Monday, September 5, 2011

Ethiopian National and Foreign Policy: A Critique

The aim of this paper is to critique the Foreign Affairs and National Security Policy and Strategy (FANSPS) of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia (FDRE). The thrust of the critique is double-pronged: first, against a modest theoretical exposition of the concept of ‘human security’, it shall attempt to expose a caesura between the policy and praxis and make out a case for a paradigm shift in Ethiopia’s approach to national security. It contends that the central purpose of Ethiopia's foreign and security policy has remained the same, in spite of the shift in orientation as well as clich├ęs and shibboleths. The crux of its contention is that a change in discourse has not brought about a change in essence. Still building defense capability takes precedence over ensuring human security in today’s Ethiopia. Non-military aspects of security have been relegated to a secondary place whilst human security should have been made to constitute the basis of the FANSPS. Second, against a conceptual elucidation of ‘inclusive security’, which treated as an aspect of human security, the critique hopes to bring out the hitherto neglect of the critical role that women could play in peace-making, peace-building, and security and call for a shift along this line. By way of recommendations, I suggest that the Government of Ethiopia should revise its FANSPS in such a manner as to provide a robust human security framework and live up to its promises. Nor can it afford to continue to disregard the promises offered by inclusive security, both as a matter of recognition and implementation of women’s roles and rights in peace and security, as it after all is duty bound by virtue of UN Security Council Resolution 1325(UNSC 1325). In this regard, it should, as a preliminary step, draw up a workable national action plan for the implementation of UNSC 1325.