Ethiopia and the Future: Constitutional Monarchy, The New and Young Leadership By Tecola W. Hagos
“ተጣጥሮ መንገሥ::” Ethiopian Proverb
I. Religion: Christianity, Islam, et Cetera
The most essential question for every Ethiopian deals with the type of stake he or she has in the nation. It is not enough to cite thousands of years of history if its net result now is starvation, dictatorial governance, oppression, and cultural deformities. With the current Government of Meles Zenawi, we have reached the bottom of our political and economic sinkhole. In the guise of “development” schemes, Meles Zenawi has dragged our ancient country through a sewer-policy where our national pride, our territorial integrity, and our freedom/independence had been recklessly compromised and at times nullified. Now we have the “elephant in the room” religion as our red-hot political issue.
It seems the desire to address questions dealing with the roles played by the two main religions in Ethiopia is everywhere on the internet. Some think of such discussions leading into divisive confrontations at a time when we least need serious challenge as untimely. Some do not want anything to do with such religion based discussions. I think if the issues dealing with religions in Ethiopia are to be understood clearly, one must confront such issues and not hid them out of sight, for sooner than later such unresolved or misunderstood questions will catch us when we are least prepared. I am not shy about my criticism of Arabs as individuals and groups who have used religion to oppress, dehumanize, and exploit African people for centuries and still continue to do so in our own time to date.
In its global context, the Arab scourge is monumental—from their exploitation of the needs of the world for oil to gobbling up rich farmland in Ethiopia and elsewhere while the indigenous people are starving. They finance terrorism throughout the world with their misbegotten petrodollar. Even more insidious Arabs are involved in modern time slavery trafficking in young women as domestics, Saudi paper announcing that Saudis are awaiting the arrival of 25,000 (twenty five thousand) young Ethiopian “maids” with no known safeguard against barbaric Arab households.
Look around you, people, trillions of dollars bank account did not change the brutality and barbarism of nations like Saudi Arabia, Iraq, Syria, the Oil-wells-with-flags States (the Emirates), Sudan, and further on Iran. Any religion in the hands of the wrong “people” can be turned into a nightmarish ordeal on individual lives. No one country or religion has an exclusive brutality using religion as an excuse for political purpose. I could mention on the side of Christianity the Crusades as the beginning of religious persecution that later on in the Middle Ages evolved into horrendous persecution that took place against fellow Christians accused of heresy, witchcraft et cetera. Such victims were tortured, or burned alive, or sold into slavery et cetera. The abuse of “Islam” the religion itself by its religious and secular leaders is no exception, for we do not have to go far to confirm the brutality and violence committed against millions of Christians forced to convert into Islam since the time of the Caliphates all over the Middle East and North Africa.
Islam as a religion is related to both Judaism and Christianity. It has elements that are very constructive as well as destructive like any other religion too. It seems “Islam” the religion now in the hands of Arab leaders has been used to create a nightmarish world using the religion that could have been instrumental like Judaism or Christianity to better the lives of the Faithful and others. If given a choice what sane human being would choose to live in Saudi Arabia or Iraq or any of the Arab League Nations? If there was no restriction on exit visas in Arab nations, the place will be empty in no time.
It is only recently, with some reluctance at that and often straddling the fence of loyalty, that Ethiopian Moslems have started to play a positive role in the political life of Ethiopia. Through out history they were “fifth columnist” to Ethiopia’s life and death struggle to survive as “a Christian island in a sea of Moslems.” If Ethiopian leaders in the past were reluctant to enlist Ethiopian Moslems into their core armies, it was for good reason. And it was not because of some pathological rejection of Ethiopian Moslems, but because of the negative role Moslem Ethiopians had played in Ethiopian history until very recently. The destructive legacy of Ahmed Gragn is a living history that daily reminds Ethiopian Christians of our courageous existence and the threats of Arab Countries against the survival of our Ethiopia, which is our reality.
When we compare how Moslems have been treated to date in Ethiopia as opposed to how Christians have been treated to date in Moslem countries, the difference is like night and day. After the end of the Ptolemaic dynasty and the incorporation of Egypt as part of the Roman Empire, Egypt became part of the Byzantine Empire with almost one hundred percent Christian population before the brutal conquest of Egypt by Caliph Omar in AD 639-641. With his fanatics and free loader Bedouins from Sinai, he subdued Egypt and forcefully converted almost all Christians into Islam, with less than a few millions Christians remaining now in very precarious existence—daily harassed, brutalized, and some even murdered, and some of their daughters abducted and raped or forcefully converted and married.
In Saudi Arabia there is not a single Christian Church. In fact, Christians would be imprisoned or violently brutalized if they were caught worshiping even in private in their own homes. In Iraq, the Christian Community is being liquidated as we speak, through brutal bombing of Churches and their congregations. Historical Syria, another totally Christian population, was forcefully and violently converted into Islam around the same time as Egypt, is now the home of a few hundred thousand Christians who have no political rights and whose fundamental human rights is daily violated both by the Government and their Moslem neighbors.
Ethiopian Moslems ought to take note of how Moslem Arabs Governments and some individual Arabs are abusing, murdering, and torturing my fellow Christians including Ethiopians in all of the Arab nations. Ethiopian Moslems ought to be counting their blessings in being Ethiopians, rather than raving and ranting and parading, as some do, “Ahmed Gragn,” the brutal and savage mercenary of the Ottoman Turks, as a hero in our faces here in the Diaspora. This is our time not our ancestors’ and Ethiopia is our shared motherland that should be defended against any foreign triggered aggression irrespective of the religion of such aggressors and instigators. Need I remind us that we were also attacked by Christian countries, such as Italy whose Catholic Pope blessed the illegal aggression of our country by Mussolini in 1931. Religion in the hands of evil leaders can be turned into a nightmare.
Whether it is in Ogaden or Harrar or any other area where there is foreign influenced and religion based insurrection, the Ethiopian army must be deployed in full force to crush such destructive challenges that threaten the national security and territorial integrity of Ethiopia. In fact, the nations that are financing and helping such insurrections in Ethiopia should be confronted with military force directly. But a weak Ethiopia under a despot like Meles Zenawi will not be able to carry out such strong foreign policy, for Meles Zenawi and his associates are more interested how best they could loot the national wealth through appeasement of our historic enemies and compromise with the new ones that will end up destroying Ethiopia in the long run.
One must not forget the fact that Ethiopia is a “Christian Country” with over sixty percent Christians in a population of about ninety million people. Of course, Muslims are an integral part of Ethiopia with a population of thirty to thirty five percent. This is the only country that has decently treated minority religions not only in the region but compared to any part of the world at the very least for the last one hundred fifty years. I hear and read these days hollow threats from newly minted credential-waving Diaspora Wahhabists (fundamentalist followers of Mohammad ibn Abd-al-Wahhab) that Ethiopia will fall apart if it does not allow its tradition to be erased and make way to Shari’a type cultural dominance.
I do not really care if some people think of my statements above as a threat; I know I am stating the blunt truth. And we all know the facts. Do you want me to count how many of my Ethiopian sisters were murdered, raped, abused, treated as slaves et cetera just because of circumstances of extreme difficulties forced them to seek work in peace and dignity in Arab Nations, where they found neither, but brutality and inhuman treatment? Remember the fact that not so long ago, we, Ethiopians, hosted Saudis, Yemenis, and other Arab immigrants before the oil wealth turned them all into arrogant sub-human beasts treating helpless young Ethiopian women and others from poor countries in the most harrowing manner now. Shame on you all Arabs.
If Arab Muslims in their own rich countries in Saudi Arabia, Iraq, Syria, Oil-wells-with-flags States (the Emirates), Libya, and Sudan are totally unable to respect the basic human rights of their own fellow religionists let alone those of Christians, how do the Ethiopian Muslims even in a dominant position in a poor country would do a better job in bringing any degree of harmony that is any better than the one practiced in Ethiopia for generations by pious Christian Ethiopians. It is just a pipedream of the “Gragns” of our time and that will not happen. As a matter of fact we already have examples of brutality and murder of Christians in limited cases in Ethiopia where the local Moslem population had felt that it has political power, and their first act is to persecute Christians. Ethiopia cannot afford religious intolerance from any corner.
II. Marxism and Leninism, the Ethiopian Student Movement, and the Ethiopian Military
A) The Ethiopian Military
In this section my discussion will not be a historical narrative, but a discussion focused on how such political and/or cultural forces were shaped into inauthentic format and negatively affected the course of our Ethiopian narrative during the Ethiopian Students’ Movement and also the effect on the Ethiopian Military. Although the Emperor in 1960 soon after the attempted challenge to his absolute power quickly reorganized his Government, the worms of contending political factions had started already eating the very core of his imperial power. And over a period of fifteen years they had sufficiently weakened the power of the Emperor, although the edifice of power remained in place with its commanding presence. However, it was a highly porous edifice waiting to collapse with a little push from any source or direction.
It is to be recalled that during the takeover of the Imperial Government by the coupe plotters, the Crown Prince Asfawossen made a radio address to the People of Ethiopia declaring Ethiopia to be a country with “Constitutional Monarchy.” After the defeat of the Coupe leaders, the Crown Prince had recanted his involvement and had claimed that he was forced to read that declaration of “Constitutional Monarchy” at gun point what was allegedly prepared speech by the Coupe plotters. However, a good number of people believe that the Crown Prince was involved in the plot to dethrone his father a lot more than what he claimed to be the case. We may never know the truth since he died on 17 February 1997. May be his close attendants might enlighten us on that secrete. However, I believe the Crown Prince was not involved with the plot itself, but acceded to it after the event had taken place. It is common sense to assume that no military coupe d’état would involve in its plot the very family it is aiming to replace.
It is popularly accepted that the Military Derg coordinated effort led by Colonel Atnafu brought about the Derg itself into a political force and dethroned the Emperor on 12 September 1974. The Imperial Government of Emperor Haile Selassie had resigned earlier in 1974. The actual event was far more complex than that simplistic deductive cursory view. A lot more happened around that crucial time with contending political forces jostling for power, since the time of the attempted overthrow of Emperor Haile Selassie by his Body Guards’ Commander and his Security Chief in 1960. The Military rebellion was the serendipitous result of a festering dissatisfaction of a conspiratorial group of individuals located at the Ministry of Interior who felt that political power was slipping away from the Ankober Amhara group to Wollo and Tigryan aristocracy. They were the ones who carried out the assassination of Tilahun Gizaw, the popular student leader, in whom they saw a threat to the future of Prince Mekonnen’s Children that they were aspiring to bring into power changing the constitutionally guaranteed succession of Crown Prince Asfawossen.
The coming into power of Mengistu Hailemariam was an accident of history. He was the proverbial “ፍየል በግርግር እናቷን ታጠቃለች::” Mengistu Hailemariam is born of a family completely disfranchised as “barrias” from the main stream Ethiopian society. His entire life was consumed with that stigma, and his resentment of anything solidly Ethiopian, especially Amhara social stratification has no bound. His formative years in Gojam (where his father was stationed as a regular) were torturous years where he was called “barria” routinely by fellow students and neighborhood children and adults. Here is a clear example of the monumental danger of having as leader a disfranchised individual who belongs to a minority ethnic group with some ethnic stigma. There are some individuals who think that Mengistu was born of some “feudal lord,” which supposition is utterly nonsensical. At any rate the rumored parent either Dej Kebede Tessema or his close family member was not any better situated, for they in turn were also descended from domestics/slaves of King Sahle Selassie.
B) The Ethiopian Students Movement
Notwithstanding the recent accolade heaped on past Ethiopian student leaders [and some turned University professors], I hold that most of those individuals were engaged in their writings on a single nauseating theme with inconsequential variations: almost all of their writings, essays, poems, et cetera revolved around a single theme of anti-aristocracy and anti Ethiopia “backwardness” theme and on distorted depiction of the “feudal” economic system with the slogan “land to the tiller” as identification marker. Even much later, the adult scholars that were the subjects of solicitous “salutations” never truly had shade their student days stale rhetoric of third world mentality of victimhood. Can anyone remember anything that they wrote except maybe that of Wallelign’s tantrum on “nations and nationalities”? The output of so called scholars of the era of the student movement, such as Endreas is not that impressive at all, in fact the entire opus of that generation can fit a single small book shelf. I can only surmise that our “scholars” must be exceptionally lazy that their compound output could be measured by a single shelf space.
Some of the leaders of the student movement were very well known to me, since they were contemporaries to me at the HSI University. I attended their staged meetings that were utterly manipulated by Soviet Union recruited student agents, I heard their convoluted speeches on subject matters that they did not know that well, I listened to some reading of their silly poems whose single virtue was the use of equivocation in insulting the Emperor. We were dealing with a truly disfranchised, pathetic, and alienated student body that could not even maintain simple hygiene of body odder and stinking shoes, which dare insult a three thousand history of great leaders and their great sacrifices to maintain a three thousand years old free and independent nation. Try to run a small village for few months; in fact, let me reduce the challenge to a couple of extended families, and let me see how student-politicians would fare dealing with such difficulties.
Whether it is Endreas from Yale, or Tekalegn, the crocodile at HSIU, right in Addis Ababa in the late 1960s, they could not see the greater glory of the achievements of our historic “aristocratic” leaders compared to their pseudo Marxism-Leninism. Often the background of our student leaders in the 1960s was not seriously taken into consideration. True, a number of the leaders were children of entrenched families benefiting from the government structure of Haile Selassie. However, few members of the core moving force of the movement were from marginalized families or have traumatic individual life experience, such as Endrias, a foundling from Kembata/Gidole parents raised by charity in an Amhara family, and Tekalegn surviving a brothel life. How would anyone expect Ethiopia’s historical content to have sprouting roots in such barren individuals and affect their thinking to be patriotic? The problem here is not the identity of the parents but the social condition that resulted in resentful children. I have read almost all of the writings of the leaders and shadow writers of the student movement in student magazines both in Ethiopia and also in the Americas and Europe. I appreciate the effort and the occasional eloquence of both the Amharic and the English languages as used by such writers. In terms of substance it was just a waste, for it was not indigenous thought but borrowed vestment that poorly fitted us as members of the Ethiopian community.
The tragedy of our ignorance of our rich history had victimized us as students in the 1960s as easy preys for predatory propaganda instigated by the Soviet Union’s international communist movement perpetrated by Lenin, Trotsky et cetera (usually known as the Third International of 1919 that run its course by 1943) but was continued in a different and most vicious form by Stalin (Lenin having died some twenty years earlier in 1924) down to Nikita S. Khrushchev and Leonid I. Brezhnev. In the 1960 the Soviet Union was welding unprecedented world power. It was either the equal or even greater than the United States and its allies.
The Ethiopian student movement of the 1960s had caused us distortions to such an extent that we do not even want to consider now, some fifty years later, the institution of the Ethiopian Monarchy may be a legitimate alternative. It is incredulous to me that even after witnessing the collapse of the Soviet Union in the late 1980s under the weight of its horrendous crimes against its own citizens and crimes against millions more in other countries that we refuse to reconsider some serious questions about our past role in the overthrow of the Monarchy, but rather keep wadding through history blind folded and groping in the dark for a non-existing ideal form of government. Whether it is dialectical materialism, class antagonistic structure, or history as a dynamic self contained process, or the denial of human nature, Marx and his followers all made mistakes in their presumed perception of history and human beings. Theirs are views no different than an article of faith, and not a science or even rational. There is no showing of causation/nexus in their assertions, and none of their
We became impervious to the great narratives of our own great leaders who carved out an empire out of the primordial primitive prehistoric life they found themselves thousands of years ago before any other people even ventured out that far from their caves. How far we have fallen and regressed that the scums of our civilization have risen and choked us down to our present condition. Such was/is our fate in the hands of our Military Government of Mengistu and the current dictatorial Kleptomaniac Government of Meles Zenawi. These leaders (Mengistu and Meles) are completely the antitheses to the ethical and moral Imperial rulers of yester years. We tend to measure wrongly all of our past monarchs by the misdeeds and excess of Emperor Haile Selassie, even then without taking into account the many accomplishments of his reign of over fifty years.
In my last article I laid out the main trust of my position in support of a constitutional monarchy as an alternative institution to any form of cooperative establishment with a government dominated by ethnic interest, for I see an insurmountable obstacle in the person of Meles Zenawi whose mere presence will cripple any “coalition.” The one political force that can overcome Meles Zenawi and help forge a system of parliamentarian representative form of government of unity and solidarity with the election of a Prime Minister and his Cabinet Members is a constitutional monarchy set-up for Ethiopia. I did not suggest any one particular person for the role of a monarch: it could be a king or a queen. My preference will be based on certain obvious identification of the would-be “Monarch” as a “National Mother,” just as we identify Ethiopia itself. It is not impossible to have a man as a mother figure.
The Monarch functions as the symbol of national unity, Sovereignty, and territorial integrity. He or she will not have any involvement in the formation and administration of the Ethiopian Government. The British constitutional monarchy would be a good example to consider in fashioning our own limited monarchy governmental structure. It took the British over four hundred years to forge the very matrix of a none participatory Monarchy, and it is only recently just before the First World War that the true Constitutional Monarchical structure was fully realized in England.
III. Guiding Principles: The New Vision
I realize now that I simply cannot throw an idea to the public and expect it to take root in the minds of my fellow Ethiopians both in the Diaspora and back home in Ethiopia. A couple of weeks ago I reposted an idea that I have been mauling over for few years and finally mustered the courage to post it over two years ago in my Website and a few others. I am writing about the possibility of establishing a Constitutional Monarchy for Ethiopia. I am urging fellow Ethiopians to take my suggestion seriously.
There are many options, some better than others, in starting us out and in reinvigorating our stalling political situation. It is true that there is a form of political lethargy or some kind of political sluggishness, but I would not go as far as claiming a political “stalemate” as was indicated by Prof Messay Kebede in his highly challenging recent essay. Even if it might seem that Meles Zenawi has all the marbles and we “the people” and those that are in the opposition have almost none, I do not think this is the end game for us. To begin with we do have our tongues and pens and could launch our scathing expose of the corruption and atrocities being committed by Meles Zenawi and his associates. Of course, there are also exceptionally brave Ethiopians who speak their conscience even being in the beast’s mouth right there in Ethiopia, such as those hardy souls like Eskinder Nega and now the very young columnist Reeyot Alemu who are sticking it up Meles’s %@$$ right there and then.
Under such lopsided situation, there is no overt challenge to Meles Zenawi’s absolutist dictatorship. And yet the worst thing that may be is doing nothing. It is the main reason that Messay was moved to suggesting that we may have to form “broad coalition” so to say positing in a life threatening freezing political environment that we sleep with the enemy to stay alive and preserve Ethiopia. That is both an act of love and desperation. No responsible person would simply watch doing nothing as his nation is dismantled and being destroyed by a mercenary Government of Meles Zenawi. The alternative or the consequence of doing nothing is slow and torturous disintegration worse than Somalia. This is where I disagree, for I believe if pushed to the edge, the core Ethiopian people would take the lead and stand against any such disintegration.
The school-yard view of democracy that a number of Ethiopians write about or aspire for does not reflect the reality of life in Ethiopia. First of all we must not think of “democracy” as a defining principle of our humanity. A simple example of that fact is the situation where our humanity persists even if we are brutalized and oppressed by political leaders or by the norms of society. We need to see democracy as a process of compromise between individuals who have the prerequisite wisdom to know that through such negotiations that greater good can be realized for a vast number of people. It will not do if we mystify the process as something metaphysical.
IV. Coalition dealing with Meles and the Kiss of Death
On the other hand, one must understand my discussion of other alternatives should not be seen as some form of opposition to those who are bent on taking direct action, like civil disobedience, similar to Gandhi’s doctrine of Satyagraha, or armed struggle against the Government of Meles Zenawi. They can still carry out their goals even if there is a process of coalition. I personally do not want to have anything to do with Meles Zenawi. His evil deeds are not just limited to territorial issues but he has violated individual human rights with murders, tortures, and long term imprisonment of Ethiopians. According the UN findings Meles Zenawi and associates seems to have looted out over 8 billion dollars from Ethiopia in the last ten years.
I have utter contempt for Meles Zenawi’s traitorous street-smart approach to statesmanship, putting in mind also his unethical Machiavellian liquidation of his fellow TPLF leaders. But above everything else that he had skewered and still continue to harm us all, I cannot forgive nor forget his destructive anti-Ethiopia deeds and his support of Eritrea’s independence especially ceding our Ethiopian Coastal Territories of Afar and our Territorial Waters and the many islands in the Red Sea. It is the cumulated effect of a person whose deeds of corruption that spans almost two decades that hardened hundreds of thousands of Ethiopians against him and his Government.
I rejected the Killel system that was enshrined in the 1995 Constitution, which Constitution was imposed on the people of Ethiopia by Meles Zenawi and associates. I reject also the use of the word “peoples” in reference to the People of Ethiopia. This word is a tool of divisive schemes borrowed and carried over from the 1960s HSIU student movement being used flippantly even by the opposition. The goal for all political parties or fronts and also civic organizations should have been to enforce and safeguard individual human rights which would have included, as a matter of course, a certain degree of respect to ones ethnic identity. Such separate identification of “ethnic” based right is redundant for that same right is already contained within the basic or fundamental individual rights. Most importantly, I reject Article 39 of the 1995 Constitution on self-determination and/or up to secession and all related provisions. Those who advocate for its inclusion as a separate item in the bill of rights seem to have misread the concept of “statehood.” When they argue that the right of self-determination is included as an aspect of human and democratic rights, the net result seems to be, as absurd as it is that they are setting up a target in order to miss it.
Our culture is diverse, but that diversity is misconstrued to be a mark of difference rather than be looked at as the raw material from which the rich Ethiopian tapestry is being woven. Culture is only our reality in transition. In absolutist terms, no culture can be a goal, for culture (no matter how deeply felt) is simply a tool of survival, and as all utilitarian contraptions there will come a time when such culture becomes blunted, out dated, and simply fall apart due to overuse and obsolescence. Without such understanding of limits in our culture and enlightened guidance where appropriate, it is more than probable that we fall prey to chauvinism, ethnicism and primitive tribalism, and endless conflicts and final disintegration.
Ethnicity has no place in the political and economic life of our Ethiopia. Ethnicity should not have been elevated to such a degree as to form the very backbone of a political philosophy and structure as was done by TPLF. Numerous others have followed such ideology since the 1960s, but none had succeeded in taking state power other than the TPLF. It implemented its ethnicist philosophy as a political program for the first time for all of Ethiopia, in our long history. The result of such untested idea is a deeply fractured Ethiopia. We have moved back to the 1800s, a span of two hundred years. Ethiopia is a mosaic of cultures and people. No other country in the world, except the United States, can boast of such diversity. Our diversity must be seen and used as the foundation of our strength and beauty, rather than fault-lines of discontent and conflicts. Our diversity should not be used to divide us into small hostile isolated groups. Ethnic identity or language-based identity must never be used to divide people and weaken their voices by any political organization, party, or government organ (official).
The harm in the formation of ethnic based groups is no different than the harm one encounters in the formation of racist groups, and may be even more destructive of the social fiber of harmonious life of diverse groups living and sharing overlapping public and private spaces. No one should be limited by the fact of his or her ethnic identity from participation in the political, economic, cultural, and social life of our country. There shall be no privileged ethnic group in Ethiopia. Ethiopians have the right to move freely, settle anywhere, and form a family anywhere within Ethiopia or if they choose outside of Ethiopia. There shall be no law of restriction of these fundamental human rights. All Ethiopians are accorded the same types of rights and are called upon to discharge similar duties. No Ethiopian may be identified in official documents belonging to an ethnic group; the only identification on public record should be his or her Ethiopian Identity.
In our past history, when Christian Ethiopians fight against aggression from the outside, they fight for Ethiopia for their country. However, that is not true of Moslem Ethiopians in our history until very recently, for they fought to help other nations to defeat and conquer Ethiopia. There is a world of difference between such two approaches. It is easy for my detractors to label me as Moslem-hater. The reason I am facing facts headlong is not hatred of Moslems per se, but confronting rather a particular type of affiliation or sympathy of Moslem Ethiopians as was repeatedly shown in history that I am referring to. Ethiopia is equally ours, for Moslems and Christians alike. Fight for it; preserve it. Without Ethiopia, there is no freedom, no personal integrity, no autonomy, no pride, no family et cetera. Do not ever doubt it for a moment without Ethiopia we all will end up in Hellish life trampled under the barbaric boots of Arabs, Europeans, Americans, Indians, Chinese and everyone else.
The guiding principles of the new Ethiopia must place the survival of Ethiopia with its sovereignty and territorial integrity as its supreme singular core principle and its all consuming point of focus. Ethiopia is in great danger of disintegration or transition to a higher form of consciousness. It had been in transition since the time of the horrendous devastation caused by Ahmed Gragn, the surrogate Ottoman strongman. Since then Ethiopia has been its heroic fight in order to reestablish itself once again. From our recent past, we have learned an expensive lesson that individual political leaders must be counter checked by legitimate governmental structure based on the balancing of the three branches of government. We must start by accepting the fact that we do not have even a nascent democratic tradition, or a tradition of tolerance. Thus, we have to use an intermediary structure that will improve significantly individual human and civil rights, but not jeopardize or risk political fallout that will destroy the very fabric of Ethiopian unity and survival as a single country.
We all are aware of the fact that past “transitional governments” had changed into dictatorial “permanent governments” that of the transition period administration of the Military dictatorship of Mengistu Hailemariam followed by the Transitional Government of the EPRDF now that of the absolute dictatorship of Meles Zenawi, thereby plunging us again and again into dictatorial and brutal governments in our recent national history. We all have witnessed similar phenomenon elsewhere in the World as well. Thus, our approach must be carefully designed not to repeat the errors of our past. The individuals who are to be leading the Transition Government must be individuals who will not be running for office or be involved in any political leadership position in the election for the permanent Government after the transition period. They must not be actively engaged in any political party running for political office. They must be patriotic in their words and in their deeds with great pride in their Ethiopiawinet. They must be individuals with great integrity. They must be well versed in the history of Ethiopia and its diverse culture and people. As a system they must have demographic and regional diversity. Ω
Tecola Worq Hagos
July 25, 2011