ETHIOPIA’S FEDERAL SYSTEM MUST CHANGE

PRESS RELEASE

The new opposition party ETRP established in 2017 by former Kinijit officials says the Ethiopian federal system must change.]

ETRP Press Release 

While the ETRP applauds recent symbolic measures taken by the new Ethiopian Prime Minister, systematic changes must occur for the country to secure long-term stability. In addition to repealing the CSP, FMMAIP and ATP restrictive laws, Dr. Abiy must make personal changes inside key institutions. 

Dr. Abiy Ahmed must be highly commended for his ongoing efforts to solve the deep problems of a diverse nation of over 100 million citizens. Unlike his EPRDF predecessors, Dr. Abiy has become a unifier; by preaching Ethiopiawinet. From releasing thousands of prisoners to repealing the State of Emergency, Dr. Abiy deserves credit for beginning the healing process domestically. 

However, his administration must not rush or simplify the complex issues, like the TPLF military monopoly and the human rights crisis. Simply reshuffling the civilian Defense Ministry leadership is not real reform. Real military reform is diversifying the top leadership of the military; from the army generals, to commanders, pilots and special forces. 

Similarly, Dr. Abiy recently announced reforms within the Ethiopian Human Right Commission (EHRC) but he did not make any leadership changes. In fact, Dr. Abiy did not even fire the chairman Addisu Gebregziabher, who was the infamous TPLF spokesman working inside both the corrupt NEBE and fraudulent EHRC during the 2015 rigged election and overseeing the nationwide massacres of the last few years. 

Both NEBE and EHRC must be administered by independent and non-political professionals.

Real reforms will require massive personal changes in every federal institution. 

In addition, reforms will never succeed long-term unless systematic changes are made to the foundation of Ethiopia’s political problems. Two of the major systematic issues facing Ethiopia today are the dangerous implementation of “group rights” at the expense of “individual rights” and the ethnic-based narrow federal structure. The root cause of endless ethic based crimes (including the killing and eviction of Oromos in Somali region or Amharas in other regions) is due to ethnic federalism; in which Ethiopians are being divided with “‘natives’ vs ‘aliens’” labels as well as where “group rights” continue to violate individual rights. 

Human rights will never be respected in Ethiopia until ethnic federalism is scrapped and until every human being is seen as an individual worth living. 

Ethnic-federalism (EF) is the foundation of the rise in tribal based conflicts nationwide. The EF concept itself has manifested itself in two ways. In the southern (Debub) region, EF exists in name only since its application became impractical and thus completely abandoned. In the rest of the country, EF has been half-way (ex. 420 kebeles still disputed between Oromia & Somali) applied by the demarcation of ethnic-based borders between Oromia, Somali, Amhara, Afar and Tigray states. However, ethnic border demarcation has not meant self-rule or leadership demarcation since TPLF has effectively ruled every ethnic state since 1991. In both cases, Ethnic federalism has miserably failed and it has created dormant volcanos by giving “false hope” of unrealistic ethnic states. 

Now is the time to heal the past wounds of this great nation and secure the individual human rights of every single Ethiopian. Repealing institutional Ethnic-Federalism does not mean we all practice one culture or one language; but it will mean appreciating unity in diversity while respecting the human rights of the individual. We must finally change the federal structure of Ethiopia to disincentivize the ethnic politics and mob mentality that has led to endless ethnic conflicts and brutal cleansings through out the country. 

Human rights will be universally protected in Ethiopia only when it is guaranteed in its smallest form: the individual human being. 

Like the millions of other mixed-Ethiopians, Prime Minister Dr Abiy is the son of Oromo father and Amhara mother. Dr. Abiy must use his inspiring personal story and utilize his moral authority to end the 17 years of nightmare and tribal division in Ethiopia. If Dr. Abiy wants Ethiopia to join the free nations of the 21st century world, he must allow the restructuring of the Ethiopian state away from ethnic-federalism. 

_______________________

The Ethiopian Republican Party (ETRP) is a new populist movement supporting economic liberalism and micro federalism. 

2 COMMENTS

  1. With Ethiopia accepting stalled peace deal with Eritrea it is becoming clearer that the US is calling the shots. Let us not forget that it was under Meles Zenawi/Tigray Front that border war was waged with Eritrea. The war claimed over 80,000 lives. To-date Tigray Front has not been held to account for such a heinous crime. Tigray Front simply failed to defend Ethiopia’s rights as well as left the matter to stall for two decades. Following Dr. Abiy becoming prime minister the first thing Tigray Front did was to ask him to resolve the border issue! Why was Tigray Front asking Abiy to intervene when it was the reason for all the mess that followed? The answer is that Tigray Front has a longterm plan and getting a non-Tigayan to do the dirty job for it is part of that plan! For one, Tigray Front has recognized it has lost control over the country and viewed with much contempt by the public. In that sense, it is willing to make amends with its senior partner Isaias’s regime. Another fact is Dr. Bereket has been working with the State Department, Israelis, and The Atlantic Council to create an existential threat due to a growing Arab influence in the region. It is interesting that Pompeo phoned Abiy. The US wants a confederation of the Horn region! That has been a goal that Secretary Colin Powell initiated but at the time failed to get it fly. My worry is that Ethiopia will once again not have a leadership that will look out for its abiding interests. We may be back to the years 1974 and 1991! A small vocal and organized group is going to take us the wrong way. Ginbot 7 leader Dr. Birhanu Nega and his PR guy Neamin have already showed us that they are willing to defend Eritrea’s wishes so long as they takeover from the ruling party!! Simply despicable!

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here