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Are illegal and forceful evictions of peoples from their place, a corruption issue or wrong policy problem?

Are illegal and forceful evictions of peoples from their place, a corruption issue or wrong policy problem?


W.Yilma                                                          September, 20, 2016

Following the recent civil unrest in some part of Amhara Regional State (ARS), over eight thousand Tigrayans origin many of them poor subsistence farmers were illegally evicted from Gonder and its surrounding.  The following short article wills focus on this and other related issues.

Since the establishment of modern Ethiopia, people of different background from different part of the country were moved, and internally migrated out of their birth place and settled in different part of the country by their choices. Particularly people living in the Northern part of the country (mainly the Amharas and Tigrians) moves in larger numbers to the Central, Southern, South Western, Western and Eastern part of Ethiopia for searching of employment opportunities, business and farming land. Similarly, large numbers of the Gurage people are also moved toward the central part of the country. Other than this in the name of “Sefera” people from the north were forcefully settled in southern and south western part of the country. To some extent the military establishments also play as a pull factor for continuous movements of people from one place to another.

During all these movement intermarriage between different ethnic and religious groups makes Ethiopia a unique country in the world where people lives in harmony.  Complex reverse population movement has observed also after the establishment of the Federal system. To some extent the new federal administrative structures contributed for high internal migration as well as displacement of people, in particular among Amhara and Tigrians population (in small scale in different part of the country this kind of displacement has happened against other ethnic groups as well). However, with all these times, there were minor ethnic tensions but never spill-over to the extent what we are witnessing now. It is a high time for the Federal government to think seriously about unlawful eviction of people from their place and should look this matter from the universal human right point of view. Those who are directly or indirectly provoking or encouraging this kind of atrocity against Ethiopians should be accountable.

One thing should be clear here, that we all have identity in which we all should be proud of. Therefore,    when we deal with sensitive issues like this, we have to look the bigger picture. First we have to be fair and should not be biased based on our ethnic affiliation, second we have to look this kind of issue from humanity point of view and third, from the concept of “Ethiopiawinet” which is our common value and we all should be respected. Is the recent Tigrayans illegal evictions from some part of Gonder and its environ is the first incidence that has happened in Ethiopia under EPRDF government? The answer is NO! Why this kind human right violation has repeated again and again? Because when the same violation has happened against other peoples in particular the Amhara settlers who were living in some part Ethiopia no legal action was taken against those regional officials by the Federal Government. It seems that the Federal government is indifferent when human right violation has committed by regional states against the people of other ethnic group.  I do think this is contrary to what the EPRDF founders has fought for. There must be a mechanism supported by law to protect the constitutional right of other ethnic groups living in other regional states. If this trend is not cut short and put to rest it will be very dangerous to the unity of our people as well as for the unity of EPRDF, and could lead the country to balkanization. I said this because what are spreading through various media out lets is not preaching about peaceful resolution of differences but encouraging confrontation which could leads to violence. There are vulnerable social groups that can be easily mobilized by war monger groups outside and inside the country to cause havoc in the country. The recent incidence that has happened in some parts of Amhara and Oromia regional states are a symptoms how Ethiopia can slip to uncertainty.

Last month with the same fashion poor subsistence farmers of Tigrayans origin were forcefully evicted from some part of Amhara regional states, and this incidence was characterized by EPRDF congress as a corruption issue. To me this is the government policy problem ignoring individual or group rights and gives more power to regional government to do whatever they want against those people considered as outsiders. At this time many feel that Ethiopians do not have the right and privileges to live with dignity and freedom in areas of their choice. Unless the constitution which created this kind of problem revised and amended, this problem will continue to create similar problems, and may cause irreversible damages to the country.

I remember what the former EPRDF prime minister, Tamirat Laigne (now he is neither a politician nor religious) has said during his visit to Harar. It may not be appropriate for me to mention exactly what he has said, but in general term he criminalized those Amharas origin lives outside of today’s Amhara regional state. We remember what has happened in Bedeno, Arsi, Gambella and other places against settlers. What government officials perceived about human right issue and how the constitution is committed to protect its citizen’s matters to aggravate or to control this kind of problem.

Traditionally, we Ethiopian do not pay attention for individual rights. During the start of Federal government restructuring many government employees were unwanted because they are working in the place where they are not born. Education, service year and work experience were not import during that time. But many were victimized due to unfair treatment and left their country for good, and give services for the country which does not spend a penny for their education. For me it is okay if the action taken has benefited the Ethiopian people at large, but the repercussion is not simply gone from many Ethiopians memories. Lack of belongings and the psychological trauma it causes to the people who live outside of their birth place is enormous and I believe overlooked by the EPRDF officials for many years. Broken feeling create emptiness and not good for the unity for our country. It eroded patriotism. What is important to note here is that Ethiopia unity will be guaranteed not small individual elites from different ethnic groups has created a party of a coalition but through unequivocal guarantee of the right of all Ethiopians to live wherever they choose and their right respected and protected by law no matter their ethnic background and where they live.

The other issue which I want to raise here is that, those media outlets fanning ethnic hate choose silence while more than four thousand Tigrayans origin living in some part of Amhara region has unlawfully evicted and their property were destroyed or looted. Similarly, when security personnel are died at the hands of “demonstrators” these media outlets not only choose silence, but also called those criminals heroes. I do not think there are two different versions to define the word anarchist. It is known that these media outlets are a source of misinformation and a means of terrorizing people purposely and falsely manufacturing information. What is so tormenting to hear is that some of the people evicted from Gonder were crossed to Sudan border to save their life. Thanks to the Sudanese people, and their government they welcomed them and assisted them to go back to Tigray region.  We are now in a situation where Ethiopian chooses a foreign country as a safe haven to save their life.

As if the Ethiopian youth back home unnecessary sacrifice is not enough, some Diaspora maniac individuals and groups they are now turning their gear to Diaspora Ethiopian youth to intoxicate them with ethnic hate. It is now become a challenge for many parents’ to hear from their children experienced about ethnic hate in many congregated places. Here is the fact what I heard from one young girl. A young girl went to her friend’s family wedding. Many of the gusts in the wedding know who her father is, and many of the people whom she knows do not want to talk her, because of her identity. Those who considered themselves as a “God-chosen” Ethiopian than others do not ashamed of what they did to the young girl who does not have any ideas what ethnicity means. When her instincts tell her that she does not belong there, she left the wedding. This is what is expecting from an empty with no open minded mob addicted groups. Let’s say the girl father support the EPRDF, so what! The organization which they are supporting is serving Shabia as a Donkey!  Ethiopians, where are we heading? I raised this issue here not to inflict more injury to the already metastasized ethnic hate spreading among Ethiopians but to remind that there are empty minded individuals and groups who want to divide us not to bring a better future for us but for the better future for those people which their countries are considering Ethiopia as their enemy. In my previous article posted in Aigaforum, I mentioned the criminality of the old generation in passing ethnic hate and violence to the millennium new young generation. This is the confirmation of the truthfulness of that fact.

What is scary here is that sneaking like officer Iago many Diaspora who have different ill-fated agendas slowly but surely managed to effectively exploiting western democracy and win the minds and souls of naive western politicians and other groups who have a mission to harm Ethiopia. Others external traditional enemies are also already involved and make the situation more complex, by channeling unstoppable huge financial resources for the so called “oppositions, or activist” stationed in Eritrea, and elsewhere.  What you need to have to convince western politicians, parliamentarians and congress men and women is money. Then you can easily trap them and they will start speaking like a Parrot on behalf of you. Bribe is legal here in western country through the word “lobby”.

What needs to be clear here is that, the types of struggle we are witnessing now in many countries is a system designed by western geo-political strategist committed to their country’s best interest, with the aim to dismantle and disarm third world countries. If we scrutinize all social movements in which they unequivocally supporting and encouraging through their surrogate organizations it is not intended to bring a better system from the past. This type of” sponsorship” movements failed terribly and brought a disaster and anarchies to those countries unable to resist. This is the new approaches to implement their Neo-colonization system by demoralizing the population through social media and encouraging the most vulnerable groups to destroy infrastructure and paralyzing main economic sectors. Look where are they now countries like Libya, Syria, Ukraine, Iraq, and Yemen. Thanks to the military, Egypt saved itself from failing into this conspiracy!

I am sorry to say the following publicly that unless and otherwise the government in power with great political talent and caution manage to handle and solve the current as well as other problems wisely, the future will be dark and will not be good for the entire country. I said this because certain groups both from inside and outside of the country are intoxicated with ethnic hate and do not have a political agendas that can be solved through civilized discussion and consensuses. What is also dangerous is that the vast majority of our public is blindly following the flow of the stream like a dead fish! Ethnic hate does not follow logic and does not have reasonable causes. Simply certain individual or groups hate you because of who you are and therefore no one could solve it unless one side accepts the others superiority. But this does not happen in any circumstance in particular in this 21 century. That dark history was already passed.

I am fed-up of hearing from many Ethiopians as an excuse to put the blame on the government in power for everything what went wrong; ignoring to balance fairly the wrong and good deeds of the government. This deliberate action is to cover-up their naivety in encouraging and fanning ethnic hates among Ethiopians, in particular here in Diaspora. Let’s be fair here; if one follows wrong political view should I pursue the same path? In fact Ethiopia has never been free from ethnic politics, and it has been existed before and it will exist in the future as long as we all do not have equal participation in decision making of our country’s future. What many do not want to accept and I believe a source of their hate against the government is their preconceived notions believe that it is TPLF/EPRDF who brings ethnicity problem in Ethiopia. This perception is completely wrong! Simply EPRDF bring it to the surface what is already there in peoples mind for century. What was the war in Eritrea, in Tigray in Oromia, in Ethiopian Somali, in Sidama and others? Is it not an ethnic based struggle?  It is we who should discuss in civilized manner how to live together as a united country by solving problems, without giving too much emphasis to the past ethnic prejudice, if they exist.

Last, I want to be clear here that the present generation is not part of the past history and should not be accountable for any prejudice that may occurred in the past. We should accept our collective history as it is. Whether it is good or bad or we like it or not it is our collective treasury. The primary responsibility of this generation is to take lesson from the past and make the future bright for the coming generation. It is not the responsibility of this generation to argue about the past history as we have witnessing now.  Let’s accept as it is and prepare ourselves to make a better history by learning from the past mistakes.

Long Live Ethiopia


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