Sociology Publications and Other Works

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January 2005


This article compares the essence and effects of Ethiopian and Sudanese state terrorism by focusing on the commonalities between the two states. These peripheral African states have used global and regional connections and state terrorism as political tools for creating and maintaining the confluence of identity, religion, and political power. Ethiopia primarily depends on the West, and Sudan on the Middle East, since Christianity and Islam are the dominant religions in these African states respectively. While the Ethiopian state was formed by the alliance of Abyssinian (Amhara-Tigray) colonialism and European imperialism, the Sudanese state was created by British colonialism known as the Anglo- Egyptian condominium. Massive social and cultural destruction and violence have produced and maintained these colonial political structures. These structures, in turn, have racialized identities by facilitating the processes of Abyssinianization and Christianization in Ethiopia, Arabization and Islamization in Sudan, and Africanization and marginaliza- tion of indigenous Africans in both states. Furthermore, each state has been involved in ethnonational cleansing, which has been disguised rhetorically as a move toward national self-determination and democracy. Consequently, the racialization and ethnicization of these states, external dependency, and domestic terrorism have prevented the implementa- tion of national self-determination and the construction of legitimate multinational democ- racies that could solve the political, social, cultural, and economic crises in Sudan and Ethiopia.

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