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Stand in Defense of Our Constitution

Stand in Defense of Our Constitution  

Amen Teferi 09-28-17


Here we do not want a kind of window dressing measures, but we rather need such scrupulously designed game plan that would satisfactorily address the scandal related with the border conflict.  We should uphold the principle of legal liability and thus teach transgressors of our federal values an unforgettable lesson that would affirm our commitment for the federal constitution. We remember that the Ministry of the Federal Affairs (MoFedA) has tried to resolve the boundary conflicts the Ethiopian Somali and Oromia regional states.


MoFedA has repeatedly tried to bring together disputing regions and helped them to establish Joint Peace Committee and has undertaken detailed studies on the disputed areas and organized public platforms where the people could present their recommendations on how best the conflict that may arise between any two regions could be resolved. However, we have still some miles to cover. We need to step up our effort to quash the cases of anti-peace narrow nationalist and chauvinist elements. Without being discouraged by the daunting weight of the tasks we need to face the challenges upfront and let flourish the democratic unity the Ethiopian people.


Unable to create conducive political environment that accommodate the diverging views, Ethiopia had repeatedly failed to address its political problems through peaceful and democratic means that would save it from squandering its meager and precious resources on devastating protracted civil wars. Now, thanks to our visionary and revolutionary leaders Ethiopia has adopted a federal system of governance that allowed the country to come to term with its past and move forward to get out of the grips of deplorable conditions of poverty and backwardness.


With the demise of the Dereg regime in 1991 we had regained hope and vision to come out of the intricate knot of poverty and in the effort made in the last two decades we have glaringly proved to ourselves that we scarp the hills of poverty.


Back in 1991 the country was at a historical juncture where it was exhausted and run out of the energy to move forward and was buried under the debris of hopelessness or confusion. Being weakened by the multiple calamities that had faced, Ethiopia was on the verge disintegration. It was our federal dispensation that had rescued the country from that eminent crumbling and avoided the intractable civil war that has ravaged the country for decades.

Thus, in the last two decades and half Ethiopia has been in ascendancy in all spheres of development. It is moving forward with tremendous energy that could help her to embark on developmental course and assuredly lead her to join the club of the world’s middle income countries. Now, Ethiopia is moving forward with promethean spirit, but there are still some stumbling blocks that have to be deal with.   

Our nation building venture had all begun with the restructuring of the oppressive unitary political arrangement into a federal system of governance where every nation, nationalities and peoples of Ethiopia have enjoyed equal rights and freedoms that would allow them a self and shared rule.

In fact, the EPRDF led government may legitimately claim several other major accomplishments that it can proudly mention. Nevertheless, it has also various shortcomings that would compromise its success in the economic and political fronts. Ethiopia does not totally ameliorate the population's vulnerability to draught, but it has avoided the catastrophic famines that used to take hundreds of thousands of lives. The trials of the job have helped Ethiopia to develop confidence in managing risk and disasters.  

Moreover, there has been an increase in the volume of foreign investment in the country and the rate of economic growth has been substantial despite starting from a very low base. The exciting promise of Ethiopia’s economy was reaffirmed by the IMF just this week.  

The economic development program Ethiopia is implementing has turned the country into one of the fastest-growing economies in Africa, with levels of GDP growth over the last decade at 10% per annum– without the oil or mineral wealth that have largely powered growth in other parts of the continent.

The Ethiopian government has created a physical infrastructure that is better than what was left behind by all the previous regimes combined. The road network that spans to most regions of the country can facilitate national integration and development if progressively used.

The electric grid of the country has been expanded and more hydroelectric dams have been built or are under construction and this has expanded the country's energy supply in an unprecedented manner. The growth in electric production bodes well for the country's economic growth and the intensive mineral exploration would deliver dividends for the country in the long run.

On the contrary, we are faced with a political upheaval that requires a staunch optimism and resilient nerves. Amidst the promising scenarios we are witnessing, there are intermittent border conflicts that both the anti-federalist chauvinist and narrow nationalist elements would like to exploit. The conflicts are being exploited by the anti-federalist to demonize the federal arrangement, and the “rent seekers” are taking advantage of the problem to advance their personal ends. These elements have manipulated the emergence of regional states to transform traditional conflicts into inter-regional conflict. They maneuver the otherwise old and protracted traditional conflict to promote their rent seeking interests.

This has adverse implications on the management of territorial conflicts. The heavy emphasis on ethnicity as the key instrument for the territorial organization of the federation not only reinforces territorial claims and counter-claims by rival/competing ethnic groups, but also fails to appreciate the difficulty of putting all people/s of the country into predefined ethnic categories. We need to contain this wayward notion of federalism that tended to subvert the rights and freedoms of Ethiopian citizens. We must stand in defense our constitution that allow “every Ethiopian to engage freely in economic activity and to pursue a livelihood of his choice anywhere within the national territory.”   



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