Ethnic Politics and Federalism By Birhu bogale
Ethiopia located in the horn of Africa is the country that has a long history. That is to say it is the country that has equal history with the creation of the world. However it is very difficult to measure the length of Ethiopian history in terms of time for this the two historical documents namely the scientific and study document are proof of this. It is one of the two countries who have kept their independence it is a country which argued before the league of nations and also it is a country which is a signatory to establishment of the present united nations. It was registered not in ethnic terms but with its ancient name called Ethiopia.
When the great powers of year of sitting at the conference at Berlin 1885 to divided Africa among themselves, Ethiopia was able to preserve her independence. Following the second world war when many African countries got their independence, it was the color of the flag of Ethiopia which is green yellow and red they was reflected in their national flags. The example of Ethiopia has not been lost up to today in the minds of the people of Africa, Caribbean and far eastern countries.
Ethnic politics is not a new phenomenon. It is ethnic politics which is the shelter of dictators. It also serves as a means to spread the poison of racism.
Adolf hetlor in order to satisfy his racism he had to try to present the people of Germany as something different. He was trying to tell the people of Germany as people who have originated from Arayan race. However we can only learn to understand that situation are wrong only after the distraction of mankind and when we think of the matter again.
The 1960 generation of Ethiopia as generated new ideas. This situation enabled the military which does not know about ideology to take hold of the ideology it found nearby. All those parties who had embraced this ideology and who were calling for radical change were using the philosophy of Marxism. EPRP, Meison, TPLF are examples of this. The way EPRP and Meison understood Ethiopia and the method they went to change was clss contradiction.on the other hand TPLF and the Oromo liberation front, by bringing the contradiction to the forefront indicate that the ensuring the right of nationalities is a solution to the problem. However the Oromo Liberation front explaining that the case of Eretria is that of classical colonialism, and stated that the case of Oromia is that of internal Abysssinian colonialism.
This idea is still reflected by the scholars who were born in the area. TPLF which so the issue of nationality in a similar manner, to the extent that it raise a lot about this issue, however it is not heard when it raises issue of ethnicity to the extent that the Oromo national liberation speaks of. This is because the issue is that of power. And therefore it is a method used by all to come to power. On the other hand the workers part of Ethiopia which was established by the army and therefore although it was leftist and abusolutely dictatorial, it did not advocate that mach about ethnic politics and specially in this respect the attention it gives to national development and identity, is something taken from the rightists. Today Ethiopia is a country where by many new phenomena different from what existed in 1975. Not only the political, social and economic situation of Ethiopia but also one generation has gone and a new generation has come. The population of Ethiopian has grown from 30 million to 90 million (growing three times more). The uniform governmental administration has been changed into an administration based on ethnicsim and language. The cities have extensively grown. When the rural population is compared with the urban population during this three decades is lower 90% from the globe to 85% when the leaving standard of the people is compared with the African people like Nigeria and Ghana who won their independence in the 1960s is very low. The people lead a hand to mouth existence. Following 1991, it is said that the right of nations nationalites is the center of the solution. Nevertheless what the past 25 years have shown to us that the scientific analysis ehich had existed 25 years have shown to us that the scientific analysis which had existed 25 years ago, has been ababdoned. This analysis used to show that ethnic politics and federalism is source of conflict. The ethnic oriented left politics has a high disregard to the unity of Ethiopia, history and culture and value identity. It marginalizes although who give due attention to such values. It therefore uses various methods to undermine and belittle such view points. During the period of EPDF/TPLF not only it is used has a method of advocacy of giving power to the people which was an internal contradiction during the Derg period, but has made that governmental ethnic politics to became the social, political and economic relation of each Ethiopian. Ethnic conflict going beyond land conflict has reached up to village cattle pasture. As a result of this all Ethiopians were in conflict with one another. When it is known that this system has security people who want to create conflict between and among the people and therefore this situation shows in what dangerous condition that Ethiopia find itself.
Doctor Wondosen Teshome who is a researcher in anthropology at the Vienna university, in a research magazine published in 2008 at an international magazine as published the ethnic politics of EPRF/TPLF. He argued that the ethnic federalism is a divide and rule policy formulated by TPLF. He argue that the reason why the system has been organized in such a manner is to ensure the power of TPLF. The analysis however shows that the country could be Divided. While it is known that it is to change governmental ethnic politics, based on correct geography location, the historical settlement of the people what EPRF/TPLF does however if that it has taken giving adjudication of the ethnic members who are in conflict. It broadcast this in it’s news broadcasting and therefore speaking only on the basis of calculation makes all the more sad the big objective of those who advance ethnic politics is not ethnicism. Until the people by Making all sacrifice to enable them to come to power, they make a crocodile tears when they come to power however, consolidating their power becomes their sole purpose.those who advocate ethnic politics,with the view to conquer power see the obstacle that can encounter them this obstacle for them is the spirit of Ethiopianism which was built throughout the many centuries and which is still in the heart of the people. This Ethiopianism is built on past identity history, culture and belief. Therefore using every pretext all those public conflicts which undermine the past identity and which during their period were called heroic but in the 20 first century those who have committed worst acts and therefore by creating histories which were nonexistent, it attempts to undermine the base of Ethiopianism for example during the period were the concept of nations and nationalities affairs and federal administration were not the concepts proclaimed therefore such speech insults ethiopianism and fact at the time when the concept of federalism was not known, Aba Jifar of Jimma was administrating his own territory and the same time as regards matter related with the central government,, Aba Jifar was working with the central government.
Now at the period in wich we are living because of such thinking many in their thousands have been murdered many other thousands have been displaced from their place of residence when going futher from this, for all those who have evidence a statute should be built. The principal objective of such promoter is we should be in power and do what we want to do. They are ready to collaborate with any anti- Ethiopian force who can stand with them to realize their evil scheme.whenever ethiopian unity and solidarity strengthen they get freighted. This is because their thinking does not have any place in the eyes of stronger ethiopianism. They also understand that ethiopianism will not help them to come power.Embarrassing the rural lands of oromia region in the new master plan of Addis in not a problem to me. In fact, it will be more beneficiary if the plan going beyond Oromia embraces other regions. It is nice if a city grows. When a city grows, it’s surrounding expands as well. This is it’s natural characteristics. However there is a problem. As observed in the rule of EPDRF, the urban expansion strategy implementation is that when land is in corporate in the town may farmers who are living nearby will be displaced without their consent. Even if sufficient compensation is paid to them, the farmers will raise objection. The other reason is that as we have seen above it is our politics of ethnicity. This land belongs to Oromia. The people were told that they should take care so that the land will not be taken from them by the Neftegnoch. Therefore when the Oromo natives say that the land of Oromia belongs to us and therefore we do not want to give the land to anybody it takes measure. Why it is necessary to take a force measure. Is it they EPRDF is reaping what it has sown? At any rate the situation should be stabilized, EPRDF should examine itself concerning the matter. A political administration based on certain ideology and a onetime movement based on nationalism are similar with…. Disease ….. adisease which last for some time. Unless it is treated it is dangerous. However if it is treated it cannot cause any harm during the raining of the Derg to tell to one Kebele gurad a bout the wrongs of socialism may lead to death. The Kebele guard was right about the fact that he committed a murder. However after years, after……… has disappeared and observed the situation he understands that he has committed a wrong therefore what the politics got has created is just this. Thos forces who use the name of various ethnic organizations, it is by using the gun they try to release their objective.
This means, in other terms that the coming political forum will be dealt with the power of gun. This means we are not fortunate to have a peaceful transition of power. The since of Ethiopians is one which has strong social political and cultural connection therefore it is advantages to take our spirit of ethiopianism which is lasting and a common heritage. In this respect adopting ethnic politics will not be of any use. If the issue is power it is important to hold discussion on the basis of the true spirt of ethiopanism taking an oath in the name of got the came from and painting with hatred of oil the youth and children and other members and therefore making them fight with one another although it may seam successful for the time being eventually it may become a wound of conscience I finished here. I wish my country becomes a country where by the air of peace prevails.