A UNIVERSITY AT WAR

A UNIVERSITY AT WAR
The Perilous Fate of Addis Ababa University
Ethiomedia
December 20, 2002

 

ADDIS ABABA (DEC 22) - News of the appointment of Prof. Andreas Eshete, founder of the pro-government Inter-Africa Group, has sparked a series of resignations by leading Ethiopian scholars, and the fate of the country's largest university remains uncertain. Latest resignations include:
Prof. Abubaker of the Medical Faculty
Prof. Afewerk, Dean of the Science Faculty
Prof. Mogessie Ashenafi,
and other scholars from Debre Zeit Veterinary Science, Building Technology and Business and Economics Departments of the university. The resignations are a show of defiance to a government which has targetted the University as an enemy camp during its 11 years of brutal rule.

Those who resigned last week are:

a) Prof. Eshetu Wochenko, Addis Ababa University president
b) Dr. Tetemke Mehari, vice academic president
c) Dr. Tesfaye Biru, business vice president
d) Prof. Yemane, School of Post-graduate Studies.

In 1993, the Meles regime launched its major attack on the university when it dismissed 43 prominent scholars and sparked angry protests within academic circles around the world. Visit the Addis Ababa University Support site. In April last year, over 40 university students were gunned down and thousands jailed over a mere demand of the respect of academic freedom on the now-shattered univeristy campus. Further details will continue.

During the last two weeks when the university faculty members were opposed to a government plan to introduce an infamous policy which on surface gives students the right to evaluate their respective instructors but in practice is designed to pit students against faculty members, Prof. Andreas came under fire for acting as a government agent whose job is to threaten those who fail to toe government lines.

Earlier in 1993, Andreas drew public scorn when he went on national radio and denied any mistreatment of tens of thousands of Ethiopians deported from break-away Eritrea. In 1996, Andreas was reportedly a witness when TPLF legendary army commander Hayalom Araia was gunned down by an Eritrean assassin in a private luxury hotel in Addis Ababa. Andrea's presence at the murder site still remains a mystery, though the public suspects the army general was slain in Meles Zenawi-Isaias Afwerki murder-plot. Hayalom was openly and aggressively opposed to Meles' proposal that the Ethiopian army should support Eritrean military during the latter's 1995 invasion of Yemeni-ruled Hanish Islands on the Red Sea.

The fall of Addis Ababa University under a government functionary caps the ruling clique's 11-year-old attack on the academic environment in the country. A university at war is a nation at war.


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