Residents of Addis Ababa city are angry after the Ethiopian government used the Oromo name “Finfine” to label a massive new ship purchased to transport the country’s exports. The government media broadcasted the purchase of nine new cargo ships and it used the regional capital city names to label the vessels.
However, the controversy began after the government used the city’s Oromo version name “Finfine” to label the ship instead of using the city’s famous Amharic language name “Addis Ababa.”
According to ESLSE, there are no ships named after “Addis Ababa” in Amharic. The African Union (AU) capital Addis Ababa is only 19% ethnic Oromo and 47% ethnic Amhara but nearly the whole population speaks Amharic language. Originally settled first by ethnic Gurage people in the 9th century, Addis Ababa(Finfine) today is only 16% Gurage.
Ethiopian Shipping & Logistics Services Enterprise (ESLSE) purchased the nine vessels from Huanghai Shipbuilding Company worth $300 million US dollars.
According to ESLSE, the old “Lion of Judah” ship label named after the Ethiopian monarch has also been disbanded. Previously, the EPRDF ruling party sparked controversy after it outlawed the production and sales of Ethiopian flags that had the Lion of judah embelm. Some businesses and shop owners were imprisoned for selling the old Ethiopian flag with a lion picture inside it. Analysts say the Tigrayan dominated EPRDF ruling party uses similar tactics to spark ethnic disputes, in order to divide and rule the country.
The vessel Finfine (ETFN) has a Gross tonnage capacity of 21,024-gt and it was built in 2013