Ethiopia’s First Female Supreme Court Chief Hopes to Rebuild Trust


As part of sweeping reforms, Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed appointed Meaza Ashenafi to be the first woman to lead the country’s Supreme Court. This charismatic lawyer has built a career advocating for women. VOA’S Salem Solomon has this profile.


  1. I never stopped to be so proud of our so capable countrywomen such as Maaza bint Ashenafi. She inherited a mess left behind by the lazy bum men preceding her. They left mountains of open cases that have been growing mold in the cabinets. Those who were responsible for making the court system efficient were busy knocking down khamr and bowing to their ruffian bosses for more than 26 years. Way you go our daughter!!! Way you go!!! I wouldn’t not be surprised if all those misogynists over there try to make you look bad at your job. My family and I will have you in our prayers so you will be successful in your blessed endeavor. May The Good Lord Guide You In Doing The Right Thing For The Justice Deprived Citizens of That Glorious Nation!!!! Insha’Allah!!!

    • Ittu Aba Farda,

      Good to wish your best to W/ro Meaza Ashenafi. However, is there a change on the ground? No. Is it too early to blame her for the rampant injustices in the country. May be. Look at the number of people being picked up from the streets or their normal day-to-day activities and jailed. The police illegally asks for a 28 days of investigation and the courts keep quite. What did the PM say a year ago? We do not jail before investigation. W/ro Meaza Ashenafi keeps quite. the PM keeps quite. What about the hundreds of people in the Southern and Eastern part of the country who are jailed simply for being suspected of contributing money for the legally established political party Amhara National Movement and ASRAT MEDIA?

      Thousands of AMHARAS are crying for justice in the present day Ethiopia but W/ro Meaza is silent.

  2. Ittu Aba Farda,

    You and your family can pray a million times for Maaza Ashenafi’s success. Nothing changes the truth that she does not behave as a Chief Justice of the Supreme Court. Every page I click on the net under her name shows me that she acts as a third world celebrity stealing the limelight while the judiciary is in shambles. Look reports on how the police, prosecutory and judges are handling recent mass arrests of journalists, National Movement of Amara members and supporters and people who allegedly particiapated in the so-called coup attempt. As the saying goes, “bad habit doies hard”. Guys good at doing bad things in the past and allowed to stay in the system are back with vengeance. And the Chief Justice is not worried about the trend.

    The first thing the Maaza Ashenafi should do if she wants to see a functioning criminal justice system is to demand the creation of independent prosecution office. A remark on this issue is here: “What Ethiopia needs is an independent prosecution”
    t-prosecution/) Without independent prosection, there is no independent criminal justice system. This is particularly so in our country.

  3. she may have been working to change the draconian law that was designed to serve they weyane looters and human-right abusers, but she is not doing anything substantial to stop the human carnage that is taking place now. The law as it is now can be used to protect people who are uprooted from their residence place because of tribal politics. she could have held responsible the authorities who were in position to protect civilian. She could have disbanded the police who are not up to the job. She may be a great woman advocate, but the position she is holding requires her to be law and order enforcer . I don’t think she has done that. This a job evaluation not misogynist comment .

  4. Farda is constantly supporting the mass arrest and torture in the current day ethiopia. Perhaps someobody promised to give him a certain political power. Her claims he will pray for the oppressers . Does his god want the suffering and mass torture ? Perhaps he worship the god of war and destruction .

    funny citizen shorwded with academic profile

  5. You Two Dear Old Countrymen meseret and Billy Negn:

    First of all what you said about me is so wrong and a sin. You must be ashamed of yourself for aggrouping up and harping on what I said about this extremely capable woman of ours Meaza bint Ashanefi. That is how you male chauvinists react when you come upon an uppity and extremely successful woman among us. In laymen terms what she is telling you all is you cannot shelter and protect someone who beat up prisoners, who planned and execute a system of torture on anyone he/she did not like or thought anti his repressive regime. She is trying to instill on every stubborn ruffian out there that you should realize that in a working democratic system the federal government is and should be respected in awe. Let me ask you this. Which is more feared by criminals here in the USA? State or Federal charges? You got it! The Feds, right? They will come down on you like a wall of bricks!!! But that is a no, no to bigots running like rabid dogs in every region in the old country. They are still gripped with this fantasy of yanking away a territory from their noble neighbors to call it their territory. I tell you what!!! I have told this to your stubbornly bigoted leaders for the last 4 decades. You will never, ever be able to found your fiefdom Republic of this or that. It is much easier to assume that the hell will freeze. Write that down, quote me on that until the cows come home and until your last breath on this good earth.

    If you are one of those who sit idle and dream all day that you will be able to kiss and make up with our good neighbors of Eritrea to ‘re-found’ the lost ‘Shangri-la’ used to be called ‘Axum’, all I can say is keep dreaming. Our Eritrean neighbors are more pragmatic than you ever will be. Above all Al-Toweel had lost his taste for you a long time ago. He would rather have you for a quick breakfast if he ever has the chance. As I told your friends before, someone who tried to bring back a lost ’empire’ had ended up strung up lifeless and upside down at Piazzale Loreto.

    Let me repeat myself. You and your missionary sugar drunk leaders will never, ever be able to carve out a territory to call it their own personal vassal republic, be it Oromia, Amhara, Sidamo or whatever!!! Hello!!! Someone upstairs?!!!!

  6. Sad to say that this web site censors and throws comments into a watse basket even if the comment breaks no law or offends any kind of morality or ethics. A couple of days ago my comment appeared like the ones you see above. It had some errors and re-sent a corrected version of the same comment. The one that already appeared was removed and the corrested one I sent is not published. I think censorship curtails exchange of ideas which makes the practice bad.

    My comment suggested that Wro. Meaza Ashenafi, as officer of the law should have remained within the bounds of the law. Rather than declaring war on Tigray, she should have talked about legally holding TPLF and Tigray rulers responsible for obstruction of justice or/and contempt of court because they provided protection fugitives from appearing in court to answer charges for serious crimes. This is what I meant to remain within the bounds of the law.

    I’m calling the web administrator to lift its censorship and publish my corrected comment. There is something to learn from it.

  7. Dear Genuinely Concerned Countryman/Woman Obbo Billy negn:
    First of all, May The Almighty Our Creator’s Blessings Come To You and Your Family. We are of the same blood and flesh of those glorious people.
    By no means am I implying that Meaza bint Ashenafe should be untouchable. In fact she should be counseled when she erred and where it is necessary. I think she would tell us so as a well educated person of letters in her craft, law.
    I understand your frustration when we see accused torturers and murderers of citizens in extra-judicial setting are hiding in the some joints of the old country and thumbing their noses at justice. But I see the situation and protection they have been afforded has presented a predicament where it should be handled with a dose of patience and ingenuity. It would not be wise to start bloodshed in pursuit of one or ten former henchmen. Let’s face it. Those demons are still card carrying members of their ‘front’ and their front still enjoys an overwhelming support of the citizens of the region. The way I see it now such majority support is not going to diminish in the near future. The improprieties leveled against their fellow citizens who used to live in other regions but now rendered refugees(displaced) has been adding fuel to the anger in the average resident of that region. There are tens of thousands of them who lost everything because bigots in others regions had mercilessly chased them out. Such heinous crimes have been perpetrated against Tigryans, Amharas, Oromos, Somalis and many others. Bigots have had field days for the last 3 years. Such crimes beget searing anger on the victims and their fellow citizens. Who will blame them if some of such victims lose their sense belonging and loyalty to the current union?
    We should always bear in mind that many of these ‘liberation’ fronts were founded for noble cause. The people in their regions were marginalized and forgotten including the Amharas. But all of the fronts were high jacked by wise alecks, connivers, bigoted and ruffian individuals during the years after they were founded. Such is the history of every liberation front. If you walk in hungry in every village in Tigray, Oromia, Amhara or any other region the common man/woman there will break the last bread they have with you. But their leaders will not. That was why I have been decrying when I see commentators target a front as a whole instead going after the individuals who control them. The more we bedevil the ‘TPLF or Woyane’ the more will stick together because those demonic leaders(former and still committed commies, I may add) use that to create an environment of fear and pending victimization. I am sure you will recall the fear inducing allegation of the coming of Radio Rwanda(Radio Télévision Libre des Mille Collines (RTLM)’ to the Land of Sheba by the late PM. They still cite that. With every Tigrayan killed, maimed or displaced the goons would quip with ‘I told you so’.
    So Meaza bint Ashenafi is in a rock and hard place on this one. But she has been making her intentions known. That they cannot keep eluding justice. The other understanding she may have is not all the crimes are to be blamed on one front only. All four fronts that made up the EPRDF should be held accountable for what went on in that glorious country since 1991. I am sure you will recall what the then PM and president of Oromia told the security forces during the outbreak of protest in 2016. They had told them not to show an iota of mercy to the protesters. Both resigned after they found that the protest was not just a village talk but a fearsome tsunami. I also remember a story in the news when one of the leaders of the Amhara region crying uncontrollably when he paid a visit to a town where scores of young people were mowed down like a harvest of corn in front of a combine. I heard that killers were skilled sharpshooters highly trained to kill foreign invaders from distant high rises and elevated places. He was there crying rivers. Those killers were none other than locally bred soldiers. So what is happening to these show-no-mercy instructors and crocodile tears crybabies? Were they even summoned to at least explain? No. The time is so precarious to do just that. We should also not forget the fact that every member of the EPRDF leader was an active member during those dark days. They were partying together and having the time of their lifetime while human activists such Obbo Eskinder, Bekele Gerba and many others like them were languishing in jail. They were knocking imported pricey foreign khamr and putting the best fillet mignon on their dinner table when mothers were wailing for their murdered, disappeared without a trace and jailed children. But this bint Ashenafi was not part of that. Now those party animals have gone reformers which an extremely welcome news. They broke it and they MUST fix it. If not, their behind will be grass. It is as blunt as that. The genie has come out of the bottle. It ain’t gonna be ruling the old days. In concluding H.E Meaza is not in a position to send a militia to arrest those former officials accused of serious crimes against humanity. She must be understood and left alone on that one.
    In the meantime, I would like to thank you profusely to conduct such a much needed conversation in a civil manner. You show living true to the centuries old tradition of glorious people. I bet you peace!!!

  8. I think the dear of this esteemed website which I consider our common waterhole may be having storage or connection issues. Sometimes I get warnings of potential virus and it goes away. That could be the delay or the need to post comments more than once before it shows up. Other than that they have been doing a heck of job for affording us a platform without discrimination so we can have sensible(civil) conversations. Kudos!!!

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