The Danger of Ethnocentric Democracy in Ethiopia: A Call for Dialogue By Rev. Tegga Lendado, PhD.

September 28th, 2011 Print Print Email Email

The dynamics of democracy and ethnocentricity set a puzzling paradox to my layman’s mind. I am troubled by thinkers who juggle with both political concepts. I will therefore, try to show the danger of African or Ethiopian ethnocentric democracy that advocates the principle of separate but equal. My objective is to provoke healthy and tolerant discussions in view of initiating dialogue for peace, justice and reconciliation among political and religious factions. I do not wish to sound a politician because I am not one. I am sharing my views from a biblical stand point, moral stance and principles of justice while at the same time appreciating other religious and non-religious philosophies. In trying to understand the opposing views, i.e., ethnocentricity and populist democracy, I came across the discussion between two scholars, namely Tesfaye Habisso and Harold Marcus. Dr. Marcus comments:

“The other difference concerns my puzzlement at the striking allegation that prompted me to write a response in the first place: the claim that “the bloody chaos and disruptions that occurred after the May 2005 national and regional elections in Ethiopia were undoubtedly . . . the outcome of Western interference and attempt bent on ousting the current nationalist and populist developmental regime and replacing it with a client government in Ethiopia that would serve the interests of the West and its multi-national/ trans-national corporations, and not Ethiopia and the Ethiopians….I find it difficult to imagine that many EPRDF members accept this claim”. (Taken from: Harold Marcus comments on Tesfaye Habisso).

What does ‘current nationalist and populist developmental regime’ mean? Was not Mengistu’s dirgue nationalist and populist, at least at the outset? Was not Adolf Hitler nationalist to the core? Could nationalism mean ruthlessness, racism or trivial tribalism in these contexts? Is not current Ethiopian nationalist and populist developmental regime based on ethnocentricity? What does populist mean? If populist democracy means a government ‘of the people, for the people and by the people’, as in the ideals of ‘democracy’, then it is antithesis to tribalism, ethnocentricity, “nationalism” and neo-apartheid. Just as Professor Harold Marcus asserted herein above I also find it difficult to swallow. Regarding tribalism (which I call ethnocentricity here) David Lamb says, “It is one of the most difficult African concepts to grasp….. Publically, modern African politicians deplore it. Kenya’s President Daniel arap Moi calls it the cancer that threatens to eat out the very fabric of our nation.” Yet almost every African politician practices it— most African presidents are more tribal chiefs in their inner sentiment and conviction than national statesmen serving all on equal grounds. This very phenomenon remains perhaps the most potent force in the day-to-day African polity and life”.

In most post-independence African countries political leaders have been pulled apart between the onslaughts of divisive colonial-tribal legacy and the new nationalistic order. In the process the leaders seem to have set themselves apart as demi-gods and bonafide dictators. In the case of Ethiopia, primitive feudalism with its malice had held the country hostage to its painful and glorious past. Modernization had been taboo for the feudo-ecclesiastical empire which kept Ethiopia as a deserted island in the sea of the dynamic contemporary world until the 1974 revolution.

Prof. Marcus says, “In a disastrous turn of events, a small group of junior military officers hijacked the revolution and emerged as the most formidable force that defined the course of the popular uprising. What started as a nonviolent movement for change ended in bloodbath when the army officers turned their guns against the idealist young men and women who had a better vision for their people? During the dark era of the Red Terror, hundreds of thousands of fellow Ethiopians were tortured and slaughtered in cold blood. The 1991 ethnic-based revolution was dictated by two northern rebel groups that speak the same language, i.e. the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TEPLF) and the Eritrean People’s Liberation Front (EPLF). With the full complicity of the TPLF, EPLF succeeded Eritrea and declared independence. TPLF monopolistically controlled state power in Ethiopia and chose the colonial way of “power sharing” with its subservient puppet ethnic liberation groups it organized and created in its own image.”

Interestingly, the above statements suggest that, based on its own shrewd making, EPLF-single-handedly sponsored all other ethnic liberation fronts including TPLF. Now that Eritrea is gone with its EPLF elites of ethnocentric political philosophy, why would Ethiopia’s leaders adhere to EPLF’s schemes? Why should Ethiopia dwell on ethnic or tribal liberation front mentality even after liberating the ethnic groups which aspired for equality and justice? In other words, why shouldn’t TPLF and all the other liberation fronts exist in a federal democratic arrangement? The existence of such movements may be redundant and problematic; particularly since their objectives have long been achieved; unless it is a matter of satisfying one’s own hunger for power or greed for amassing wealth.

This leads me to say that all those liberation fronts including the TPLF should now join hands and hearts to form a reunited democratic Ethiopia. I suppose that would then close the chapter of ethnocentricity all together; and opt for engaging in broad-based dialogues for conflict-resolution, peace, justice and reconciliation. It also means that Ethiopian well-wishers and humanitarian entities need to save the Ethiopian people from the onslaughts of ethnocentric extremism by pressuring the government and opposition parties to a negotiating table as peace partners aspiring for national democracy as opposed to ethnic based feud. It also means that religious and other community leaders could pop-in to broker such proactive and peace-led engagements of political party leaders.

My biblical Christian ethics and principles do not allow me to think and act ethnocentric or tribal; or even think in terms of majority or minority; but rather think of universal, human, and transcendental. I believe a human being is larger than the individual (him/herself); or his/her tribe; or even his/her own daily life; because he/she is created in the likeness of Almighty God; for fulfilling God’s eternal human purpose. As the bearer of God’s own words of ethics I must therefore love and respect my neighbor. Any hatred or contempt toward my neighbor irrespective of his/her color, creed, national, racial, or tribal-tag is an assault on God’s very image; for the Bible says: “He who hates his brother is a murderer”. That is why I have to start with humanity first (Obang Metho, Solidarity Movement) to describe my ethos. All other elements of my complex ethos come after my humanity. Probably, closer to my humanity is my Ethiopianness and followed by my ethnic or regional identity.

Ultra-ethno-centricity essentially defies human dignity and morality. It promotes nepotism, corruption, attitude of superiority, inferiority, racism, tribalism and clanism (ex. KKK, apartheid, slavery, segregation, ethnic cleansing, etc.). I believe in the Eternal, All-wise, Very Different and Sovereign God. This is the only way I can make any sense of this life even in tragedies and sufferings; and the rule of evil. The principle of democratic governance by representation is a biblical principle: “…thou shalt provide men, such as fear God, men of truth, hating covetousness (unjust gain); and place such over them, to be rulers…” Exodus 18:21. Representative democracy is thus the closest system that may insure peace and prosperity; but it has to be led by people of optimum integrity, dedication, transparency, humbleness and humility.

A good model of ethnocentric democracy was the former Republic of South Africa. Let us review a short recent history of apartheid which I gathered from google.com and my own recollections. The apartheid system in South Africa was a system that promoted ethnic and racial segregation. Apartheid (apart-ness) was a system of legal racial segregation enforced by the National Party government of South Africa between 1948 and 1994, under which the rights of the majority ‘non-white’ inhabitants of South Africa were curtailed and minority rule by the whites was maintained. Apartheid was also practised in South West Africa, present-day Namibia under South African administration under a League of Nations mandate, until the territory’s independence in 1990. The system of racial segregation and bantustanization of the black South Africans classified inhabitants into four racial groups, namely, native, white, colored, and Asian, and residential areas were segregated, sometimes by means of forced removals. From 1970, black people were deprived of their citizenships legally becoming citizens of one of ten tribally based self-governing homelands called Bantustans, four of which became nominally independent states. I had the opportunity of witnessing the “independence” celebration of the last state of Venda in 1980 when I visited the country.

Since the 1950s, a series of popular uprisings and protests were met with the banning of opposition and imprisoning of anti-apartheid leaders. As unrest spread and became more violent, state organizations responded with increasing repression and state-sponsored violence. Reforms to apartheid in the 1980s failed to quell the mounting opposition, and in 1990 President F.W. DeKlerk began negotiation with apartheid culminating in multi-racial democratic elections in 1994, which were won by the African National Congress under Nelson Mandela.

Evidently, Mandela, Bishop Tutu and DeKlerk led the ending of apartheid by opening the way for the drafting of a new constitution for the country based on the principle of one person, one vote. The rest is recent history from which we can learn a great deal.

In conclusion I would say that no political system that defies human dignity, equality and freedom would bring lasting peace, justice and sustainable prosperity to a nation. The term majority-minority in politics should only be used to denote political divisions as per ideologies, principles, policies, programs, etc., but not tribal, linguistic or ethnic affiliations. Otherwise, an ethnic minority would be perpetually oppressed by the tyranny of an ethnic majority and vice-versa! A majority’s rights are not guaranteed until those of the minorities or even that of the individual are guaranteed. In God’s sight, when it comes to the human soul and spirit, the individual is just as important as the majority or minority. Indeed the individual is as significant being within his/her ethnic group; just as much as he/she is in the universe. The sense of ‘unitary national feeling’ that our forefathers crafted zealously and seriously; by eventually establishing a nation known as Ethiopia; should not be derailed by the newly brewed consciousness of ethnocentric heterogeneity. Certainly, if we want to live as one people, one nation, one flag, indivisible, under Almighty God, then Ethiopian national conviction and dedication should come before ethnic affiliation. What is good for one ethnic group or tribe should be good for all others in today’s ethnically and linguistically rich Ethiopia. In principle, accentuated ethnocentricity and democracy are incompatible. If they are not kept in balance, one may eliminate the other. The impending danger of ethnic violence in Ethiopia and, for that matter in the rest of Africa, can be avoided if all parties come in terms with the human reality on the ground; and the respect it demands among one another. Otherwise, the prevailing political polarization may result in, yet misguided and destructive, revolutions. To avoid such mishaps, visionary leaders at all levels must be proactively engaged in solidifying nationalistic attitudes among the Ethiopian citizens. If the Ultimate Supreme authority, Almighty God says: “Come and let us reason together” (Is. 1: 18), why not our Ethiopian and African political leaders in power invite their opponents into physical and mental prison; instead of inviting to a common platform for dialogue? I dare to say: Ethiopia should set the tone in this regard.

May God grant us courage to be humble in His sight! May we experience the power of Christ’s love in this Meskel celebration in Ethiopia and elsewhere! God bless all.

  1. nega
    | #1

    you try to be balanced & spiritual. you question ethnic federalism but you do not put alternative. there is no better system for ethiopia. but i am very sure that you are an Amahara who deeply feel that you have lost the game and would like to bring the old system. the situation in ethiopia is irreversable. melkam

  2. Yigermal
    | #2

    Thank you Rev. Dr. Lendado for this exremely moving and true to the heart article which I encourage all to read. It speaks of the truth from the very essence of what truth may represent for the majority of us who are famished for justice and democracy. Then again how many of us are willing and ready to open our hearts and minds as to transcend our own mutiple truths (many of which may be imaginary) and listen to such an objective truth which is closer to being universal in nature? Whatever the outcome, I encourage the reverend and many like him to continue speaking their minds until we are all together!

  3. Hilina Negassa
    | #3

    Thank you, AMEN.

  4. Yentew negn
    | #4

    Dear Rev,
    Thank your great article and insight, I fully support you idea and I hope everyone will start to subscribe to your recommendations
    Politicians by nature are very lazy people, but there are highly competitive. In order to bit their opponents they leave no stone unturned. They find things like ethnicity and kinship an easy item to sell to their constituency, hence they often resort to it. The fact that mesmerized me most is that they all understand the dangerous nature of playing with ethnic policy, but they resort to it. In a country like Ethiopia where people were integrated and organically assimilated for centuries, where communities were living side by side( in most of cases) peacefully and in harmony, the danger with playing with this kind treats of human nature (ethnicity, religion) are even more greater than anywhere else. Yes, there are few places in Ethiopia where people are more humongous than in other places (Tigray) in Ethiopia. Even that is becoming a thing of a past with faster rate than anyone has anticipated. The internal resistance by the tigrians elites to keep their population homogenous is now being shattered by the law of nature and by the greed of their elites like Sebahat Nega . For instances, He deliberately moved the base of the Ethiopian army to Tigray so as to keep to his huge profit margin for his enterprise for logistic and as untended consequences of this act, a lot of Non-Tigrian soldiers, to the greater disspaiontments of the tigran elites, are having children from Tigrian mothers. If the current dynamic of events are any indications, tigrains are the number one ethnic group who are migrating out of their origins in mass to other part of Ethiopia to take an advantage of the positive externality associated with being Tigrian in Ethiopia. Migrants, BTW, the only thing so far tigray as region is a net contributor to the so called Federal government of Ethiopia. Everywhere a Tigiran go in Ethiopia now days, an opportunity presents itself. The process of di-ethiopianzation of Ethiopian institutes and beucarucy and its tigrianzations is now completed. If you go to Ethiopia today you will start to notice that right from the gate (ariport). Everything seems to be completely responsive to this externality. BTW One does need to fill a form to claim it, even the non-tigrian part of the population response to it positively without additional or implicit instruction. Of course the non-tigrians are doing it out fear, not just because they thought it the right thing to do, nevertheless they do with zeal and effecatny unknown to Ethiopoia. For instance I have a friend who is building a house in Ethiopia in mehaber (15 of them), 7 of them applied for building permit for the same design change together in one go. Only one of them got the permit in one week and it took for the rest of them from 4 months in best case scenario to 9 months and an additional 9 thousand biir of 2009 denominations for permission fee. I will let the readers guess who got the permit done in week. This positive externality is so ubiquitous now, every Tigrians do understand it without being told so every one of them is rushing out of Tigray to be part of this great scramble. So it is invertible that they will be forced to learn other cultures and language and get married to others. If there are any people who should work to dismantle Ethnic based federalism in ethiopioa, it should have been the tigians. That is why it is a great puzzle for me to see them jealously protecting article 39.

  5. Jallala
    | #5

    I appreciate your vision. Unfortunately, we as nation are not there yet, and it will take us time to reach your vision. In the present Ethiopia, we do have very distinct and intact ethnic groups and regions. Take for example one of the largest ethnic group, the Ethio Somalis: more than 90% of about the 6 to 7 million Ethio Somalis live in the Somali region of Ethiopia, 90% of the population in that region speaks Somali. And there exist limited assimilation with other ethnic groups for centuries. The differences are so vivid that you can not wish them away. Your approach could not be practical and does not give sense in the present Ethiopia. Ask yourself, why is that a person who has lived in Addis for a long time or who is borne in Addis usually avoids to associate himself with a particular ethnic group? Ask yourself if this person if this person is affected by differences or disadvantaged by differences in language or political affiliation, etc. And, now think about the Gambelan or the Ethio Somali. How do you protect or defend their interests, if you expect them to act like you. What advantages do you have that they done have? And, think how you make it fare and balanced for all of them. Through progress and advances in communication, infrastructure, education, continuous movement of people from one region to the other, creates more assimilation of society and the narrowing of the gaps in the existing wide and very distinct differences and will ultimately bring your wishes for a homogeneous country where differences minimal more possible. We are not there yet! So, do not reject differences, only focus on the common things that you share with others, such as the nation Ethiopia.

  6. Yentew negn
    | #6

    Dear Rev,
    Thank your great article and insight, I fully support you idea and I hope everyone will start to subscribe to your recommendations
    Politicians by nature are very lazy people, but there are highly competitive. In order to bit their opponents they leave no stone unturned. They find things like ethnicity and kinship an easy item to sell to their constituency, hence they often resort to it. The fact that mesmerized me most is that they all understand the dangerous nature of playing with ethnic policy, but they resort to it. In a country like Ethiopia where people were integrated and organically assimilated for centuries, where communities were living side by side( in most of cases) peacefully and in harmony, the danger with playing with this kind treats of human nature (ethnicity, religion) are even more greater than anywhere else. Yes, there are few places in Ethiopia where people are more humongous than in other places (Tigray) in Ethiopia. Even that is becoming a thing of a past with faster rate than anyone has anticipated. The internal resistance by the tigrians elites to keep their population homogenous is now being shattered by the law of nature and by the greed of their elites like Sebahat Nega . For instances, He deliberately moved the base of the Ethiopian army to Tigray so as to keep to his huge profit margin for his enterprise for logistic and as untended consequences of this act, a lot of Non-Tigrian soldiers, to the greater disappointments of the Tigrian elites, are having children from Tigrian mothers. If the current dynamic of events are any indications, Tigrians are the number one ethnic group who are migrating out of their origins in mass to other part of Ethiopia to take an advantage of the positive externality associated with being Tigrian in Ethiopia.
    Migrants, BTW, is the only thing so far tigray as region is a net contributor to the so called Federal government of Ethiopia. An opportunity presents itself wherever a Tigiran go in Ethiopia now days. The process of di-ethiopianzation of Ethiopian institutes and its bureaucracy and its tigrianzations is now completed. If you go to Ethiopia today you will start to notice that right from the gate (ariport). Everything seems to be completely responsive to this externality.
    BTW One does need to fill a form to claim this privilege, even the non-tigrian part of the population adheres to it positively without additional or implicit instructions. Of course the non-tigrians are doing it out fear, not just because they thought it the right thing to do. They nevertheless do it with zeal and efficiency unknown in the past Ethiopia. For instance I have a friend who is building a house in Ethiopia in mehaber (15 of them), 7 of them applied for building permit for the same design change together in one go and only one of them got the permit in one week. The rest of them were literally struggling to get the same permission to the point of frustrations and it took them 4 months in best case scenarios to 9 months. In addition to that, they had to pay an additional permission fee amounting to 9 thousand biir of 2009 denominations. I will let the readers guess who got the permit done in week and without fee. This positive externality is so ubiquitous now, every Tigrians do understand it without being told so. All of them who are aware of that are rushing out of Tigray to be a part of this great scramble. So it is invertible that they will be forced to learn other cultures and language and get married to others. If there are any people who should work to dismantle Ethnic based federalism in Ethiopia, it should have been the Tigrians. That is why it is a great puzzle for me to see them jealously protecting article 39.
    BTW I love you article and your stand.

  7. Samuel
    | #7

    Abugida editors,

    Your censorship of critical opinions does not change anything on the ground in Ethiopia. It is better to face the reality than feeding a false hope coming from disgrunted groups like the author of this article.

  8. ጉረኞች
    | #8

    Jallala
    You said “Unfortunately, we as nation are not there yet, and it will take us time to reach your vision.” To your credit you’ve included yourself in it. But your reasoning emanated from complete racist outlook. You need to understand that Ethiopia cannot be a homogeneous country as it is made up of many ethnic groups. Every ethnic identity existing in Ethiopia is important and valuable asset and should be kept as is as much as possible. Homogeneity is not a prerequisite for living together but, democratic rights, human rights and rule of law are. The forefathers paved the way for all ethnic groups to live together as Ethiopians. The only thing the present generation has to do is to pave the way for the minority ethnic group be involved in the main stream politics. To do that, you do not have to selfishly argue only for your own ethnic group, you should argue for all human being living in Ethiopia. The Reverend is trying to tell you is the closest political system that would help is practicing liberal democracy.

  9. Jemal
    | #9

    The root cause of Africa’s strife, bloodshed, poverty and backwardness originate from tribalism and ethnocentrism fanned by demagogue politicians. Meles Zenawi is one of those politicians who uses tribal division to perpetuate his repressive rule and enrich himself and his friends.

  10. aha!
    | #10

    This is not a matter for negotiations: individual liberty and freedom, Ethiopian nationalism, Ethiopian national Interests and the sovereignity of Ethiopia and Ethiopians are in diametrically two sides of the negative forces of disintergration and the positive forces of integration of Ethiopia as we know it as one nation, one flag and one one reliligion to which our ancestors died for against foreign interventions against the unity and the territorial integrity of Ethiopia and lately with TPLF and its surrogates along with EPLF.

  11. Samuel
    | #11

    Aha,

    Sure, no one is going to negotiateb with a group whose agenda for Ethiopia is “one nation, one flag and one one reliligion”. I do not know where you will find such a mold in Ethiopia. You have to go to a desert and create a Utopia in your mold. Some yimes I wonder whether you are truly an Amhara or pretending to be an Amhara just to cause distraction.

  12. Anonymous
    | #12

    what is ethnocentric democracy? is that a new typ of democracy that the writer of the article tried to introduce us?

  13. aha!
    | #13

    Start with yourself undergoing a revival process to do what I suggested you should do. I do not deny that you may have been indocrinated by TPLF/eprdf regime into ethnic and secessionist politics and/or policies of ethnic fedralism and ethnic secessionism with underlying totalirianism. Non-violent uprising to individual freedom and liberty, to restore Ethiopian Nationalism, Ethiopian National Interests and the Sovereignity of Ethiopia is not available for negotiations. It is also pertinent to current constitution, which your are in support of. Freedom and the constitution are qualitative items, not quantitative items, which you either have it or you do not have them, where with the latter one need to change/ratify the constitution. A constitution that that TPLF/eprdf or most appropriately the TPLF Politbuerro with the help of the ethnic federalists (teletafi and loyalist opposition parties) to uphold by all means of self-rule, separate but unequal developments of nine regions demarcated with ill defined boundries, instead of leaving them as the original 14-15 Provinces. Those are the contetious issues along with the Sovereignity of Ethiopia.

  14. ጉረኞች
    | #14

    Samuel
    You are numero uno woyane agent in this forum pretending to be an oromo. You are so worried that oppositions will do away from destructive ethnic division and unite to fight woayne’s ethnic hegemony and bury primitive tribal mindset forever in Ethiopia. That is the trend you can never stop and the wish of Ethiopians that would be realized soon.

  15. toto
    | #15

    SAMUEL IS THE SAME PERSON WHO SOMETIMES CALLS HIMELF ORRDOFFA.

    and is a TPLF stooge working 24/7 on the net to earn his living. Every body is aware of who you are. Good try.

  16. aha!
    | #16

    With the latest addition of (Tigrai-Harena)/OPDM/Medrek/fdd/fdre prior to 2010 election as mirror image to the already existing TPLF/eprdf, the balance has futher tipped towards the negative forces of disintegration. That reflects ethnic rule (minority or majority ethnic rule) and Article 46 division of land mass of Ethiopia into nine major ethnic groups with self-rule but separate and unequal development. Such demarcation of Real State serves as a prelude to secession, Article 39 (1), to say the least the sovereignity of Ethiopia and Ethiopia has been put into question.

    From the outset, before the fall of the Derg, the dialog was among the liberation movements is come to a consesus on powersharing when they take over the government, to which OLF is scoffed off and left the governing body for armed struggle. This in of itself shows that Ethiopia had been governed by the coalition of liberation movements to the exclusion of parties with national agenda for unity, territorial integrity, sovereignity of Ethiopia and Ethiopians.

    In the last five years the set up of coalition of UDP, a pro democracy movement for democracy, human rights and justice with the loyalist (ethnic fedralists) opposition parties with ethnic agenda to maintain respect for ethnic rights, human rights and justice, are nothing more than a subset of the national agenda for UDJP and an ethnic agenda for ethnic fedralists. Ethnic federalists because they support Article 46 and are not supportive of ethnic secessionists.

    The way I perceive it similar secenario arrangment has been developed in the form of Alliance between part of CUD and the liberation movements after 2005, and lately befor 2010 election with Ginbot 7 and the liberation movements in the form of Alliance, instead of the liberation movenents merging with Ginbot 7 for freedom and democracy for all Ethiopians, which in this time around the consensus is to remove TPLF/eprdf regime and then engage in a dialogue with respect to powersharing after the fall of TPLF/eprdf regime, only to maintain the status quo with respect to the constitution, and the governance by the coalition of liberation movements and ethnic fedralists (loyalist opposition parties and the reconstituted teletafi parties, with the blessing from the Western democratic countries.

    This being the configuration of Ethiopian ethnic and secessionist politics and parties being organised along ethnic lines, the non-violent struggle for individual freedom, Ethiopian Nationalism, Ethiopian National Interests and the sovereignity of Ethiopia is left on the way side, unless the frame work of the constitution be put into question and a consesus is reached to ratfy the constitution pertaining to Article 46, 39 (1), 8 and individual rights to supercede the ethnic and secessionist rights before the fall of the TPLF/eprdf regime.

  17. jolaima
    | #17

    what we want is: Democray,Justice,And Bread.

    Yesterday,they were sokesmen and spokeswomen of nationalism indisguise,today they are completely transormed themselves into fascists.

    In naked English that meanse, they are Divisive,Looters and Murderers.Dear,readers;all of which meanse,we are standing together and fighting to vitctory against the groups that degrade humanity and deprived citizens of democracy and justice in Ethiopia.We know,for sure,we are one and many people in being denied justice,democracy,and bread and they are just groups that oppressed and suppressed millions.We are millions;together,we shall end our common struggle against our common criminal groups in victory.Amen to our dear lord,God.

  18. aha!
    | #18

    Jolaima, freedom and liberty, restoration of Ethiopian Nationalism, Ethiopian National intersts and the sovereignity of Ethiopia precedes democracy, justice and bread. Such priority may have escaped the pro-democracy movements, and is not embraced by the ethnicfederalists (teletafi and loyalist opposition parties. To add insult to an injury UDJP is in a coalition with the loyalist opposition parties with ethnic agenda as OPDM/Medrek/fdd/fdre and Ginbot 7 is an alliance with OLF and ONLF, making it difficult to coalesce on the national agenda for unity, territorial integrity, sovereignity of Etiopia and Ethiopians as the only alternative to induce capitalism and democracy.”Standing together” need to translate into coalescing over the national agenda with strategies to achieve those goals of the national agenda, common to businesses and political organizations elsewhere.

  19. aha!
    | #19

    I forgot to thank the author for drawing the analogy of governance to that of Apartheid of South Africa by Afrikaners, which I think is what TPLF/eprdf rule is adopting for the most most part in terms of its divide and rule policy of self-rule and separate development under ethnicferalism and secessionism plus totaliarinism of minority ethnocratic rule, but not ethnocentric democratic rule. In this case the minority ethnic rule, which culmnated into a one man rule, which the prodemocracy movements are clammoring upon the prime minister as if the removal of one man along with his cohorts would change the secenario above (ethnicferalism and secessionism with underlying totaliarianism along with sovereignity of Ethiopia remaining in tact in the constitution). A set up that does not allow for capitalism and democracy to take a foot hold in Ethiopia for the silent majority of Ethiopians, except for TPLF and TPLF and TPLF affiliated enterpises and foreign corporations. That probably reflect ethnocentric democracy, a democracy for TPLF and TPLF affiliated enterprises and foreign corporations.

  20. aha!
    | #20

    Furhermore, the constituitional frame work and governance: autocratic rule and ethnocratic rule, not only precluded capitalism and democracy for the silent majority of Ethiopians; but also contributed to the lack of independent branches of government, especially the judiciary, where justice could be served and humanright violetions be averted.

  21. TraitorMeles
    | #21

    4. yentew negn,we have no patience to wait till those tigrayan suckers have transformed themselves. By the way these tribal homelands were invented by our western enemies US and UK to end Ethiopias existence,but they wont succeed because we know that that is their agenda. And their tigrayan slaves support that agenda not because they care for other tribes but because of their insecurity toward the great amaras they enjoy to destroy what amaras had built.

  22. Anonymous
    | #22

    By:- Hanna kebede Switherland Tuesday 11.10.2011

    The “anti-terrorism law” is a masterpiece of obscurity, superficiality, unclarity, uncertainty, inanity. It defines “terrorism” with such vagueness and over breadth that any act, speech, statement, and even thought, could be punished under its sweeping provisions. Anyone who commits a “terrorist act” with the aim of “advancing a political, religious or ideological cause” and intending to “influence the government”, “intimidate the public”, “destabilize or destroy the fundamental political, constitutional, economic or social institutions of the country” could be condemned to long imprisonment or suffer the death penalty. Making or publishing statements “likely to be understood as encouraging terrorist acts” is a punishable offense under the “law”.
    We the People of Ethiopia
    Some are perfectly willing to cast the fate of Ethiopia to the wind and say, “If Ethiopia disintegrates, so be it. It was not meant to be.” I believe the unity of all Ethiopians is divinely ordained. That is why I look forward to the day when Ethiopians– men and women, young and old, rich and poor, city dwellers and country folks, the learned and illiterate and those of diverse faiths and languages– will assemble and issue a Great Charter announcing to the world: “We, the people of Ethiopia, in order to form a more perfect Union…”

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