The Perils of Ethnic Federalism Part III: The Contrast with Canadian Federalism By Worku Aberra (PhD)

February 18th, 2016 Print Print Email Email

Supporters of killil have attempted to convince the Ethiopian people that ethnic federalism is not only the right system of government for multi-ethnic Ethiopia but that it is also common throughout the world. Ethiopia is not alone, they declare; other countries, specifically India, Switzerland, and Canada, have well functioning ethnic federalisms, they contend. Nothing is farther from the truth.

The claim confuses ethnic federalism with democratic federalism, a failure to distinguish between appearance and substance, façade and content, the nominal and the real. The confusion probably arises from the fact that these countries have a multi-ethnic population and a federal system of government. Some commentators on federalism have also contributed to the confusion when they sometimes use the term “ethnic federalism” casually in describing the political systems in these countries.

The Uniqueness of Ethiopia’s Ethnic Federalism

The difference between ethnic federalism and the federal system of government that exists in these countries is immense. First, they have a democratic form of government, the essential condition for a functioning federalism. Without democracy, there can be no real division of powers between the central and local governments. Nor will there be any protection of individual and minority rights. Just as a fish cannot survive without water, federalism cannot exist without democracy. Federalism under authoritarian rule, for example as it existed in the former Soviet Union and former Yugoslavia, under the tight control of the communist party, is not genuine federalism. It is federalism in appearance and authoritarianism in substance, as many scholars have argued.

Second, when establishing their administrative units, none of the three countries used ethnicity to delineate or to name the divisions. India has more than 2000 ethnic groups, but only 29 states and seven territories. Switzerland has three main ethnic groups, German, French, and Italian, but 26 administrative units called cantons. Canada, home to three major groups, the English, the French, and the indigenous people, has 10 provinces and three territories. There are no Bantustan-like ethnic homelands, delineated along ethnic lines, named after ethnic groups, restricted to specific ethnic groups, in any of these countries. (The exception could be the reserves in Canada).


The Absurdity of Ethiopia’s Constitution

Constitutionally, among the community of nations, with or without democratic governance, with or without federalism, Ethiopia stands alone. It is the only country on earth that has bestowed sovereignty on ethnic groups, rather than on the people as a whole. Article 8 of the constitution states that, “All sovereign power resides in the nations, nationalities, and peoples of Ethiopia”.

I am not a constitutional expert, but to my understanding, the article states that supreme authority in Ethiopia resides with ethnic groups, not with the Ethiopian population as a polity. Article 8 suggests that any ethnic group in a killil, however small it maybe, can exercise its sovereign right and thus affect the economic, political, social, and legal trajectory of a zone, a killil, and even the rest of the country.

And then there is article 39. Article 39 (1) states, “Every nation, nationality and people in Ethiopia has an unconditional right to self-determination, including the right to secession”. The constitution details the steps, procedures, and conditions for the separation of the killils from Ethiopia. Here again, Ethiopia is the only country today that has enshrined an article in its constitution to bring about its own destruction. The countries that had included the right to secession in their constitutions in the past, the former Soviet Union and former Yugoslavia, had their wish fulfilled: they both disintegrated.

The constitution not only prescribes a suicide pill for disintegration, but inspires the elites of any ethnic group within an existing killil to strive for killilhood. Using the sovereign right to self-determination granted to ethnic groups in the constitution, the elites of an ethnic group without a killil can demand killilhood or special status in a killil zone so that they can access scarce resources and improve their political standing, as has happened with the Silti in SNNP and Kemant in Amhara regions, resulting in ethnic hostility and reginal instability.

These two constitutional provisions, the sovereignty of ethnic groups and their right to secession, the legal foundations of ethnic federalism, make Ethiopia an outlier. In using divisive ethnic politics, in adopting an aberrant constitution, in instituting a dividing ethnic federalism, Ethiopia stands solo, an outcast among all nations. However, collective rights of ethnic groups, including the right to self-determination without secession, can be protected constitutionally without bestowing sovereign powers on ethnic groups.

Ethnic Federalism Canada is not

When killil supporters cite Canada as a country with ethnic federalism, they are trying to soften, camouflage, conceal the danger it poses to national unity by associating it with a multi-ethnic, tolerant, stable, prosperous, and democratic country. The message: Ethiopia is in good company, no worries, but the reality is that the political system in Ethiopia differs sharply from Canada’s.
To underscore the contrast, I have summarized the major features of ethnic and Canadian federalism in the table below. The differences could not be any starker.

A Summary of the Major Differences between Ethnic and Canadian Federalism

Criterion Ethnic Federalism Canadian Federalism
Rule of Law Nominal Real
Control of administrative units by the central government Excessive, through senior TPLF cadres as “advisors” None
Political independence of the parties governing the administrative unites None, ruled by ethnic parties created by TPLF and enforced by gimgemma Complete
Basis for administrative divisions Ethnicity (except SNNP, Addis Ababa, and Dire Dawa) Geographic
Naming of administrative units Ethnicity (except SNNP, Addis Ababa, and Dire Dawa) Geographic/historical
Legal protection of administrative units at the central level None; House of Federation has no power Yes, through the Senate and the Supreme Court
Protection of individual rights in the administrative unit None Guaranteed
Ethnic identity cards Yes None
Governance Authoritarian Democratic
Sovereignty Ethnic groups The Canadian people
The right to secession Yes No
Political independence of the judiciary None, appointment of political cadres as judges Yes
Military presence in the administrative units for controlling local governments Yes None
Financial dependence of administrative units on central government Heavy, through subsidies and grants Little, through equalization payments formula
Ideological independence of parties in administrative units None, control by the TPLF cadres and gimgemma Yes

Confusion between Ethnicity and Linguistic Groups

I will not discuss the contents of the table in detail, but will highlight the glaring dissimilarities between ethnic and Canadian federalism. Killil supporters claim that Canada has ethnic federalism, mostly probably because the majority of French-speaking Canadians reside in Quebec and the majority of English-speaking Canadians live in the other provinces. Their assertion confuses, intentionally or unintentionally, ethnicity with linguistic groups.

Yes, the majority of the people living in Quebec are French speaking, but they come from diverse ethnic backgrounds, European (French and Belgian), North African, Haitian, Vietnamese, Cambodian, African, indigenous people, and others. And the majority of the people living in the other provinces are English speaking, again from diverse ethnic backgrounds, the English, Scottish, Welsh, Irish, German, Ukrainian, Indians, Jewish, Caribbean, indigenous people, other Europeans, and immigrants from all over the world. Hence, in Canada, broadly speaking, there are two major linguistic groups—English and French—but many ethnicities, and no ethnic group called Ontarians, Quebecers, Manitobans, British Columbians.

Protection of Individual Rights

Second, although the Ethiopian constitution bestows sovereign powers on ethnic groups, strangely it provides no protection of individual rights in the killils, but the Canadian Charter of Rights and the Canadian constitution protect both individual and minority rights across Canada, in all the provinces and territories. As a result, the English speaking community of Quebec, composed of different ethnic groups as stated earlier, although it only accounts for about 10% of Quebec’s population, enjoys the right to run its own institutions, schools, colleges, universities, hospitals, and municipalities in English.

Similarly, French-speaking Canadians, living in the rest of Canada, enjoy identical constitutionally guaranteed rights whenever their numbers warrant. Moreover, a French- speaking Canadian living in any of the English-speaking provinces has the right to be tried in French, and an English-speaking person residing in Quebec, in English. In civil cases, individuals have the right to speak either in French or in English before the courts anywhere in Canada. Do such rights exist under Ethiopia’s ethnic federalism?

Are the Amharic-speaking people living in Oromia entitled to their own schools, clinics, and municipalities in Ambo, Adama, Bishoftu, and other cities? Do they have the right to be tried in Amharic or can they speak in Amharic before the courts in civil cases? Do the Oromo people living in the Amhara or Somali region have such rights?

Third, in Canada residence, instead of ethnicity, defines an individual’s legal identity on all official documents and ID cards. A Quebecer is a Canadian citizen of any ethnicity who lives in Quebec. Although an immigrant, I am a Quebecker enjoying the same rights as a native-born Quebecois of French origin, including the right to run for a political office, even the right to become the prime minister of Canada. (Whether I will be or not is a different matter!)

Killil supporters may object to the comparison presented above for being illegitimate, unfair, and unacceptable because of the obvious political divergences between Ethiopia and Canada. That is precisely my point. It is profoundly wrong to call Canadian federalism, ethnic federalism; nonetheless, ethnic federalism, I hope, will evolve into a federalism that resembles Canadian federalism one day, but until then they are as dissimilar as day and night.

Worku Aberra (PhD) is a professor of economics at Dawson College, Montreal, Canada.

  1. Dany
    | #1

    ዶ/ር ወርቁ እጅግ አድረጌ አመሰግናለሁ . ሀገራችን አሁን ባለችበት ሁኔታ ገዢው መንግስት በለመደው የከፋፍለህ ግዛ ስልት ሊቀጥል እንደማይችል ፍንጮች እየታዩ ነው . ለነገይቱ ኢትዮጵያ ምን አይነት መንግስታዊ አስተዳደር ቅርጽ ያስፈልጋታል የሚለው ወቅታዊ ርእስ ስለሆነ በዚህ ዙሪያ የጠለቀ እውቀት ያላቸው ምሁራን ዳር ቆሞ ተመልካች ከመሆን ተሳታፊ መሆን ይጠበቅባቸዋል .
    በጎጥ/በጎሳ ሽፋን ሊገኝ የሚችል የግል ጥቅም ካለ ለማጋበስ የሚከንፉ opportunitists ,ዛሬን ብቻ ከሚያዩ ሙሁራን ተብየዎች ጩህት ተሰላችተናል.

  2. Dany
    | #2

    ‘opportunists’ ተብሎ ይነበብልኝ

  3. abbey
    | #3

    Ethnic segregation which tplf fascists call federalism was simply an imposition by tplf fascists on the people of Ethiopia after they marched to Addis abeba in 1991, aided by their sponsors US and UK governments. For that reason alone it is illegal. tplf is an illegal , terrorist group that is now looting and raping AND TERRORISING the nation in collaboration with arabs and other Ethiopian enemies.

    Tplf ethnic junta seized power by the gun and imposed their fascist dictatorship by the gun, without any consultation or discussion with the people about the future direction of the country.

    Tplf junta came up with the idea of ethnic segregation only as a means to an end. iF YOU chose ethnic SEGREGATION as a system of political administration one must automatically conclude that it is not done out of good intentions. tplf saw that , it is only by ethniclly segregating the people and inciting one group against the other that they will have a chance to survive and that is why they imposed their own will on the people without a single consultation with the Ethiopian public.

    we must only compare like for like and to compare the ethnic segregation which tplf junta created with that of the Canadian federal system is unjust. the two cannot be seen side by side. Canada is a mature western democracy that cares for the people and state of Canada. THE Tplf ethnofascist gunmen have only themselves ad their sponsors to consider

  4. Garo
    | #4

    If a person who lives in Quebec calls himself the citizen of that province what is the problem with Amharas accepting the identity of the people they live with instead of imposing their identity on others? The Oromos have done that for years.But they have been called weak and culture less for adopting their neighbors cultures.

    The Swiss system is ethnic federalism no matter whatever name the author of the article is trying to give it. The three major working languages testify to that. I will even include even a major country in Europe as ethnic federal country and that country is Great Britain. The Irish, Scots,English, and Wells are Ethnic people of England and they have their own government to run. They have democracy in England, but the case of Scots is not settled. This goes to show that even under democracy people may still want their own country. Canada is a democratic country but there is a significant portion of that province’s population that still wants to see an independent Quebec.

  5. sam
    | #5

    Garo,

    Tplf created ethnic segregation/federalism not because they care about amhara, oromo or tigre or gurage or any other ethnic group. they want ethnic federalism , because they can divide and rule the people by instigating violence between the various ethnic groups and keeping each group in check. that is the purpose of ethnic federalism tplf style.

    you are kidding yourself by saying that canada, switzerland or the UK have ethnic federalism. ask yourself why do they need ethnic federalism. is it to incite french speakers against english speakers (as in the case of canada), so that the ruling party can stay in power for ever.

    or is it to incite people in the United Kingdom against each other (between scotland, wales, england, ireland) so that the ruling class can stay in power for ever. who is the ruling party/class anyway in these countries. Anybody can become a Prime minister in these countries. it is political parties, that rule these countries, not ethno fascist gun hoe terrorists like tplf.

    people join political parties in the western democracies, not ethnic based , exclusive, narrow minded , groups , and the political parties choose the leaders of the country. that leader could have a french , dutch, african, german ect background. no body cares what ethnic group he comes from.

    First of all, in DIFFERENT PARTS OF Canada,INCLUDING QUEBEC, THE PEOPLE LIVING in each part of Canada are of mixed ethnicity. everyone has a choice to speak whatever language they WANT or culture to follow. you can live in any part of Canada and have your right as a citizen of canada to do whatever you want. do you have these rights in Ethiopia now. definitely Not

    THE same thing applies to the UK or Switzerland. by the way , UK is not a federal system. it is a UNION.IT is United Kingdom.

    Switzerland is the same,it is a UNION. there is no point trying to mislead people to make your ethno centric agenda acceptable.

    UK is the most diverse society on planet earth.there is not a single race , ethnicity OF people that you do not find in the UK. In the UK means in Scotland, Wales, England and N Ireland. No body cares what language you speak or culture you follow. Even If you do not speak english there are interpreters for you.

    you said the case of scotland is unsettled. how misleading you can be! if you think people who live in scotland are some ethno centric bunch called scots, you are totally mistaken. Scotland is as diverse as any part of the UK. YOU CAN FIND ANY ETHNIC LINGUISTIC, RACE GROUP YOU CARE TO MENTION in Scotland. Members of Scottish nationalist part are as diverse in back ground as the people in scotland are.

    It is true that the scottish nationalist party , was campaigning for idependence from the UK. THERE WAS A DEBATE AMONG THE POPULATION AND ALL THE POLITICAL PARTIES FOR OVER TWO YEARS; THAT IS DEMOCRACY AT WORK. EVERYBODY INVOLVED IN THE DISCUSSION ABOUT WHAT SHOULD HAPPEN IN SCOTLAND – tHE ISSUE is now settled and decided in a majority vote. people voted to remain part of the UK. IT IS A half baked propaganda and a BIG LIE TO SUGGEST THAT the case is not settled.

    there is no such thing as,saying you have to be oromo to be olf cadre or member or to be able to live in ‘oromo land’, if there s any such thing

    that is what DEMOCRACY is all about. the freedom to choose where to live in your country and to do what ever you want.

    Cricising amhara for everything is a fashion for ethno centric groups and individuals. criticising amhara won’t get you out of your locked mind. you have to free yourself from the prison that you have placed yourself in and try to liberate yourself from fear of everybody who is not in your ethnic category.

  6. Dawi
    | #6

    Prof. Worku said:

    [[..The claim confuses ethnic federalism with democratic federalism..]]

    There is no reason to talk about “democratic federalism” in practice because federalism is a transitional form. As Andreas notes: “The history and identity of the protagonists that emerged in the wake of the victory over tyranny thus explains why ethnic federalism proved to be a decisive political instrument in Ethiopia’s transition to democracy.” “Ethnic federalism” was adapted to deal with acute situation the time.

    What does the history of “federation” tell us?

    In the United States there were independent colonies and later on they formed an alliance of confederation type without ceasing to be fully independent state. In the beginning of the 1800 the Northern states called for closer unity between the states but the Southern states opposed “centralization”. The “Civil War” broke out that ended in the Northern states favor. A federation was formed; a union of sovereign states which shared power with the central government. This system didn’t last long and in due course the United States was transformed from federation to a unitary state; the name “federation” today is just an empty word.

    In Canada and Switzerland as well there was s a development from independent region, through their federation to a Unitary state and to a now empty “federation”. It is in name only.

    So simply put, the transitional development in the US, Canada and Switzerland was from independent regions, through their federation, to a unitary state; that the trend of development is not in favor of some kind of “democratic federation”, but against it; it went to emptiness so to speak ended up being a transitional form.

    The reason is the development of capitalism in its highest form integrates the nations pushing towards centralization and dictates a unitary state leaving the “federation” as an empty shell.

    So in our case, Developed Capitalism ultimately shall find “ethnic federalism” a hindrance to development, or as a transitional form a Dictatorship and one or two ethnic cultural domination it ended, to an all unitary centralized republic of Ethiopia.

    We should look at our “ethnic federation” as a step forward under Ethiopia’s special starting conditions of 1991; that fought off and still fighting off “ethnic fragmentation” by stopping the “ethnic pimps” from taking over.

    When DDS takes root and Ethiopian renaissance become a reality for all “federalism” of today shall subside.

  7. ali
    | #7

    Dear PHD Worku

    Ethiopia was a multinational nation where only one nation where dominating all the other nations and nationalities.Then came a new rule which recognise the identities of all the nations and nationalities and their god given rights to rule their own nation with clear border and their rights to self determination.

    We have now one of the best constitution in africa.And I can i say that the futur in most of the countries around the world is ethnic federal.
    Some exemple in Europe,Belgium isnt an ethnic federal where Flamish speaking,French speaking and German speaking share the power? What about Switzerland the oldest ethnic federal democracy ? Scotland,catalon in spain and many others. Here in ethiopia there is a minority who oppose the ethnic federal systeme but the majority support it.Even Canada is ethnic federal.
    Even amhara are coming to ethnic federal.

    We only need to improve the democracy.

  8. Wollegaa
    | #8

    Why is it that The showa Amhara Neftegna extremist wing always opposes to oromos self governing (Federal system) ? It seems the Menilike and Haileselassie era era/The old SLAVE MASTER (Amharas as master and Oromos as second class slave)relationship still lingering in Neftegnas elite (showa Amharas mentality).
    Who gave the right to Neftegna elites to dictate Oromos right to begin with ?

  9. መገርሳ
    | #9

    ለአቦጊዳ:
    ከላይ በፕሮፌሰር ወርቁ አበራ የቀረብው ጽሁፍ የኢትዮጵያን ሁኔታ ለሚከታተል ኢትዮጵያዊ ሁሉ ትምህርት የሚሰጥ በመሆኑ በአማርኝኣ ተተርጉሞ ቢቀርብ በጥኣም ጤቃሚና ወቅታዊ ነው::ስለዚህ አቦጊዳዎች የጽሁፉን የአማርኝኣ ትርጉም ለማቅረብ ሞክሩ::

    ኢትዮጵያ ሃገራችን ለዘላለም ትኑር

  10. Freedom
    | #10

    Professor Aberra,
    Excellent article.
    I am advocating that you run for the Prime Minster of Canada. You will make an outstanding Prime Minster. Once you get the Canadian economy squared aware by bailing out the oil industry and the aerospace giant Bombardier, you will focus your attention on organizing the democratic powers of the world in order to impose a Crippling Targeted Economic and Military Sanction on the current looters, murderers, rapist, torturers of Ethiopia, EPRDP/TPLF and company. The sanctions will not only bankrupt them but also significantly limit there access to weapon thereby setting them up for a humiliating defeat by the Warriors of the United Ethiopia Democratic and Patriotic Forces.

  11. channe
    | #11

    ethnic based boundary which segregates people on the basis of ethnicity and which only serves the interests of fascist tigre people liberaton front should be abolished and be replaced by a system which serves the democratic aspirations of our people.

    democracy is government of the people, by the people, for the people. there is no democracy until this critetia is fulfilled.

  12. aha!
    | #12

    You hit the nail on the head, when you try to make distinction between “democratic federalism”, which I label as State Federalism/Federated States” of assorted ethnic groups, and “ethnic federalism as a new division of Ethiopian landmass by settlements, languages and (ethnic) identity” ethnic-based federalism that serves as a prelude ethnic-secessionism, future boundary conflicts, ethnic cleansing, etc. as well as lack of individual freedom and private ownership of land anywhere in Ethiopia as prerequisite to liberal and/or social democracy and free market capitalism. That is not evident in the current constitution with the ideologies of ethnic federalism, secessionism, and /or developmental state capitalism built into it.

    But the notion of “Democratic Federalism”/Federated States/Provinces is evident under Ethiopian Nationalism of Ethiopia as a one nation state like Canada or the united states of multi-ethnic groups, developing the their languages and cultures in hyperspace and the natural resources by ecological regions with individual freedom front and center of the constitution as a basis for liberal and/or social democracy.
    –to be continued.

  13. Olani Lemma
    | #13

    2050 danforz Avenue , Toronoto Ontario Canada February 28th , starting 6pm we will hold special meeting to discuss issues regarding prison exchange . All concerned friends of Ethiopian prisoners are invited .

  14. Trevor
    | #14

    In response to the last post.

    The Scots, Welsh and English all speak English, the courts and institutions use English, so there is no barrier. The Scots can also speak Gaelic and the Welsh, Welsh as well. The principal difference is other groups are not allowed to use Amharic in institutions and Schools in the Oromo region, and the Oromos do not use Amharic, creating a barrier. It may be argued that it is the Oromos right not to use Amharic but why should they prohibit the other groups, Amharas, Welaitas, Tigres in the region from using Amharic?

  15. ዘረ-ያዕቖብ ወ.ግ.ዓ.ም-ፅዮን The Eth.
    | #15

    ኤትኒክ ፈደራሊዝም ኣብ ምድሪ ኢትዮጵያ ምስሰርሐ ነይሩ, ንኤትኒክ ፈደራሊዝም ዲስክረዲት ዝገብሮ ዘሎ ጠባያት መራሕቲ ወያነ from the beginning until the end እዩ! “ማዕተብ የለሽ” ዝኾኑን ንዝኾነ ነገር ጥዑም ሽም ሂብካስ ብተግባር ግና ሕሱማትን መንፈሰ ድኻታትን ኮይኖም ምርኻቦም እዩ ፀገም ናይ ብፍላይ ትግራይ ወዘጠቕላላ ኢትዮጵያ! ብሰንኪ ቅድሚ ኣቆፃፅራ ፈረንጅ 91 ካኒባልስቶች በላዕቲ ደቆም ደቂ ትግራይ, ድሕሪ 91 LOOTERS ደቂ ባንዳታት ጨበጥቲ ኣመራርሓ, ጅግንነቶምን ጅግንነት ህዝቢ ትግራይን ብሕማቕ ይዛዘም(ይሞውት) ኣሎ!! ታሪኽ ሰራሓይ ህዝቢ ትግራይ ድማ በዚ እዋን’ዙይ ካብ ታሪኹ ተነፂሉስ, ናይ ብገዛ ታሪኹ ኣቖልቁለት ናብ እንጠሮጦስ ካብ ሓፁር ወፃኢ ጠጠው ዝበለ ጥሙይ ተዓዛቢን ብኻልኦት ኢትዮጵያውያን ተወቃሲን ኾይኑስ ናይቶም ወንጀለኛታት “መራሕቱ” ተወቃጣይ ኒሁግ ኮይኑ ይርከብ ኣሎ!!

    ሕቶ: ክልወጥ ዝኽእል ነገር’ዶ ኣሎ!?

  16. aha!
    | #16

    Please read the article about “indegena meret larashu by Geletaw Zeleke, Feb. 11th 2016 in the Amaharic News Section as supporting narratives Ethiopian Nationalism, private land ownership as one of the means production the national economy. Associated with that please take note of that Ethiopian Nationalism is centered individual freedom based on integrative approach of Ethiopia as a one nation State, in a liberal and/or social democracy like Canada or the United States with multi-ethnic groups living in it, but not multi-nation states in separate ethnic enclaves, where individuals freely settle and own properties anywhere in the country.
    to be ctd.

  17. aha!
    | #17

    The integrative approach indicated @#15 is analogous to a tree organism where the ethnic groups have different but integrative functions for Ethiopia to exist as a nation. In this integrative approach, the major ethnic groups the Amhara/Oromo serve the function of the roots, Oromo/Amhara he function of a stem, and relatively bigger and smaller ethnic groups serve as bigger and smaller branches, with all playing their special roles, in contrast to the current disintegrative approach.

  18. Samretay
    | #18

    @መገርሳ
    Our Oromo Brothers are intoxicated with the idea of ethnocentrism. They are leading the way that the fascist TPLF has paved for them for all the wrong destructive purposes. As far as we all know, “Oromia” belongs to diverse ethnic groups. Take the ethnic Gurage for instance: They are indigenous to various localities that fall under the TPLF curved map known as Oromia today. Hypothetically speaking, if the slogan that the likes of Jawar chant “Oromia for Oromos” ever materialize, are you going to cleanse the region of these groups and you expect the rest of the people of Ethiopia would seatback and watch? Secondly, you don’t seem to have in depth understanding of the Swiss political dynamics. You don’t see one ethnocentric group trying to assert power and supremacy over the rest of the Swiss society which is comprised of the Italians, the Germans, the English and French. What we are observing these days is that Oromos trying to dominate the country just because they happened to maintain the biggest head count. If I am a citizen, I maintain the right to live wherever I choose. Unfortunately, this is not true in today’s Oromia and evident to this is many ethnic Amhara have been displaced evicted from their legitimate properties. Bear in mind that the Oromo are only about 35 million and a big majority of that don’t agree with the unpatriotic and divisive doctrine being spouted by the Jawar groupies. If you think you can batter this ancient nation with your ethnocentric attitude, you are in for a rude awakening. That is a guarantee.

  19. Dany
    | #19

    Trevor ,
    That is the key question no one wants to raise ?
    On the flip side ,the young Oromo graduates do not speak Amharic limiting their competitiveness in Federal and other regions jobs market .
    Some Oromo ethno politicians vow Oromiffa to be the second Federal language without allowing Amharic as a second language in Oromia even in the cities where most of the residents do not speak Oromiffa . Is it a fair deal ?
    Are we building one bigger Ethiopian Community or as Lencho Leta ,Jawar and the like often say independent mini states ? In other words exercising article 39 of the constitution .
    የአባቶቻችን በአጥንትና በደማቸው ያቆዩንን ሀገር በነ ሌንጮ እና ጃዎር በመሳሰሉት ጩህት ሀገራችን አትበጣጠስም,የተበጠሱትን ምን እንደሆኑ እያየን ነው ምንም እንኩዋን መሪ ነን ባዮቹ የምድር ገነት ህይውት በደሃው /በግፉዋን ጫንቃ ላይ ሲኖሩ ቢስተዋሉም.

  20. Dawi
    | #20

    Sam said:

    [[Tplf created ethnic segregation/federalism ... , because they can divide and rule the people ...and keeping each group in check. that is the purpose of ethnic federalism tplf style...]]

    It only seems like that if we refuse to see the limitations of TPLF in the beginning; for one, OLF wasn’t part of EPRDF and it represented a huge amount of the population with a substantial support and other smaller groups existed as well. It can’t be hard to see then that TPLF didn’t have a choice but negotiate with such groups unless it wants to use military power similar to the one it replaced.

    Using military would be an imaginable therefore, going along with the “federation” as a democratic transition as introduced by OLF per Lencho, was agreed upon to move forward. Don’t forget EPLF in 1991 wasn’t part of the future power discussions in Ethiopia as well, which lets us imagine “secession” was its “intelligent” contribution for its way out of the Ethiopian Union.

  21. anon
    | #21

    Abugida I thought youmight be interested in this article that i run in to it it at Ethiomedia.See if you can do something with it.

    http://www.ethiomedia.com/1010ideas/5051.html

  22. garo
    | #22

    @sam
    So, how about democratic ethnic federalism? There are millions of other ethnic groups in Oromoia who are working without any problem! Oromos are not opposed to any other groups living in Oromia from exercising their rights. They are simply asking for their constitutional rights to be respected. What is the problem with that? unless you have a problem with anything Oromo if they are not controllrd by Northerners. The opposition to Oromo protest by some groups has nothing to do with democracy. It is about control of the Oromos and we refuse to accept those conditions.

  23. G. Mequnent
    | #23

    The democratic EPRDF government has gained popular support for its vision and improving the lives of Ethiopians. However,the Amhara elite have always worked to negate the achievements of Ethiopia in the economic as well as the political areas.

  24. aha!
    | #24

    Please add to the narratives @aha #15, narratives @ Finote.org/feb23EVE-Hr1Mp3.

  25. Mezmur
    | #25

    I see a difference between the comments submitted (24) and posted (14) here. It means `Dawi`is becoming strict in his censorship,

  26. aha!
    | #26

    Please also include to the narratives @aha#15 finote.org/March05EVE_Hr1 and 2, as regards to integrative nature of the music cultures and comments by captain Yilma Midekssa on ethnic federalism and ethnic secessionism from the prism of Ethiopian Nationalism, I believe in the context of Adwa.

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