Another example of Meles’s ill thought policies. The thought process goes like this …
Problem: Need to increase government revenues and earn foreign currency.
Solution: lets privatize land [to foreigners who will not someday become economically powerful and vie for political power], increase output, increase exports, generate tax revenues and foreign currency.
Process: clear the locals who now live on the land, suppress dissent, tell the world its for their own good or that they are anti-peace.
The result is conflict and misery for locals and a failed policy. Just look at what happened on Al Amoudi’s farm in Gambella. The government will probably take this as a call for further militarization rather than taking a step back and evaluating whether there were problems with the policy in the first place. The resistance is a sign that local interests aren’t being considered, and not, as EPRDF likes to argue, that people are anti-peace or terror-loving or anti-development. The Ogaden experience should have been a lesson. People felt disenfranchised, some took action against oil workers, the result was war, displacement, misery for locals but it also stopped the explration. No body wins.