Identity in Ethiopia

Video Transcript

“Since establishment of the post-Communist government in Ethiopia in ’91, the same government is still in power now. The provinces, traditional provinces of Ethiopia were reorganized into semi-autonomous states, sort of the way India is divided up; by the predominant ethnicity in each region. So the eastern part of Ethiopia has the official name of The Somali National State. The predominant ethic group in that area is Somali, who are Ethiopian citizens.

”1896, when Italy maintained control over Eritrea, the Italians tried to expand into Ethiopia, and the Ethiopian Army met the Italians and utterly destroyed them. This was a humiliation to Italy, who considered itself modern and civilized, and they were defeated by what they considered these savages and barbarians. It took a while to come to terms, but as part of the reparations of war, Italy gave up a large part of its Somali colony to Ethiopia. So that’s now the eastern part of Ethiopia. And of course the Somali, ethnic Somali people who lived there were never consulted in this transaction. So they went to bed one night Somalis, they woke up the next day and they’re told, ‘Now you’re Ethiopian subjects.’”

In this video, an Ethiopian expert gives additional information about Ethiopia and Somalia.