Ethiopian government increasingly unstable, security more dangerous says Security Intelligence

Government supported by USA,  at war with its own people,

Government supported by USA, at war with its own people,

Ethiopia | Assessment of government stability amid ongoing protests

Security Intelligence, Sub-Saharan Africa

The Ethiopian government is looking increasingly unstable, and the security environment in Ethiopia is looking more dangerous. Opposition protests over the past few months have been larger and more frequent than any in Ethiopia since the end of the civil war. The ethnic nature of these protest movements means that a mutiny within the police or security forces is more likely than in recent years.

We also warn that higher impact scenarios, like a change of prime minister, or a coup, are both credible scenarios in the medium to long term. This is because, other than these demonstrations, there are underlying indications that the government’s position is increasingly precarious. The ruling Ethiopian People’s Revolutionary Democratic Front’s (EPRDF) grip on power appears to have been weakening in recent years, and the country’s economy has unresolved structural problems.

Despite restrictions on local and international media operations in Ethiopia, social media users have reported on the protests. Attendance at weekly protests in cities and towns countrywide over the past few months has tended to vary, but we have seen images of rallies with what appears to be several thousand protesters in Addis Ababa, Dessie, Mekele and Gomar. The scale of such public opposition to the government is unprecedented.

Analysis of protests

The motivations behind the recent protests have varied widely between regions of the country and between organising groups. But a common theme has been opposition to the government. In Oromia, protests were originally against a plan to expand Addis Ababa into surrounding areas but have turned into a broader anti-government movement. In Amhara and Tigray, protests have been against the purported mistreatment of the Amhara ethnic group. We have also seen images on social media of Muslim groups protesting outside mosques in the past month, reportedly against government interference in religious affairs.

The government has blamed the protests on ‘people with terror links’ and overseas activists who they claim are trying to destabilise the country. This approach has in some cases, exacerbated the risk of protests. Earlier this year, government heavy-handedness in response to protests in Oromia prompted other groups to join the demonstrations. So far, the various recent protest movements appear to have remained organisationally distinct. But they do seem to have become less single-issue oriented and converged on a more broadly anti-government stance.

Protest outlook

Although it is unclear how these protests will play out in Ethiopia, we think that there are several credible scenarios in the coming months that point to increasing risks in the country. If the protests persist at their current size and frequency, the EPRDF may attempt to replace the current prime minister, Hailemariam Desalegn. Such a move would probably be an attempt by the ruling party to appease protesters, but would be likely to result in little tangible political change.

We also think it is credible that the security forces might mutiny, or the army may attempt a coup. This is particularly likely if the current protests escalate into a more widespread and sustained anti-government movement – a development similar to the popular protests and subsequent coup in Burkina Faso last year. An early warning sign of this would be the government ordering local military units to violently suppress demonstrations related to ethnic grievances.

The nine regional states of Ethiopia are in part divided along ethnic lines, and the government claims that the security forces in each region are predominantly made up of members of that ethnic group. Given that the protests in Amhara, Oromia and Tigray appear to be at least partly motivated by perceived ethnic-biased issues, a mutiny, in which the police or soldiers refuse to follow orders to use heavy handed tactics against protesters of the same ethnic group, is a credible scenario in our view.

Despite this risk, we anticipate that the Ethiopian government will use more forceful tactics to suppress the protests, particularly if they continue to spread, grow and intensify. The use of heavy handed tactics by the security forces is already commonplace. Human Rights Watch claims that more than 400 people have been killed at demonstrations by the security forces since late 2015. This response suggests that there is a high level of concern in government about the effect the protests will have on its stability.

Political outlook

We have seen several indications that the EPRDF has been losing public support in recent years, especially since Hailemariam became prime minister in 2012. He is widely seen as less charismatic than his predecessor, and anecdotal reports suggest that he is generally perceived by the population as having failed to move to a more democratic and inclusive style of government.

One of Hailemariam’s central claims to legitimacy is his government’s handling of the economy. Over the past decade, the Ethiopian economy has grown by an average of 11.7% per year, according to the World Bank. But the country’s GDP per capita is still amongst the lowest in the world, and it appears that the high growth rate is not benefiting the growing youth population.

None of this points to an improving outlook. The US government estimates that 71% of the population is younger than 30. But Ethiopian labour ministry statistics from 2015 show that 25% of under 30s in Ethiopia are either under- or unemployed. Such high rates of joblessness significantly increase the risk that protests movements will become more frequent and intense in the coming months.

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Posted by on October 3, 2016. Filed under FEATURED. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

12 Responses to Ethiopian government increasingly unstable, security more dangerous says Security Intelligence

  1. sime

    October 4, 2016 at 7:05 AM

    Any five years old can write a better analysis than this crap.

  2. Asfaha Hadera

    October 4, 2016 at 11:38 AM

    This unexpected wave of protes in Ethiopia, I believe is supported and sponsors Arab countries who are Ethiopia’s traditional enemies. Egypt is working very hard to try to distrupt the Dam. This will never happen. Traitors who call themselves democratic opposition group, are not politically mature. If you don’t sale your countries to enemies to be a leader! Ethiopia has changed for good and that positive social change is irriversable.

  3. Liku

    October 4, 2016 at 1:10 PM

    ኢትዮጽይ ታበጽህ ኣደውሐ ሀበ እግዚአብሄር!

  4. Elias bekele tessema

    October 4, 2016 at 2:44 PM

    መንግሰት እየውሰደ ያለውን የዘር ማጥፋት እርምጃውን ካልተቆጠብ ማንኛውም ኢትዮጵያዊ መነሳቱ ምንም ማይጠራጥር ነው ይህ የመኖር አለመኖር ጥያቄ ነው በነጻነት የመኖር መብት ይኑረው መንግሰት እየጠበቀ ያለው መሳሪያ እጄላይ ነው በማለት ብቻ ትልቅ ዘሮች ላይ እየውሰደ ያለው የትግራይን የብላይነት ለማርጋገጅጥ እንደሆነ አገር ያወቀው ነው ጠቅላይ ሚንሰቴር ብሎ እራሱን የሚጠራው ሀይለማርያም ደሰልኝ ወንበር ከመጠበቅ ያለፈ ሰልጣን እንደሌለው ሁሉም ኢትዮጵያዊ ያቀዋል ነገር ግን እራሱን ከዚ ነገሮች ነጻ ለማውጣት መመከር ያልቻለ አሸንጉሊት ሰለሆነ ከተጠያቂነት እንደማይድን አረጋግጥለታለው የኢትዮጵያ ህዝብ በጥይት የሚቆም እንዳልሆነ ከታሪኩ ያቁታል ወያኔ ሰልጣን ከያዘ ጀምሮ የኢትዮጵያን ህዝቦች ብሄር ከብሄር እያጋጨ25አመታትን ቢያሰቅጥርም አውን ግን ይህ የፖልቲካ አመለካከት በትግራይ ህዝብ ልጆች ላይ ብቻ በመንጸባርቁ እንሱም ከመንግሰት ግን ቆመው የሚሞተው ሰው ሌባና ዘራፊ ከማለት ያላለፈ ሰም እይሰጡ አብረውና ደግፈውት አብረውት እየሰሩ ይገኛሉ ሰለዚ ከድርጊታቸው ካተቆጠቡ አላፊነታቸውን መውሰድ አለባቸው ኢትዮጵያ ነጻ ትውጣለች ግን ወያኔ ላንዴና መጨርሻጊዜ ይወድማል ነጻነት እሰክንቀዳጅ ትግላችን ይቀጥላል ኢትዮጵያ ለዘላለም ትኑር

  5. Dalol

    October 4, 2016 at 3:50 PM

    This is the truth no one can suppress the fact forever.The real truth is coming out those who maimed our people will face justice on earth and hell on the here after.

  6. ZION

    October 4, 2016 at 4:15 PM

    Ethiopia will prevail amidst external and internal mmersinaries/terrorists backed by Egypt and Eritrea.

  7. ilyas omer

    October 4, 2016 at 5:32 PM

    We need justice

  8. Abdurahman Suleiman

    October 5, 2016 at 12:03 AM

    The Woyaneians and their apologists are still using the same lies and deceptions they are objecting on Ethiopia and Ethiopians for the last quarter of the century,They are still defending the undefendable Iron rule of TPLF dictatorship.Ttryinghey are trying to defend the rotten rejected and paralyzed TPLF Ethnic-Aparthied system and it’s looting Wing,EFFROT,Endowment Fund For the Rehabilitation of Tigrai

  9. tekola Tesfaye

    October 5, 2016 at 5:26 AM

    are u blaming Egypt for TPLF genocide. look your self in the mirror u WOYANE BANDA

  10. tekola Tesfaye

    October 5, 2016 at 5:40 AM

    TPLF created more damage to the country every single day. The dam which you are boosting about will be built in three of four fold better than what TPLF is trying to do once the country is democratic. First we need to get-rid of TPLF fascist/Apartheid from our country, then we built the country with out TPLF. Down! , Down! WOYANE.

  11. Danil Endal

    October 6, 2016 at 3:53 PM

    Our no one enemy is Tigre ! No question

  12. Mizan

    October 7, 2016 at 2:02 AM

    Tigre is not our enemy. It is TPLF and its tribal ideology. From its inception, TPLF is a tribal, mafia style organization. They claim to be heroes but they are traditional ‘shiftas’. It is ‘shifta’ that kills innocent people and loot a country. TPLF is a looter and barbaric organization. Supporting or opposing TPLF is a moral issue. It is not just political. Anyone that stands with TPLF has a serious moral contradiction. It is just like supporting ISIS or other terrorist groups.