange rate manipulation; etc.

Security wise, the Eritrean military is killing Ethiopian citizens with impunity and occupying Ethiopian territory with the consent of Abiy Ahmed. Eritrean intelligence services are operating as a ‘deep state’ across the country.

If the Ethiopian government and Prime Minister Abiy are as influenced by Eritrea and President Isaias Afwerki as it appear, then the US, UN and EU must re-think their strategies towards mitigating the Ethiopian civil war, and factor in Asmara more persuasively.

The political destinies of Abiy Ahmed and Isaias Afwerki – and their respective political projects in Ethiopia and Eritrea – are intertwined.

They are likely to endure or to fall together.


  1. Ethiopia resembling Eritrea comes as no surprise. Both countries are ruled from Asmara and Ethiopia in effect became a colony of Eritrea on 4 November 2020. That is the truth of the matter.

    I fear further destruction of Ethiopia in the hands of Isaias is yet to come unless of course the international community acts soon rather than blow hot air from the sidelines.

  2. The article titled ” Ethiopia growing to resemble Eritrea ” is good to read. It challenges Ethiopians to think about their future and their country. As per the author, political journey of Abiy is to establish a one-man-ruling system like in Eritrea and to reign Ethiopia centrally with a fist-hand by abolishing the self determination right of nations and nationalities in the country. Abiy is working day and night to implement the politics of one nation, one language, one religion and culture in Ethiopia. I am sure this is not what the Oromo, Somali, Afar, Sidama, Wolayta, Agew, Qimant, Gumuz etc people want. So this is the right time all nations and nationalities stand united against Abiy’s rule and forces allied with him. If Ethiopia is wanted to exist, it should then be only and only by the will of its people, nations and nationalities, but not by a tyrant who dreams to be Isaias Afowrki of Eritrea or Jean-Bédel Bokassa of Central Africa.

    Victory to the people, nations and nationalities of Ethiopia

  3. What do we expect from the international community? China and Russia will not side with the nations in Ethiopia as they need a despotic Ethiopian government as a client. The US and Europe won’t act on behalf of poor African nations. They are not worried about genocide or war crimes against poor third world nations so they do what is natural to them —blow hot air from the sidelines. Just enough to silence their constituents at home who follow the current developments in those poor nations and raise the issues.

    The only solution is that the oppressed nations in the empire form a united front and make an end to imperial Ethiopia. United we have a chance to fight for our rights. United we stand. We shall break the long standing imperial Ethiopia policy of “Divide and Rule.”

  4. the only solution is the international community to act against isaias Afeworki soon than wait. cost of inaction is greater than cost action. Isaias Afeworki is a village bully who should be removed by force for peace in the region.

  5. Those of you who advocate for the removal of national governments & their regimes by outsiders, you better think twice. Look around the world and see if you can find a single country whose regime was ousted by force with the help of outsiders has ever regained stability.

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