Identity Politics and Ethiopia’s Transition to Democracy By Alemayehu G Mariam

April 9th, 2012 Print Print Email Email

Last week, the Voice of America Amharic radio program reported on the forced official removal (“displacement”) of a large number of people e from the southern part of Ethiopia. According to the report, numerous Amhara farming families from the town of Gura Ferda were ordered by local officials to pack up and go back to their “kilil” ethnic homeland. A number of these displaced persons told the VOA that they were summoned by local officials and ordered to “leave their lands” and get out of town before sundown. Many of them were born in the area or had lived there for decades. Before leaving, the victims of official displacement were required to sign an official document which stated that they had “illegally acquired, held and farmed land in the area” and now are voluntarily returning it to the local administration. Hundreds of displaced families left town headed to the capital of Addis Ababa to petition Zenawi’s regime for redress of grievances. As they gathered outside the “Parliament”, they were rounded up by security officials and trucked out to parts unknown. A representative of Zenawi’s regime told the VOA she knows nothing about the situation and that an investigation is underway. In the recent past, tens of thousands of other citizens have reportedly been removed from Benji Maji Zone in the “Southern Nations” region.

Forced removal of populations (under different designations

“resettlement”,”villagisation”, “displacement”, etc.) has a sinister and ugly history in Ethiopia. In the past few years, Zenawi’s regime has undertaken a massive program of “villagization” (permanent removal of local populations from ancestral lands) in the Gambella region in Western Ethiopia to make way for the Indian agrobuiness multinational Karuturi and other “investors”. Zenawi’s top agriculture official said “there is no movement of population” in Gambella. But that is contradicted by a UNICEF field study which concluded:

The deracination [uprooting from ancestral lands] of indigenous people that is evident in rural areas of Gambella is extreme. It is very likely that Anuak (and possibly other indigenous minorities) culture will completely disappear in the not-so-distant future. Cultural survival, autonomy, rights of self-determination and self-governance are all legitimate issues for these indigenous groups, and these are all enshrined by international covenants and United Nations bodies – but all are meaningless in Gambella today.

The military junta (Derg) that ruled Ethiopia from the mid-1970s until 1991 used “resettlement” as a political and tactical counter-insurgency weapon. The Derg “resettled” populations in rebel-controlled areas in the north of the country to create military buffer zones and to deny the insurgents local support. At the onset of the 1984 famine, the Derg initiated a resettlement program for 1.5 million people from insurgent-controlled and drought-affected northern regions to the south and southwest of the country. The Derg claimed the people were relocating voluntarily. Tens of thousands of people died in that resettlement program from illness and starvation. Families were separated as people fled the ill-equipped and ill-managed resettlement centers.

Ironically, the northern insurgents, who have now wielded power in Ethiopia for the past 21 years, condemned the Derg and characterized the “resettlement” centers as “concentration” camps. In 2012, the very leaders who fought against such inhuman practices have become the chief architects and engineers of a new and systematic program of forced resettlement and transfer of population in Ethiopia. It seems history repeats itself over and over again in Ethiopia. But for the record, “deportation or forcible transfer of population”, (defined as “forced displacement by expulsion or other coercive acts from the area in which they are lawfully present, without grounds without grounds permitted under international law”) is one of the specified crimes against humanity under the Article 7(d) of the Rome Statute.

Kililistans and Bantustans

For the past two decades, Zenawi has been repackaging an atavistic style of tribal politics in a fancy wrapper called “ethnic federalism.” He has managed to segregate the Ethiopian people by ethno-tribal classifications and corralled them like cattle into grotesque regional political units called “kilils” (literally means “reservation”; semantically, the word also suggests the notion of an exclusion zone, an enclave). “Kilil” is basically a kinder-and-gentler form of Apartheid-style Bantustans (“black African tribal homelands”). The ideology of “kililism” shares many of the attributes of Apartheid’s “Bantustanism”. Both ideologies aim to concentrate members of designated ethnic groups into “homelands” by creating ethnically homogenous territories which could ultimately morph into “autonomous” nation states. Zenawi made sure to insert Article 39 in the Ethiopian Constitution which provides: “Every nation, nationality or people in Ethiopia shall have the unrestricted right to self-determination up to secession.” In other words, the “kilils” could secede and become sovereign nations, which was precisely the ultimate aim of the Bantustans.

But there are many other similarities. One of the major policy aims of “Bantustanization” was to make South Africa’s blacks nationals of the homelands instead of the nation of South Africa. By politically disempowering them and diminishing their national citizenship and human rights to travel freely and establish residence in any part of the country, Bantustanization effectively atomized black African communities. The forced removal of disapproved ethnic groups from the southern part of Ethiopia accomplishes the same purpose. “Bantustanization” was based on forced relocation of the black African population from different parts of South Africa to the “homelands”. It aimed at eventually accommodating every black person in South Africa into one of the 10 “homelands”. Kililism has effectively achieved that objective by corralling Ethiopians in 9 “regional states” (kililistans) organized exclusively on the basis of ethnicity. “Bantustanization” was used strategically to prevent alliances between the various African ethnic groups. It was an effective tool of the Apartheid government’s policy of divide and rule to cling to power. “Kililism” serves the same purpose in Ethiopia today to the point where a handful of individuals exercise absolute power . According to the International Crises Group, (a research organization that gives advice to the United Nations, European Union and World Bank):

Once close to their rural Tigrayan constituency, the TPLF and the EPRDF top leaderships now largely operate in seclusion from the general public. This has led to a situation in which an increasingly smaller number of politicians – the TPLF executive committee and the prime minister’s immediate advisers – decide the political fate of the country.

Playing the Ethnic Card to Divide and Misrule

My basic belief is that tyranny, despotism and dictatorship thrive and flourish when the people are disunited and fragmented particularly along ethnic lines and the tyrants and their supporters maintain their ironclad unity. Ethnicity in Ethiopia, as in other parts of Africa, is a source of division, weakness, conflict and violence. Unity is a source of strength, harmony, peace and reconciliation. African dictators have used ethnicity as a powerful weapon to divide and rule.

In October 2011, I wrote a weekly commentary about the “ultimate weapon found in the arsenal of tyrants and despots– divide and misrule”:

For the past two decades, the maxim of those who have riveted themselves to the platform of power in Ethiopia has been: “We, the rulers of the people, in order to form a more perfect disunion…” They have put to use the ultimate weapon found in the arsenal of tyranny and despotism. They have divided and misruled, divided and subjugated, and divided and parceled away the land in bits, pieces and chunks. They have managed to systematically divide the people by region, city, town and even neighborhood. They have succeeded in dividing the people by corralling them into homelands (Bantustans) in the name of “ethnic federalism”. They have sought to divide the people by language and religion, and even rupture the bonds of affection between Ethiopians living in the country and those in the Diaspora.

This past January I wrote a commentary encouraging all Ethiopians to unite around a common purpose and destiny and celebrate the very idea of unity among peoples of a nation and warned of the dire consequences of failing to bridge the artificially manufactured ethnic divide: “A nation divided by race, tribe and ethnicity is doomed to poverty, ignorance and strife. I have always marveled at the majestic opening phrases in the Preamble to the U.S. Constitution: “We the People of the United States, in Order to form a perfect Union…”

Overcoming Identity Politics in the Transition to Democracy

In the transition from dictatorship to democracy, one of the greatest challenges Ethiopians will face is the problem of identity politics at the ideological level and “kililism” at the structural and constitutional levels. One could surmise that the current political rationale for “kililism” could create a chaotic, if temporary, situation in the transition to democracy and potentially impair much needed efforts to create national unity, preserve the country’s territorial integrity and guarantee its political sovereignty. The challenge, in my view, is how to transform the politics of identity and ethnicity into a dialogue over strengthening national unity and furthering the common cause of our humanity through cooperation, accommodation and reconciliation (while avoiding the path to conflict and violence).

The threshold issue for me is whether it is productive to play Zenawi’s “ethnic card” game. He has used it as an effective tool to justify his one-man, one-party divide and misrule. He has used the “ethnic card” to anger and distract his opponents and divert public attention from the desperate economic situation in the country (“a recent report by the Addis Ababa-based research group Access Capital SC stated, ‘Ethiopia had the second-highest inflation rate in the world last year, when it peaked at 40.6 percent’”). It is best to leave the ethnic polarization game to Zenawi and focus on ethnic reconciliation, cooperation and collaboration.

There is much social scientific literature to suggest that “identities are constructed and can be deconstructed and reconstructed anew”. In other words, ethnic identity like other forms of identity is malleable. It can be transformed over time by processes of immigration, marriage, education, national integration, nation-building, economic development and other factors. (Zenawi’s antidote to this process is segregation of people in kililistans where there will be little opportunity for “ethnic fusion” or assimilation.) Often, ethnic identity trumps all other issues and leads to conflicts where there is an absence of social and legal justice, poor governance and denial of the equal protection of the laws and opportunities. The real challenge for Ethiopia’s opposition political leaders, scholars, elites and ordinary folks today is to re-conceptualize the politics of identity which for so long has been based on historical and current grievances to a politics based on promoting and implementing human rights values. I believe a paradigm shift in the way we understand and discuss the question of ethnic identity; and that necessitates first and foremost a change in the very language of communication we use to construct, deconstruct and reconstruct ethnicity and its associated social, economic and political problems.

Inventing a New Language for a New Identity

I have previously argued for and proposed a new “language” for dialogue on the question of ethnicity in Ethiopia. (I even “invented” words (neologisms) for the occasion, one of the privileges of an academician.) I find it necessary to re-articulate those ideas once again. I view ethnicity as the flip side of the coin of unity. The coalescence of ethnic groups is the fabric of unity in any nation. When subnational groups are fragmented, divided and are at odds with each other, a nation faces the threat of disintegration. Zenawi sees Ethiopia as a collection of 9 distinct and autonomous kilils. In other words, Ethiopia for Zenawi is a patchwork of “nations and nationalities” that have very little in common (a convenient cover for divide and rule) and with mutually exclusive interests. We believe Ethiopia is a variegated mosaic of multiculturalism where all citizens have the same rights, freedoms, opportunities and protections under the law. They can live, work, play and pray in any part of their country without any limitations or restrictions whatsoever!

In the transition from dictatorship to democracy, it will be necessary to build a new kind of unity based on our common humanity. This special unity is grounded in a fundamental belief that our common bonds of humanity are greater than the sum of our bonds of ethnicity, nationality and communality. Our common yearning for freedom, democracy and human rights is greater than our narrow ethnic interests. Our commitment to each other’s human dignity is nobler than the arrogant ethnic identity.

Unity that is based on our common humanity draws not only on universal ethical and moral values but also on the African ethic of “Ubuntu”, often used by Nelson Mandela to teach us about the essence of human existence: “A person is a person because of other people. You can do nothing if you don’t get the support of other people.” “Ubunity” is unity that requires us to see each other as brothers and sisters and relate to each other on the basis of the principles of sharing, caring, trust, tolerance, honesty and morality. We do not see each other with a colored ethnic lens that filters for Oromo, Amhara, Tigrean, Gurage and so on but with a clear lens that is calibrated to illuminate justice, equality and fairness. The special unity of which I speak is also grounded in an unshakeable belief that our individual liberty must be protected against those who commit crimes against humanity and acts of atrocity, sneer at public accountability and abuse their authority and act beyond the limits of constitutionality.

I ask all Ethiopians to strive for a special kind of unity which I call both “humunity” and “younity”. “Huminity” is unity based not on ethnicity or nationality but on a blend of core universal values of human dignity and the African ethic of “ubunity”. It requires individual moral commitment to respect and uphold human rights, an allegiance to the rule of law, a belief in the consent of the people as the only legitimate basis of power, and strict adherence to principles of constitutional governance, accountability and transparency. If we could develop wide and deep consensus on these values, we would have achieved unity of thought, purpose and consciousness, the prerequities to all other forms of unity. More importantly, if f we put these values into action by defending the rights of victims of human rights abuses, working for improvements in the observance of human rights conventions, organizing, teaching and preparing the youth for a democratic society, exposing corruption and abuse of power, strengthening our interpersonal relations across ethnic, religious and class lines, we will have achieved unity in action and deeds. Is it not true that the things that divide us, sow discord and hatred amongst us are rooted in and fester because of the very absence of these universal values in our lives?

Tyrants divide the people by magnifying the smallest of differences. Often, the people fall prey to the schemes of tyrants and sing their songs of discord and division. But in my conception of “huminity”, it is possible to have diversity of opinion, views and approaches because I believe “Every difference of opinion is not a difference of principle.” If we embrace and practice the universal principles of human rights, we will realize that it is not about our ethnicity, nationality, language, religion, region or anything else, but what we can do collectively and individually to remove the yoke of oppression and tyranny, institute democracy and the rule of law to uphold human dignity.

My conception of “younity” is a simple idea about you and I together standing up to tyranny, corruption and abuse of power. It is based on the notion that each one of us is a link in a long chain of both oppression and freedom. Our yearning for freedom welds the links in the chain of unity; tyranny melts the links. I believe we all have an individual civic and moral duty to strengthen the links and bonds of unity in the Ethiopian people by embracing and practicing the core values of human dignity and rights. Political leaders must adopt a new and more powerful language of “huminity” to bring the people of divergent views together. Religious leaders must speak of “huminity” in the language of divinity. They should preach and pray for unity. Civic leaders must speak up and advocate for “huminity”. Academics must teach the ways of “huminity” to the youth; and the youth must teach the older generation of the necessity of “huminity” for a new and enlightened Ethiopian community. Most importantly, ordinary people in the street must speak in the language of our common humanity (ubunity) to achieve ultimate unity.

Playing the ethnic card game with Zenawi is to fall victim to destructive identity politics that breeds division, hatred, conflict, and cynicism. We can choose to play Zenawi’s zero-sum ethnic card game (a game in which he always wins and we always lose) and express outrage over the spectacle he has created in Gura Ferda, Gambella, Benj Maji and wherever else. But we can also rise above ethnicity and the politics of identity and help build a national Ethiopian identity. But how…?

“Establish New Relationships, Devoid of any Resentment and Hostility”

The most direct way to build a new national identity is to establish new relationships and discard the old and tired ways of hatred and domination. We must look to a vision of Ethiopia that is not only free of dictatorship and tyranny but also united. On the occasion of the establishment of the permanent headquarters of the Organization for African Unity (OAU) in Addis Ababa on May 25, 1963, H.I.M. Haile Selassie made the most compelling case for African unity. One-half century later, that same message rings true for Ethiopia:

We look to the vision of an Africa not merely free but united. In facing this new challenge, we can take comfort and encouragement from the lessons of the past. We know that there are differences among us. Africans enjoy different cultures, distinctive values, special attributes. But we also know that unity can be and has been attained among men of the most disparate origins, that differences of race, of religion, of culture, of tradition, are no insuperable obstacle to the coming together of peoples. History teaches us that unity is strength, and cautions us to submerge and overcome our differences in the quest for common goals, to strive, with all our combined strength, for the path to true African brotherhood and unity…. Our efforts as free men must be to establish new relationships, devoid of any resentment and hostility, restored to our belief and faith in ourselves as individuals, dealing on a basis of equality with other equally free peoples.

Close ranks regardless of ethnicity or regionality; reaffirm our basic humanity in our Ethiopianity; renounce our old enmity; openly declare our steadfast unity and trumpet our Ethiopian nationality at every opportunity. Let us strive to establish a new identify in Ethiopian unity!

  1. aha!
    | #1

    Bravo Professor Alemayehu, you have now come to the realization that ideologies for the TPLF/eprdf regime built into the constitution and directly supported by the teletafi (ethnic fereralist) parties and the loyalist (ethnic federalist) opposition parties that now formed a coalition/front before the 2010 election are indirect support of the constitution of ethnic federalism, secessionism and totalirianism along with, UDJP, which is part of coalition with the goals for democracy, human right and justice, as a subset of the national agenda for unity, territorial integrity, sovereignity of Ethiopia and Ethiopians, where the last item refers to individual freedom,liberty and equality to have precedence over ethnic and secessionist rights.

    Although I do not agree with having autonomy along ethnic lines, I agrree to autonomy to autonomy of the original provinces with Eritrea included shoud they want to join the motherland in a true democratic rule rather than ethnic rule minority or majority ethnic rule with individual freedom, liberty and equality as the center piece of the constitution.

    Your argument condemning of ethnic federalism, which has the direct and indirect support, from the teletafi parties and loayalist opposition parties, and puppet administrators of the Killil mengistats/ethnic zones respectively, does not underscore the ethnic and secessionist politics and/or policies built into the constitution of ethnic federalism, secessionism and totaliarnism, hindering individual freedom, liberty and equality to supercede ethnic rights and secessionist rights, totaliarinism which denies free maket capitalism, democracy and private ownership of land and businesses to the silent majority of Ethiopians, except to TPLF and TPLF affiliated enterprises and land to foreign corporations at the expense of local farmers in the region to whom first and foremost the infrastucture of hydoelic power pant and the dam for irrigation has to focus on the local farmers in the region and enterprenuers form other parts of the country to have the right to settle run businesses and farming in the Omo River Basin, rather than foreign corporations, in a carefully planned ecosystem managenet approach of maintaining pristine lands as well cultivation practices of the land under irrigated farming practices.

    While I commend on your article touching upon one of the crucial ideologies, which the TPLF/eprdf regime uses as its divide and rule policy as in colonial and or appartheid system for the most part, it leaves in tact, secessionism and totaliarinsm as well as the creation of an exploitation, econimic and political strangle hold of the countries resources by TPLF and TPLF affilated enterprises, cadres and foreign corporation to say the least about rampant corruption, which you may have toched upon previously. Nevertheless, I am thankfull of your insight into ethnic federalism, which I perceive as a division of land into seven of Nine and/or 80 ethnic groups to impose ethnic rule of one sort or another, to set a precedence for seccessionism and a precedence for future border conflict as was the case with Eritrea and set a condition for ethnic and secessionist rights to have precedence over individual rights, whereas if the individual rights are respected the goup rights follows though, but not vice versa.

  2. Dawi
    | #2

    FACES of Meles – according to the author:

    Uproots them:

    [[...The deracination [uprooting from ancestral lands] of indigenous people that is evident in rural areas of Gambella is extreme. It is very likely that Anuak (and possibly other indigenous minorities) culture will completely disappear in the not-so-distant future….]]

    Concentrates them:

    [[... ideologies aim to concentrate members of designated ethnic groups into “homelands” by creating ethnically homogenous territories which could ultimately morph into “autonomous” nation states...]]

    Unrestricted rights:

    [[..Zenawi made sure to insert Article 39 in the Ethiopian Constitution which provides: “Every nation, nationality or people in Ethiopia shall have the unrestricted right to self-determination up to secession.”...]]

    Will the real Meles please stand up!

  3. aha!
    | #3

    What you are suggesting is what is going on now and being on for centuries of creating a melting pot of ethnicitities though Zemecha to induce balabts to pay tibute to the central government for government services in education , miltary and police forces and government officials, through self-mivated immigration either from drought affected areas, through marriage and government resettlement programs and private farming enterpreneurs, continued to live harmoniously then and now. What was eliminated during the Derg regime the private farming ventures, which are now replaced by foreign corporations and TPLF leaders and the set up of the government in terms of ethnic federalism, secessionism, and totaliarinism as carry over from the Derg regime. The silent majority of Ethiopia are just doing fine as ever before, despite perturbations caused by ethnic federalism, secessionism and totaliarinism, a major part of the constitution, supported by the teletafi and loyalist opposition parties, the killil Mengistat administrators, security forces, military forces in a government which is autocratic, ethnocratic and with non-independent branches of government prevails, despite the inclination of the masses to live harmoneously as one nation, one flag and one Official languge for commerce and education, while the others develop their languages and cultures in a competetive and coperative manner much like the species population of animals to find their niche, anywhere in Ethiopia. That is the fundumental individual right that need to be espoused, not the suggestion that ethnic identity will diminish without dismantling ethnic fedreralism, secessionism, which cages ethnic groups into ethnic enclaves instead of resorting to original provincial boundries with assrted ethnic groups as autonomous States as a solution, while maintainig ethnic identity second and Ethiopiawinet second, with due respect to ones citizenship to Ethiopia one way or the other.

    So what is needed is a reflective thinking of the teletafi and loyalist opposition members including the latest Tigrai-Harena and ethnic secessionist like OLF and/OFF to abandon their ethinc hat and wear thae for the national agenda for unity, territorial integrity, sovereignity of of Ethiopia and Ethiopians, where in the struggle becomes for freedom from autocratic, ethnocratic rule to democratic rule with individual freedom , liberty and equality at the center piece of the constitution.

  4. aha!
    | #4

    Ethiopiawinet first, not second.

  5. Anonymous
    | #5


    You are a shameless Amhara with egregious contempt to all other ethnic groups. Tell us where the niche of Amharas is. Your solution for language problem may be the last straw that is going to divide the country and I can assure you that it will happen. Getachew Haile, Imiru Zelleke are not the wise men that people look upto to come with a plausible solution. Your vision is much more a problem for the survival of the country than the TPLF plan.

  6. Dawi
    | #6

    This Prof. Al’s piece, Transition to Democracy is similar to Messay’s manifesto call of last year. As Prof. Messay did then, this paper shows where one arrives after pondering on the “tragedy” of Ethiopia’s situation for a while as both did.

    It is nice that Prof. Al is inventing words and all for the occasion and as he said it is his privilege as an academician but, we need more than that to go where we want to be out of serious ethnic tension and Civil Wars, on top of that Poverty.

    There is no silver bullet however; the fact on the ground requires the “REAL THING”; which is economical development as promoted by the Meles’s Growth & Transformation act and hopefully the Meles Dictatorship applying that in a “friendly”, cooperative manner with all stake holders including Prof. Al & Messay. i.e. a Growth & Transformation as in the Asian Tigers.

    The historic experience shows that richer, more educated and more equal countries are more likely to be democratic. Countries which once reached a level of development and social maturity will then seek to be liberated from the restrictions imposed by the dictatorship to a transition to Democracy with passive resistance as Prof. Al’s suggested. Off course insurrection if need be, to transform from dictatorship to democracy.

  7. aha!
    | #7

    You canot have it both ways. Eat your cake and have it too. The silent majority of Ethiopians are wedged between the positive forces of integration and negative forces of disintegration. The breaking up of the country into ethnic feudal kingdoms are not sustainable and against Ethiopian nationalism, Ethiopian national intersets and the soveignity of Ethiopia. To resolve the humanitarian, economic, political and environmental crises perpetrated by TPLF/eprdf regime of which the teletafi (ethnic fedralist) and loyalist (ethnic federalist ) opposition parties including Tigrai-harena does not make a tansition to democracy make but a transition from minority to a majority ethnic rule. Therfore to resolve the above crises by dismantling ethnic federalism, secessionism and totaliarinism and attain individual freedom, liberty and equality by uniting over the goals for national agenda for unity, territorial integrity, sovereignity of Ethiopia and Ethiopians is the only way to tip the balance to the positive forces of integration, unless you want to live under servitude under TPLF/eprdf, multi-layer, hierarchal political model, which is supported by the teletafi (ethnic-fedralist ) parties and loyalist (ethnic federalist) parties including Tigai-harena, ANDEM of the Amahara ethnic party. It is time form them and for you as a follower to undergo a reflective thinking process to thik out of the box by indentifying onself as Ethiopiawinet first and ones ethnicity second to save Ethiopia from disintegration. You labled me as an Amhara to spit out your hatred for the Amahra ethnic group, when notion has a bearing on Ethiopiawinet, not Amahara, not ethnic oriented. I do not blame if you do not have the aptitude for scientific problem solving and directed my comment to the author. I will comment on yours when write an article.

  8. Adananom
    | #8

    As the Ethiopian saying “Man Yemesker Yenebere – Man Yareda Yekebere” ,Here is the fact from the source.I hope you will not post it but at least you may read it and know the fact.
    አዲስ አበባ, ሚያዝያ 1 ቀን 2004 (አዲስ አበባ) -ከደቡብ ክልል ቤንች ማጂ ዞን ጉራፌርዳ ወረዳ በሺዎች የሚቆጠሩ የአማራ ክልል ተወላጆች ከቤት ንብረታቸው እንደተፈናቀሉ ተደርጎ በቅርቡ የተናፈሰው ወሬ መሰረተ-ቢስ መሆኑን የክልሉ ርእስ መስተዳድር አስታወቁ።

    ርዕስ መስተዳድሩ አቶ ሽፈራው ሽጉጤ ለመገናኛ ብዘሃን በሰጡት መግለጫ እንዳስታወቁት በቤንች ማጂ ዞን በሚገኙ አስር ወረዳዎች ውስጥ ከ30 ዓመታት በላይ የኖሩ የአማራ ክልል ተወላጆች አሁንም ሰላማዊ ኑሯቸውን እየመሩ ነው።

    በዞኑ በ2000 ዓ.ም በተካሄደ ጥናት በጉራፌርዳ ወረዳ 22 ሺህ 46፣ በሜኒ ሻሻ 1ሺህ 484 በሜኒት ጎልደያ ደግሞ 1ሺህ 520 የአማራ ክልል ተወላጆች እንዳሉ ተረጋግጧል ብለዋል።

    እንደ አቶ ሽፈራው ገለጻ እነዚህ የአማራ ክልል ተወላጆች በወረዳዎቹ አሁንም ህይወታቸውን በሰላማዊ መንገድ እየመሩ ናቸው።

    የክልሉ መንግሥት በ2001ዓ.ም አንድ ሰፋሪ ሁለት ሄክታር የእርሻ መሬትና 1ሺህ ካሬ ሜትር የቤት መስሪያ ቦታ እንዲያገኝ መመሪያ ማውጣቱን ገልጸዋል፡፡

  9. aha!
    | #9

    On the otherhand read what Dawi wrote sighting the authors view points, to which I contened that TPLF is the architect of the constituion, but thereare co-signers to the charter and supporters of the constituion, puppet regional admistrators, security forces, police forces and cadres. Without Article 46, 39 (1) article 8 the sovereignity of Ethiopia article 29 the clamping down of the press freedom, and direct and an idirect support of the teletafi and loyalist opposition parties with ethnic agenda, the TPLF/eprdf regime would not last this long.

  10. ይቅርታ
    | #10

    ፕሮፌሰር የምሉትን ጠልቼ ሳይሆን ለማመን ተቸግሬ ነው

    መጽሐፍ ቅዱስ ቁራን ሌሎችም ቅዱሳን መጻህፍት ብዙ አሉ
    የሰው ልጅ መብቱን ያስከበረው ታገሎ በደሙ እንጂ ሰባኪ ጠፍቶ አይደለም

    ካቶሊኩ ጳጳስ ስንት ከፍተኛ ስልጣን ያለው ጥቁር ጳጳሶች አጠገባቸው አለ?
    ካቶሊክ ሃይማኖት ስንት ጦርነት አውግዘው ያውቃሉ? ባርነትን ተዋግተው ማጥፋት ሲችሉ ተባባሪ አልነበሩም?

    ጥያቀዬ Humanity መመሪያችን ለመሆን እንዴት ይችላል?
    በመጀመሪያ የሰው ልጅ ዘሩን ብቻ ለመተካት መፈጠሩንና ለዚህም መሮጡን ሊረሳ ይችላል ወይ? የዘር ትግል ይቀራል?
    የጀርመን ሕዝብ የግሪክን ሕዝብ አልመግብም ብሎ አይደል ሹም ሽር የተደረገው?
    ኢሮፕ ዓለምን የሚወጉት Humanity መመሪያ እንዲተገበር ነው ወይስ ዘራቸው በድሎት እንዲኖር?

    ኢትይጵያውያን በአንድነት ለመኖር የሚያስችላቸው አስፈላጊ ቁሳዊ ፍላጎት በመጠኑም ሲማሉና ያንን ያለአድልዎ መከፋፈል ሲችሉ ነው
    ቁሳዊ ፍላጎት ለመማላት የሚረዳ ቴክኖሎጂ መስራት አለብን ያ ደግሞ እንካንስ አፍሪካ ግሪክ ስፔይን ፓርቹጋል አልቻሉም

    ፖለቲካ ሰዎች ሕዝባቸው ሌላውን ሕዝብ እንዲወጋ በዘር ቀስቅሶ መዋጋት እየጨመረ መጥቶአል ባይ ነኝ
    ስለዚህ የርሶን ምኞት እኔም ብመኘውም ሁኔታዎች አይፈቅዱም ባይ ነኝ
    አንዱ በሌላው ቢተካም ያ ማለት ሕዝቡ መብቱ ይከበርለታል ብዬ አላምንም
    ይህም የአሁኑ ዓለም ፓለቲካ ሁኜታ በመመልከት ነው

    ሕዝብ የራሱ ዓቅም ተማርኩ በሚሉት ወይም በተማረው ብልጣብልጥነት ተነጥቆአል
    ቴክኖሎጂ ብዙውን ፍላጎታችንና ጥያቄያችንን ይመልሳል ለዛ የሚታገል ምሁር ቢፈልጉልን?

  11. aha!
    | #11

    Also read the article by Dula abdu on Ethiomedia website, and also listen to the response from the Killil administrator, in support of ethnic federalism as you do ” አሁን ያለው ፈደራሊዝም ባይኖር ኖሮ ኢትዮፕያ ኢስካሁን ትትፋ ነበር;;”, confirms the support the TPLF/eprdf regime receives from “Killil” adminstrators in additon from the teletafi and loyalist opposition parties including Tigrai-harena, whom Amin Judi appeals to in his joint conference discussion form ” behagerachin yegara gudayoch gar lemeweyayet bemalet letesebsebesbew hizib sinager”, most of his speech rested on trumpeting Tigrai-Harena as the the likes of his OFF, I presume, and concluding his speech centered on attaining freedom and equality of “Killil Mengistats/biher bhereseboch”, I paraphrase as opposed to individual freedom, liberty and equality to supercede ethnic and secessionist right as well as overturn totaliarinism to transition to free capitalism and democracy, which partially addressed by Professor Alemayehu in this artice, eventhogh it does not fully conform to the above form of transition, I stipulated.

  12. ጉረኞች
    | #12

    ወያኔ አንደሆን ውሽት ከደሙ ጋር ተዋህዷል:: አንኳ የፖለቲካ አሽከር ቀርቶ የወያኔ ኦርቶዶክስ ፓትርያርክና የሙስሊሙ ኢማም አይናቸውን ሳያሸ አንደ አቡጀዲ ጨርቅ ውሽቱን ይተረትሩታል:: አሁን አነሱን ጠቅስህ ስታወራ አታፍርም? ታድያ አንዚህ የተፈናቀሉት ሰዎች ከስማይ ዘንቡ ነው የሚሉት አቶ ሽፈራው ሽጉጤ:: አሳቸው መጀመርያ ማድረግ ያለባቸው የተዋሱትን ስም መመለስ ብቻ ነው:: ወልካፋ: ጉጭማ!!!

  13. Dawi
    | #13

    [[.. “ethnic card” to anger and distract his opponents and divert public attention from the desperate economic situation... the second-highest inflation rate in the world last year.. 40.6 percent’”..]]

    From what we read, Ethiopian development in the infrastructure (roads, dams etc) area is tremendous and that will open up access to the land available for farming. As food is produced in these lands the food shortage will decrease. The “desperate economic situation” driver is mainly FOOD. As food is produced abundantly with the access of roads provided, this major inflation driver will by cut short.

    All governments “distract” their opponents; the government policy/interest as in Meles’s case is to solve the underlying of the ethnic conflict which is economics/poverty, improved economic condition won’t harm/contradict the long term goal that Prof. Al is talking about.

    Prof. Al & Meles can work side by side is what I am saying.

  14. ealemu
    | #14

    Thank you Prfessor Al Mariam for an insightful article. I generally agree with your points of the danger of ethnic fedralism and identity politics being used to dividing and ruling of our nation. If it is not dealt with forces that advocate for unity, humanity and respect of individual rights, it would eventually lead to frgmentation and destruction of our nation.

    I would like to stress that when it comes to Ethiopia those who have been brain washed to see everything through the lens of ethnic/identity politics are predominantly the opportunist ethnic political elites that base their outlooks on a narrow self or group interests. The vast majority of ordinary Ethiopians as ‘aha!’ commented haven’t been affected by this transient opporunistic elite malaise of distorted and misplaced view on our long shared common existance as Ethiopians.

    Your concept and new language to define the values and principles we need to upheld are valid, but while I was reading it I keep on asking why can’t you actually call it by its name i.e. probably the oldest age concept/ideology of true ‘Ethiopiawinet’. As anyone who tried to study and understand its original meaning and values would quickly realise, it is a very deep, rich and complex concept that encompasses all the highest values mentioned in your definition and more. A good look at our history will shade a light that we have shared and passed to others these core beliefs and values. Furthermore, as acknowledged in the article we still acquire them within us, but unfortunately they had been eroded by consecutive oppressive regimes who consistently have been blowing an assault on these values.

    The sooner we realise we don’t need any alien based ideologies to bring the right change in our country, whether the one experimented by Derg and failed based on Marxism Leninism or the current experiment of Weyane ‘ethnic federalism’ based on the rights of nation to self detrmination up to scession. What we need is to bulild our relationships based on the true concept of ‘Ethiopiawinet’, (we shouldn’t confuse with past successive oppresive regimes) whcih in its true sense is the expression of our common core beliefs and our values exemplified not least on Fear of God, Politeness, Honesty, Sharing and Caring with/for each other, etc… regardless of our superficial expression of identity of language, culture, ethnicity…

    Finally, I agree with the author of the article (who at the end managed to utter the word) and others that we all need to urgently close ranks and unite based on our shared values of Ethiopiawinet, rejecting the dividing and destructive politics based on identity/ethnicity.

    Let’s unite our struggle around a vision of buildig a united strong Ethiopia, where power eminates from supremacy of the people by establishing their own constitution to rule themselves. Until then let’s put aside self/group interest, party politics and work for the highest national agenda of realisng the above vision.

    God bless our country! Ethiopiawinet will eventually triumph!

  15. Dawi
    | #15

    Aha said:
    [[.. individual freedom, liberty and equality to supercede ethnic and secessionist right as well as overturn totaliarinism to transition to free capitalism and democracy, which partially addressed by Professor Alemayehu in this artice, eventhogh it does not fully conform to the above form of transition, I stipulated…]]

    This transition you talk about is a difficult one to do in one shot by anyone.

    However, we can leave alone the transition to Democracy to the present Meles Dictatorship. He has gone through a hell of a process to get where he is now, to become a Bonafide Dictator. Why re-invent the wheel and take a chance with other coalitions?

    I don’t think he necessarily likes being one but has no choice but play the historical role of a Developmental State ruler. Hopefully he chooses to make it less painful to elites like Prof. Al and others.

    If anyone can, it has to be Meles who can replicate the South Korean experience in Africa.

    What South Korea had was a strong executive power, competent bureaucracy and growth or transformation oriented economic policies. He has growth oriented vision but needs to expand his coalition by including others outside the familiar and continue building competent bureaucracy.

    As he has the commitment and the capacity as Park Chung of South Korea had, there is no reason why Ethiopian Developmental State will not surpass South Korea’s achievements in short time and complete the transition to Democracy.

  16. ethiowave
    | #16

    Thank you for great article as always. I think we all can agree that TPLF is a mother of all tribalism. Weyane’s goal is to destroy Ethiopia from the beginning including Amharas. Amhara people has all the right to be organized whether civic movement or political party but at this moment organizing as Amhara is helping weyane and weyane only.

    In my opinion; it’s Weyane going to celebrate when Amhara organized as a tribe instead of Ethiopian. I was born from Amharic only speaking parents and what they thought me to believe and struggle freedom for my people as an Ethiopian instead of Amhara.

    I’m after “Moresh Ethiopians movement” instead of “Moresh Amhara movement”

    ~~~~~ ESAT is a solution for our people freedom ~~~~~

  17. aha!
    | #17

    Thank you for your support of one of my own ideas, which paraphrased is also your conviction, when you said “The vast (silent) majority of Ethiopians have not been affected by the transient opportunistic elite malaise of distorted and misplaced view on our long shared common existence as Ethiopians”, despite the division of Ethiopian land mass into seven of Nine and/or 80 ethnic groups, which created a self-rule and separate development, a divide and rule policy as in a colonial style and/or Apartheid system of South Africa for the most part and totaliarinism as carry over from the Derg regime and its own inclination to Marxisism. Therefore the the three ideologies of Ethnic federalism, secessionism and totaliarinism, except the the TPLF and TPLF affiated enterprises, cadres and foreign corporations denies free market capitalism, as well as private ownership of land and properties, and restrains ventures outside TPLF and TPLF affiliated enterprises ( Dr. Fiseha) and ethnic federalism and secessenism promotes group rights to the exclusion of individual rights and press freedom both of which exist in the constitution in name only. Since I basing my argument on the ratification of the constitution free of ethnic federalism, secessionism, and totaliarinism with individual freedom, liberty and equality to have precedence over ethnic and secessionist rights, resort to the old provincial State boundries with assorted ethnic groups in each autonomous State, with people moving freely and settling anywhere in the United States, own land and business to accumulate wealth towards economic growth in a free market capitalism and democracy of the people, by the people and for the people, not ethnocracy and/or autocracy as it is now, by emulating the constitution of the United States, the silent majority of Ethiopians and the elite ethnic fedralist and ethnic sessetionist supporters of ethnic fedralism, secessionism and totaliarinism can live harmoniously to gether with the silent majority of Ethiopians, whose government rules by the consent of the governed, but not the other way around.

  18. aha!
    | #18

    With Ealemu’s and Professor Alemayehu’s raising the issue on ethnic fedralism and identity-based politics, Dr. yakob’s point of view about the port and perhaps the sovereignity of Ethiopia, Proffessor Mesfin Araya’s and mine on ethnic and/or secessionist politics and/or policies, I presume and Dr. Ermias’s point of view on drafting a common objectives, which I defined as unity, territorial integrity, sovereignity of Ethiopia and Ethiopians, where the last item is individual freedom, liberty and equality to have precedence over ethnic and secessionist rights, which are I believe are supported by the “Andinet hayloch” along with adopted strategies in a non-violent uprising to freedom first to establish a constitution, which puts individual rights ahead of ethnic rights in the new Ethiopia, where Ethiopiawinet precedes ethnicity and Ethiopian nationalism, Ethiopian national interests and the sovereignity of Ethiopia is kept in tact.

  19. aha!
    | #19

    Add to that Dr. Fiseha’s point of on the suppression of “individual freedom”, to run busisnesses freely,outside of TPLF affiliated enterprises, as I may have understood from his interview in Addis Dimts.

  20. Girmay
    | #20

    I was too much disappointed when I heard farmers displacement but I am noticed that it is propaganda of some power hungry people to create riot and grab power.

  21. aha!
    | #21

    Dawi, gets the message in passing from the commentary above as you are is not a part of the discourse for individual freedom, liberty and equality to supercede ethnic and secessionist rights, a cause to ethnic cleansing of the Amahara ethnic groups form one of these regions.

    you are bluffing us with the mantra of the TPLF/eprdf regime’s mantra of economic development before democracy, and democracy in Ethiopia is work in progress by adopting Developmental State theory/State Capitalism run by TPLF and TPLF affiliated enterprises and foreign corporations at the expense of the silent majority of Ethiopians being denied their individual freedom, liberty, and equality from having precedence over ethnic and secessionist rights. Listen to the response of the adminstrator from the s”outhern killil/ethnic zone” in support of ethnic federalism, secessionism and totaliarinism, whch I believe the “Andinet Halyoch” is focused/will focus on dismantling.

    Whereas I do not buy into Amin Jundi’s slogan courting Tigrai-Harena from ethnic-based agenda, wearing two hats one for ethnic Oromo and another for the national agenda, rebuffing those of the Andinet hayloch for national agenda, the goals and strategies as the sraight forward, scientific approach to remove ethnic rule of minority and/or majority rule as Tamaggne Beyene alluded to if I am not mistaken.

  22. ጉረኞች
    | #22

    Dawi is comparing apples and oranges. Korea cannot be compared to Ethiopia. Korea is a homogeneous country and the dictatorship lasted only for 16 years, if you call it a dictator. General Park was an officially elected president, and has implemented the three branches of government for checks and balances. The general was highly committed to his country. Ethiopia is a multi-ethnic society, contending for political power. The dictatorship is almost 21 years and still going harsher. In these years, Ethiopia went to the worst possible condition, 8 million people getting starved every year. The dictator Meles doesn’t like his country and repeatedly worked against the best interest of the country. There is no separation of government branches for checks and balances. If Dawi was honest, he should have compared Eritrea and Ethiopia, both multi ethnic countries with similar economic background. Issayas in Eritrea is more like Meles in Ethiopia, except psychologically Meles is subservient of Issayas. Dawi would have been more credible if he argues that Issayas dictatorship have accomplished better than Ethiopia fake democracy. All of us would have learned something out of it. Going as far as Asian countries like Korea and China doesn’t work for comparison, as they have different socioeconomic background than Ethiopia.

  23. ጉረኞች
    | #23

    @#13 you said “Prof. Al & Meles can work side by side is what I am saying.” It is kind of funny to say what you said. All intellectual do not behave the same way. Unfortunately, some are ሆድ አደር some are not. The ሆድ አደር admire Meles’ leadership and commit to work for him at the expense of the Ethiopian population. Prof Al doesn’t seem to be one of them. On the contrary, he chose to side the people of Ethiopia and fight Meles’ dictatorship. The butcher Meles is no way short of ሆድ አደር. He might even have more than he need them, that is why he discards some of them when their service is no more needed. Have you got a chance to read the Fiteh newspaper about the ሆድ አደር? If you have not, please do. It is not only entertaining but also educational. Some of the known ሆድ አደር are Drs, Endrias Eshete, Fassil Naom, Neway Gebreab, Girma Biru, etc.

  24. aha!
    | #24

    Add to that Dr. Negede Gobeze’s article about the absence of independent branches of the government that escaped the attention of the western democratic nations, as a result of which I believe there is no fair trial and fair and free elections, free assembly and peacful protest and/or demonstrations like other democratic countries.

  25. Dawi
    | #25


    You are assuming the “silent majority” will not neglect the rights & welfare of the minority? NOT.

    Many examples can be given where “Democracies” discriminate minorities. From Athens being built by Slaves to the United States who lived in segregated society just 50 or so years ago; American apartheid is a well known phenomena. India’s apartheid (untouchables) in the 21 century as we speak is the other one.

    So my friend don’t count “silent majority Ethiopians” mantra as a silver bullet.

  26. Dawi
    | #26


    If what you are saying is Dictatorship doesn’t hear the people’s voice, you maybe surprised because it has interest in getting objective data. Data like health, education, income etc. is used to evaluate where it wants to put the budget for the millennium goal etc. They don’t care about privacy of individuals so they collect any data they want and gather to arrive to good decisions.Many times better than so called “elected governments” Case in point, Ethiopian Health minister is known to be at the top his game. So, why mess that up & start all over again.

    Don’t get me wrong, promoting Democratic Ideas as Prof. “Messay Manifesto” etc. is the right thing to do. It challenges the Dictatorship to do the right thing and help the transition to Democracy but, calling for a change without having a clue of what is coming is crazy.

  27. Dawi
    | #27


    [[..the three branches of government for checks and balances…]]

    The thing is, separation of powers is not a prerequisite to democracy, as parliamentary systems under the “Fusion of Powers” are case in point.

    As far Park goes:

    “Dominating from 1961 until his assassination in 1979, Park Chung Hee was a powerful .. dictator and the president of South Korea. He used the forces of torture and fatal violence to bring forth his authority for his country… his dominance, Korea became the eleventh most successful economies in the world….. he was seen as a manipulative and exploiting dictator because of his brutality towards some citizens… when Park was in power, if a citizen was under even the littlest amount of suspicion …. they were sentenced to torture and sometimes even death.”

    Developmental Dictatorship is what we’re talking about homogenous or not it does not matter; in fact being multi-national requires more emergency majors to minimize the internal endless feuding of opportunist ethnic war lords. Meles just became bonifide D so we need to give him some time. Multi-national or not it needs to be applied to the concrete condition. China by choosing dictatorship became better off compared to the now non-existent USSR; she did much better than India as well.

  28. Anonymous
    | #28

    As long as you and similar other writers can not address the critical issue of Global Capitalism believe me that Ethiopia Africa and all 3rd world nations shall lot achieve true emancipation.After they finished their home work assigned by Anglo-Americans and then also can not rule any more due to mass revolt then Meles and TPLF may go and the face of the current rule may change by another same stooge client-regime.
    Writers like you and others failed to address the real enemy lurking behind the curtain that is Global Capitalism.There is no such a thing as Democracy as long as Global Capitalism is the prevailing global social order.Stop fooling us through the dreams of democracy.Capitalism failed to provide us basic necessities and bread and then how on earth it can give us democracy.Now i have started to laugh at such boring articles.The crux and epicenter of all this chaos is Global Capitalism.
    And hence please write on it if you really love your peoples.The good news and good thing is that so many Ethiopian intellectuals have now stared to awaken regarding global capitalism and its bogus democracy.
    And the reason is the sheer perpetual hypocrisy(What it does and what it preaches are 180 degrees apart) of the West itself regarding democracy and also its blind support to TPLF despite its despotic nature.And to tell all who attend this blog i tell confidently that one day you all remember what i am perseveringly saying about global capitalism and you will admit the truth and agree with me.Well till then shout what ever you feel and can wallow and fantasize about democracy.

  29. ጉረኞች
    | #29

    Ethiopia the Developmental State under leadership of dictator Meles Zenawi ድንቄም!!!
    Graham Peeble says in his article titled
    Child prostitution, trafficking in Ethiopia reaches epidemic levels

    “Meles Zenawi loves to ‘talk the talk’ to his western allies, the US, Britain, the European Union and the like, whilst turning a blind eye, a deaf ear to the cries of the child being beaten, the young girl being raped and traded for sex and the teenager separated from her family, her friends and her childhood, sold into servitude and abuse within Ethiopia and across the Red Sea in the oil rich ‘Gulf States’.”

  30. ጉረኞች
    | #30

    Dawi, please come to your senses and join the struggle!!

    Development requires political stability. As compared to heterogeneous society homogeneous societies most likely have easy time to curtail political instability. Korea has that advantage and the population see themselves as Koreans. Meles has fomented stiff political instability by his idiotic ethnic politics which might lead to disintegration of Ethiopia. The ideology of ethnic first than country Ethiopia and Meles attempt to kill Ethiopiawinet sentiment rather than building Ethiopia do not keep him as a dictator who can impose his free will in the rest ethnic groups. Chinese build China by nationalist sentiment, Indians developed India by nationalist sentiment. The same applies to Ethiopia. Tigres cannot build Tigray by expropriation of resources from other ethnic regions without developing Ethiopia.

    The other twist you made to justify the support the dictatorship of Meles is on the definition of Developmental State. Dictators are not prerequisite to apply the philosophy of Developmental State. Developmental State as defined by Wikipedia “…scholars to refer to the phenomenon of state-led macroeconomic planning in (sometimes referred to as state development capitalism), the state has more independent, or autonomous, political power, as well as more control over the economy.” The philosophy emphasize the intervention of the State either through regulation or planning in the economy rather than individual based market predominates economy of Liberal Democracy. The late Haile Selassie has successfully implemented Developmental State philosophy and has produced a viable Ethiopia and highly respected citizens all over the world.

    Have you completely stopped reading Keffyalew Gebremedhin articles?
    What does the developmental state of the dictator Meles produces? 8-million starved people every year, house maids in middle east, immeasurable urban poverty. You better cry for your sisters in middle east rather than crying for the midget dictator. At least the heavenly God will reserve a spot for you.

  31. aha!
    | #31

    Add to #24, the perception by Proffessor Said Mohamed of the economic developent in Ethopia as following the path of East Asian economic model, now known as Developmental State theory/State Capitalism, which
    maintains monopoly of the all sectors of the economy including private ownership of land, telecommunications, electic power, postal services, airlines, roads and bridges and enterprises run by TPLF and TPLF affialiated enterprises and foreign corporations with borrowed capital on behalf of the taxpayers, leaving under abject poverty, rampant inflation, subjected to drought and famine, without the inability of the TPLF/eprdf regime to mitigate drought, famine and inflation to say the least about rampant unemployment and corruption including bribery and siphoning capital from aid funds, etc. out of the country. Add to that expolitation, economic and political and economic strangle hold of the counties resources and its people by TPLF and TPLF affiliated enterprises and foreign corporations. Such malaise had escaped the perception of the precursor to UDJP of the prodemocracy movements, who declared in a press release of “no change but durable democracy”, in a country, where the mantra is economic development before democracy, and the ideologies upon which the constitution is framed upon are ethnic federalism, secessionism and totaliarinism, as the main opperating system for TPLF and eprdf regime, and the coalition that have formed before the 2010 election are mirror images of TPLF/eprdf regime, a multi-layer, hierarchical political political model with ethnic agenda as opposed to those of “Andinet Hayloch” for unity, territorial integrity, sovereignity of Ethiopia and Ethiopians, where the last item means individual freedom, liberty and equality to have precedence over ethnic and secessionist rights in each of the original provincial states.

    Whereas if the idividual rights are respected the groups rights will follow through, but not vise versa, and the individual is the basic unity of the mosaic ethnic populations of Ethiopia, which are likely live harmoneousley live in a competetive and cooperative manner in a free market capitalism and/or mixed economy without the interference of ethnic federalists policy to segrgate them into seven out of nine and/or 80 ethnic groups, serving as a prelude to secessionism and border conflicts and ethic seccesionist policy to allow for war skirmishes, and turn-around and charge them for terrorism. Therefore, the focus for all parties/factions need to be in ridding the constititon of ethnic and/secessionist politics and/or policies by ratifying the constitution to dismatle ethnic federalism, secessionism and totaliarinism, which a legal and logical approach to forming a democratic government that rules by the consent of the governed and addreses the humanitarian, economic, political and environment crises perpetrated by TPLF/eprdf regime.

  32. Dawi
    | #32

    [[...No child enters into prostitution when they have a choice ...]]

    Saying democracy is necessary prior to, development is questionable to say the least but saying it can be an outcome of it is a different matter.

    The different cultures like we see in Northern Ethiopia where they marry off their 9 yrs old daughters etc, is a reality today. That’s forced relationship. It is a cause for some of the girls to run away and probable join the army of child prostitutes? What do you say to that?

    So the fact is there are different cultures & societies in this modern world. This makes it difficult to adopt Liberal Democracy as a political system at the get go. Development first is a better choice.

    If you saw the video of the 9yr old wives interview, how these children (girls) wanted to run away from their husbands and at the same time seeing the developmental state health worker supporting their freedom seems to be a positive/healthy beginning.

    However, overcoming the limitations for building a successful state led development in Ethiopia is a huge task. Capacity of all states to respond to political, social, and economic situation has to be built. The Meles Dictatorship is still working in constructing a competent bureaucracy as institutions to institutionalize the coordination between the government and society, including the private sector.

    He needs to call all stakeholders to pitch in including those who oppose his party.

  33. aha!
    | #33

    The silent majority relects a government and a constitution based on individual freedom, liberty and equality, having precedence over ethnic and secessionist politics, with individual freedom, liberty and equality as the center piece of constitution, to estabish democratic institutions and a democracy of the people, by the people and for the people, that includes three independent branches of government stipulated in the constitution, where you called the minority subjects as political leaders or supporters will be protected by the constitution, which can not be adminstered the current frame of the constituion under ethnic fereralism and secessionism, secessionism and totaliarinism, except for those that undergo judicial scrutiny for human right violoations, corruptions, etc.

    Simultaneously, I would like to add to the list as regards infrastructural development aspect of hydroelectric power and dams resulting from it for irrigated farming that of Ato Shewakena’s article of 20+ tributaries based on reconnossance survey by the USA Buerro of Proclamation available for implementation of hydro electric dam projects distributed through out the country, as an alternative to Millenium dam project, prhaps less costly in terms of transmision along grid lines, than the current three Omo River basin, designed for elctic supply to neighboring countries, and dams for irrigations to attract investment by foreign governments and corporations, like China, Turkey, India Saudi Arabia, etc. to to produce food and cash crops to their respective countries from the dirt cheap land leases to expoit the natural soil and water resources to depletion on a project built on borrowed capital on behalf of Ethiopian Tax payers to say the least about the displacement of inhabitants of the region due surface area occuppied by the dam and displacement of the local inhabitants by the land lease projects to foreign corporations, in the words of the Prime Minister, while keeping the monopoly of telecommunications, electric power and (privateland ownership

  34. aha!
    | #34

    of land) etc., as indicated in the article in Ethiomedia: “Ethiopia: Country is not ready to liberalise key sectors yet” by Evelyn George, CapitalFM, Kenya, March 7, 2012. However, private ownership of land, which is not liberalised to the silent majority of Ethiopians was not mentioned as the key sector of the economy as one of the means of production as one of the Key sectors of the economy, implying totaliarinism with State Capitalism.

    While Global Capitalism has some impact looked at from a global pespective, the major impacts lie in global warming contributing to shortages of food supply/security, according to Lester Brown, which could have been mitigated and ethnic federalism, secessionism and totaliarinism are the major ideologies built into the constitution, hindering free market capitalism, individual freedom, liberty and equality to supercede ethnic and secessionist rights, along with lack of press freedom and democracy to take a foothold for the silent majority of Ethiopians, by undermining the positive forces of integration for unity, territorial integrity of Ethiopia and Ethiopians, even to the point of clmping down on those with mirror images of TPLF/eprdf party with ethnic agenda, since the 2010 election, which if they won a sizeable seat or a majority seat in the parliament would have formed a bicamel chamber of parliament with ethnic federalism, secessionism and totaliarinism in tact.

  35. ጉረኞች
    | #35

    Dawi said
    “The Meles Dictatorship is still working in constructing a competent bureaucracy as institutions to institutionalize the coordination between the government and society, including the private sector.” This should be the joke of the day. You are not a serious person as I thought. አይኑን በጨው ያጠበ ይላል አበሻ!!! Woynae built a bureaucratic system that confiscate hard earned business through flimsy reason and give it to loyal Tigre, a judiciary system that make a mockery of rule of law, evicts people from land without due process of law, a system that allow to exploit the natural resources with no accountability, a banking system that facilitate money laundry, etc. ምን አለ አንዳንዴ እንኳ እውነት ብትናገር:: ይሄ አይነት ድርቅ ያለ ነገር እኮ ነው ለመስማማት እንቅፋት የሆነው:: ይሄ ጎዶሎ መልሰ ክዶሮ ባነስቸ ራስ የምያቀነቅነወን እዚህ አደባባይ መናገር ምን ያህል የህሊና ቁስል ይሆን!!

  36. aha!
    | #36

    I also want to make a comment on the interchageable use of ethnic federalism and ethnicity/ethnicisism similar to racisism, where the former is a constituional frame work for a divide and rule policy by division of Ethiopian land mass into ethnic zones/”killil mengistats of self-rule and separate development of autonomous puppet governments, which led to the expulsion of the Amhara ethnic group from the one of the ethnic zones, but not as a result of ethnicity/ethnicism with a connotation of racism.

    The theises and/or the argumentatative position in your article: “Ethnicity in Ethiopia, as in other parts of Africa, is a sourceof division, weakness, conflict and violence. Unity is a source of strength, harmony, peace and reconciliation.” These theises statements misses the point of making an impact on ethnic federalism as one of the ideologies built into the constitution, contributing to a divide and a rule policy by the ethnic division of land mass of Ethiopia into seven out of Nine and/or 80 ethnic groups, instead of keeping intact the original provincial boundries, which serves as a prelude to secession and future conflict among ethnic zones, in addition to indoctrination of the masses into thinking of their ethnicity first and Ethiopiawinet second and allowing the formation of parties along ethnic lines with ethnic agenda from which it derives direct and indirect support from the teletafi-parties and loyalist opposition parties including Tigrai-Harena for the Multi-layer, hierachcal political model of the TPLF/eprdf regime with ethnic agenda, a master mind of ethnic federalism, secessionism and totalirinism, hindering free maket capitalism, individual right to have precedence over ethnic and secessionist rights and democracy to gain foot hold, to say the private land property and business ownership to become available to the silent majority of Ethiopians.

    Unity connotes the coalescing of political parties and their followers along the common goals for unity, territorial integrity, sovereignity of Ethiopia and Ethiopians, by abandoning ethnic fedralism, secessionism and totaliarinism as the mode of governance of the TPLF/eprdf regime.

  37. enqelkil
    | #37

    Ethiopians never had been trusted Meles Zinawi with their children and country.let us put our resources and energy together to fully remove Zinawi and his regime for once and for all.With this in mind,yes we have been deeply hurt by cruel and uncivilized actions taken that Zinawi took on our people.We must keep choices and options in our hearts and minds and translate all of them into practical actions;this are tasks to be done either by motivated and energetic individuals or, and by coming together in full force with full collaboration to do the tasks at hand,at heart,and at mind.Yes,there will soon be exemplary Ethiopians in the cover story,we will read it;then,we will ask ourselves what more can be done to gain more victory orver the enemy.

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