The Ethno-Language based Federalsim has failed in Ethiopia

Members of the Ethiopian Oromo community protest against the political situation in their country in front of the Chancellery in Berlin, Germany on September 2, 2016. Photo: EPA/WOLFGANG KUMM

By Muluken Gebeyew

The ethno-language based federalism crafted and implemented by TPLF (Tigray People’s Liberation Front) in Ethiopia caused significant rift, conflict, suffering, destruction and death among Ethiopian people.

TPLF synthesised this experiment not with intention to offer better governance and development but as means of controlling Ethiopians by dividing them and inciting one against the other while TPLF rule unquestionably as police, prosecutor and judge.

This type of federation which was new to the world introduced by Meles Zenawi in the early 1990s in Ethiopia with blessing of the West for experimentation, which sometimes known as Zenawism in scholarly world.

TPLF´s elite leaders crafted this experiment while in their field days. As TPLF was minority based party, it can rule the majority Ethiopians ruthlessly only when the majority is divided¸ weak and engage in micro conflict. That is what TPLF put on practice since 1991 when it assumed power under the cover name of EPRDF (Ethiopian People Revolutionary Democratic Front).

This futile experiment applied on Ethiopians as guinea pig resulting in grandiose delusion on significant ethnic members of our people who considered themselves as “forgotten or suppressed” during previous regimes. Although this enabled some ethnic faces to be superficially on front bench of power house¸ they have never exercised the wish, ambition and governance of the ethnic origin they “represent” except serving as tool to TPLF. TPLF has never given them green light to dream self-rule or democratic governance let alone apply it. They are using them as machine implementing the TPLF´s heart and mind wicked plans.

We have all witnessed this experimentation resulted in pain and distress to the majority of Ethiopian people. The outcome is division and conflict among ourselves. We are not able to sit and discuss our common problem let alone solve it. The paranoia¸ hate¸ rivalry and feeling of vengeance instigated in our heart and mind by TPLF through unending day and night propaganda on national media outlets to the public¸ fake fabricated history lessons at school and overt favouritism on practice.

This failing psudo-federalism championed as “respecting people’s right and freedom” is shaking the fundamental structures that hold us together. It is approaching to be beyond TPLF’s control. This can lead to enormous chaos¸ destabilisation and fragmentation which can cost significant human loss¸ suffering and displacement.

Even for those who support the regime¸ the tell tale signs are there and should challenge the regime that ethno–language based federalism as failed. The regional border conflict all over the country either in the north¸ east¸ west or south of Ethiopia resulted in the suffering of ethnically labelled Amhara¸ Oromo¸ Somali¸ Afar, Sidama¸ Welayta¸ Southern people¸ Anuk¸ Nuer, Mezhenger and several other ethnic labelled Ethiopians.

TPLF’s elite leaders and their subordinates in EPRDF should be aware that this experimentation is out of date. The consequence of using expired experimentation would result in death and destruction including the originator. They better find a solution that would bring significant measures that facilitates unity instead of division, fair treatment instead of favouritism, and justice instead of injustice that can hold the whole country together by ditching the failed and expired ethno-based federalism. The regime should facilitate peaceful forum where the Ethiopian people freely discuss and chose the way they are to be governed.

This failed experiment is a danger to neighbouring African countries which can give false hope of phantom ethnic self-governance. Once the conflict goes out of control¸ it would spread like contagious disease in the region and Africa. The Western power and China should exert pressure on the regime to make the correction before the Pandora box open all over.

Above all¸ we Ethiopians have to wake up and realise this minefield which would result in destruction of our country and ourselves. Once it becomes out of control¸ there would be no way to limit or stop the futile consequence. We should learn from what happened to our neighbours the Somali people¸ former Yugoslavia and current suffering of Rohingya people in Burma. We need to sit¸ discuss, analyse and come up with Solution to our common problem. The Adwa victory against colonialist Italy was united effort which saved our country from colonialism.

We don’t have the luxury of time to wait as the danger is in front of us. We need to unite and change the course of this dangerous fate.

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