‘We Nations & Nationalities’ vs ‘We the People of Ethiopia’
By Zeg Fanta
The Ethnic Federalism practiced in Ethiopia is non-consequential to Ethiopia’s past or present social or political evolutions. Considering the unending external attempts to control Ethiopia, logics guide us to the footprints of Ethiopia’s worst enemies who designed and prescribed Ethnic Federalism also known, rather negatively as ‘Kilil-Governance’ (የክልል አገዛዝ) for the purposes of controlling the rich resources of the nation.
If we explore the deep sea of Ethiopian politics, we find the political animals as numerous as the sea contains. The concern is always about the small fish, the oppressed Ethnic people that dictators rise on their behalf, but only to fulfill their own agenda, greatness. History has repeatedly shown that, and the case of present Ethiopia makes it evident.
No one would be able to answer the question unless armed with the arsenals of democratic principles, and contradictions. The pseudo democratic minds have tried in vain, and some scholars and experts have attempted to answer the question, but only to stretch the debates to no end. Little or no progress results through applications of quasi tenets of democratic concepts that some experts tend to treat the conditions of the traditional people a little differently.
This is one other spectacular opportunity for this author to argue no more with his friend, Wallelign Mekonnen, the father of the concept of “Nation and Nationalities”, but to deliver the final messages. The debates are over and done. Here is the final chapter on which all must rest. Understanding the deep and immense love that Wallelign had for his country and its people, the author believes this brief article represents the quest and answer sought. One of us was destined to carry the burden of delivering the message to those who unwittingly waited for so long, and what a remarkable and rare opportunity to pass the message.
To debate political philosophies, and what is good and bad, there must be some basic principles that we should accept and agree to. If we agree, for instance to travel from Addis to Dessie, we can argue about the shortest and less difficult route. If we agree Ethiopia should continue as a nation, we can argue about the best economic and political system that suits the people. If we cannot agree on fundamental matters, each of us appeal to the people who would ultimately decide what is debatable and is not. All the ills of Ethnic Federalism exposed and its purposes known, we have reached the point to debate what is good for Ethiopian people. We can fairly debate whether constitutional monarch, capitalism, socialism, and communism, is suitable to Ethiopians.
Finally, we can presume that we have reached the higher level of the political debates, and the fundamental question now is whether Ethiopia should re-continue its existence as a nation, or let it go the route where ‘Nations & Nationalities’ leads it to. The idea that Ethiopia continues on the experimental project is a drastic proposition, and only the worst enemies of Ethiopia are its proponents. The foot soldier of this mission is TPLF, the mother of Ethnic Federalism. The roadblock to change Ethiopians’ historic destiny, is the document of the phony constitution, which reads, ‘We nations and nationalities’. Experts assert the existences of two groups: 1) those who wish to live in the model house for they see their aspirations fulfilled, and their future hopes secured, and 2) those who fear that re-establishing the country as a “Nation of Individuality” would mean returning to the old ‘Amara-Tigre legacy’.
People can be their own worst enemy, and Africa constantly gives birth to these kind of people. When self-destructions become evident, preventive actions are essential to safeguard the national interest. Three profoundly chaotic conditions presently exist in Ethiopia: 1) Dictators, unelected and not constitutionally empowered govern the nation. 2) The Administrative entities that represent a pseudo Federal system have no resemblance to any other government system on the planet, and 3) the half-capitalist and half-socialist practices are volcanic explosions in the making.
Furthermore, we may agree that the present political and economic systems are not definable by any economic and political principles. No Federal System does function properly as it should when dictators rule the country. We may agree that Ethiopia’s economic system is neither capitalism nor socialism. The fact that the rulers and followers accumulated staggering amounts of wealth through vast industries and franchises they own do not make the economic system capitalism. The rulers have imposed the socialistic system upon the people, only to burden and deprive them opportunity to advance, and better themselves or simply survive. That is hardly a socialistic system known to people around the world.
The people have plenty of opportunities appearing on the horizon. Their forceful positions will materialize. Mighty citizens will emerge, and the nation will give birth to outstanding brave and wise individuals. Ethiopians have certain qualities to rely on. They can also learn from the examples and experiences of other people, and take bold actions, and make history for that is their legacy. America had repeatedly crashed the internal enemies, be it groups or States that rose against the nation. The Federal Government will not hesitate to repeat the actions today, and it does it all the time to suppress the rise of rebellions.
A leader of a country who does not protect its sovereign territories, and defend its nationals has no business to be the leader, and he is in the true meaning of the word, treasonous. A leader, who dismantles the power of the people’s government established to protect the nationhood, has committed the vilest treason of all times. Nothing justifies the inaction of the Ethiopian people against its enemies, except only under insurmountable armed occupation.
Ethiopians can also learn about Ethiopia’s justified historic actions from the perspective of other nations the World admires. America purchased lands, and annexed them to create the great nation it is today. Parallel to this nation-building scheme is that of Emperor Menelik who secured some of Ethiopia’s ancient territories. During 1861 – 1865, America fought the bloodiest war and crashed the forces of the secessionists. During 1855 – 1869, Atse Tewodros crashed the small kingdoms and established the indivisible nation. If American people hold the Presidents who expanded the country as the fathers of America, Ethiopians ought to consider Atse Tewodros, Atse Yohannes, Atse Menelik, and Atse Haile Selassie as the fathers of Ethiopia. Ethiopians have also honor the little fathers of the country who helped, and assisted to build the nation without whose roles and contributions no emperor or king would have materialized.
Nations cannot evict citizens (nationals), cut off territories of the nation, and give away land and people to other nations. These are the laws of the jungles of TPLF applied to modern Ethiopia, where the Africa Union, and many other distinguished International organizations have permanent Head Quarters. Again, nothing justifies the inactions of the Ethiopia people, unless the people are under insurmountable armed control.
The Concept of Indivisible Nation
Eritrea, Gondar, and Wollo wanted Tigray out of Ethiopia because they did not want to deal with the people of that province socially, and economically. The people of Tigray strongly opposed the unjust demand of the three very important provinces. The people of Tigray proved that they are as Ethiopians as any of the three provinces, and decided to fight to the last drop of blood to ensuring and securing their historic place within Ethiopia. The rest of the country alarmed by the demand of the people of three provinces arose and sided with the people of Tigray, and ordered the Federal Government to secure and ensure the rights of Tigray people as an integral part of Ethiopia. Through the action of the national forces, the Indivisible Nation prevailed.
The Concept of Succession
A group of guerilla fighters started war to separate Eritrea from Ethiopia. Many generations of Eritrean-Ethiopians had sacrificed their lives to build the nation and maintain its independence. The small group wanted to undo the works of generations and change the long history. The Ethiopian people wanted and instructed the leader to use the nation’s forces to protect the Ethiopian nationals and its sovereign territory. However, the leader of TPLF did not have to, and disobeyed the people. The leader, known for his pervert and warped behavior instead blessed the independence of Eritrea to the amusements and horrid reactions of the leaders of nations and International communities. Tested again to what extent he would practice and display his cowardice nature, he repeated his betrayal act against the African nations. He amused the West who had known all along that he was no Ethiopian, and found him excessively coward, and embarrassingly too good for them.
If the leader of a small group of bandits can become the leader of a big nation, and rule the people he never knew, let alone serve, what prevents Ethiopians from taking actions to protect and defend its territories and nationals? If it were ok for Isayas to use military power to achieve his mission, should it be different for Ethiopia? Will the Ethiopian people ever fail to bring the coconspirators and abettors of its destruction to justice?
The “Amara-Tigre” legacy is a perpetual phobia. This insidious political phobia has inflicted the astute minds of political leaders, and misguided followers. In the quest for “Nation of Individuality”, the democratic principles do not allow group rights. Kilil Federalism promotes groups’ (Gossa) rights. Kilil Federalism is the exact opposite concocted notion of “Nation of Individuality”. The purported “Amara-Tigre” legacy is the thing of the past. However, generations of Ethiopians will celebrate the fathers of Ethiopian Nation, Tewodros, Yohannes, Menelik, and Haile Selassie as well other many other brave Ethiopians in every locality. True Federalism requires the reconstruction of Ethiopia into provinces like those of Canada, or if necessary curving new States out of the provinces in ways that promote social, economic, and political developments.
In conclusion, support to the present Ethnic Federal government of Ethiopia ought to be with the knowledge and understanding of the three consequential developments: 1) Dictatorship, 2) Kilil (Gossa) Federalism, and its constitution that starts with “We Nations & Nationalities”, instead of “We the people of Ethiopia”, and 3) TPLF’s capitalist stomach, and socialist mind. “Nation of Individuality” is democratic and quite a natural progression to Ethiopians’ social, economic and political developments. There is not alternative to the conditions of the Ethiopian people.
The rough and long journey, the quest for the model of ‘Nation & Nationalities’ that ensures equality and justice to every Ethiopian national is about to become a reality. The remaining road, if any is much shorter than the road you last travelled from Addis to Dessie. This document contains the final message to your beloved Ethiopians past, present and future generations, those who died dreaming and fighting for it, non in vain, those who are presently trying to make it a reality, and to those who will continue the legacy of Ethiopians, having established their supremacy over their vast domain.