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Mengistu Haile Mariam interview on Eritrea Ethiopia Conflict

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Mengistu Haile Mariam  Interview on Eritrea Ethiopia Conflict the resumption of commercial flights between Ethiopia and Eritrea on Wednesday marks the latest step in a peace process that in just six weeks has drawn a line under a bitter conflict.

An Ethiopian Airlines plane departed for Addis Ababa.Here is a recap of the decades-long standoff between the Horn of Africa neighbors and their fast-track reconciliation.

In 1962 Ethiopia's last emperor, Haile Selassie, proclaims the annexation of Eritrea, abolishing its autonomous status and effectively making it a province.Eritrea launches a war for independence that lasts nearly 30 years.

The promulgation of the so-called amended Hige Mengist of 1955 was implemented primarily to pave the way for federation with Eritrea and ultimate annexation. Consequently, incorporating aspects of Eritrea’s much more liberal Constitution was mandatory. Hence, the enumeration of an elaborate list of the rights of the Ethiopian populace was necessary despite being constrained with the provision “in accordance with the law” that was rarely enacted.  

The Derg took the unprecedented measure of publicly consulting the peoples with the view of incorporating their wishes prior to the promulgation of its Hige Mengist. However, this effort was marred by a couple of factors. First, because of the regime’s overbearing posture, members of society were not free enough to express their frank opinion. They very likely carefully discerned the preferences of the regime first before echoing them back to it. Second, there were no competing political parties to articulate alternative ideas from which the populace could choose. Nevertheless, the effort to consult the population by itself was a step in the right direction.

It was mandatory for Ethiopia’s current Hige Mengist to recognize and uphold diverse forms of pluralism to an unprecedented extent due to both domestic and global developments at the time of its promulgation. First, domestically at the time, a number of armed liberation fronts were pressing for the right to self-determination of their self-ascribed constituency.

Responding to this demand played a pivotal role in structuring the Ethiopian state as the federation of nations. Consequently, there was no choice but to recognize that the Ethiopian Nation was constituted of multiple nations. This is one version of pluralism that the EPRDF leaders had to recognize and try to uphold at the time they captured central power.

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