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Did Ethnic Federalism Save Ethiopia?

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02/16/11

  11:46:52 pm, by admin, 867 words  
Categories: Ethiopia, Samuel Gebru

Did Ethnic Federalism Save Ethiopia?

Did Ethnic Federalism Save Ethiopia?

By: Samuel M. Gebru

February 16, 2011

1991 is an important year in modern Ethiopian history. The year served as a monumental change for Ethiopia, from military rule to a transitional government that pledged to bring about social democracy. What saved Ethiopia in 1991 was ethnic federalism. But is it helping Ethiopia today? What lessons can our African neighbors learn from our experience? Can Ethiopia improve its federal framework?

Ethiopia is largely regarded to as an influential state actor in regional and continental politics. With Addis Ababa serving as host of the African Union and one of the top diplomatic capitals of the world, Ethiopia yields influence beyond its borders and the African continent. After almost two decades of a brutal military rule, Ethiopia reopened its borders when Colonel Mengistu Hailemariam’s government crumbled down in 1991.

By mid-1991, transitional President and leader of the northern rebels that toppled the military government, Meles Zenawi, promised sweeping reforms geared at keeping Ethiopia intact. Despite its shortcomings, the Transitional Federal Government (TFG) did achieve some degree of representation from various ethnic, political and intellectual movements.

During this tense year, warring ethnic groups began voicing strong calls for secession from the Ethiopian union. Interestingly, Ethiopia remains one of the oldest polities in the world. The new political arrangement that the TFG adopted in its 1995 Constitution under the “Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia” was a parliamentary republic based on ethnic federalism. New borders were drawn up, dividing Ethiopia into nine states and two federally chartered cities. The TFG’s reasoning in choosing nine states was based off their method of figuring out what ethno-linguistic group could be grouped with others. The grouping took the term of “nations, nationalities and peoples.”

In a January 7, 2011 Reuters article, “Federalism in Ethiopia helps maintain unity,” by Aaron Maasho, Ethiopian Prime Minister Meles Zenawi, who has been leading the government since 1995 as Prime Minister and since 1991 as transitional President, stated that Ethiopia’s “balkanization” was avoided by ethnic federalism. The Prime Minister is correct in stating that Ethiopia was saved through ethnic federalism, granting autonomy to the “nations, nationalities and peoples.”

However, to what extent Ethiopia was “saved” remains the question. Critics would argue that the right to secession as provided in Article 39 Section 1 does more harm than good. The line reads: “Every Nation, Nationality and People in Ethiopia has an unconditional right to self-determination, including the right to secession.” Critics also argue that while the ethnic federalism framework in theory would greatly benefit Ethiopia, it is misused often by the authoritarian nature of the Ethiopian government. The most interesting claim is that the ruling party, the Ethiopian People’s Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF), purposefully included Section 1 of Article 39 to ensure Eritrea’s legal secession in 1993. This claim is practically, and perhaps even correctly, viewed as an open secret.

Ethnic federalism has indeed saved Ethiopia from destruction particularly as the Oromo Liberation Front (OLF) and the Ogaden National Liberation Front (ONLF) both continue to wage an armed secessionist movement in southern and southeastern Ethiopia. It allows previously marginalized societies the right to self-determination and self-governance; to speak their own language, to learn their own ethnic and cultural history.

For ethnic federalism to continue in Ethiopia today, political, social, economic and intellectual leaders need to come together and engage in conversations with both each other and the Ethiopian citizenry as to how to go about devising a new strategy forward. Conversations about ethnicity, identity, nationality and patriotism also need to be held in the villages of Ethiopia’s rural regions, where 85% of the population resides; in the public and private institutions of higher learning, students must be challenged to confront the issues facing their society daily, from poverty to democracy. If the current system continues, it won’t be surprising to see stronger opposition against Article 39 and perhaps the reinforcement of existing secessionist groups.

Allowing the “nations, nationalities and peoples” their rights to self-determination will continue to help Ethiopia move forward so as long as the practice of ethnic federalism is kept in line with its original intentions of promoting democracy and not nepotism or confusion over secession. Ethiopia’s neighbors, perhaps most prominently the Republic of Sudan, could and can still learn from its experiment with ethnic federalism. Had the Arab-dominated government of Sudan respected the ethnic identity and political, economic and social rights of the people of Southern Sudan, the world could have seen very different results from the recently held referendum.

Improving Ethiopia’s federal framework will undoubtedly take time before all sides of the political and social discourse can be “convinced” of mature and thoughtful dialogue for the country’s long-term development. It is evident that having comprehensive dialogues should be in the best interest of both the ruling party and the opposition parties. Ultimately, the growth of democracy, the promotion of education and equitable and sustainable economic development is what will continue to “save” Ethiopia.

History has shown that when Ethiopians view each other as partners, they are able to achieve wonders. As the Ethiopian proverb goes, “A partner in the business will not put an obstacle to it.”


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44 comments

Comment from: Shewarega [Visitor]
Shewarega

I tried very hard to grasp the core of your message, but I was unable to. You have jumped from one side to the other, mostly tip toeing to the official line of the current regime.

My dear, nobody, no idea, no regime, no blessing from any one from any direction of the world saved Ethiopia at any time past or present. What saved her then, and what will save her in the future is the unbelievable sacrifice of her true sons and daughters. Ethiopia was not saved in 1991, rather she was delivered to her worst enemies by her never dying haters in London and Washington. Her hater Meles, can not be her saviour. He is the leader of The Marxist Leninist League of Tigray, a secessionist mish mash of haters and looters. The only reason he let Ethiopia stay together, one he knew under his thumb she poses no threat to his mother (or you can say mother’s) country Eritrea, two that he can hold the rest of Ethiopians hostage and loot and steal at will. One day, when that inevitable day arrives, you will see how he feels about Ethiopia. The one who hates her most, can not, and will not be her saviour. Having said that, it is also very interesting how you avoided the core issue of what millions cry for, the provincial rights. If you have a Somali zone, a Gambella zone, an Amara zone, where is Tigrae zone Samuel? Can you show me on the map? That by itself shows how the whole thing is a farce. If you hate being called Tigrae, why you rush so fast to call others Amara? No Tigrayan might call himslef Tigrae, rather Tegaru, Tigraway, as we all have learnt in here, but I want you to know, no Gondarae, or Gojjamae, or Welloyae will ever call himslef Amara. Stop one farmer in Dembia and ask him what he is. I bet 10,000 he will say Gondarae or begemedrae. What about the elephant in the house, Shewa, with twenty million souls in it. You guys come with this hizboche menamenoch Stalin’s crap, and shove it down the throat of Ethiopians. Those in the periphery, who have been marginalized in the past might see it as a way out, and even that will not be for long. The center has spat it out from day one. What you need it not gulecha mekeyayer, it is a complete change, an all out conference of sound minds from all sides of the nation to sit down together and look at all problems in clear and sound mind. If Somalis in Ogaden want an ethnic zone, fine, who am I to oppose that, but I will not let that happen in my home Shewa. This one size fits all thing will not work. Wake up my friend.

02/17/11 @ 00:18
Comment from: obsa [Visitor]
obsa

I partially agree with this article. Ethiopias ethnic federalism saved ethiopia from disentegration.Article 39 is one of the best articles in the constitution. It garantees oppresses nationalities for seceesion. The current political crisis in Ethiopia has its roots in the regim of Minilik II and Hailesillassie. DERG and EPRDF tried to narrow the gap between the oppressed southern and central people of Ethiopia and the oppressing Amhara neftegnas.
What the current regim didnot solve is economic problems. The economy of the country is increasing but the largest share goes to very few percent of the population (the tigrean rulers).

02/17/11 @ 00:40
Comment from: Wendata [Visitor]
Wendata

Well said Sam!

Ethnic Federalism is the best solution for Ethiopia. Even though it is at its earliers stage, given time, and wise leadership, it will blossom into an economic integration among the 9 States.

——
- COMPROMISE is the key to the future of Ethiopia’s politics! -

02/17/11 @ 01:11
Comment from: Sodo [Visitor]
Sodo

This is not federalism, it is the take over and subjugation of Ethiopia by CGARAM Woyanes.

02/17/11 @ 01:20
Comment from: yirgacheffee [Visitor]
yirgacheffee

I LIKE IT!

02/17/11 @ 01:51
Comment from: Miownunique [Visitor]
Miownunique

Gaining democracy by ethnic line is not the way of democracy. It is a way for future anarchy and instability. What this government does is use that to keep control of power while everyone else is fighting with inferiority complexes. History has show it does not work. It sometimes leads to genocide. And the main people to blame are the western powers. From 74 - now.

02/17/11 @ 02:33
Comment from: Lewhat [Visitor]  
Lewhat

Who is Weyanie?

02/17/11 @ 02:41
Comment from: M.J Tyson [Visitor]
M.J Tyson

well said Sammy The idea of Ethiopiawinet has a different meaning and even beginning for all Ethiopians and so the country has to transform and adopt a system that accommodate everyone,ethnic federalism dose that very well.

Shewa now belongs to Oromos Tigrinans,Amharas,somalies etc and all live in peace.

02/17/11 @ 03:38
Comment from: Imperial Body Guard [Visitor]
Imperial Body Guard

The sham constitution of ethnic federalism I and I burn with fire out of existence without any apology.
“The Federation instituted between the people of Eritrea and the rest of Ethiopia has tended to slow the speed of the economic and social progress of the entire nation, including Eritrea.
The Federation has increasingly been manipulated as a ready-made tool through which the enemies of Ethiopian and Eritrean progress and solidarity have endeavoured to further their evil designs.
The Federation contains the inherent danger of creating misunderstandings among people who have, for centuries past, experienced no problems in living together.
The Federation, by duplicating administrative apparatuses, has occasioned waste of both human and material resources which could have been otherwise utilized for development purposes.
One is accordingly fully justified in concluding that the unfortunate consequences of this particular form of federation and the needs of the age, and not any conscious effort on the part of the people concerned, have brought about its demise.
Any responsible person who has deliberated upon and examined carefully the unfortunate consequences flowing from the federal system under consideration will feel no surprise that the people of Eritrea, who have had the misfortune of being directly subjected to its adverse consequences, have urged and pleaded that it be eliminated and replaced by a unitary form of administration.” Selected Speeches of His Imperial Majesty Haile Selassie I, page 474-5
“The growth in size and responsibilities of the Government has necessitated the strengthening of the processes of centralization. All regions of the Empire are now closely knit together under a single unified direction capable of guiding them all along parallel lines of progress and integrating all into a common national endeavour.
In addition, all vestiges of feudalistic and other classes of personal privileges have been wiped out, so that all Our beloved subjects may live together as equals and brothers in the same family.” HIM Negus Haile Selassie I, promulgating the Revised Constitution 1955
“Those who, in the light of all these historical ties and evidence of unity, are coming between Us on religious, ethnical and other grounds are doing so not for our benefit but for that of their own. This can be easily understood. That former colonial powers are benefiting from creating discord among geographically, economically, historically and ethnically linked people in Africa and other parts of the world in order to maintain their former authority is known not only to those who can read but to the illiterate as well. Nobody knows better than We Africans that the policy of divide and rule are aspirations of those who seek to benefit at others’ expense. That it is the obsolete method of dividing to rule in order to rule by divining is apparent.
Being aware of the attacks and tricks of imperialism, Ethiopia has been the first African country who waged war against such powers and through her unity, has preserved her liberty through victories as in the recent case of Adua. More than being an example to the rest of the African states, after the Second World War, Ethiopia struggled alone in International Conferences, for African independence with no other free African nations to support her as at present. No greater testimony could be available to the resistance made by Our patriots against the enemy on seven fronts with the use of out-dated weapons than the heroic activities of Our fathers, relying upon GOD the Almighty.” Selected Speeches of HIM Negus Haile Selassie I, page 465
“Man can only begin an enterprise, it is for GOD to dispose of it to a good end.” HIM Negus Haile Selassie I
Long Live the Constitutional Monarchy!
Long Live African Unity!
Fire burn down the alien imposed federation of the witchcraft star of secession
Rise with the Lion of Judah!
Long Live Independent Ethiopia!

02/17/11 @ 03:47
Comment from: DAata [Visitor]
DAata

I second what Shewarega stated above in entirely. Ditto brother…

I have noting more to add. If I can say one more thing only Ethnic federalism exposed the enemy of Ethiopia. Can you stand up and be counted please? TPLF,EPLF,OLF, Haters Of Ethiopia ETC….Deep down inside you know who you are, most importantly we know who you really are blood sucker….No more we call you brothers. You are a cancer will be treated as such. For now enjoy your 15 second fame suckers….

Mr. Writer, Savage and Cannibal MZ saved Ethiopia by implementing ethnic federalism, Really…? If you go any where in AA make these ridiculous statement, you will get ass whipping.

02/17/11 @ 03:53
Comment from: koster [Visitor]
koster

This guy is a die-hard woyane and very immature. Ethnic politics is a poison/cancer for Ethiopia but does not save Ethiopia. There is no federalism or ethnic freedom in Ethiopia but a Tigrean dominance and looting and killing by tyrant MELES and hodam collaborators.

02/17/11 @ 03:55
Comment from: fisum [Visitor]
fisum

well it is hard to tell wheather the system mentioned save ethiopia or not but it is a new system of governance and its consequences has not yet seen.there might be other reasons why the current government stick tightly to the system and it is that hidden agenda which is more threatening to the future of ethiopia and not the federalism alone

02/17/11 @ 03:56
Comment from: luke [Visitor]
luke

this is a big story but look how many person gave comment? vert few, because every one knows the country is heading into devided police state. you realy got courage to tell us ethiopia was saved by meles. the ethiopian ppl are living hopelesly. they dont have ambition any more. what for? that country is starting to feel as if its others not ours. the truth is ethiopia was found on devided ppl, calture. with mix of all that they were still known as one ethiopia. yeah no one should stop you to practise your calture but in my opinion no one with their right mind should also creat article 39. would you tell with in your family as parent say, you don’t like the rule and pririty of my house, you have the right to leave? no becasue you don’t want your family to be separated no matter what.you fix your family problem.you deal with it, u don’t just make it easy for your family to go apart. same here. look at america. texas for example want to succed because to their economy its much better they are on their own. they don’t have to share the wealth texas has with other worthless state BUT by law succeding is illigal,unacceptable. so simply they deal with each other by other means. but ethiopia ofcourse is destined to be like this untill she turn into dust and disapear. OR with god miracle will make stand of this none sence, shaky road

02/17/11 @ 03:59
Comment from: Shewa Anbessa [Visitor]
Shewa Anbessa

Woyane Federalism is not real fedralism but Expolitestionism and Satanism..only good for ethinc Tigrians..

It clearlly shows T.P.L.F irresponisbality and revange polise of Woyane

02/17/11 @ 05:22
Comment from: Kena Keb [Visitor]
Kena Keb

Ethnic federalism can not be appreciated by indidiuals who take it for granted that the fate of Ethiopia will always lie on the “wisdom” of administrative aptitude by one ethnic group that have ruled our country for time immemorial. Exaggerated fear and misinterpretation of ethnic federalism is the main problem that has confused some people who think that it will lead to ethnic rivalries and conflicts. On the contrary, as we see it in Ethiopia today, the Ethiopian people have realised that the ethnic group they belong to is not patronized and in some cases discriminated as it used to be during Haile Selassie’s or during previous governments. When the interests of all ethnic groups are fully met and as Ethiopia develops economically, the feared ethnic antagonisms will be subdued and economical interests will be the main force that will solidify respectful relationships between the different ethnic groups in a very positive way.

Ethiopia shall prosper!!

02/17/11 @ 05:53
Comment from: awlonefas [Member]  
awlonefas

this is a good one. It helps to raise awareness and to kick off mature discussion on issues of high importance to the entire population.

“What saved Ethiopia in 1991 was ethnic federalism. But is it helping Ethiopia today?” This is a legitimate & right question at the right time. Ethnic federalism could have helped to bring Ethiopia where it is now, but holding on it without any further analysis and amendment could do more harm. This can be avoided with sincere discussions and parliamentary debate ….

Particularly article 39 is a time bomb the nation drugs with unnecessarily. A simple analogy shows it all, to distribute gun and ammunition to household to reduce a temporary looting problem that prevails may be right under a few specific situations and for a short period. Yet, sustainable and dependable security of a country could only be guarantied if it is executed by an entity entrusted according the rule of low and constitution of the country. This no one denies by the same token the clausal upto secession may have helped to foster trust among ethnics, but no longer as Ethiopian have passed this point. Letting it going any further could cause more harm than its benefit, as it can easily be exploited by evil forces any time.

But in a land of zero opposition who is going to raise this issue ….. poor Ethiopia, long way to go!!!
True, mature dialog in this regard is inevitable for the country’s long term development!

02/17/11 @ 06:52
Comment from: woldeyesus [Visitor]
woldeyesus

Overall a good assessment, Samuel Gebru.

Although it pains me to my core to see Ethiopia divided and run in an ethnic line (physical and psychological demarcations), I cannot deny the fact that there were at least three ethnic based forces that were were intent to destroy Ethiopia as we know it by and before 1991. They were WOYANE, OLF and SHABIA. I agree that the 1991 decision to go ethnic federalism (regardless of its true nature), saved at least the rest of Ethiopia although was unable to keep Eritrea.

Now, it seems the threat from Woyane is no more as Woyane got the driver’s seat. The threat from OLF is neutralized (or at least it appears so) thanks to Woyane’s ingenuity.

Going forward, it is my belief that even woyane (after seeing the beauty of Ethiopia from the center) will start to work towards stitching back what has been torn apart. And may be we will all be able to see the beautiful land of our ancestors get her life back once again!!!


02/17/11 @ 09:17
Comment from: Dave [Visitor]
Dave

Samuel Gebru:

Federalism is a system that intended to save Ethiopia as your title also mentions, but not to give what the oppressed people are asking for, which is FREEDOM..During Mengistu regime, some things were also implemented to satisfy the question of oppressed nations as the Emperor’s regime, but it didn’t stop the regimes from falling.

The fact is, it is also insulting for oppressed people that the Tigrains or any other ethnic saying to other oppressed people that they are answering their questions. Only the people themselves determine their own destiny. I know you are concerned about saving Ethiopia, but it should not be on the God given rights of other nations. The country is intact right now only by force. If that force is to be lifted, you will see the real will of the people. The only thing that can save Ethiopia is, true negotiations between all parties and reconciliation among all people in the country.

Peace..

02/17/11 @ 09:51
Comment from: Tefera [Visitor]
Tefera

“Ethnic federalism has indeed saved Ethiopia from destruction particularly as the Oromo Liberation Front (OLF) and the Ogaden National Liberation Front (ONLF) both continue to wage an armed secessionist movement in southern and southeastern Ethiopia. It allows previously marginalized societies the right to self-determination and self-governance; to speak their own language, to learn their own ethnic and cultural history.”
:::::::::
it is hard to disagree with that particularly in light of whats happened next door in sudan and somalia.
Shewarega
you need to base your argument with evidence and facts not sentimental values and emotions. there were many people specially those who are against the government and its constitution who predicted ethiopia to go down and balkanized/disintegrated unless meles is removed soon, but after 20 years that is not the case. in fact the country seems to be united and strong at least for now. lets not also forget that the ones strong liberation fronts such OLF and ONLF are splitting and getting weaker. that is because despite its shortcomings the ethnic federal system has played a role in addressing some of the concerns of the people this liberation fronts were relying on. the writer clearly suggests that it should be improved taking ethiopias current situation into account so whats wrong with that??

02/17/11 @ 09:56
Comment from: birtukan midekissa [Visitor]
birtukan midekissa

sammi please dont even try this , u have no clue . u r just one confused kid from Boston just do ur home work leave this for Ethiopians intellectual ok ,its seems to me u have no idea what u talking about dont embarrassed ur self ‘’ tinshu meles “

02/17/11 @ 10:35
Comment from: Minyaregal [Visitor]
Minyaregal

The issue is not ethnic federalism is good or bad.

The issue is who dictates it, and whether the Ethiopian people genuinely debated on it and adopted it.

The thundering answer is NO!!

A handful of power-hungry, blood-sucking ethnic elites are masquerading as ethnic liberators and imposing their dictatorial will on othe people.

Ethiopians, only in a free, fair, and transparent debate and election can decide what is good for them, not ethnic barons like Meles and Woyane.

The whole Arab world who have an even much better standard of life than Ethiopians are revolting for the simple reason that a handful of individuals who hold the gun cannot and should not be allowed to dictate the fate of millions.

Ethinic federalism has never existed and will not exist under Woyane thugs!

Only a willing and free people based on one man one vote decides what is good for the country!

So Woyane cadres to hell with your “ethnic federalism"!! It is a fake strategy for divide and rule!

Woyane go back to Dedebit! That is where you belong!

02/17/11 @ 10:56
Comment from: HAYELOM [Visitor]
HAYELOM

Ethnic federalism did save Ethiopia and laid a strong foundation for its’ unity.For those who are crying out loud about the present government dividing the country ethnically, go back to the countrys history and read a little bit, you will find that the country had a loosely federated form of government. Abba Gifar of Jimma, King Tona of wolaita,Nigus Teklehaimanot of Gojjam, Wore worje of OF Wolega/Oromia,yohannes of Tigray etc. The name of the leaders may have changed with time,however the system more or less remained the same. The regional adminstraation running the daily task and accounting to the central government.The only change now is instead of people with lineage people elected by the people run the adminstration, each nation nationalities has the right to use their language etc. So remeber this is not a new phenomenon it has been there and remeber it is our diversity that is the source of our unity.

02/17/11 @ 11:15
Comment from: Voiceout [Visitor]
Voiceout

Article 39’s inception was not made taking into consideration its the long term effects because it soul purpose was to accomodate Ertrea’s exit,after Ertrea’s exit article 39 was used to mismanage the country in the name of ethnic liberties. As all the ethnic groups’s recognition and the right to self management is important and must be respected; nation building is also crucial for a lasting peace in any region. Hence for the sake of peace in Ethiopia and the horn article 39 need to be reshaped in a way that would not blindly lead to the disintegration of our nation. Such outcome is not going to benefit any of us in the longterm.

02/17/11 @ 14:50
Comment from: Ethiopiawinet [Visitor]
Ethiopiawinet

Menelik tried federalism in different way. He conquered all neighboring countries and called them Ethiopia. He let them run their own govenment but taxed them heavenly. I don’t know what kind of federalism is this. May be Amhara controlled federalism.
Pursuant to Menlik,Haile came and messed up everything. He said my way or highway. He imposed his culture, his religion on newly formed country. He ruined Ethiopiawinet feelings. Eritreans shaded Ethiopiawinet thereafter. The rest followed. Only Haile tribe hold on Ethiopiawinet and the flag to present.
Meles was very progressive at first but u turned when the remnants of Haile ride on his administration via religion. Meles reinstated some of feudal Haile’s system like Street names with religion Many bad staff started to resurface which are horn to the majority Ethiopians.
Finally I wish the federalism he embraced will hold water if he abolishs the feudal system and let the whole Ethiopian breath freely as Westerners. Western countries enjoy freedom by applying democracy and why not Ethiopians. Break the back of those fanatics and stop them from attaching religion to the government as a parasite. Still I see the involvement of those fanatics in government work. Why? Who gave them this absolut right? It came only for them from the sky. BS

02/17/11 @ 15:10
Comment from: Tatek [Visitor]
Tatek

Duds,
Ethnic Federalism has never worked and will never work in millions of years. To say it works is denying the realities of everyday life and the facts of history. How do we forget the Soviet Union, Yugoslavia, and even the small Czechoslovakia? They all disintegrated and disappeared in early 90’s into very many countries because their narrow mined and stupid revolutionary leaders framed their constitution and divided their nations into Ethnic based Republics in the 40’s. That is like the what the TPLF/EPRDF did to current day Ethiopia.

Ethnic and religion based politics whatever you call is back ward thinking, stupidity, obsolete, and highly divisive. Judging someone by the color of his/her skin, ethnicity, language, and religion is a character of a narrow minded racist and a narcissist. The only person or group that may benefit from this madness is ego centric maniacs who can’t live without being masters. As Martin Luther said; A person or persons must be judged by the content of their characters.

02/17/11 @ 16:24
Comment from: yoni [Visitor]
yoni

It looks like some of you are afraid to draw or imagine a picture of what Ethiopia would have looked like if we did not adapt federalism.

The choice was Fedralism or Disintegration guys!

Considering our past jeourney the menu was very limited to choices…tnx to the Neftegnas ad their elites who ruled for a full century with total greed and traumatized our trust on each other.

The question of if Federalism saved Ethiopia or not can be answered with ANOTHER MILLION DOLLAR QUESTION.

What if TPLF agreed to succeed from Ethiopia like The Shabiyans have advised them to do so?

It would have been bad for Tigrians too but…Game Over for Ethiopia!

As the world would never see Yugoslavia ever again, Ethiopia would have vanished from history as all her enemies wished it to be.
Trust me iam chocking on my pride when i state the above.

Shabiya would have beefed up OLF and going relentless on the Amharigna speaking people and taking all the land they claimed to be Oromia and separated.
Addis Ababa would have turned to Finfine and nothing good from our old legacy would have survived.

Amharigna speaking people including myself would have been downsized to Gondar and small part of Wollo.

Harar would have been separated and become another terorist breeding ground like Somalia…

Egypt with the help of Shabiya would have created another state beside Gondar to share Abay with us and that would have guaranteed the presence of Shabiya in the new state as protector of the new state and the nile.

OMG…The picture is ugly as Shabiya would have sliced/diced us and sell us/our resources to the highest bidder. It would have been total ANNIHILATION!

CASE CLOSED!

TNX to the wisdom of EPRDF and adapting to Federalism which recognizes the rights of all nations and nationalities…and for letting the Shaiyans go with Eritrea as that was the only way Ethiopia was saved.

Since 1991 and we let Eritrean go, no old province has separated.

Ethiopia is intact and has shown tremendous improvements in every sector of the fields.

Now this federalism still needs improvements and it needs to continously evolve to adapt to the new generations needs and demand and to keep up with the trends of the fast pace world…but hey who says the century old mess EPRDF inherited from our past admistrations is easy to clean up?

What we read above from old time emotional Neftegnas as if the old Ethiopia was better is an old pride that is badly wound.

Shewarega above probably would like to tell us where are the heroes of his old Ethiopia when HH failed, and when Mengistu failed? Didn’t they all fled to DC like himslef. Why isnt he going to liberate Shewa instead of screaming akaki zeraf here in cyber?

02/17/11 @ 16:59
Comment from: Garii [Visitor]
Garii

Is that the objective of OLF, ONLF neutralised? Ask Oromo and Somali kids whom they believe better, TPLF or the olf and onlf. Is the people of Oromia and Ogadenia better aware of thier right now or then? You will find the truth when the mask of Colony is removed from their face.Now every person is showing his artifical face to move on.

02/17/11 @ 17:18
Comment from: Tulu Proud ET [Visitor]
Tulu Proud ET

Federation is a tiny minority greedy ruling like TPLF lazy group that longs to lynch on the back of the majority to suck blood and wealth.

It only builds hate and poverty.

Revolution is guaranteed.

The revolution that is spreading quickly and wide Somewhere / Somehow will play out and perhaps this is the beginning of this vetting.

02/17/11 @ 18:38
Comment from: Sam [Visitor]
Sam

Is anybody tired as I am hearing about ethnic federalism of Ethiopia? The way they tell us if not for EPDRF we have alreday killed each other long time ago. You know what I am really tired of hearing this shit. I really am. Damn it. These guys talk for millenuiunm about ethnic equality as if it is a savior, but Ethiopians are still the most destitute people on the face of the earth. How could you change that? By having a robust economic policy, and changing the old, moribund culture with science. Then the country would be on the right track to be scratched off the beggar list. Damn it these guys still talk about having no ethnic equality before as the reason for Ethiopia being a beggar country. Get a life guys! The Amhara domination you still are talking about walking and sleeping never existed after the Derg distributed land to the tiller. Yes, Amhara is a punching bag for more than two decades. But any person with five neurons intact working knows the Amharas had not had economic advantage after the Derg came to power. The ethnic equality we are being lectured about until we puke is a device used by TPLF to monopolize power. They knew that TPLF by itself cannot govern the whole Ethiopia talking about ethnic politics. Just a year or two before they marched to Addis they formed ethnic based groups. The surrendered Derg soldiers who are Oromo became the founder of OPDDO. Those former EPRP members who split became representative of Amhara. Those two ethnic groups were the only known by the TPLF politicos before they came to Addis. When they arrived Addis they found there is a group called the Southern nation. They have to control that group too under EPDRF. They formed the Souther nation in EPDRF’s form. Welcome to the ethnic equality 101 in Ethiopian context.

02/17/11 @ 20:55
Comment from: Shewarega [Visitor]
Shewarega

Hayelom,

You do have a point. Before the time of Atse Haile Sellasie, the majority of the regions were administered by locals. They paid taxes, and showed up to defend the nation when called upon. But I would also want to add two points, comparing to the current situation. First, the regions were just that regions, not ethnic enclaves. Gondar, Wag, Tigray, Gojjam, Keffa, Wollega, Arsi, Shewa, Wello, Lasta, etc etc. Region never ethnic. Go find and read all the letters of Atse yohannes you will find the answer there. Let alone in love when they quarrel they insult by region. I specifically remember in one place where he called Dej Meshesha Worke of Gondar, “yemayreba kerfafa Begemedrae” lol. Not Amara, my dear. Second, those local leaders can and will not be removed as Pharoah wishes. Like Meles removed Hasan Ali from OPDO and Abate Kisho from the Southern thing. Yohannes never does that to Menelik or Tekle Haymanot. Nor Menelik to Wollie in Gondar or Mikael in Wello. Even to remove Ras Mangasha from Tigray who repeatedly rebelled against him, it took six month and the intervention of countless other leaders like Wollie, Mikael, and Sebhat. Ashangulit aleneberum. It was more real than the fakeness we have now.

Tefera,

Evidence and facts? What more do you need than the same question that I asked in here a million times, but the few who dared to reply all they spit is insults. Can you take a crack at it brother. What gives Meles the right to tell me the land of my ancestors of Zeraa Yakob, Amde Tsion, Negasae Kirstos, Wosen Seged, Sahle Sellasie, Meteko Borja, Bokaan Milae, Borru ttero, Hamege Dabo, Bezu Aba Dikir, Demo Bunae, Assenu Odai, Abaebae Tuffaa, Habte Aba Mechal, Beshah Aboye, Abebe Aregay, Fikrae Aba Techan, Balcha Aba Nefso, Mulugeta Bulli, Jagemaa Kello, and many many more SHEWA does not exist? Based on what law, based on what reason, other than to divide and loot and destroy. A simple answer to a simple question. You have two choices, take a crack and reply, or go hide your head in the sand like the osterich M J the boxer. It belongs to everybody, LOL, says who?

02/17/11 @ 22:19
Comment from: Tgrayo [Visitor]
Tgrayo

maras are funny people.They talk all day about"etopiyawinet” but are so hateful of muslims Oromos,somalis and of course us Tigrayans…..etc etc………..
they hate federalism because they are used to the colonialist mentality of grabbing other people’s land and imposing their culture and language on others.

02/17/11 @ 23:18
Comment from: Seleme [Visitor]
Seleme

. . . .let them divide with their ethnicity by all means and should not become solid to confront us (TPLF). . . .

by: EVIL of Ethiopia


02/18/11 @ 01:15
Comment from: woldeyesus [Visitor]
woldeyesus

yoni,
I was trying not to even allow that scenario cross my mind. You blew it on my face, but thanks! Now that I read it in your post above, I can freely play with the different similar scenarios if I want. But as it is even in your post, the outcome would have been even worse than I was willing to admit.

Ethiopians, how can we invite such an outcome for our country? Who will benefit out of this supposed self destruction? Think about it. Regardless of whatever level of misery is inflicted upon us by all the administrations so far, the alternative is a complete annihilation of our people. Remember, Yugoslavia is in Europe and is not surrounded by mortal enemies, even if they become smaller pieces now. But, in East Africa, the picture will be very different had the nation fractured into smaller ones. There is a possibility for more than one of those pieces to end up being another Somalia with no government or anything civilized in sight.

May God protect Ethiopia!!!!


02/18/11 @ 07:21
Comment from: neftegna [Visitor]
neftegna

YOni,

esti yihunilih engidih….

02/18/11 @ 10:38
Comment from: Jigiga [Visitor]
Jigiga

Yoni,
WOW,thanks brother,I knew that principally the woyane peoples have the good hearts and that never hide the truth.When people say the truth, basically people respects them.Having said that,bro I could see that you speak from heart,but let me tell you this what these people’s brains already filled up is the envy of ahmara supremacy over others.They grew up in that way and no hope from them to change and be understanding the new Ethiopia.On the other hand,the federation of Ethiopia will move on and if they wish let them joyin train.We are not stopping for the train for their backwardness baby cries.
What I worry is that they would be contaminating young generations of the Ahmara and to follow losers old mentality.
Another hope is after Issias gone,don’t be worrying about High landers the Triangle trinity HWY of the three capital cities will be opening their business HWY routes that connecting from Makale through to Jigjiga and Asmara vis verse and we teach hi landers how to trade and make business.When they visited back you know they all come with wondering how the country changed and built by the EPRDF regime.

I salute you man speaking from the hearts! and I put off my hat! Thank you again.I knew from heart the principle of the woyane is always more respectful and smart understanding the rights and equality of other Ethiopian citizens.Also,I agree with the word you said: ” who says the century old mess EPRDF inherited from our past admistrations is easy to clean up?” True and I agree with you as Ogaden person whatever insane crimes happened in the Somali region during woyane solider,especially at the beginning years, I know a that it was a painful crime but I also knew there was cause and reasons aftermaths.And I always used ask what broughts this woyane soldiers in the first place in Ogaden? Because,they kicked out oppressive army occupying our regions.Knowing the cause of the problem it cools me down always and eradicates my angers towards woyane soldiers. We should forgive of what happened in the past and go forward.

God bless Ethiopia!
Have nice day.

02/18/11 @ 11:03
Comment from: HELEN [Visitor]
HELEN

to Yoni,
Write what you will about “Neftegnas” (code word for Amharas.)
NO ETHIOPIA is better than an “Ethiopia” ruled by any one ethnic group. You present TPLF as an alternative? I would personally take my chances with my “ethnicity” SEPARATED than be ruled by TPLF (Tigrians).

Speaking of which, exactly who is the ethnocentric terrorist? Thanks to Woyane, there is now a whole generation whose identity is centered around their “ethnicity.” No amount of EPLF could have accomplished what the viral thugs from Dedebit have managed to. Where Italy and others failed, “our own” managed.

You see, things have gone on so long that separation is no longer feared by anyone except the thugs in power. The days of using the “Neftegna” as a scare tactic are over when Tigrians seized power (I am thankful). No more Ethiopia at the expense of anyone including Amharas. The only mistake ever made was to fight to keep Eritrea and Tigrai. Tigrians and Eritreans should have fought for unity if they wanted to, but now we know they didn’t, and hence the mistake. No more.

To Samuel- what you write is better suited for Aiga. Focus on Tigrai.

02/18/11 @ 12:53
Comment from: Tatek [Visitor]
Tatek

Yoni and the TPLF/EPRDF sell outs,
I take it as a joke or utter ignorance on your part when you say “Ethiopian Federalism”. First of all, your odd brand of Federalism is extremely convoluted and nobody in his right mind can say this is Federalism as we know it. It is rather an Ethnic based dictatorship. It benefited only one small Ethnic group and made all Ethiopians from North to South and East to West colonies and slaves of the TPLF junta. Unless you are blind and chose not to see or hear, that is what is. Why don’t you see the obvious.

Every military command, corps, and divisions are commanded by TPLF Tigreans. Every security office from the national office to so called “states” to zones and cities are led by Tigreans from Adwa. You can say the same thing about each and every critical Functions of ministry departments, embassies, and government agencies. What about the giant business conglomerate “Effort” that controls 60% of business, distributions, exports, imports, and wealth of the Country? The remaining wealth is controlled by TPLF thugs or their lackeys. If you believe this to be Federalism, then you must be living in another planet.

Duds, that is what your brand of Federalism and liberation gave to Ethiopia and Ethiopians. Ethiopians will never forget the treasons and treachery committed against Ethiopia and Ethiopians. We don’t forget that TPLF gave the inherent Ethiopian territories to our enemies and undermined the national interests. It committed and continued to commit crimes of torture, kidnapping, murder, and imprisonment of nationals. It designed, encouraged, executed, and coordinated ethnic strife, ethnic cleansing, ethnic violence, and wars on Ethiopians.

As your pretentious statement that, “The choice was Fedralism or Disintegration”, again this is a “dead ender” outlook. Unlike your narrow minded and village level vision, Ethiopia is bigger than you, TPLF, EPLF, and EPRDF and their lackeys. As far as Ethiopians are concerned they see TPLF as destroying Ethiopia and Ethiopians. We don’t need your kind of savior. Ethiopia has been here for thousands of years and it will prevail. Your ignorance and village level vision has betrayed your outlook. You and the TPLF thugs are devoid of national vision and leadership. Sorry, you seem destined to fade into nothingness. You still did not learn your catastrophic mistakes.


02/18/11 @ 13:15
Comment from: Kebede [Visitor]
Kebede

Instead of writing the same thing many times, Mr Gebru could have saved out time of reading his article if had told us …."TPLF is Ethiopia’s Savior".

What the writer can not understand is …..that Ethiopia has been there before many nations he may think to know about….and Ethiopia is going to exist irrespective of the thugs who are currently ruling.

Gebru appears to suffer from ethnic victimization….and is unable to liberate himself from his tribal trauma…

Wakeup Mr Gebru….we are in the post Mubarak, Ben Ali era ………grow up from your tribal thoughts!
Kebede
DC

02/18/11 @ 14:18
Comment from: ethiopiawe [Visitor]
ethiopiawe

Nobody likes ethnic federalism,it is BS and it is not good for unity. And it’s ok every body to exercise their right but not to think separation anyway, whenever the time comes it could happen anything.

02/18/11 @ 21:46
Comment from: Tazabi [Visitor]
Tazabi

I don’t know what you are initiated to write this article when you are living in the civilized world. It is a shame to read this article because even though some groups need to secession it doesn’t mean that the whole population have the same idea. Ethiopians have been living together for a long time by exchanging their culture, marring each other with no division and there were no language discrimination during the past governors. I don’t agree with your idea because it comes directly from tplf

02/19/11 @ 03:36
Comment from: jojo [Visitor]
jojo

this is divide and rule policy not true democracy

02/19/11 @ 03:37
Comment from: Tulu Proud ET [Visitor]
Tulu Proud ET

Yoni,

If your tale is true then what has TPLF done for Ethiopia, Oromo, Gurage, Amara, Wolayta and etc?

The ansewe is Nothing but looting, killing, imprisoning, abducting and suppressing, selling their land and children just for being nationalists.

TPLF hates Ethiopia and Ethiopians.

As TPLF is known to be a betrayer or traitor, it is not only Ethiopia that it betrays but also Shabia that it creates it. It killed more Shabias than Derg.

Your tale of “ It would have been bad for Tigrians too but…Game Over for Ethiopia” is a jock.

The real story would have been the end of Tigrians, because Shabia hates and is waiting for revenge on Meles and TPLF. It can not touch Oromos, Amaras, Wolayta, Gurage and etc. When the push comes to shove Oromo and Amaras, Gurage, Wolayta, Gambella and etc are inseparable.

02/19/11 @ 17:07
Comment from: who [Visitor]
who

what is the so called ‘’ethiopianism'’?

02/19/11 @ 20:41
Comment from: ALPHA and OMEGA [Visitor]
ALPHA and OMEGA

The little TPLF-POODLE, a while back went to ethiopia to knee-down and perform his cadre duty between TSEYE ABRHA and BEREKET the beket paired looters legs, This year he totaly become a cronical physicosis and ARAT-KILO ZINJERO AZZ kisser. What is next? to the cofused banda? join in the club of don’t tell don’t ask?

02/19/11 @ 20:59

rebtel

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