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10/19/2018 Ethiopia (International Christian Concern) – Despite positive changes instituted by the new Prime Minister in Ethiopia, Dr. Abiy Ahmed Ali, political and ethnic tensions continue to grow. PM Ahmed believes that democracy is the key to changing Africa and Ethiopia specifically. In 1974, the Mengistu Haile Mariam’s Marxist-Leninist regime began after they overthrew the monarchy. This began a brutal dictatorship that engrained socialism into much of Ethiopian society.

They are still dealing with these ideals today. Ethiopia only has state owned banks, and has no stock exchange. They have state owned telecommunications and limit freedoms such as press and protest. Reporters Without Borders ranks Ethiopia as number 150 out of 180 in the world for its massive freedoms of press violations. In 2009, a terrorism law took effect, which they have used to illegally detain and hold journalists for extended periods of time without charges.

Despite these massive problems, PM Ahmed believes that with democracy, they can become a strong and prosperous nation. He said that they “not just give the concept [of democracy] expression, but practical purpose” in order to really change their situation. He has started to institute these changes. In his first six months of office, he has ended the decades old war with Eritrea, relieved tensions with Egypt, and is working on fixing election issues in Ethiopia. We hope to see him continue this trend to openness and democracy, so that all people in Ethiopia can freely express their opinions, including their faith.

For interviews with Nathan Johnson, ICC’s Regional Manager, please contact Olivia Miller, Communications Coordinator: [email protected]