The information contained in this piece is an abridged and rephrased with additions to a version of my previous post on aigaforum website, entitled, “Appeal for Urgent Intervention: Ethiopia on a Slippery Slope Towards Disintegration.” I am bringing the matter again because the situation is getting worse and worse, day by day. The crises are evolving and spreading like the new coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2).
However, the international community prefers to remain indifferent.Therefore, this piece appeals to the international community to seriously pay attention and stand by the side of the truth and in support of the interests of the people of the Nations and Nationalities of Ethiopia, irrespective of their identity and number (minority or majority). Otherwise, remaining silent, indifferent, unresponsive, and turning blind eyes, deaf ears, and dull hearts to this dire consequence implies affirmation to be on the wrong side of history. It’s no use crying over spilt milk. Anyone daring to save Ethiopia, should act today not tomorrow.
Otherwise, Ethiopia is in peril. The PM and his allies are playing fake and provocative dramas one after another, designed to stir up ethnic conflicts.Political instabilities and tensions are growing at an alarming rate. A red-light is flashing that Ethiopia is dangerously and speedily descending to the ground. Assassinations, suppressions, and political conspiracies and sabotages are more than ever the growing concerns. Violence, mass killings and imprisonments are the new normal of today’s Ethiopia. The federal structure and the constitution, designed to serve as a contract for various ethnic groups to stay bonded, are in jeopardy.
Resentments and hostilities among ethnic groups and political parties are growing. Citizens’ fear is deepening that crises may erupt spontaneously without warning. The recentdevastating protests and violence that erupted in Addis Ababa and all over the Oromia state, following the murder of a popular singer Hachalu Hundessa, are examples. Reports have estimated 239 people killed; and many thousands injured and displaced while over 4000 people imprisoned. Numerousand nonstop rallies against the PM are also happening worldwide. The PM never is willing to take any responsibility and accountability for his own wrongdoings. Rather, he always uses finger pointing as a means to mitigate any mishaps which further aggravates and escalates the situation because the people got fatigued to hear the same tactic time and time again and have found it difficult to relate the PM’s acts and facts of allegation and accusation against his opponents.
Many parts of Ethiopia are under the control of command posts without approval by the parliament but only by the PM’s solo order against the constitution. The peace of the people has been disrupted and their day to day lives severely impacted. Democratic rights are being suppressed and violated by denying the right of the people to vote. And now that the emotions of the people of the nations and nationalities have reached a boiling point and could spill over into desperations and turn into irreversible state of civil wars. Once this occurs, reconstructing Ethiopia would be impossible.
The reality being this, the international communities, however, seem to pay no attention to the matter. They have failed to stand by the truth and preferred to remain indifferent. Instead of openly denouncing the PM’s actions and political sabotages, they seem biased and have relied on the PM’s fabricated information and blackmailing media broadcasts as opposed to making a non-partisan, independent,and critical assessments of the situation. It is astonishing to see the international community quietly watching the Ethiopian PM playing with fire and at the expense of gross human right violations, imprisonments, harassments, mass killings and displacements of innocent citizens. If the Ethiopian PM doesn’t qualify to be a tyrant then who else?
The international community ignored to pay attention to the interest of the majority Ethiopians, the people of the Nations and Nationalities, while all the facts on the ground are justifying that Ethiopia is on a slippery slope towards disintegration and the clock is ticking.The Amnesty International recently provided analysis of the situation. In my view, this report chiefly blamed the security forces to be responsible for violating such gross human rights.
Make no mistake, the PM, who is the commander-in-chief of the Ethiopian security forces, openly said on TV, “…youths may die, mothers may cry, and villages may set on fire” and added, “…we are prepared, more than ever before, to take any action to deter any effort to carry out elections….” He has said this in response to political parties who are determined to carry out elections in their region because the federal government has no willingness and readiness to run elections as stipulated within the constitution. Understandably, the PM is doing this because his chance of winning a genuine election is very slim. However, if the Ethiopian PM doesn’t qualify to be a tyrant then who else?
What needs to be brought to the attention of the international community is the fact that the Ethiopian PM is only bogged down with his play of the game of throne. He is vying, covertly and overtly sabotaging, and stubbornly determined to throne himself as a king by hook or by crook and at any cost. He is doing everything within his reach to change his childhood dream into a reality i.e. to be a king (his mother’s wish for him).To materialize this, the PM has created a web of alliances with cursed groups, state-owned medias and affiliates, inexperienced politicians, remnants of the pre-1991 unitary regime and ill-educated individuals who are advising and pushing him to put his bible aside and instead, unsheathe his sword to fight.
The PM and his allies are collaboratively and willfully engaged in destabilizing, defamation, blackmailing, discrediting and damaging the values of the language federal system and particularly, the image of TPLF and the people of Tigrai only for being the advocates of the rights of the nations and nationalities in Ethiopia. The PM is very busy, engaged in manufacturing and distributing fake news, provocative videos, and fabricated films against TPLF and the Tigrai people.
TPLF and the Tigrai people, as defenders of the federal system, are inflexibly determined to protect the cardinal principles of the people’s right to self-determination, self-rule, and vote and elect leaders of their choices; and recognize the inherent dignity of each individual to promote conditions that allow them to enjoy their civil and political rights.
However, it is mystery why the international community has given their deaf ear and blind eye to the majority of Ethiopian’s cause: respect for self-rule and democratic rights. The international community needs to look into their definition of democracy andrecalibrate their measure of standards. They need to examineand refresh their memory of the past day Ethiopia which was under the rule of a centralized and unitary government structure until 1991. This system disallowed the majority from enjoying their basic human rights and denied their access to social services; and prohibited their right to use a mother tongue language and practice a religion and culture of their choices. These all had led to grievances, discontents and protracted and costly struggles and wars.
While Ethiopia is a home of diversified Nations and Nationalities, under the rule of the pre-1991 unitary and dictatorial regime, only a few had claimed to have the blessing from God to enjoy the benefits of power and the privilege to preserve all rights to determine and rule over others choices and destinies. The majority of the people of the Nations and Nationalities lived under tyranny; enslaved; their liberty and equality before the law denied; and their right to assume and exercise political powers disavowed.
Under the rule of the pre-1991 unitary and dictatorial regime, political appointees and career civil servants were handpicked from the remote center and sent to govern the Nations and Nationalities, both at regional and local levels. The people were denied their right to elect leaders, participate in decision making, and strive and create viable opportunities to succeed politically, economically, and socially. The regime was totally unwilling to appreciate and recognize the values of a language. The majority had been forced and left with the option to use interpreters whenever they intended to get health and legal services because they had been prohibited from using their mother tongue language to express and share their emotions and feelings.
During the pre-1991 unitary and dictatorial regime, Ethiopia was not engaged in developmental aspects to fight famine, drought and change the lives of the majority who were living in abject poverty. Rather, the system was solely absorbed in pleasing and fulfilling the rulers’ egos while letting Mother Nature and manmade disasters including drought and famine to be Ethiopia’s common encounters and identification cards at global level. Ethiopia had been also confronted with external and internal destructive wars which occurred one after the other for years costing the lives of hundreds and thousands of citizens; causing massive displacements; wasting the country’s meager resources; and left many with posttraumatic stress disorders, mental and physical impairments and harms.
The pre-1991 unitary and dictatorial regime allowed the people of the Nations and Nationalities to remain as victims of subjugation and assimilation by intimidating, coercing and ridiculing them to unwillingly relinquish their identities and forced to have an Amharic name as a requirement to enroll forschool. Anger, destitution and frustration of the people grew deep and led to immense discontent and disobedience because the pre-1991 regime rejected to answer the Nations and Nationalities agelong questions for equity, liberty, and freedom without discrimination. These all have led to the formation of various political parties and groups to begin armed struggles and fight against such a centralized government structure.
The Tigrai People Liberation Front (TPLF) was one of the vanguard political parties that ventured the most popular armed struggle. TPLF had grown from a few into powerful guerilla fighters to ashamedly defeat and overthrow the unitary and dictatorial regime in 1991 that left supporters in shock. Following this Ethiopia established a new federal system and formulated a constitution of the FDRE, adopted on 8 December 1994 which has granted the people of the Nations and Nationalities the fundamental right to practice a culture and religion of their choices; speak and use a language of their preferences; and live a lifestyle of their selections. Ethiopia also has implemented a language-based federalism which offered the people of the Nations and Nationalities of Ethiopia the opportunity to exercise and enjoy political powers by recognizing and appreciating the values of self-rule and equality.
After the establishment of the federal system, power decentralization had occurred. This was found to be a very critical political step because it transferred policy formulation and decision-making power from a centralized government structure to the people at all levels. As a result, it has become unbelievable to see that even those whom their existence was unrecognized or belittled because they had unsettled nomadic lifestyles, have been politically empowered to assume powers; and have practically demonstrated their capacity in identifying and addressing their burning issues.
Healthcare service, education and infrastructure had been among the least developed social services, the conventional health parameters-including infant and maternal mortality; life expectancy; morbidity and mortality from communicable diseases; and malnutrition-witnessed Ethiopia to be among the most disadvantaged nations in the world until 1991. Infrastructures were either nonexistent, underdeveloped, or were in poor conditions. Particularly, the rural Ethiopians lack modern transportation systems; were disproportionately suffering from socioeconomic disparities; and had been in a difficult geographic location to access social services.
Between 1991 and 2018, the situation, however, changed. The TPLF/EPRDF government crafted and implemented relevant and applicable policies and programs that resulted in economic growth that has been praised worldwide. Ethiopia has made tremendous investments to bring progress on education, health service, and infrastructures. Such progress earned great attestation and commendation at global level. These success stories have improved Ethiopia’s historical image in the world-the image of poverty, famine-ridden, wars, and desperate living conditions.
Unfortunately, Ethiopia has unexpectedly fallen back to the hands of the lovers of the centralized and dictatorial government. And Ethiopia’s momentum and hope of development cut short by culprits. It is an open secret that the PM was one of those culprits who facilitated the process and served as a treasonous agent betraying Ethiopia’s interest by conspiring and collaborating with enemies and foreign entities. Right now, the PM and his allies are busy in undermining, belittling, and trashing Ethiopia’s progress, made between 1991 and 2018. They have nothing to offer except their desperate determination to destroy the status quo and do everything to steal and ashamedly claim to own somebody’s accomplishments and success stories. They are, however, found nowhere when it comes to a nose-to-nose confrontation with Ethiopia’s real challenges and needs. Time after time the PM has proven himself to be visionless, navigating Ethiopia without any direction.
The PM, the state-owned medias and their affiliates, inexperienced politicians, ill-educated individuals, and remnants of the past regime and their affiliate parties have become very engaged in disseminating fake and inflammatory news and in manufacturing fabricated documentary films and videos to subvert the people’s democratic rights and destabilize Tigrai, the only stable state in the country as of today. They started the act of disseminating all kinds of false information 29 years ago immediately after their defeat in 1991, which drove them crazy and caused them to act savagely, unwittingly, and recklessly being ashamed of losing their control of power of the unitary government system which benefited none but a few privileged groups.
Being consumed by hatred, they have been working day and night to revenge and destroy TPLF and weaken the people of Tigray simply because they have taken a lion share of the sacrifices and contributions to recognize and institutionalize self-rule, justice, and equality among all the people of the Nations and Nationalities of Ethiopia. The group’s typical behaviors have been consistent for years i.e. spewing and sowing of hatred and conflict provoking agenda; and calling for a genocide aimed at decimating the people of Tigrai, in addition to their consistent engagement to misinform and mislead the world with fabricated lies and propagandas.
The PM and his allies believe TPLF and the people of Tigrai are roadblocks for their dream to reinstate and reimpose the unitary and centralized structure. Thus, they heavily invest and only focus on blackmailing, discrediting and damaging the image of TPLF with the assumption that if TPLF is wiped out from existence, disparaging the people of Tigrai would be easy. Then, the other people of the Nations and Nationalities would be a piece of cake to suppress, manipulate, subjugate, and assimilate. This assumption has emanated out of the PM’s and his allies’ ignorance, naivety, and unwillingness to accept the facts on the ground and being resistant to get rid of their chauvinist behaviors. Their only interest is to grab power by any means. If the Ethiopian PM doesn’t qualify to be a tyrant then who else?
The group who are working with the PM closely always undermines and diminishes the significance of the other people who had been the subject of subjugation and assimilation prior to 1991. Today, the fact on the ground is a horse of a different color. The people of the Nations and Nationalities are in a better position today when it comes to understanding and determining what is right and wrong to them; to know what benefits them and what not; and politically are more conscious and stronger than ever before to defend their rights.
The PM and his allies are working day and night and sabotaging how to destroy the existing federal system and scrap the constitution altogether. By doing this, they are dragging the country into irreparable crises and thus, if appropriate measures are not taken without delay, Ethiopia’s existence, as it stands today, is questionable. Unless the current constitution and language-based federalism are upheld and protected, any effort to reinstitute and reimpose the unitary and centralized government structure will escalate the situation further into ungovernable and dire consequences of disintegration by allowing the country to completely fall under control of local thugs.
TPLF and the Tigrai people are working hard to remain adherent to the United Nations’ cardinal principles of people’s right to self-determination, self-rule, vote and elect leaders of their choice; and recognize the inherent dignity of each individual to promote conditions that allow them to enjoy civil and political rights. On the contrary, the PM and his allies’ ultimate goal is inconsistent to the cardinal principles of human rights. They are desperately and carelessly acting to restore a dictatorial and unitary government structure that historically subjected the people of the Nations and Nationalities to subjugation, intimidation, and assimilation. If the Ethiopian PM doesn’t qualify to be a tyrant then who else?
The PM and his allies are incapable of seeing and understanding the future big picture and the real threats of Ethiopia but only focused on quenching power and without any sense of ingenuity, authenticity and empathy; and unwilling to take accountabilities for their wrongdoings. The PM’s egoistic, manipulative, and violative behaviors are reflections of his greed for a power. He stands against the freedom of people to choose and express their preferences. His actions are not acceptable by any available standard. Periodic elections play key roles in ensuring respect for citizens’ political rights and the will of the people, expressed in periodic elections, is the basis of the authority of government.
International community, in the context of this piece, means defenders and advocates of human and democratic rights, the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD), the African Union, the United Nations, the European Union, Embassies and Consulates, seasoned journalists, and influential individuals and politicians anywhere in the world.
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