Echat

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Echat (Amharic acronym for 'Ethiopian Oppressed People's Revolutionary Struggle') was a communist organization in Ethiopia.[1] The organization was active between 1975 and 1978.[2] The organization emerged from a split away from the All-Ethiopian Socialist Movement (Meison).[1] Echat was initially allied with the Derg military junta, but later turned against it.[3]

Echat was led by Baro Tumsa.[4] Tesfaye Habiso was the secretary of Echat.[5]

The organization consisted of groups representing different oppressed nationalities.[6] Echat portrayed itself as a pan-Ethiopian movement.[3] Its membership was largely Oromo, it found its following amongst urban Oromo population.[4]

As of 1976 Echat held two of the 15 seats in the 'Politburo' of the Provisional Office for Mass Organizational Affairs (POMOA).[7][8] On February 26, 1977 Echat, Meison and three other organizations founded the Union of Ethiopian Marxist-Leninist Organizations.[9][10]

Echat took a critical stand towards the 'Red Terror' campaign of Mengistu. It had also opposed the banning of Meison.[4] The regime on its behalf perceived Echat as a hotbed of Southern ethnic nationalism.[1] Mengistu accused Echat of creating divisions between ethnic groups. Mengistu claimed that some Echat members had cooperated with Somalia against Ethiopian interests.[7] Echat was also accused of siding with Meison, of having links with the Oromo Liberation Front and of promoting narrow nationalism. Baro Tumsa and other key Echat leaders went underground in late 1977.[4] During this period leading members of Echat were hunted down and jailed.[7] Echat was expelled from the Union of Ethiopian Marxist-Leninist Organizations in March 1978, for supposed differences over political and ideological line.[9][11] The Derg crushed Echat, along with the other factions of the Union of Ethiopian Marxist-Leninist Organizations.[12]

After breaking with the Derg, many of the Echat cadres joined the Oromo Liberation Front.[3]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c Clapham Christopher. Transformation and Continuity in Revolutionary Ethiopia. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1988. p. 55
  2. ^ Clapham Christopher. Transformation and Continuity in Revolutionary Ethiopia. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1988. p. xvi
  3. ^ a b c Salih, M. A. Mohamed, and John Markakis. Ethnicity and the State in Eastern Africa. Uppsala: Nordic Africa Institute (Nordiska Afrikainstitutet), 1998. p. 101
  4. ^ a b c d Eide, Oeyvind. Revolution and Religion in Ethiopia: Growth and Persecution of the Mekane Yesus Church, 1974-85. Oxford: James Currey, 2000. pp. 101-102
  5. ^ Ethiopian review, Volume 4. 1994. p. 50
  6. ^ Holcomb, Bonnie K., and Sisai Ibssa. The Invention of Ethiopia. Trenton, NJ: Red Sea Press, 1990. p. 374
  7. ^ a b c Clapham Christopher. Transformation and Continuity in Revolutionary Ethiopia. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1988. p. 67-68
  8. ^ Mammo, Tirfe. The Paradox of Africa's Poverty: The Role of Indigenous Knowledge, Traditional Practices and Local Institutions: the Case of Ethiopia. Lawrenceville, NJ [u.a.]: Red Sea Press, 1999. p. 137
  9. ^ a b Harjinder Singh. Agricultural Problems in Ethiopia. Delhi, India: Gian Pub. House, 1987. p. 187
  10. ^ Uhlig, Siegbert. Encyclopaedia Aethiopica 3 He - N. Wiesbaden: Harrassowitz, 2007. 668
  11. ^ World Marxist review, Volume 27, Edition 7–12. p. 65
  12. ^ Milkias, Paulos. Haile Selassie, Western Education, and Political Revolution in Ethiopia. Youngstown, N.Y.: Cambria Press, 2006. p. 266