logo Tigrai Online

Ethnicity and Freedom of Movement in Ethiopia

By Teodros Kiros (Ph.D)
Tigrai Online, May 18, 2019

Ethnicity and Freedom of Movement in Ethiopia
Ethnicity and Freedom of Movement in Ethiopia


Ethiopians are a historical people, known for their hospitality and gentleness, unless attacked, and deeply conscious of their historicity as founders of a world civilization, namely the great Abyssinia, also known as Ethiopia, of Cushitic and Semitic roots in one seamless whole.

A long line of Greek thinkers beginning with the pre-Socrates to the great Aristotle have praised ancient Ethiopians for their endowments as tolerant and impeccably gentle, loving and heroic.  We too should be proud of this legacy of our historicity.

The argument

Recently I argued that Ethiopia is a mosaic of ethnicities and that the challenge for any leader is developing the diplomatic art of organizing Ethiopian political life by a constitutionally mandated measure of harmony among the multiplicity of ethnic interests, passions and aspirations not by playing ethnics against one another but enabling them to live harmoniously and peacefully- free of suspicion.

I now add another argument.  The harmonious coordination of ethnics does not require that we organize in divisive political spaces.  This might have served the interests of the previous regime to control political space, so that it could lead shrewdly.  This unnecessary move is now undemocratic and unnecessary.  Ethiopians must exercise their citizen rights to move in and out of their ethnic dwelling places, when they want to, and run for any office they wish, as residents of a given region.


Ethiopianity is precisely the democratic right which empowers Ethiopian ethnics to choose any space within society to live in and flourish by contributing to the prosperity of an Ethiopian Common Good, once it is articulated by the existing transitional regime.

All Ethiopians must be allowed freedom of movement without restrictions, which is the ultimate expression of a Citizen’s right.  We need to amend the constitution to include the freedom of movement as an inalienable right that regimes cannot restrict. The recent displacement of millions of Ethiopians can be fixed by a single amendment which addresses it directly and bravely.  This is exactly what the present Prime Minister should to avoid a national tragedy.

The only qualification is that when an Amhara wants to run for a public office as a resident of Tigrai, she must speak the appropriate language so that she could effectively communicate with the public.  This is a universal demand.  For example, an Ethiopian who resides in the US and wants to run for an office, is expected to be fluent in English. This is a reasonable and practical demand, so is the requirement that one is fluent in the relevant language to run for any office in Ethiopia.



  1. We must immediately correct the confusion on the ground that the imperative of mastering a language to blend and socialize with the lingua franca of a place is not necessarily discriminatory, other than an effective devise which facilitates living with others who speak different languages and have different values. Respect demands that we speak their language and accommodate them. They have the same rights as Ethiopians as we do.  
  2. The regimes in power must make concerted efforts to educate the public about their rights, duties and obligations. Every Ethiopian must respect every other Ethiopian and must also fulfill her duties and obligations. Rights presuppose duties and obligations and duties and obligations likewise must necessarily lead to respect. This practice must first be exhibited by the elites before it descends to the citizens. 
  3. The Ethiopian state with the leadership of the Prime Minister must also play the role of the political educator by example and living practice, both of which we are now missing at the helms of power.
  4. The leader must first and foremost be an educator of those whom he leads.  The leader, must lead by educating and his political performances must be guided by emotional intelligence, moral compass mastery of issues, and fairly voicing the aspirations of all the ethnics.

Ethiopia is awaiting for a leader who can genuinely embody an Ethiopian Common Good.


Abiy Ahmed Ali preparing to invade Afar Regional State in Ethiopia

Ethiopia is a mosaic of Ethnicities

Getachew Assefa a revered hero of our generation

Ethiopian Garment Workers, Paid Lowest Wages in Apparel Industry

Ethiopia is led by pseudo leaders who are neither charismatic nor competent, hiding behind sweet but empty words

The adverse impacts of Mekelle’s human and vehicle population growth and solutions

Professor Asmerom Legesse: hate spewing exponent of tyrannical regime

Professor Asmerom Legesse: hate spewing exponent of tyrannical regime

Abiy Ahmed reshuffled his cabinet yet again as Ethiopia slides to deep crisis

The Devastating tragedy of the conflict displaced Gedeo communities (IDPs)

Plan B for Team Lemma and Precautions for EPRDF on the planned Monday meeting

Can Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed heal the Ailing Ethiopian Economy?

The ongoing change and reforms in Ethiopia have nothing to do with Tigrai and TPLF

Humanitarian Crises of the Internally Displaced People (IDPs) in Ethiopia

In Defense of King Abiy Ahmed Ali the fake King

In Defense of King Abiy Ahmed Ali the fake King

Abiy Ahmed Ali and his masters are changing tactics towards Tigrai

Pakistani delegation led by Ambassador Asghar Ali is visiting Tigrai state in northern Ethiopia

Tigrai state should stay away from toxic Ethiopian politics

The mole working for foreign countries is destroying Ethiopia

Calamitous odyssey of Dr Abiy Ahmed approaching its climax

Tigrai state responds to Amhara regional state accusations

Fasting: Beyond the consumption of animal products

Incapacitated Caretaker Ethiopian Government

Wag the dog coming to the Amhara Region of Ethiopia

A German delegation led by Ambassador Brita Wagner is visiting Tigrai state

Mekelle city unjust and unsustainable urban expansion has to be tackled before it is too late

Public protests erupt in Hawassa by the Sidama people in southern Ethiopia

Eternal Woyane with NO Apology! In Memory of Lekatit 11

Who is more racist, whites or Ethiopians?

Norwegian Minister of International Development Dag-Inge Ulstein is visiting Tigrai state

Statue of Menlik in Addis Ababa gets ints cousin this time it is statue of Haileselassie in the capital of Ethiopia

Ethiopia is deteriorating and the Ethiopian government is losing control