Ethiopia: Historians Long Suffers From Divisive Political System

Reform sparks light at end of tunnel

ADDIS ABABA- The deep division on the basis of political orientation that had been compounded by institutionalized false narratives aiming at partitioning the peoples of Ethiopia along ethnic lines has long barred historians from advancing the history of Ethiopia.

In an exclusive interview with The Ethiopian Herald, history teacher and author Taye Bogale hinted that the teaching of history has passed through bout of various ordeals basically originating from the past ruling clique, not to mention the historians themselves.

"Some historians just glorify the past while others produce narratives on the bases of oppressor/oppressed (Marxist -Leninist), and the rest wallow in ethno-nationalist sentiments."

To make matters worse, the past ruling clique deliberately frustrated genuine historians from advancing and generating knowledge on the history of Ethiopia; hence, most of them preferred safe-sides retreating from historical facts in their entirety.

To him, academic freedom at higher education institutions had long been stifled and the situation was tough when it came to history departments. "The lion's share of the problem had to do with the ruling clique."

"Let historians deal with history per the cardinal objectives of recording and teaching history."

Asked as to the current reform undertakings, Taye said the task is putting in place the foundations of democracy and taking the country through the path of development, a matter that cannot be achieved overnight. "We have seen the light at the end of the tunnel with a profound change happening on the ground despite some limitations."

He also cited that what he called a pseudo-federalism of the past has now been replaced with the implementation of the right kind of federalism that promotes self-rule. The coming of Sidama state as the 10th member of the federation is vivid witness to this, according to him.

Previously marginalized people of Afar, Gambella, Somali and the like have now become actors in the affairs of their country, Ethiopia, he underlined.

Under the previous cliques, EPRDF members and affiliate parties were nothing other than watchdogs or liason officers a TPLF-led administration, he said.

More From: Ethiopian Herald

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