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Ethiopia's civil society seeks to carve its identity ahead of election

Ethiopia's civil actors are key to mobilizing and ensuring that the electoral process reaches the remotest places. But they face hurdles in a country still shaped by years of feeble democracy and top-down approaches.

On May 30, thousands gathered in Addis Ababa to protest US interference in Ethiopia's internal affairs. In reality, the demonstration was at the very least promoted by the ruling Prosperity Party (PP). Some analysts viewed it as a campaign rally rather than a spontaneous citizen initiative. Many protests in Ethiopia described as purely citizen-driven have to be considered with caution.

Although timid civil society initiatives emerge, truly independent citizen movements and structures have yet to establish themselves within the Ethiopian political context.


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